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Found 9 results

  1. If all goes well, it's going to be a hot autumn for some gentlemen... Preliminary distributor release date: August 2019 (Mirage 2000C) KH32020 - MIRAGE 2000 C (single-seater boxing) KH32022 - MIRAGE 2000 D/N (combined twin-seater boxing) Mirage 2000C boxart: To date, one can only speculate whether the C boxing will also contain the necessary parts to build a Mirage 2000-5. (box says "C", artwork shows a "-5" with a 2000C vertical tail) Recently published CAD renderings of the Mirage 2000C: Mirage 2000D/N boxart: <excitement intensifies>
  2. Ok, so my bench is littered with more kits than it should be. What's one more in that case? This has been kicking around in the back of my head ever since I saw this pic in Dana Bell's book on the Kingfisher: Note the postwar style white only star and bar on the fuselage. On the tricolour scheme, it just looks cool. Plus there's the beat up main float. Only problem is I have no idea what the wing markings are like. After conversing with Dana, he wasn't sure about them either. Thankfully there's another pic in his book of a different Kingfisher with the same incorrect insignia. This one at least shows the underwing markings and they're the standard version. I might go with this one as a result. Carl
  3. 1:32 Vought OS2U ‘Kingfisher’ Kitty Hawk Catalogue # KH32016 The Vought OS2U Kingfisher was an observation floatplane that first flew in 1938. It was designed to be catapult-launched, but could also operate using fixed or wheeled landing gear, and was generally considered to be underpowered despite it being the primary shipboard observation aircraft of the USN. Power was supplied by a single 450hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-2 radial engine. Designed by Rec Beisel, the Kingfisher was the first ever aircraft to be assembled using the new spot-welding technique that was designed to reduce airframe drag due to the resultant smooth surface. The airframe was designed with a number of unique and unusual lift creating features such as spoilers and drooped ailerons, assisting the relatively slow take off speed of this type of aircraft. Defensive armament was provided by the installation of two .30 calibre machine guns. One of these was installed on a flexible mount in the rear cockpit, and the other was fixed and forward firing. Bombs and depth charges could also be carried underneath the wings. The type gradually began to be phased out towards the end of WW2, with them last seeing service in Cuba in 1959. When production stopped, over 1500 of all variants had been built. Kitty Hawk’s new release is packed into the same size box as the P-39 and F-86K releases, with a super glossy lid with an artwork depicting a Kingfisher on a catapult, with some serious warfare going on around it…Japanese fighters attacking the carrier, and plumes of smoke with reddened skies. I quite like the style of art that Kitty use on their boxes. I’m a recent newcomer to the brand, with me owning the P-39, and recently reviewing the F-86K. The box art is bold, attractive and engaging. There are a whopping SIX schemes from which to choose, with one of these being a machine without floats. As this is still shown as assigned to a battleship, I’d sure like to see photos of this one fitted with a standard undercarriage. Anyway, I digress. There are FIVE light grey sprues in this kit, each packaged separately in a clear bag. A very nice touch is the cardboard box that protects the clear sprue from any damage. In the bottom of the box lies a large decal sheet with a second, smaller supplementary sheet, plus a small PE fret and the instruction manual. SPRUE A If there was ever any question of this aircraft’s role, then seeing the huge main float here will immediately put you right. This is split into traditional halves, with the bracing struts integrally moulded to the flat attachment. Be real careful here as the sprue connects to this fragile detail. I would use a razor saw and immediately sever that connection to prevent possible damage from the sprue flexing. Surface detail is very restrained with finely engraved panel lines and also riveting. Riveting, I hear you say? Well, I’m not too sure if these represent rivets or small indents that can result from high current spot welding. I don’t know in honesty, but I do know that Kitty have created a nicely subtle surface rendition. This level of finesse extends to the two outrigger floats which provide some stability on take-off/landing. Notice two sets of wheels on this sprue? One of these is for the standard undercarriage and the others are to be fitted to the centreline float for ground taxiing. These are fitted to two frames that clip to the float, and they also have what appears to be brakelines. Wheel detail looks quite basic, but I think this is through necessity. Each set is also weighted. Aiding alignment of the standard undercarriage, the axle hole has a flat side. After all, it’s embarrassing to have a flat on top of the wheel! Been there, done that and brought out the razor saw to fix. Other parts on this sprue are the various float struts, fixed undercarriage legs, boarding ladder, oleo struts, bombs, carriers and sway braces. SPRUE B This sprue concerns itself solely with the wings