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  1. Monographs Special Edition in 3D (96011) Rogozarski IK-3 Publisher: Kagero Written by: Nenad Miklušev, Djordje Nikolić Available here from Kagero for € 31,95 What we have here is a hardcover book covering the history, design and engineering of the Yugoslavian Ik-3 fighter. To be real honest before reading this book, the only thing I knew about this plane was it’s name and that it somewhat resembled a Hurricane. That’s it. This book is dedicated to the 80 years anniversary of this obscure but not forgotten fighter. Bear with me. When reading on the first page of this book it becomes apparent that the Ik-3 was born out of the necessity to update the hopeless outdated Yugoslavian Airforce in the 1930’s. The result was a state of the art fighter that was easier to handle than the Hurricane or even Bf109. This made me curious for more. Scale models of the Ik-3 Before I continue it may be wise to sum up what models are available of this plane. It being a less known fighter hasn’t stopped companies of producing models of this plane. It has been done in almost all scales. Even 1/32! Here they are: 1/32: Aeropoxy This is a rather crude resin kit that requires a lot of skill and experience in this medium. 1/48: Aeropoxy (resin kit) Classic Resin Airframes (resin kit) 1/72: Aeropoxy (resin kit) AZ Model (plastic kit) Azur Frrom (plastic kit) Czech master resin (resin kit) (Thnx to Scalemates for the above info!) To be real honest the above list doesn’t really do justice to this incredible book with such detailed 3D renderings, but I’m sure we’ll see a proper resin kit (or even plastic) in the near future. Especially with Silver Wings branching out past the interbellum era with the new Yak9 kit. History 47 pages span the development of this plane. Starting halfway the 1930’s covering the IK-3’s predecessors (like the IK-1 and IK-2) and followed by the first test flight of the IK-3 Br.1. The IK-3 is supposedly named after the the three designers: Ilic, Sivcev and Zrnic. The truth is much simpler: The 3 stands for the 3rdtype designed by Ilic and Sivcev. The construction of the prototype is described extensively and accompanied by a lot of photo’s. Not soon after the IK-3 was pressed into service and entered the war. The amount of research, photographs and details are impressive. A little less is known on the colours of the plane. There is a chapter devoted to camouflage and markings. Paint codes are reconstructed using a section of a crashed plane and a 1:20 era model with original paint. Technical information This is where the modeller really gets his kicks. Detailed photo’s of different sections of the plane in great detail. This chapter gives you an idea of the materials used and aids in defining how to paint / weather your model. The above chapters make up about 30% of the book and are followed by a whole set of scale drawings. One big foldable drawing showing profiles and cross sections in 32ndscale of different IK-3 types. Including one powered by a DB601 engine with a nose quite similar to a Bf109. The book itself contains 48thscale drawings of about 12 types. The same drawings are presented in 72ndscale. Page 103 marks the start of amazing computer rendered images. Starting with a rendering of the IK-3 without paint. Showing what parts are aluminium and fabric. The wings were covered in Bakelite combined with birch plywood and the ailerons were covered in fabric, infused with Bakelite. Kagero is known for their excellent 3D models showing every nutt, rivet and bolt. This book is no other. Feast your eyes on these half open rendered images. Over the pages the plane is broken down in smaller section, giving you an idea of engineering and construction. Really impressed with the detail and man, what a shame a proper plastic model isn’t available of this plane in 32ndscale. About 80 pages filled with large colour renderings are presented. Including a whole set of colour profiles. Verdict Another quality title of a plane that screams for a proper model. Kagero really treats both the modeller and aviation enthusiast to all the information he will need. The 3D work and research that went into this book is amazing. I just love the Monographs Special 3D editions. It has to be said that Kagero takes a gamble on investing so much time and effort into a plane that is so little known. I hope this title will sell well and cause Kagero to cover more obscure planes.. like the Fokker DXXI maybe? A big thank you to Kagero for supplying this review sample. Jeroen Peters
  2. Famous Airplanes (5010) Albatros D.III/D.V Aces’ Fighter Publisher: Kagero Written by: Tomasz J. Kowalski, Wojciech Fajga, Vitor Costa, Damien Majsak Available here from Kagero for € 18,75 Kagero has really made a name for itself in publishing high quality and affordable books for both modeller and aviation, armour or ship enthusiast. Some ranges are an almost must have when correcting of detailing your build. For instance the Top Drawings line for adding rivets and correcting panel lines. Or the Photosniper or 3D books for adding detail. Having said that, this book is from the Famous Airplanes range, which consists of 10 books at the time I’m writing this. Mostly ww1 subjects, but also two Japanese ww2 subjects. This range is clearly written and designed with the modeller in mind that wants to really grasp his subject and see how that translate into a quality build. The whole book is printed in two languages: Polish and English with the text side by side. This saves Kagero money on design and printing. You could compare this book to a Windsock publication, only of higher quality and more comprehensive. It’s a soft cover with a glued back and quality paper. I’ve said it before about Kagero books. They’re cheap and value for money. These days some high quality magazines can set you back almost 13 euro’s, so in my eyes 18,75 euro’s for this book is a bargain. Keep on reading to see whether you agree. The contents are built up as follows: - Albatros D.I – D.V History, construction development, combat usage - Albatros D.III 1/48 Eduard (build report) - Albatros D.V 1/32 Wingnut Wings (build report) - Albatros D.Va 1/32 Wingnut Wings (build report) Albatros D.I – D.V History, construction development, combat usage The left side of the text pages contain the English copy, with the right side reserved for Polish. 26 pages span the whole development of this sleek wooden fighter, with written personal experiences of test pilots and various pilots that became ace in the Albatros. Ofcourse attention is paid to the Albatros in Polish service too. The chapter covering the construction of the Albatros gives a valuable insight to the modeller in understanding what materials were used and how they were engineered. For example: The tailskid was made of ash and covered in canvas tape, ended in a steel pile show. It was fixed to the triangular stabilizing fin with an articulated joint and fixed with a rubber cord threaded through a fitted opening in the stabilizing fin. This gives the modeller an idea how to weather and paint the tailskid. The chapter ends in 2 pages of period technical drawings. Albatros D.III 1/48 Eduard Eduard has produced an impressive line of 48thscale ww1 models and for years dominated the ww1 aircraft modelling scene. I believe the kit built and described here originated from 1998. Whereas the first stages of this build don’t impress me too much, the work on the outer fuselage and wings is lovely. Modeller Vitor Costa shows what you can so using only a few ‘simple’ techniques to mask with ribtape and wood painting techniques. Albatros D.V 1/32 Wingnut Wings (build report) Wojciech Fajga builds the venerable Wingnut Wings Albatros D.V. This build is not about superdetailing an already great kit, but can be seen as a reference build for modellers trying their hands on woodgrain decals, adding rivets (or rather nails) to the wooden fuselage and doing some masking on a decaled fuselage. You sense trouble? You’re right. The modeller pulls of a large portion of wood grain decal. The things we have to deal with! Lovely extra details are added to the radiator louvres and engine. Also loving the homemade rigging turnbuckles. Albatros D.Va 1/32 Wingnut Wings Damian Majsak also does magic to a Wingnut Wings Albatros, but builds the D.Va version. We see some different techniques, followed by a diorama base complete with figures. A feast for the eye. This build focusses more on weathering, which seems right for a model on a dio base. Profiles The books ends with amazing colour profiles. We see the whole range: a German D.I, German D.II, Two Polish D.III’s, Three German D.III’s, Two German D.V’s and a German D.Va’s. Ofcourse the D.V’s are a great inspiration for Wingnut Wings builds. Here’s hoping WNW will try their hands on earlier versions of this plane too. Verdict I’m a big fan of Kagero titles. Especially the ones’ written and designed with the modeller in mind. I don’t need a big bible full of black and white period photo’s. I need illustrated builds, colour profiles and step by step tutorials. This title (in this range: Famous Airplanes) provide just that. As said in the introduction, these books come cheap (€ 18,75) and are printed on quality paper. If I had to nitpick: the English felt a bit uneasy here and there. The English/polish text side by side never bothers me, but I guess that’s personal. If you’re into WW1 airplanes and have a stash of Wingnut Wings kits in the stash (you know who you are!), order one of these titles and get inspired to build one! Order here. A big thank you to Kagero for providing us with a sample. Jeroen Peters
  3. Topdrawings #30 (7030) Dornier Do 17z/Do 215 Publisher: Kagero Written by: Mariusz Łukasik Available here from Kagero for € 18,24 This book will make you long for an inevitable Do-17 release in 32nd scale. Trust me. Let’s hope Revell gives it the same treatment as their excellent Ju-88 and He-111 range. Size won’t be an obstacle, since the wingspan is quite equal to the Ju-88. Sales won’t be an issue, since this is a plane that saw a LOT of variations and was used in the Battle of Britain. In other scales Hobbycraft (hmmmm), Classic Airframes and recently ICM (Yes! The Do-17Z10 and Z2) released their version in 48th scale. And when you want to save on display space you could tackle the Flying Pencil in 72nd scale, as offered by Airfix (Do17z, Do17E/F), Revell (Do17Z), ICM (Do17B-4, Do17Z10), RS Models (Do17P, Do17K), Matchbox (Do17Z2), etc.. etc… Perhaps the reason the Do17 or Do215 hasn’t been done in ‘our’ scale yet is the fact that there are no survivors remaining today. Only some large pieces or relics in museums or private collections. Or is there?.... In 2010 the RAF Museum announced that they had discovered the largely intact remains of a Do17Z (Werknummer 1160) off the coast of England. Today the wreckage has been carefully lifted of the seabed and is undergoing preservation and restoration in the RAF Museum in Cosford. The remains undergoing preservation treatment in 2013: The book These Topdrawings titles are really written and published with the modeller in mind. If features drawings of all the different versions of the Do17 and Do215 in 72nd scale which not only show panel lines, but also rivets. I myself mainly use these drawings for my riveting. Apart from this also showed are cross sections of the fuselage and wings. This should appeal the 3D modellers! Throughout the book we stumble on 7 colour profiles of a Do17Z-7, Do17Z-2, Do-17Z-1 (with top, bottom, left and right profiles in Desert Scheme), Do-215B-5, Do-215B-4, Do215B-1 and Do-17Z-2. The drawings inside the book are all in 72nd scale. Each version of the plane has a small text explaining the structural differences. If you are interested in the history of the plane or it’s operational use, this is not the book for you. If you want to check whether your model is accurate in shape or if you want to detail it up and/or rivet it… this is a must have. The book is as always accompanied by three large sheets with drawings. Printed front and back. It features drawings of the Do-17 from the top, bottom, front and side profiles in all three scales (32, 48 and 72). If we look at the 32nd scale drawings, the first thing you’ll notice is the massive size of the plane. To check whether I was going grazy, I grabbed the wing sprue of a 32nd scale Ju-88 kit and placed it on top. See for yourself: the size is quite similar. I think the visual impact is caused by the long chord of the wings. Quite like the huge wings on the He-111. And like I said in the introduction: these drawings will make you hungry for a 32nd scale version of this plane. A Ju-88 wing on top of the drawings: If the drawings don’t do it for you, perhaps the recent 1/48 completion of the ICM kit by Italian builder Paolo Portuesi will! Verdict One of those ‘need to have’ titles when tackling the Do17 / Do215 subject! The prize of 18 euro’s sure won’t be a show stopper. It won’t take up a lot of space in your book case. Let’s all buy it and pray for Revell to step up their game. I remember reviewing the Ta154 book by Kagero and guess what? I now have a 32nd scale Ta154 in my stash! Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Jeroen Peters
  4. Monographs edition #63 (3063) Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek J. Murawski Available here from Kagero for € 20,07 With the Ta 152 being offered in all three major scales (72, 48 and 32) I guess it’s only fitting that Kagero dedicates one of their excellent Monographs edition titles to this plane. A Top Drawings edition from Kagero was already available, but as you may know the Top Drawings range ‘only’ contains a set of drawings of the different variations and usually a sheet of decals in 1/72 and 1/48 scales. Click here to view the Top Drawings book in the Kagero webshop. I think the fascination for the Ta152 is that in a way it was one of the luft’46 planes, that actually saw service and was one of those ‘too-little-too-late’ subjects. A pure thoroughbred and climax of the FW190 range. An answer to the high altitude B17 onslaught. Add to that the long nose, housing the best piston engine the Germans had (Jumo213) and the unusual long wings for high altitude operation and the fact that it had a pressurized cockpit and you’ve got one elegant bird that beckons to be modelled. The Ta152 has been done in 32nd scale by two companies: PCM (Pacific Coast Models) and Zoukei Mura as one of their SWS (Super Wing Series). Where PCM did a limited run version of the Ta152 C-1 (medium altitude ground attack fighter) that can be a bit challenging to build and has minor shape issues, Zoukei Mura has covered both the Ta152 H-0 and Ta-152 H-1 (both high altitude interceptors). As you can see, the modeller has some choices when it comes to modelling the Ta152 in large scale. Quite a lot has been written on the subject as well, but often as part of an extension to the Fw190D-9 family. When modelling the Ta152 lots of small details come into play that can make or break a good model. The fun really begins with one of their Monographs 3D editions, and I’m sure one won’t be too far of in the near future. Until that time, lets take a look at this title. When I start to even think about modelling a certain subject, I start collecting books and photo’s. The books that offer most useful data, are always the books that deal with one specific subject. Different variations are set apart and details shown that usually get passed by in more general books. Kagero always delivers and maintain a certain order in covering a subject: History and development (brief), service history followed by drawings and details. All you need to help you out in determining a scheme and help you correct errors in the model or add detail that has been overseen. As always I’ll take you through this book chapter by chapter to give you an impression of it’s contents: Introduction and development The first chapter explains how the need was born for the Luftwaffe to develop a high altitude fighter. It shows experiments with a Fw190A models that were altered and made lighter in order to reach the heights the US airforce flew. All sorts of problems arose… The BMW801 engine not getting enough air, not being able to maintain at the height needed (15 minutes!) and the single layered canopy fogging up, causing the pilot to almost fly blind. When Kurt Tank and his team tried a whole new approach, discarding tests based on the Fw190A with radial engine, they resorted to redesigning the whole airframe. With this radical change, a whole new name was appropriate. Paying homage to the successful designs by Kurt Tank, the new airframe was dubbed Ta152 (Ta standing for Tank). Ta152 in combat and post war fate Of about 220 Ta152’s ordered about 40 actually reached operational status. This chapter is filled with witness accounts of aerial engagements and photo’s that inspire the weathering enthusiasts. After the war the best Luftwaffe trophies were jets. Still one example of a Ta152 was captured and transported to the USA. It now resides in Ohio awaiting restoration… Technical Specifications For the modeller this chapter should be of interest. Detailed descriptions on RLM colours, camouflage schemes and a listing of Werknummers and fuselage codes of all operational Ta152’s. Drawings The book comes in to practical use with sheets of drawings in 1/72 and 1/48 scale drawings, showing top, side, front, rear and bulkhead drawings down to rivet detail. As a bonus 1/32 foldable huge drawings are also included. All scales cover both Ta152 C-1 and Ta152 H series. The 3D drawings in 32nd scale are perfect to take measurements from to transfer them to your model. Excellent… The 1/72 scale drawings: 1/48 scale drawings: Huge 1/32 scale drawings: This is all followed by 3D renderings of the MG151/20 and MK108 cannons and Revi Gunsight. I realize that these 3D models were already made for earlier 3D Monographs books, but are relevant for this title too. The final pages show 8 superb colour profiles, including a British captured Ta152 H-1 displayed at Farnborough. Verdict Another superb title from Kagero’s Monographs range, made with the modellers interest in mind. Detailed drawings, background information, technical specifications and superb colour profiles. The prize is just 20 euro’s, so no excuse to indulge into the subject. Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review sample. Click here to buy directly. Jeroen Peters
  5. Kagero Monographs 3D Edition #62 (3062) Arado Ar 234 Blitz Vol.II Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek J. Murawski and Marek Rys Available here from Kagero for € 21,97 Today I’m taking a look at another unbeatable title from Kagero’s growing Monographs 3D Edition range. It’s the second volume on the Ar234. Where the first volume (click here to read the review on Volume I) focusses mainly on the earlier types and it’s 3D renderings on the cockpit and wheelbays, this volume picks up with the later types and 3D renderings of the engines, exterior details and external storage. It’s the volume that I was waiting for… The book features 115 pages filled with drawings, period photographs, 3D renderings and profiles. As a modeler these series provide me with all the intell I need. As an amateur 3D artist I can only marvel at the amount of work, research and craftmanship that go into the renderings… Introduction As always I’ll take you through the book chapter by chapter, so you’ll know exactly what you’ll get for your money. The smooth heavy paper and soft cover are typical of Kagero’s publications. As is the sense of quality, the in-register printing, and solid design. Inserted behind the cover is a foldable A2 drawing of the later Ar234C-series in scale 1/32. A nice touch, but to his day we don’t have a 1/32 kit of the C-series. But who knows? Fly might decide to widen their 234-line? Or maybe Radu? Next tot his set of drawings, there are two additional A2 sheets with line art taken from the original maintenance books. But more on these later. Other projects The first chapter deals with the various trials and prototypes the Ar234 saw. From bomber, to recon, to nightfighter, to V1 towing vessel. It illustrates the decision-less state of the Luftwaffe in the latter stages of the war. Ar234 in service with reconaissance units The Ar234 is often mistaken for a Luft’46 plane that hardly saw any combat. It did however in quite a few roles. The first was as a fast recon plane, without any built in armament. Speed that was obtained by the two Jumo engines, and RATO packs for extra speed during the volnurable take offs. This chapter gives us a range of witness accounts during operations, adorned with detailed information, like dates and plane codes. One short pilot note describes the encounter with a british Mosquito that flew in the opposite direction. Since the Mosquito had spent all it’s ammo, and the Ar234 recon plane didn’t have any ammo to begin with, all the two pilots could do was wave at eachother. Ar234B bombers in service with Kampfgeschwader 76 The Ar234 bombers were exactly that. Bombers. And like the recon version of the Ar234 they didn’t carry any machine guns. They were able to carry bombs under each engine gondola and one under the fuselage. This wasn’t a widely known fact amongst the allied forces, which caused some allied fighters to flee, upon encountering one of these strange looking jets. Again numerous eye witness accounts, dates and data give us an idea of the bomber missions these planes carried out. Drawings The next chapter is filled with original drawings from the Luftwaffe maintenance manual. Varying from the airframe construction, spars, landing gear, control surfaces, fuel system and cockpit layout. Photographs and drawings from these old manuals can prove pretty useful to a modeller, since they were enhanced and touched up to provide a better sense of detail and construction to the (ground)crew. As a matter of fact I myself used these drawings to scratch build some detail on my own 1/32 Fly model (like the entrance hatch). 3D renderings! And here we go. Starting at page 57 the 3D renderings take center stage. Starting with a beautiful 3D model of the Jumo 004 engine. Great to figure out how to add some wiring. If you plan to open up an engine bay, this is where to start. The renderings show us the attachment to the wings and give us a good sense of colour. These renderings are followed up by some exterior details, like the brake parachute installation, rudder, stabilizer control horns, Peil G6 radar (note not all Ar234B’s carried these!), power sockets in the fuselage, Lotfe 7K bombsight mirror tube (very nice indeed!) and steps and grips. On a bit of a critical note, some details are zoomed in to such extend, that pixilation in the fuselage textures become visible. Like the wire antenna spring at the base, which is soo small that all is forgiven. Details that are invaluable are the external store racks that carried either bombs or fuel tanks. You might also want to take a good look at the Rato packs. The ones’ Fly Models provide are nice and all, but you might want to buy some MDC resin ones’ from Radu’s model. They are more detailed and accurate. This piece did not have flushed rivets and looked medieval in real life with rivets like warts. Sweet stuff all around when at page 92 full renderings take up the pages. Both the Ar234B as the Ar234C get the attention they deserve. All we can hope the C will be covered in glorious 32nd scale. Additional A2 Drawings As said in the intro we get three huge black and white sheets with drawings. Two of them with ww2 era drawings, giving us the detail on gear and cockpit. On the rear we find a full set of plan views of the Ar234C-3 in 1/48 scale. This makes sense, since Revell has this kit in this scale in their range. Perfect when you plan to rivet your model. Whether these are 100% accurate I don’t know, and have no way of checking. I’ll leave that to the rivet-counters. The final set shows plans of the Ar234C-3 in 32nd scale revealing all panel lines and rivets. A nice offering, and I don’t want to say it again, but I will nonetheless: I hope this variant pops up in our scale soon! Verdict I totally love these 3D series and can’t get enough of them. The fact that Kagero deemed it worth to cover the Ar234 in two volumes illustrates their affection for this machine. The super low price of just over 20 euro’s makes me wonder if they can justify all the work that must go in the 3D renderings, but looking at the ever growing list of titles in this series, I guess it does! I can only rate this book a solid 9 out of 10! You plan on building an Ar234 in 72nd, 48th or 32nd scale?? Get both volumes. They’re worth it J Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review sample. Get your copy here. Jeroen Peters