and their separate control surfaces. There are only a few rivet lines here, running along the outer edge of what appears to be a main single upper wing skin, plus some on the inboard wing area, presumably where the internals required a stronger mechanical connection where they meet the fuselage. Definition is very good, and they are fine enough to hold a wash maybe, but without looking like divots. Leading edge plating is also riveted, but the rear of the wing panels is ribbed to represent the fabric here. No sagging at all, and the ribs dive away towards each end. The same representation extends to the ailerons and landing flaps that are moulded as upper and lower parts. Other wing surface detail includes recessed and open locations for the wing top lights, and other various places for a multitude of other clear parts. I have to say that the rear wing edge has some beautifully fine rib detail where they force up into the fabric covering. Also of note is that the wings don’t have any tabs to connect them to the fuselage. Kitty has moulded these as separate parts that fit within the wing halves and protrude. My only thinking here is that the slightly angled wing root area didn’t easily allow for this to be integrally moulded. Still, it looks a perfectly workable solution. Depending on if you’ll fit bombs, or the floats for the sea version, you will need to open up the correct holes from the outset. The instructions don’t make this very clear, so be prepared. SPRUE C The last control surfaces are moulded here, including the separate rudder. All are traditional upper and lower parts, with the same rib detail as we saw on the ailerons and landing flaps. Elevator trim tabs are moulded in situ with their actuators. Stabiliser detail is commensurate with that seen on the wings and main float, with finely engraved panel lines and subtle riveting. With my limited experience of Kitty Hawk kits, I have to say that I very much like how they depict their panel lines, access ports and riveting. For me, beautifully balanced and attractive in execution. Another large part is the rear internal decking for the gunner/observer position. A small number of ejection pin stubs exist on the lower side, but will still of course need removal and clean up. This is a pretty busy sprue, and despite there only being five grey sprues included in this kit, don’t think that you’ll be sold short on parts count. Whilst I don’t have an overall figure, (and NO I’m not going to count them!), a couple of sprues in this kit are absolutely chock full of parts with almost every conceivable space containing a multitude of parts. You can pretty much say that his sprue is the main detail sprue, but its not alone in high parts count. On this sprue, you will find instrumentation, avionics, instrument panel coaming, avionics carriage/tray support, levers, as well as a host of parts that go into the assembly of the rear gunner seat. This in itself is a mini project, and this is supported with some rather nice photo etch. The gun itself is also moulded here as a multipart item. I would have thought this would’ve looked a little bigger, but it does look proportioned, and I will put this down to my lack of knowledge on the subject. Note that Kitty has also included the tail wheel and fork here. A section of exhaust is also to be seen, with both ends of the tube having a separate part to aid the hollow representation required on these broad orifices. SPRUE D Aha! The fuselage halves are now up for a visual. As the kit is designed with a full engine, the fuselage is moulded sans cowls. Also the rudder is moulded separately, as we saw on a previous sprue. Now, along with the subtle panel lines we are now used to, and rivet lines that only accompany the panel joint areas, the void in between them is just that….a void. Kitty have correctly shown that this aircraft was spot welded, by simply leaving these panels bare. It’ll feel off not having to go to town and start my own riveting on this one, but that’s nature. Check out those wing root areas with the raised plate and neat rivets around the circumference. One thing I note on my sample is that the underside of the fuse has a mould seam that actually has a slight raised edge. No biggie as it can be removed with a sanding stick in under a minute. Internally, the fuselage is resplendent with detail, including former detail and numerous locations for the internals to either connect or slot. There are a number of elector pin marks in here, but quick inspection shows that they are deep in the fuse, and/or hidden by extra details. Not all, but most. A small number will need a little attention. Certainly nothing to worry about. Note that if you do plan to do the wheeled version, you will need to cut away the plastic that webs over the tail wheel bay. On these main parts, the sprue gate connector is moulded to the joining face, and not on the surface. I prefer this approach as I fid it easier to level the joint edge than to shape the external plastic with a sanding stick. Depending on which version you’ll build, there are some holes that will want uncovering too. Look around here and you’ll find several bulkheads and frames too, with any pin marks carefully relegated to the invisible faces of these. Detail is sharp and locating holes are