  6. Super Model (issue 5) International series Publisher: Kagero Editor in chief: Damian Majsak Available from Kagero for € 10,90 Finally! I remember asking Kagero about a year ago why they didn’t publish their Super Model magazine in English language. Their reply was that they were working on it and I can remember thinking: I hope so… The first time I came into contact with this title was when they (Kagero) asked me to write an article on my 1/32 Meng Me163 for it. This happened and it was published... …in polish. A polish co-worker of mine confirmed that the copy was indeed mine J The market is flooded with amazing books and magazines lately. The quality of photography, copy, content formula’s and design has surpassed the hobby-like/home-made style we have put up with for so long and this magazine is right up there with a Tamiya Model Magazine, with the quality of the paper being even better. On the other hand: it should be good, since the price is higher too, at € 10,90 euro’s a copy. So what do we get? A thick glossy cover, binding 66 sturdy glossy pages. Since the magazine contains a lot of tips-and-tricks I think it’s good that the material is a bit more durable than the Tamiya Model magazine or a FineScale Modeller magazine for instance. The subjects usually span large scale planes and armour and reviews and this is no exception, with: • A review of Mr. Color paint sets These sets have been on the market for some time and are not new. Since they cover full subjects (like aircraft interior colors or certain camouflage paint schemes), they’re great to have in the drawer, knowing that your palette is complete. • Tips and tricks for cutting plastic When you have been modelling for a long time, you’ll have acquired your own techniques for the most basic tasks. Like cutting plastic for instance. Here’s an article by Tomek Wajnkaim spread over 4 pages dealing with these tasks. It covers important steps in the construction process – sanding, getting rid of ejector pin marks, glueing, clamping, etc.. A good read for both novice and expert. I guess you can teach an old new tricks! • 1/32 Spitfire by Ralph Riese Hey! This bird looks familiar. The ‘Grey Nurse’ scheme on this Spitfire MK.VIII was also featured on our own Large Scale Modeller forum. Link here. Ralph has a very unique painting technique that brings his models to life. This article shows his build during the most important stages. It won’t help me to acquire his skills, but it does somewhat explain how he does what he does. • 1/32 Typhoon by Karoly Bera This is my favourite article. Karoly wants to build a cardoor Typhoon and takes the high road. With both the MDC and Revell Typhoon in his stash, he takes the old Revell kit and uses the MDC kit as a template. Extensive scratching and surface detailing results in a mind blowing Typhoon. Usually when someone goes through these lengths to build a subject that has not been rendered in 32nd scale, a model company decides to produce it. So let’s hope… • 1/35 Hotchkiss H39 by Joaquin Garcia Gazquez A nice build of the Bronco kit. The Hotchkiss tank is made by many companies in 32nd scale. Heller, Bronco, Hobby Boss and even a very expensive 3D printed one. Joaquin presents his build in a little vignette with a franch tank driver scraping poo of his booth. The Bronco kit has some issues, (as do the Heller and Hobby Boss kit) so a lot of corrections and extra detailing is described. Not only this, but also the entire painting process is shared, as well as the altering of the figure and base. • H39 Tank Colours The Hotchkiss chapter is appropriately followed by a page dealing with the Hotchkiss wartime colours. • 1/35 T-34/122 by Adam Wilder Most of us know Adam Wilder and his armour subjects. He presents us with a pretty cool T34 with 122 resin turret and winter white wash. This article focuses on the weathering and painting. Washes, pastels… cool stuff. And yes: The products he uses for this are of his own brand J A the start of a couple of restrained reviews we find the profile of a 1/16 Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf. H, accompanied by a free sample of masks for this scheme. • Reviews of Fokker Dr.I book and the Ho229 Zoukei Mura kit. The reviews are compressed and limited. No worries. Both subjects have been extensively reviewed by Large Scale Modeller Verdict We would like to welcome this newcomer to the block! Well… the English part of the block that is! Well layed out magazine offering good advice, tips and tricks by accomplished modellers. Comparable to the Aces High magazine in terms of design, photography and contents. Very highly recommended! A special thanks to Kagero for the review. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  7. Monographs 3D edition #61 (3061) Arado 234 Blitz Volume I Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek J. Murawski, Marek Rys Available from Kagero for € 21,97 Ofcourse… Just finished my Ar234 build and then Kagero hits us with this pearl of a publication. I’ve said it before, but I just love these 3D editions. They have the ability to give us (the modeller) a very good sense of what goes where and how, by eradicating nasty shadows that obscure our view. Secondly these 3D renderings are a great colour chart, showing us in detail what lever is red and what tube is aluminium. The quality of the materialisation is very high, causing us to see, and above all understand, what we are building. This book being volume I makes me guess as to what to expect in volume 2. I’ll tell my guess later on… Please note that Kagero already has an excellent Monographs book on the Ar234. This book deals with the design, production and variations. Amazingly cheap at € 6,56 euro’s (!). Let’s walk through the chapters: Introduction Three pages lead up to the design and development phase of the Ar234. In the introductions we read a report of the first operational sortie of the Ar234 at Juvincourt. Design and development of the Ar234A About 20 pages describe all the different fuel tanks, armament, gear / trolley / skid setup and engines the Ar234 saw. These chapters are mandatory reading, but also pretty well covered in other titles. Lets be honest: these chapters are not the reason we buy this book! Arado 234B, followed by Ar234C These chapters are illustrated with the well known photo’s of the mock-up wooden cockpit that was used to determine what gauges and controls went where. 3d renderings And then what we came for: the amazing 3D renderings! Flipping through them we can check off the cockpit, cockpit glazing, gear (nose wheel and main gear) and outer fuselage. So my guess is that volume I will show us the engines, inner rear fuselage and fuel tanks. Maybe even the night fighter version with the observer’s seat and work area. The work that was put in the 3D model of the cockpit is staggering. I can know, since I work in 3D software myself on a regular basis. If you’re looking to add some extra detail to your Fly Models 1/32 Ar234, this is where you plan your steps. I just wish I had this book when scratch building my canopy hatch… The 3D drawings are revealed from outside to inside. The glazing is taken off to reveal the framing. The seat is taken out, as is the instrument panel. Rudder pedals, side consoles (in extreme close up), periscope gunsight and bomb release computer. All followed by several shots of the complete cockpit. Lovely… The nose wheel on the Ar234 is a bit tricky. Especially in the Fly Models kit. Dry fitting and adjusting is needed. These renderings let you understand how the springs are attached and how the wheel actually retracts into it’s bay. And yes, again I have seen a couple of things I would have done differently on my kit if I had the knowledge. The same goes for the main gear. Brake lines and small nuts and bolt-detail. Also featured in this book is a 4 page walk around of the Smithsonian Ar234 B-2. A nice addition. If you like these photo's, I suggest getting the AeroDetail book as well. The book ends with several renderings of the complete plane and four colour profiles. These are the same profiles that are featured in the #33 book. On top of this all we find two huge folded up drawings/plans of the Ar234 in 32nd scale and 48th scale. Ofcourse we, as Large Scale Modellers, don’t use the 48th scale drawings J These drawings show every rivet, which is quite convenient for the Fly Models Ar234, which has close to none. The front view comes in handy when positioning your gear legs and wheel angle. Verdict A damn good title with 3D drawings that seam to gain quality with every publication. I’m in love with these series. For the price of just over 20 euro’s, this is a need to have for anyone that wishes to tackle an Ar234. Who knows: maybe one day Revell will release one in 32nd scale, and then we all want this book. So better get yours now Very very highly recommended! A special thanks to Kagero for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  8. AMX-30 Family Photosniper 16 Written by M.P. Robinson, color profiles by Slawomir Zajaczkowski Published by Oficyna Wydawnicza KAGERO Vailable from www.shop.kagero.pl for €19,86 What is it? It's an 95-page softcover book that describes the specialist vehicles that were designed and produced on the lower hull/running gear of the AMX-30 main battle tank. The AMX-30 tank itself is not subject matter in this book. Therefore, "AMX-30 Derivatives", would have been a title that better describes the contents. What is in it? As mentioned above, on the basis of the AMX-30 MBT, quite a few specialist vehicles were designed and produced, the best known at the moment is the Au-F-1 155mm Self-propelled howitzer because Meng produced a brand new model of that vehicle in 2013. I'll look closer on the subject of the Au-F1 in the book last. AMX-30D Char de Depannage The AMX-30D is the recovery vehicle based on the MBT chassis. It's got a high superstructure with a crane, a dozer blade and all sorts of tools and equipmment on the hull sides. AMX-30 Bitube 30mm DCA This chapter describes how the chassis of the AMX-30 was used to build an effective anti-aircraft tank. The Bitube 30mm DCA turret was used on the light AMX-13 chassis before the AMX-30 was developed but it really was a haul for the little tank (of lieutenat Grueber...), especially when radar was added. The guns were two 30mm Hispano-Suiza HS831 belt-fed guns capable of a combined firing-rate of 600 rounds per minute. AMX-30R Roland-1 and AMX-30R Roland-2 This is the guided-missile SAM variant. Roland-1 is fit for clear weather operations while Roland-2 is an all-weather missile system. AMX-30 Pluton This was a French Short Range Ballistic Missile system, employing a 20-megaton missile with a range of 17 - 120km. Engineer vehicles One that is discussed but was never produced is the AMX-30H bridgelayer. Another was the EBG, the Engin Blindé du Génie, a vehicle based on the powertrain of the AMX-30B2. This vehicle was fitted with a dozer blade, a hydraulic arm that could be fitted with pincers, Rotary cutters or drills. A small turret contained a 142mm hollow-charge bomb-thrower and four anti-tank min throwers. The last type is the AMX-30B2 DT or Déminage Téléguidée or the remote-controlled mine clearing vehicle. CN 155 Au-F1 Or Canon 155 Automoteur-F1. This part describes the design, production and operations of the different variants of the self-propelled 155mm howitzer on AMX-30 chassis. From the earliest Saudi and Iraqi systems to the French Au-F1 H, Au-F1T, Au-F1TM and ultimately the Au-F1 TA. The differences between these versions are well described, I concluded that the Meng kit is Au-F1TM from the photos and the text... Presentation Apart from guiding us through the AMX-30 derivatives, the book also contains numerous photos of the different variants on 14 Juillet-parades, exercises or deployments to the Balkans. What is very nice from a modelling perspective is the inclusion of a walk around of an Au-F1TM. The outside is well catered for but what increases the value very much for me is the inclusion of photos of the inside of the turret and the ammunition racks since the Meng kit offers these inside details too! The package is rounded out with some very nice profiles of Au-F1's and Roland's. What do we think? The book in itself is very readable and interesting but the extra text and photos (operational & walk around) on the Au-F1 gives it also very good value to modellers. Highly Recommended! We like to thank Kagero for supplying the review sample.
  9. Kaga, 1920-1942, The Japanese Aircraft Carrier Written by Miroslaw Skwiot and Adam Jarski Hardcover Series 95001 Published by Oficyna Wydawnicza KAGERO Available from www.shop.kagero.pl for €27,95 What is it? This book is a hardcover publication of 142 pages that deals in English with the history and the technical details of the IJN Kaga from the earliest plans/policies of the Imperial Japanese Navy to build battleships that could rival those of Great Britain and the United Staes in 1916 to the sinking of the aircraft carrier Kaga during the Battle of Midway in 1942. How are the history and the technical details of the ship presented in the book? Well, very thoroughly, as a matter of fact. There are four major parts that make up the book, namely: Battleship Kaga. In this chapter the thinking of the IJN about it's assets is highlighted, the different designs that stemmed from the experiences the British and Germans had at the Battle of Jutland, 1916, as wel as the power that the Japanese wanted to project through their navy. This part also highlights what effects the Washington Naval Treaty had on the Imperial Japanese Navy and it described how the IJN came to select the Kaga for conversion to aircraft carrier as that almost didn't happen... Aircraft Carrier "Kaga" This chapter highlights the difficulties the IJN encountered when designing and choosing the different possible concepts and solutions for an aircraft carrier, also looking at the choices the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy made with their early aircraft carriers. Technical Description This chapter goes quite into the details and discusses the finer technical points of the hull, flight decks, elevators, superstructure, armour and fire protection, defensive armament, offensive armament (yes indeed, the aircraft and their bombs and torpedoes!), the fire control systems, propulsion and the crew. Keep in mind that the carrier started out as a carrier with 3 flight decks and was reconstructed to the more familiar 1 flight deck. This reconstruction is also described. Operations This chapter details thae operations that "Kaga" was involved in, from the early operations in Chinese waters, through Pearl Harbor, the American raid against the Marshall Islands, attacks against Port Darwin and Tjilatjap to the final ops during the Battle of Midway until the sinking. What do we think? It is a very thorough book on the history and technical details of the ship. For the modeller it has some value as the way the IJN went about arming and flying their aircraft off the carrier are described as the philosophy of keeping spare aircraft ready for operations opposed to the use of spare parts to repair damaged aircraft. The description of the various bombs and torpedoes can be of use to aircraft modellers as well as ship modellers. If you're only interested in how the ship looked because you are building Fujimi's (to be released) kit of the Kaga, then this book is not for you. In that case you'd better invest in Super Drawings in 3D 16031 "The Japanese Aircraft Carrier Kaga" from the same publisher. At the end of the book there are some very nice computer generated profiles included of the Kaga. There are however also some "half" 3D -graphics from the above mentioned book included as some kind of advert. I applaud the inclusion of those graphics but to have a half flight deck to look at is not as I would like to see it.... Highly recommended for those interested in the history and the technical details inside the ship. I'd like to thank Kagero for supplying the book for review.
  10. Monographs #45 (3045) Arado Ar 196 Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek J. Murawski Available here from Kagero for € 19,00 With the recent release of the Revell Ar 196B (single float plane) and the Ar 196A in 32nd scale this plane suddenly received a lot of attention from Large Scale modellers, quite out of the blue. The Ar196 is one of those planes with an interesting background and operational history, but not one that sports a wide range of lively schemes. However, the Ar 196 did see heavy use and salt water and one can therefor have a ball weathering this kit. Both wings folded, one wing folded, wings extended. On a dolly cart or on a catapult. A good detailed basic platform by Revell and aftermarket sets by Eduard, HGW and Aires (almost) make the HPH full resin kit not worth the trouble… Reason enough for Kagero to devote a new Monographs title to this plane. Alas, not another 3D edition, but who knows, maybe that will come. Let’s have a flip through the pages to see what we get for 19 euro’s… Design and Development This being an airplane subject that is known to many of us, but well known by only a few, it is good to start at the beginning. The ideas behind the design, the various experimental versions and the version that was chosen for serial production: the twin float version. Construction The Ar 196 was designed and constructed to be catapulted from a ship, land along side the ship and be hoisted back on board. It consisted of tubular framed fuselage, covered with fabric and duraluminium floats and wings. Some nice photographs of the installation of the BMW 132 K engine, control surfaces and fuselage being covered in fabric are shown. All quite useful when applying proper weathering techniques. Foreign users A small chapter nearly covering half a page sums up other countries that flew the Ar 196. Bulgaria bought and flew 12, Sweden interned two german Ar 196’s. After the war one of these two planes was flown to Norway where it received Norse civilian registration. This is where I can recommend another Kagero Topdrawings title that gives you scale drawings that are great for riveting and decals that give you the option to build this aluminium and blue colored civilian version. Get your copy here. Combat use Pictures of the construction process continue in this chapter, with text describing the operations of the Ar 196 from the German battle cruiser Graf Spee, Deutschland, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, etc… These stories show the Ar 196 was used a an armed reconnaissance plane, spotting convoys and quickly returning to it’s mothership. Hunting British Submarines, Commerce raiding sortie These chapters describe witness accounts of the battle against british submarines and attacks on merchant vessels in the north and south Atlantic as ordered by Hitler in 1940. These pages are adorned with photo’s of the Ar196 operations and are great for weathering inspiration. The final chapter of the book shows drawings from the Luftwaffe maintenance manual. They show us the internal structure which is a must for pre shading. And finally 1/72 scale drawings are shown of all versions, from all sides, along with some great colour profiles. From 1939 pre war to a 1942 japanese one… Verdict This book gives lays a pretty good foundation in understanding the design and function of this robust shipboard workhorse. Add the Topdrawings title for some great schemes and detailed riveting drawings and decals and you’re set to go! These titles are cheap and full of inspiration for weathering and diorama’s. I really hope to see a 3D edition before I start my build of my Revell kit. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Jeroen Peters
  11. Grumman F6F Hellcat Volume I SMI Library #09 Kagero By Tomasz Szlagor & Leszek A. Wieliczko You can get the book at www.kagero.eu for €15,67 This product line focuses on a specific aircraft or even a specific aircraft in specific surroundings with lots of photos, a set of decals and artwork of the subject of those decals. The book contains 96 pages, 135 photos, 4 profiles and 4 decal options in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32. I have a bit ambivalent feelings about this book. Don't get me wrong; the highlights are a lot of very nice photos that are printed quite large on the pages. The decals also look superb, being printed by Cartograf and some very attractive colour profiles. I think the publishers wanted the book be too much different things. There is some bilingual English/Polish text under "Introduction" that races through the design, production and operational history of the type. Surprisingly, one of the few colour pages contains an advertisement for the Kagero shop.... I'd rather have seen something F6F related in that space... The next page is indeed F6F-related but of very suspect useability; 5 smallish colour photos of an static display F6F warbird on an airshow under the rather grandiose title: "Grumman F6F Hellcat In Detail". I would have been very happy if the publishers had chosen this book to be a photo book where the photos and profiles with captions would have told the tale of the Hellcat because the large photos, decals and profiles are very much worth your while! Conditionally Recommended because of the above mentioned drawbacks. I'd like to thank Kagero for the review sample of the book.