well-defined. More internal parts too, such as foot boards, instrument panel (with blank instrument faces), consoles, avionics, throttle quadrant, stowage lockers etc. I also see a run of what look like incendiary bombs, but can’t see them on the instructions at this point. SPRUE E The last grey sprue, and apart from the readily recognisable engine parts, this one is a mixed bag of components from various areas of the airframe. Firstly though, that engine. This is actually the first thing up for construction and contains almost 30 parts. The single radial bank is moulded as front and rear halves and is then supplemented by a whole array of parts to both front and rear of this, making up a fully detailed engine that can be displayed without any cowls. Even the prop and hub is broken down into a further eight parts and the hub detail alone makes it worth the engineering investment worthwhile. The whole kit looks like a builder’s building project, through and through. I know it can be a put off for some, but as long as the engineering is sensible, I really don’t mind a high parts count. Engine detail is excellent with refined cooling fin detail etc. Cowl parts are to be found here too, although there is no moulded detail on the interior of them, so be careful how you pose them if you want to show them removed. Radiator flaps are moulded in the open position. Note that the pilot seat is moulded here, as are a number of internal ancillary parts including the oil tank. Yet more internal parts for the crew area too, such as the framework for the gunner’s station. SPRUE GP A whopping TWENTY parts are moulded here on a sprue that has a very good level of clarity. A little distortion can be seen through the upper windshield panel, but this shouldn’t be too noticeable when everything is in situ. There are a few very low level abrasions evident too, but these will disappear under a polishing stick or some Klear. Frame lines are nicely defined and should be easy to mask up against. The canopy is a five-part affair and the remaining 15 parts are the numerous lights that fit the wing and fuse spine. Plastic Summary Moulding quality is very high, with no flaws (except for the fuse mould seam line) to be seen. There are a number of raised ejection pin ‘towers’ that will need snipping off, especially on the engine sprue. I can’t see evidence of sink marks, short shots or any other issue with my sample. Seam lines are very slight, and flash is a rare sight. Photo Etch One small fret is included that contains parts for the pilot seatbelt (straps and separate buckles), gunner lap belt, flexible gun mount, cockpit levers etc. There are almost 50 parts on this small fret, and all superbly etched, with tiny connecting points that will be dead easy to cut through. Decals The largest sheet here contains not only the main national markings, serials and codes for the various machines. There isn’t really anything in the way of stencils, but there are numerous coloured bands and walkway lines. I can’t vouch for the red colours on the various main markings. The Russian red stars look a little bright and the red portions of the roundels look the same. They are the same tone as the bars on the tail fin of the US machine, so may have been used to cut print costs. I don’t know. The red looks little ‘orangey’ to me too. A smaller sheet contains some emblem decals and also decals for the instrument panels and consoles. I would perhaps prefer to use individual Airscale decals instead of the one-piece instrument panel pieces, but your mileage may vary. Printing quality is actually very good as the decals are nice and thin, and have minimal carrier film. Everything looks in register too. The SIX schemes in this release are: OS2U-3, Naval Air Station Corpus, 1942 OS2U, VO-1 aboard USS Arizona (BB39), 1941 OS2U, VO-1 aboard USS Pennsylvania (BB38), 1940 OS2U-3, Soviet Union, based on ex-Italian light cruiser Milwaukee, 1944 OS2U-3, US Navy, 1941 OS2U, FN768, served in No.765 Sqn, Royal Navy, Sandbanks, 1943 Instructions I quite like this attractive style of booklet with its glossy cover and full colour, glossy colour scheme fold-out sheets. Sequence illustration is in black and white line drawing format. Some colour reference is supplied during construction and appear to be in GSI Creos/Mr Hobby format. Nothing here should be difficult to follow. Conclusion After seeing the P-39 and F-86K, I really am becoming a fan of Kitty Hawk model kits, and this release only reinforces my initial thoughts. I have still yet to build and complete a KH kit, but I have taped together the F-86K and tested overall fit with no problem, and as you can see from my taped images here, this seems to be a trouble free pursuit also. Detail levels are exactly what I’m looking for personally, and I imagine that there is enough included out of box to satisfy the majority of modellers. No doubt there will be a suite of aftermarket available for this pretty soon, but whatever is released, it will only serve to make an already superb kit, a really outstanding one. I also have to give some serious kudos to Kitty Hawk for being bold enough to release this particular kit in this scale. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample. Check your local hobby shop or favourite online retailer for best price.