  12. Hello people,I'm new I'm using the early/late G6 kit to make a G14. I took notice of the Mike and Matt review and several builds I've seen here. Thanks! Very helpful. Not been an active modeller for a while, but I give it a try again. I'll build a JG 5 G14. Cartograf decals came with the Kagero "Luftwaffe over the far North" booklet. HGW seatbelts and rudder pedals, furthermore straight from the box with some very minor scratch stuff, so nothing exciting will happen here. Thanks for watching and hopefully more soon.
  13. Monographs 3D edition #59 (3059) Ju 88 Vol. II Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek Rys and Marek J. Murawski Available here from Kagero for € 21,97 What we have here is yet another 3D edition book in the Kagero Monograph line. Volume II on the venerable Ju 88. Volume I being number 3057 in the Monograph line and can be found here. Volume I focuses more on the design, development and construction of the Ju 88, whereas Volume II deals with the operational history. However: the 3D renders are complimentary, so having both books feels like a must. I have been raving before about the quality of the 3D renders in these series of books, and this title forms no exception. If you have built the 1/32 Revell Ju 88 these renders will make you want to start right over, since details are revealed in such clarity it feels like a crime to omit them… As always I’ll take you through this book chapter by chapter to give you an impression of it’s contents: The Phoney War – September 3, 1939 – April 8, 1940 The book immediately starts with the first operation theatre the Ju 88 served in. After all, development of the Ju 88 has already been covered in Volume I. The phoney war marked the start of Britain’s fighting with Germany. Compare it two guys starting a fight and circling and pushing each other before throwing any real punches. A perfect opportunity to test and tweak the then new Ju 88 and overcoming it’s child deceases. The chapter is coloured by vivid veteran stories, describing the attack of the British fleet, mostly in Norway. Operation Weserübung This operation was named after the river Weser and entailed the invasion and occupation of Danmark and Norway in order to prevent the British and French from strategically occupying it. Fierce Ju 88 attacks on the British flotilla followed with heavy losses on both sides. Again reports of Ju 88 pilots give us an idea of the chaos was caused. It almost reads like an action filled movie script. Western campaign – May 10 to June 22 This chapter describes the first attacks on western cities like Rotterdam. Vivid descriptions of how the Luftwaffe knocked out the defences before bringing in the Ju52 laden with paratroopers. From a modellers point of view, you’re longing for what’s coming next… 3d Renderings! I’ve not hidden the fact that I’m quite a fan of these 3D renderings. At the moment I’m working on a test shot of the 1/32 Mosquito. As I’m no RAF expert I need all the reference I can get my hands on. Today I was looking for detailed reference material on the bomb aiming instrument. After 5 or 6 books I finally found what I was looking for. One black an white photo, but it had to do. This series of books takes the entire plane apart and renders vital instruments from all sides. In close up. In color. These pages start with the canopy mounted square compass, followed by the rear wall with radio equipment, ammo drums, bombsight (spread over 15 pages!!), instrument panel, rudder pedals, steering column. Verdict Do yourself a favour when modelling the Revell Ju88 and get yourself a copy. And don’t forget Volume 1. It will save you hours searching the web for that particular photo or angle… I applaud this growing range which are becoming a standard 'tool' on my workbench. I’m rating this book a 8,5 out of 10. As far as I’m concerned the 3D renderings can fill a bigger portion of the book. 2/3 instead of ½. If that was the case, I’d throw in a 10 out of 10. Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review sample. You can buy your copy online direct from Kagero's website here. Jeroen Peters
  14. Kagero Monographs 3D edition #54 (3054) Junkers Ju 87 D/G (Vol. I) Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek J. Murawski, Marek Ryś Available here from Kagero for € 20,65 Introduction Kagero has become by far my most favorite publisher with their steady stream of 3D rendered supporting images in their publications. What we have here is the Monographs (a term indicating the description of a single subject) 3D edition covering the Ju 87 D and G variants. The second volume is also available which takes a closer look at the history of the final production ‘Dora’ versions. Actually when you buy the first volume, I recommend buying the second volume too, because the 3D rendered detailed areas of the Ju 87 are complimentary. Volume one covering the canopy, gear and external details. Volume 2 (#3055) covering cockpit (seat, gunsight) etc… Back to volume 1. This book covers the design of the Stuka, development, combat operations of the late types and offers a few biographies of crewmen. Details from the Kagero website: • 112 pages • painting schemes • 110 archive photos • 77 renders • 4 A4 sheet of scale drawings • format (sizes): (210x295 mm) • matte coated paper • soft cover binding Let’s walk through the book: Junkers Ju 87 ‘Dora’ What I can’t stand as a modeler is buying a book on a certain plane and begin hassled with the total history and development of that plane. I’m only interested in the exact type I’m planning on building. So it’s a relief to see this book starting the the development of the Ju 87 ‘Dora’. I explains the differences the D-version offered and shows pictures of these differences. Different armament, oil radiator, engine, etc… Close-up photographs show us the details of the D-1, D-3 and D-5 versions, varying from gun pod, cockpit and radio set-up. The Dora chapter ends with a couple of experimental versions. Ranging from the wing fitted personnel pods to the torpedo carrying V25 version. Junkers Ju 87 ‘Gustav’ On with the G-version developed with learnings from the Russian campaign. The most significant demand being smaller fragmentation bombs and the mounting of the 37mm BK 3,7 cannon. The latter giving the Ju 87 G the nickname ‘Kanonenvogel’. The eastern front 1942 – 1945 The next chapters deals with the theatres the Ju 87 D and G operated in. The eastern front chapter gives the modeler some great reference photographs of white washed winter scheme Stuka’s alongside a description of it’s service at the eastern front. Africa and the Mediterranean Despite the eastern front drawing the Stuka capacity away from the African and Mediterranian theater the dive bombing efforts of the remaining units became infamous among the British forces. This becomes apparent in the eye witness reports written in this chapter. Tank cracker and night assault aircraft The first Ju 87G-1’s with the 37mm canon pods were used against Russian boats behind German lines. After these successes the Stuka’s try their canons against Russian armour. This also proves to be successful and causes the pilots to become low level flying enthusiastic hunters. In foreign service This chapter deals with the service of the Ju 87 in foreign colors. Some good inspiration to model your Stuka in something other than the usual balkenkreuzen. Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy all had their Stuka units. But what I didn’t know some even flew with Russian, US and British insignia. Drawings Four pages offer detailed drawings in 1:72 scale (side, front and top) and it’s variants. Great for guiding your riveter! 3D renders! This is the chapter that appeals most to me. Almost 40 pages with very detailed and realistic renders of a Ju 87 D-5. Starting out with some overall views from all directions and followed by close-ups of the spinner, nose, intakes, wing-root, tail, gear and canopy. As said in the introduction, Volume 2 continues these artist renderings with cockpit and other inside detail. A taste of this is given by a last page render of the Revi gunsight… Conclusion I think you can guess by now that I am a huge fan of these series. The black and white photo’s offer inspiration and the 3D renderings offer accuracy and detail that simply can’t be seen in normal photographs. Add some detailed line drawings and I guess you’re good to go! Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  15. Legends of Aviation in 3D #1 (99001) Fokker Dr.I (The aces’ aircraft) Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek Rys and Tomasz J. Kowalski Available here from Kagero for € 30,00 After being blown away with the Kagero Fokker D.VII 3D book, here’s one that exceeds my previous enthusiasm. With the Fokker D.VII book being number 2 in this title’s range, I’m surprised I haven’t seen this book before. Maybe it just took longer to finish and publish. What I do know is that this title is 10 euro’s higher in prize than the D.VII title. Has a hard cover, instead of the soft cover D.VII book, a higher page count en some additional goodies. Introduction With this review looking at this book through the eyes of a large scale modeller, we will absorb the reference material in order to enhance the available kits on the market. This being the Encore models Fokker F.1 and Roden Dr.I kit. A pretty good but basic platform to start detailing. Some after market sets are available for these kits. Photo etch by Part from Poland and Eduard for instance. But also Cutting Edge resin for the cowling and control surfaces. Great decals are offered by Cutting Edge and EagleCals. Add some Master barrels, HGW harness, Wooden prop and you’re good to go! You might notice I haven’t mentioned the HobbyCraft kit, which I indeed won’t do. I know a lot of ww1 modelers are waiting for Wingnut Wings to treat us to their version of this subject, which I’m sure is only a matter of time. The Fokker Dr.I became most famous by one of it’s pilots: Manfred von Richthofen, who used it to score 19 victories and in which he was subsequently killed in on April 21st 1918. The plane wasquite revolutionairy in design and construction, so it’s fair that this title starts with… How the Legend was Born Spurred on and inspired by the Sopwith Triplane (that outflew the great german Albatros planes) Fokker started work on the german equivalent in co-operation with Hugo Junkers. The three wings caused the Triplanes to have a higher climb rate, being more manoeuvrable and not to lose altitude in tight turns. Fokker took their D.V biplane and (in short) added a wing. This chapter covers the prototypes that led to the ultimate Dr.I. Some great photo’s that I haven’t encountered before. Including the 5-wing Fokker V.8. Dreideckers in Combat Some great background and photo reference from the Jasta’s that flew this plane. I’m glad this book doesn’t linger too long here, since there are already numerous titles that cover operational history in depth. And the same goes for… The Aircraft Construction Reading this chapter is useful to understand what this book is all about. Getting to understand how this plane goes together and from what materials give you some grasp of the amazing 3D renderings on the following pages. Painting schemes and markings We all know the controversy surrounding WW1 colors used on aircraft. Unlike WW2 planes almost every Jasta used their own set of colors. These are described in this chapter which creates some order in the seemingly color explosion chaos of the Jasta’s. At page 38 the colour pages make their appearance showing some really cool and weathered color profiles. The Fokker Dr.I in 3D At page 38 the real fun starts. A very accurate and detailed 3D model is rendered from all sides. The amount of polygons must be staggering. Especially when the fabric is taken off a few pages further on. Stitchings, turn-buckles, bolts… it’s all there. When painting your model you need to know the construction inside the fuselage and wings in order to create the right shading, and these renderings give you just that… and more. At page 57 the renderings become close-ups. Spandau guns, fuel filler plywood texture. Jaw dropping stuff. The renderings showing the pulleys inside the wings for the control cables give you an idea of how things operate. The renderings of the Oberursel R.II engine at page 72 are a treat. Ignitions wires and attachment to the fuselage were quite the eye-openers for me. It just goes on and on. The Spandau guns receive some extra attention and show detail that not even LSM Umlaufmotor will be able to re-produce (consider this a challenge!). If you need some inspiration for a good scheme. Go down to page 110. Multiple views of the all black Josef Jacobs’ machine are shown. Inspirational stuff. At page 123 Manfred’s red mount is shown, followed by Werner Voss’ Fokker F.1 from Jasta 10. In the front cover of the book you’ll find some 3D glasses and at page 132 you’ll ‘see’ why. 8 full page 3D prints that come to life when viewed through these glasses. You’ll have to see this to believe this. When you’re a WW1 aircraft nutt you’ll go wild. I promise. Verdict This book is the holy grail of construction and painting guides if there ever was one on this subject. Too bad Wingnut Wings haven’t felt the urge to dive into this subject yet, but then again: Encore models and Roden have already done a good job at theirs. The 3D renderings are of the highest quality and leave (almost) nothing to the imagination. I can only hope these series are the success they deserve to be so we’ll be treated to even more. Can’t wait to see what’s next… Very very highly recommended and you know what? I'm just going to rate this book a fat 10 out of 10. My sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To order direct, go here. Jeroen Peters
  16. Kagero Photosniper 3D #14 (0014) Panzerjäger 38(t) Hetzer & G-13 Vol. 1 Publisher: Kagero Written by: Mariusz Motyka, Hubert Michalski, Mike Koenig, Stafan Draminski Available from Kagero for € 20,65 Introduction I’ve always had a soft spot for the Hetzer tank. Compact and functional in design adorned with a wide variety of pretty cool camo schemes. This subject has been issued in ‘our scale’ by a couple of companies: Tamiya, Dragon and Academy to name a few. It’s not too hard to find good reference material as quite a number of examples survived the war and the fact that Switzerland used their G13 variant after the war. From the top of my head I can name about 3 museums in my vicinity that have one on show: The Army Museum in Brussels, Wings of Liberation Museum in Best (Netherlands) and the National Military History Museum in Diekirch (Luxemburg). Once a year the museum in Overloon (Netherlands) host a military vehicle show where a driving / functional Hetzer can be seen and even be hitched a ride on. So here we have a new reference book by Kagero on this little tankhunter. Taking the above into account, my expectations are high. Let’s go through the chapters and see what we get: History and Development The first few pages deal with the development of the Hetzer and Technical Information. These pages are accompanied with superb line drawings that are clearly made with the 3D model that was made for this book, showing the different Hetzer versions from different angles. This is a drawing style I haven’t seen before. The technical drawings with side and upper profiles are in 1/48 scale (clearly the modeller was in mind here). Walkaround Before we are taken to the 3D rendered images we get a large section with walk around photo’s made by Mike Koenig. The Hetzer we see here is a restored G13, but with all the details of an original german 38(t) version. This vehicle is owned by 2nd Armoured Productions in Clarksville, Indiana, USA. The walk around covers all the external details as well as the complete interior. The nice thing about this Hetzer is the very complete interior that serves as a great modellers reference. Paint, ammo, instruments… it’s all there. The fact that this Hetzer is still in driving condition gives us a good idea of the wear and tear on the wheels and suspension. 3D renderings About half way through the book the 3D renderings pop up. I am familiar with Kagero’s high level detail 3D artwork from (amongst others) their Fokker DVII book, but these Hetzer renderings are something else. The cut away style we see on real engines or weapons is used, highlighting the cut-lines with red colour. Step by step the outer armour of the Hetzer is peeled away, revealing the interior in clear detail. This is what should please the modeller. After the renderings have taken us cross-section wise through the interior, the gun is shown separately from different angles. And last but not least we are treated to huge full page views of the interior. Honestly, these titles keep blowing me away. Conclusion / Verdict If you have any plans of doing a Hetzer in the near or distant future, treat yourself to this book. All I can think of is that when these ultra detailed 3D drawings were ever used to 3D print a model, that would be pinnacle of armour modelling…. From 1 to 10 I’d rate this book a 10. That’s how much I like it J Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  17. Kagero Photosniper 13 (0013) Sturmgeschütz IV Publisher: Kagero Written by: Lukasz Gladysiak, Grzgorz Okonski, Jacek Szafranski Available from Kagero for € 19,86 Introduction As a modeller I’m always on the lookout for good reference material. For my models I prefer ww2 black and white photo’s for accuracy and inspiration, and modern detailed, well lighted colour shots for building reference. This book is 13th in line of Kagero’s excellent Photosniper range (after subjects like the Jagdpanther, BMW motorcycle and P40 Kittyhawk) and caters to the latter. It’s actually a very well documented walkaround and report on the restoration of one recovered Stug IV from the river Rgilewka in Poland. Personally I don’t trust restored vehicles in museums or collections that much. Often we assume aspects in their appearance to be right, because we see what we see. This book shows us exactly in what state this tank was found and what was done in order to get it to the pristine condition it is in today. Design development The first few pages take us through the development stages of the Stug IV backed up with some black and white photo’s. Personally I am pleased that this chapter doesn’t take up too much pages, since this just isn’t that kind of book. And by the way: if you’re interested in the development of this tank, there are other titles that cover that topic much more in depth. Technical Description In my humble opinion the same goes for this subject. We’re here for photo’s of the real thing! And luckily the technical data that is served here, is being backed up by nice photographs of the recovery of the Stug IV as it was found in the polish river. The state it which it was preserved was so good that the white balkenkreuz was still visible on the sides of the superstructure. As a matter of fact, after they pulled it out of the mud (which had protected it for so many years) it looked like it was still able to drive off… Inside the tank about 50 rounds of ammunition were found, alongside weapons and other belongings of the tank’s crew. Walkaround This is what the book is all about. The carefully completely restored tank is now on display in the Armoured Weapon Museum in Poznan. Sporting a three tone camouflage scheme and complete range of accessories. Every corner and detail of the tank is covered in this section. Inside and outside. Colours In the final chapter 3D renderings and side profiles of the tank give us a number of colour options. Conclusion / Verdict As said, as a modeller this is exactly the kind of book I’m always looking for. Invaluable reference for, if not now, future builds. The lay-out, set-up and quality of the photographs are high grade. From 1 to 10 I’d rate this book a 9. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  18. Junkers Ju 88 Bomber variants Maciej Noszczak Kagero Books Topdrawings Number 16 (7016) Scales 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 Available from Kagero for € 16,46 The Topdrawings range focusses on drawings. Click this link to see the entire range. This edition covers the bomber versions of Junkers’ famous Ju-88. Line drawings are provided in the three popular scales (up to 1/32!) and the artwork is impressive. Anyone looking to build an accurate, detailed Revell 1/32 Ju-88 should get a copy of this book. It not only shows the location of all the hatches, but also every single rivet there is to count. Since the drawings are available in 32nd scale, you can practically use the drawings as a template. Check out the amazing detail: After having rivetted (and possibly rescribed) your Ju-88 you can choose to paint it as per one of the four included colour profiles. Decals are (as always) provided for these four versions by Cartograf: Junkers Ju 88 A-4 coded + KS of 8./KG77 based in the Mediterranean area 1943 Junkers Ju 88 A-11 Trop L1 + OK of 2./LG1, North Africa 1942 Junkers Ju 88 A-5 coded B3 + EX of 10.(Erg)/KG 54 based in the Mediterranean area 1943 Junkers Ju 88 A-1 coded 9K + HL of 3./KG 51 this aircraft force landed in the UK possibly due to lack of fuel. Conclusion Another simple but comprehensive set dealing with this versatile bomber. Decals by Cartograf are in perfect register and include swastikas albeit in two parts. Showing again the attention to detail that Kagero is known for. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Kind regards, Cees Broere / Jeroen Peters
  19. Fw 190's over Europe Part II (Painting Schemes and Decals) Maciej Góralczyk, Janusz 'Swiatlon Kagero Books (Topcolors series #38 / 15038) Available from http://www.shop.kagero.pl/en/fw-190s-over-europe-part-ii.html for €14,10 I really like the format of these books. Or is it decalsheets with deluxe instructions? Nevertheless, the profiles are always a treat to look at and the decals are extremely well done. There are 8 options featured From Fw 190A-2 to Fw 190A-9. I'd think that everyone should be able to find something to their liking in this package! Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-2; W.Nr. 0125228, 'Chevron L', flown by Ofw. Erwin Leibold of Stab I./JG 26, St. Omer-Arques, France, July 1942, An early machine with interesting "Stab"-markings. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-2; W.Nr. 0125299, 'Blue 2', flown by Lt. Leopold Wenger of 10.(Jabo)/JG 2, Caen-Carpiquet, France, mid-August 1942, A fighter bomber outfitted with the centreline bomb rack. Also note the 10.(Jabo)/JG 2 emblem of a red fox with a blue ship in it's mouth. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-4/U7; W.Nr. 0147092, flown by Hptm. Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland, Kommandeur of II./JG 26, Vitry-en-Artois, France, spring 1943, This aircraft was flown by one of Adolf Galland's younger brothers. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-7; W.Nr. 430170, 'Yellow 5', flown by Lt. Hans Ehlers, Kapitän of 3./JG 1, Dortmund-Brakel, Germany, late December 1943, A "standard" JG 1 scheme with the red recognition band of the Geschwader. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R6; probable W.Nr. 171172, 'Black 8' of 3./JGr 10, Redlin near Parchim, Germany, January 1945, My favourite! An A-8 with a wicked snake down the fuselage and Rüstsatz 6, a pair of W.Gr. 21 rockets, employed against the bomber streams sent over "the Reich" by the USAAF. What is a bit puzzling is that the profile of "Black 8" shows the 8 as dark grey while on the decal sheet it is pitch-black... Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R2; 'Red 10', flown by Ofw. Karl Rusack of 5./JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, January 1945, An A-8 with a dark scheme where green was used to overspray the top and sides to better conceal the aircraft on the ground for prowling Allied fighter bombers. The R2 means that the outboard 20mm MG151's were replaced with 30mm MK108 cannon. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8; W.Nr. 737435, 'White 20' of 9./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, 8th March 1945, An A-8 fitted with a "bubble" canopy and in winter camo. The emblem of III. Gruppe isn't featured on the artwork but is included on the decal sheet as a bonus. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-9/R11; W.Nr. 206000, 'White 2' of III./KG(J) 27, Wels, Austria, spring 1945. The last option is a nice Fw 190A-9. Keep in mind that this version was 30mm longer than the A-8 (almost a whopping 1mm in 1/32! ) It did however have a 14-blade ventilator instead of the usual 12-blade. The type should have been fitted with a wooden broad-chord "paddle-blade" propeller, made by Heine or Schwartz. In practice almost all Fw 190A-9's were fitted with the standard metal VDM props. As Murphy dictates; this one did have the broad-chord propeller fitted, though. The R11 means that the aircraft was "optimized" for night and adverse weather with modifications as heated windshield panels, landing light and a PKS 12 autopilot. Every profile has a short description of the plane and it's most noticeable features. The decals are in 3 scales and printed by Cartograf which means that you don't have to worry if the decals are in register! Because of the rich printing of the decals they may be somewhat thicker than decals from other printers, although that will not extend to the decalfilm. It's the consequence of making beautiful opaque decals with fine details! Conclusion A very nice selection of Fw 190A's that I haven't seen before. The Hasegawa Fw 190A-8 that still languishes on my worktable will get some very nice snakes on it's fuselage! Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click http://www.shop.kagero.pl/en/fw-190s-over-europe-part-ii.html Erik Bosch
  20. Kagero B-25J Mitchell in Combat over Europe (Mediterranean Theatre of Operations) SMI Library 06 #19006 By Marek Katarzynski As the title says, this book focuses on the use of the B-25J Mitchell in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. What is highlighted are exclusively USAAF B-25J's. The book is made up of 80 pagesof photos and artwork clarified by English/Polish text. It starts out with a short introduction on the use of the B-25 by the USAAF's 12th Air Force. The book is predominantly a photo book, featuring the B-25J's from the 310th, 319th, 321st and 340th Bomb Groups operating over Italy and the Balkans from airfields at Corsica. The photos and captions mention the Bomb Group and Bomb Squadron identifiers on the planes, as well as describing the colour schemes or rather how the Olive Drab over Natural Metal scheme came into being. The photos are put together by BG. After all BG's have made their appearance, we arrive at the "Color Gallery", featuring 9 pages of colour photos (of mainly noses with nose-art), again sorted by BG. The final part is made up of 7 pages of colourful top- and sideviews, including the 3 decal options. The icing on the cake is the decal sheet, featuring 3 different B-25J's in the 3 different scales of 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32. One of those schemes would really be a candidate for my own 1/32 HK B-25J glass nose bomber if I hadn't already decided to build it into a Dutch example flying against the Japanese in 1945. But I still have a Revell/Monogram 1/48 B-25J in the stash, heheheheh! Aside from the above mentioned top and sideviews there are also photos in the book of all 3 subjects of which one is in the colour section. The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf, need I say more? That'll mean sharply printed and opaque decals! To clarify: I only post the 1/32 part of the decal sheet. Rest assured there is also a 1/48 and 1/72 part! Kagero have even supplied an extra tail number for "M.M.R." in 1/48 although I have failed to see what is wrong on the original sheet... Conclusion: Although I'm quite familiar with the B-25, I wasn't with the photos in this book. I really like the subject and am very happy with the decals that are supplied with this book. These give you the possibility to finish that B-25J in a very original and attractive scheme! Very highly recommended! Our thanks go to Kagero for supplying LSM with the review sample. Erik Bosch
  21. JG 2 Jagdgeschwader „Richthofen” Marek J. Murawski Kagero Books (Units 5 / 97005) Available from Kagero for €16,71 A lot has been written on one of the most famous Jagdgeschwaders: JG 2. Enough to fill a small library. And that’s exactly when I like to have a compact writing that sums up highlights and gives oversight. This small book does just that! It chronologically covers the units’ actions in 28 pages, flanked by 43 photo’s. Starting with the units pre-war history (May 1, 1934 - August 31, 1939) until the end of WW2 (June 6, 1944 - May 1945). The text is in english and reads very well. Like with their Topcolors series, Kagero includes very nice and large colour profiles of 4 JG 2 airframes. Left and right view. The aircraft covered are: • Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 W.Nr. 5159, 'White 9', flown by Oblt. Hermann Reifferscheidt, Kapitän of 1./JG 2, Beaumont-le-Roger airfield, France, October 1940 • Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2/B 'Yellow 3', flown by Uffz. Richard Übelbacher of 6.(Jabo)/JG 2, Abbeville-Drucat airfield, France, summer 1941 • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-2 W.Nr. 0120 333, 'White 8', flown by Lt. Jakob Augustin of 7./JG 2, Théville airfield, France, early June 1942 • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 D-9 W.Nr. 400 271, 'Black 4' of 10./JG 2, Großostheim airfield, Germany, spring 1945 The decals themselves are printed the way we can expect from Cartograf. Perfect in register and true of color. They come in 1:72, 1:48 and off course… 1/32! Conclusion As said: with a unit so overly covered as JG 2, I find it comfortable to have a summary of highlights and timeline to freshen up on the subject when modeling on the subject. The photographs are large and clear, the text reads quick and comprehensible and the colour profiles are of the quality we have come to expect from Kagero. And not unimportant, the decals are printed by Cartograf. One of the best decal printers around. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  22. Focke-Wulf Ta 154 "Moskito" Monograph 3D Edition #51 Marek J. Murawski / Marek Ryś Kagero Books (3051) Available from Kagero for €20,40 Have you ever stared at a black and white photograph from ww2 studying construction and dimensions? Trying to look into black portions of shadows and making out what goes where? I have, and it's almost impossible. You need multiple photographs from various angles to understand a wheel bay or engine mounting. With 3D software being put to it's full use in the modeling world, it was only a matter of time before entire vehicles were rendered in Cad programs to be dissected in a book. Kagero has done just that, giving the avid modeler grip and understanding of a subject. Marek Rys' 3D work is true magic. His renderings need a second and maybe third look to discern between real and unreal This latest 3D Monograph edition cover the Focke-Wulf Ta154 inside and out. A welcome addition to my reference library, since this subject is not widely covered. If you want to model this plane in 1/32, you'll have to scratch it or use the ID models Vacform kit. Jerry Rutman made a detail set for this 'model' with gear and pit. However, I'm sure it won't take long before a brand like Revell decides to cover this beauty too. What's in the book? History, drawings, profiles and lots and lots of 3D renderings full airframe and separate subassemblies. History The first chapter explains the german demand for a Luftwaffe counterpart of the British Mosquito. A wooden airframe that would utilize the large stocks of Jumo 211 engines. A plane that would be a good platform for conventional bombing runs and a night fighter version to defend german cities against RAF night bombings. Kurt Tank himself supervised this project from scratch himself. We get photographs of the first mock-ups, prototypes and Kurt Tank flying the first prototype himself. This chapter cover: origins of the design, prototypes, production aircraft and the use and evaluation. Modelers heaven After having covered the history, the modeler is treated to a nice set of 5 drawings sheets in 1/72 scale by Marek Rys showing front, side and top plans of the Ta 154. Two pages further on and the drawings come to life in amazing 3D renderings of the Ta 154 from different angles. This goes on for several pages and is followed by interesting close ups. The close ups cover the FuG 220 antennas, gun ports, cockpit framing and fuselage, wing and engine details. The cockpit is one of those aircraft section that can be sketchy at times. Well, not with this book no more. Instrument panel, left console, right console, close ups, switches, gunsight… nothing is left unrendered! On to the gun bay. After rendering the plane with open gun bays, Marek takes out the guns and renders them separate, to give us and idea of the structures. Both the MG 151 and MK108 canons come to their right in this section of the book. The same is done to the gear. Separated from the plane, to solely focus on the parts we need to understand. Even the retraction sequence is covered. I guess it's superfluous to mention that I'm in love with these series (actually they had me with the Fokker D.VII book…). Specs 104 pages. A4 size. Full color. Soft cover. Glossy finish. Conclusion This books is made to give the modeler a tight grip on his subject. It takes away any guessing on structural level. I'm keeping it on the shelf until a 1/32 Ta 154 hits the shelf. In the meantime you can practice on the 1/48 version by Dragon, ProModeler or Revell. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  23. Vought F4U “Corsair” Volume 1 Monograph #52 Tomasz Szlagor / Leszek A. Wieliczko Kagero Books (3052) Available from Kagero for €19,07 This is volume 1 so one or more volumes are on the cards, which is a good thing. The Corsair had a very long service life and was constantly being improved. Although there are only 96 pages, they are filled to the brim with information. There are three chapters with a Bibliography section and appendices. The whole book is very well researched without getting too deep into details. Timing is very good with the recent availability of the early Tamiya Corsair. What's in the book? The origin and development Obviously this deals with the design and development of the Corsair. The text deals with the conception and subsequent testing for service. Although the technical side is very well written it is not too technical. Good photographs showing the various versions and experimental types. The various users of the Corsair do get a mention as well as the difficulties with the Brewster license production. The reviewer never heard the name "Brewster Battler" but that is what Brewster apparently suggested. A two-seat version suggested by Vought is also included. The text also mentions that the Corsair was tested against contemporary US fighters but no reports are given unfortunately. Camouflage and markings Very useful section but dealing only with US Navy service during the period 1942-1945. good text reference to FS-numbers and heights mentioned of lettering and numbers. Also is mentioned whether a color was glossy or matt from the factory. Frontline service The majority of the book is reserved for frontline information in the Solomons and Rabaul theatre of operations from February 1943 to March 1944. The text reads nicely and you get a good idea about what it was like in the Corsair Squadrons. Combat reports give a good feel about the day to day operations. The famous “Black Sheep” Squadron led by Gregory Boyington is very well represented including a combat report of him being shot down in combat. Appendices Here is a summary of technical details about the Corsair such as performance, production statistics and engine specifications. Art work The last 8 pages are reserved for some great artwork of US Navy Corsairs. Pity that the British FAA and RNZAF Corsairs aren’t included. Pros Very readable text Good quality black & white photographs Federal Standard paint numbers Cons No FAA or RNZAF artwork No scale drawings Conclusion A very useful reference book for modellers and those interested in this great aircraft. This volume 1 gives a very good insight into the conception and development of the early Corsair version and the service history. The lack of scale drawings is a bit of a disappointment as these series usually have them included. Maybe we'll see them in Volume 2! Recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Cees Broere and Jeroen Peters
  24. Last Hope of the Luftwaffe Me 163, He 162, Me 262 (Painting Schemes and Decals) Jacek Pasieczny, Simon Schatz, Arkadiusz Wróbel Kagero Books (Topcolors series #37 / 15037) Available from Kagero for €12,50 Lets take a look at one of the latest releases of Kagero books featuring profiles and decals for three Last Hope weapons of the Luftwaffe. This book marks the 37th release in their amazing Topcolors series. For only €12,50 you not only get the book with profiles, but also a quality sheet of decals to build them. Not only in our glorious 1/32 scale, but also in 1/48 and 1/72. Earlier volumes in these series feature both armour and planes. Sometimes linked by topic, like Panzerwaffe 1941-1943 or Fighters over Japan. Sometimes by particular subject, like the P-38 Lightning or Pz.Kpfw III. What amazes me is the €12,50 is a fair price for a sheet of Cartograf decals. Right? But with these series you get the book as a nice bonus. Or you get the decals as a bonus with the book. Depends on how you look at it. In this case we get 10 beautiful color profiles of the Me 163 (Super Timing!!), He 162 and the Me 262. The book is size A4 and counts 18 pages. The language is featured in both Polish and English. The first 3 profiles feature: << Needless to say, but the next three profiles could not have come on a better time. The new Meng kit will be a perfect platform to try one out on. Click here to read James Hatch' review. >> • Me 163 B V53; W.Nr. 16310062, 'White 9'. Flown by Uffz. Kurt Schiebeler of 1./JG 400, Brandis Germany, Early August 1944. This plane really did see a lot of action and held a score of downing 6 bombers at the end of the war. • Me 163 B; 'White 10'. Flown by Lt. Hans-Ludwig Löscher of 1./JG 400, Brandis, Germany, Late February 1945. This plane has some mystery clouding it's Werknummer, so a good subject to sink you teeth in. What strikes is the interesting presence of a DF loop antenna on the spine. • Me 163 B V52; W.Nr. 16310061, 'Yellow 1', flown by Lt. Reinhard Opitz, Kapitän of 7./JG400, Nordholz, Germany, April 1945. If you can't decide between normal camo and mottling, then this is the profile for you! • Heinkel He 162 A-1; W.Nr. 310003, 'Yellow 5' of 3./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. This plane has three nice small badges on the left side of the fuselage, of: 1./JG 1, 3./JG and JG 1. • Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120067, 'White 4' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. The wingtips show the thin green flowery lines. Difficult to get right with free hand airbrushing, but an interesting feature. • Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120028, 'White 3' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. An early production aircraft with lots of RLM 76 on the fuselage. A nice break from the more seen later schemes. • Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120231, 'White 6' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. Yes! This is my favorite. Not just because I dove into this scheme quite deep and used it for my own build, but mainly because of the un-painted fuselage and filler lines. The are quite a lot of different interpretations of this plane, but I do believe this profile knocks it out of the park. • Messerschmitt Me 262 A-2a, W.Nr. 110613, '9K+DK', flown by Ofw. Hermann Wieczorek of 2./KG 51, Rheine-Hopsten, Germany, 25th February 1945. You better set your airbrush to 'fine' for this snaky mottling. Very interesting scheme. Especially with the white outlined swastika on the tail, which is not common for this production batch. • Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a, 'Yellow 2' of 3./KG(J) 54, Prague-Ruzyně, Czechoslovakia, May 1945. Very interesting scheme with a blue/white checkered band on the fuselage and thin RLM 81/82 lines between the camp patches. A small unit badge with a Totenkopf tops it all of. And last but certainly not least: • Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a, 'White 34' of III./EJG 2, Brunnthal, Germany, May 1945. The next 262 I'll build will most definitely be in this scheme. Unpainted wings. Filler over panel lines. Natural metal. Primes. A nose donated from a different plane, as well as the left wing tip. This has Frankenstein written all over it. I'm sold. Every profile has a short description of the plane and it's most noticeable features. The decals themselves are printed the way we can expect from Cartograf. Perfect in register and true of color. Conclusion Basically the most comprehensive set of decals to be found. And with the new Meng Me 163 this set could not have come at a better time! Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  25. Chieftain Main Battle Tank Development And Active Service From Prototype To Mk.11 Robert Griffin Kagero Photosniper Series #0007 Available from Kagero for €16.71 For those not familiar, Kagero's Photosniper Series has been going for some years now. I have some of their earlier World War Two subjects, and even though they have been spruced up a bit with a slightly smarter look, the tried and tested format is fairly similar. Background, development and service are covered in a fairly traditional way, with text supported by photos and the odd diagram or plan. Then we have what many call a 'walkaround' section - many photos, usually of a restoration or museum example, with brief annotation. And finally a profiles section, where artwork is used to provide renditions of colourful or significant examples of the type. The book begins by setting the scene at the very beginning of the Cold War, and even alludes to the British experiences of World War Two, although I think that perhaps the later Churchills and the Sherman Firefly are unnecessarily tarred (by implication) by the author. The very successful Centurion - which made it into theatre (but not combat) in the dying embers of the Second World War, and was amazingly still in service up until the first Gulf War - was nonetheless considered being replaced only a year or two into production. The Soviet threat, and specifically their armour dominated British Army thinking for decades; and after the concept of a 'one tank fits all' was dropped, it was decided to go for a Medium Gun Tank and also a Heavy Gun Tank combination (the latter being the Conqueror). But as minds were changed once again, so the Chieftain as main battle tank - or Project FV4201 as it was initially known - was born. Even as a small child making a crude (Airfix?) model of the Chieftain, I remember hearing something along the lines of 'good tank, rubbish engine', and when all is said and done, that phrase still sums things up nicely. By the time the British Army had accepted the tank (reluctantly it seems) and running trials were underway in 1960, the Chieftain was saddled with the feeble L60 engine. What is interesting is that you now get some explanation as to why this engine was adopted, why it was so poor, and how there were alternatives despite claims to the contrary at the time. The L11 120mm gun was very good indeed, however, thus the Chieftain could certainly hold its own offensively. And so the section continues, through further trials, full-time production and use, continuous upgrades and finally through to retirement. Pages 26 to 63 comprise the main photographic section. There are extended walkarounds of individual tanks, as well selections of shots of different vehicles showing similar or evolving features. Most of the internal shots are understandably of restoration rather than running production vehicles, which means you never really know 'what's missing', but such is the nature of the beast. Most of the pictures are sharp enough, but the interior ones are often too dark, which is disappointing. There is a also a selection of plans in that well-known modelling scale of 1/55(!). The final section profiles some 19 tanks. Mostly one sided, I thought perhaps these would be '50 shades of dark green and black' (somehow not as catchy is it?), but to my surprise there was quite a variety of schemes on display. The most eye-catching for me was the irregular squares of the Berlin Brigade tanks of the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards from the early 1980s. Conclusion A nice little book on Britain's first main battle tank. A good mix of history and development combined with useful detail photos, and some nice profiles to provide some modelling inspiration. Recommended With thanks to Kagero for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Nicholas Mayhew
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