  4. Hi all, After the review I did of the Kitty Hawk F-86D Sabre Dog review I did here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3528-132-kitty-hawk-f-86d-sabre-dog/ and the Ejection Seat here http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3884-eduard-f-86d-ejection-seat-for-kittyhawk-kit/ and the Seatbelts here http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3885-eduard-f-86d-seatbelts-fabric-for-kittyhawk-kit/ I figured it was only sensible to actually start the build. So far its just the Seat I have done to tie the two reviews together but once I get to the Eduard Cockpit and Interior review I will start that part of the kit too, its only a couple pictures so far. I build it as per the Eduard and Kitty Hawk instructions, nothing difficult, you just need to be careful aligning everything and making sure you check and double check before you remove any kit parts. Essentially the seat update is the seat sides, some fittings on the seat and it has seatbelts. I however used the Fabric Seatbelt set my first use of these. They went together relatively easy but I didn't realise they had to come off the card backing until the 1st cut. Once that was understood though everything else just fell together with some care taken to thread the belts through the various buckles. The seat was painted as per kit instructions and then washed with some light blue Ammo Wash and a darker wash of grey Paynes oil paint. It was then lightly dry brushed with a later of lightened base coat before being sealed with flat vallejo varnish. The straps were then fitted as per Eduard instructions and the two remove before flight lanyard fitted too, the upper one being attached by a very think length of solder to the seat back. I think it looks ok so far so cant wait to move on to the cockpit and rest of the kit.
  5. 1:32 F-86K “Sabre Dog” Kitty Hawk Catalogue # KH32008 The F-86D, and subsequently the ‘K’ version, was a major redesign of the F-86 Sabre that performed with distinction in the skies over Korea in the early 1950s. This redesign, although at first looks, is most definitely ‘Sabre’ in design, was more or less an entirely new, uprated airframe, being greater in length than its forebear, due to its larger afterburner. The nose shape was quite distinctive too, with its radome and pinched-in intake, perhaps giving a slightly canine appearance to the aircraft. The type’s original designation of F-95A, for political reasons, was changed to F-86D, in a cynical plot to gain the type more support if it was seen by Congress to be a development of an existing machine, and not a new type, which is mostly was. Unlike the F-86, which was fitted with six Browning machine guns, the new ‘Sabre Dog’ had no such armament. Machine guns were ditched in favour of a retractable rocket tray that sat below the cockpit section of the forward fuselage. This rocket tray carried 24 x 2.75 inch ‘Mighty Mouse’ FFAR rockets, and the developmental version of the new Super Sabre, the YF-95, was actually designed around the carrying of this new weapon. Whereas the original F-86 Sabre was generally classed as subsonic, the new F-86D was classed as transonic, although to be fair, the original Sabre was also within the window of performance that was classed as transonic too. Development of the new ‘D’ variant was begun not long after the Sabre project itself, with the two types having their maiden flights only within two years of each other. The North American F-86D ‘Sabre Dog’ first took to the air in 1949, and entered service in 1951. Pilots tended to find the new machine a little sensitive on the stick, and take-off/landings took some getting used to, with the landing distance being higher than was preferred. Problems with electronic fuel control system also dogged the ‘Dog’, as did crashes that were attributed to engine problems. Despite these issues, the F-86D was successful enough to attract the attention of foreign purchasers. The F-86K, the subject of this kit, was the export (NATO) version of the F-86D, and differed in a number of ways from the US-operated type. Firstly, the retractable rocket tray was deleted in favour of the re-introduction of guns, with there being 4 x 20mm M24A1 cannon fitted into the forward fuselage cheeks, as was the machine gun setup on the original F-86. A fire control system was also installed, helping the pilot with target elimination accuracy. Other changes over the ‘D’ included an extended wingspan and a longer fuselage. The latter was due to the centre of gravity needing to be reinstated after the installation of the cannon, and the differential in weight between this and the rocket installation, meant that an 8 inch plug was introduced to the forward fuselage in order to retain the original centre of gravity. The F-86K was introduced into service in 1955, and around 340 were built, with the initial machines constructed by North American, and the remainder assembled by Fiat. The kit This is a first for me, as until this kit landed on my doorstep, I’ve never actually looked at a Kitty Hawk release. I’ve seen plenty written about them, and a fair few finished models completed, mostly from their 1:48 range. As a result, this was quite an exciting package for me. This one arrived in treble-quick time from Kitty Hawk in the US (at current time of writing, not yet available here in the UK), and the first thing that hit me was how attractive the package actually is. Fairly muted colours overall, but beautifully presented. A Luftwaffe operated F-86K adorns the lid top, and ends, with the FIVE colour schemes occupying the other lid sides. Interestingly, one of these is for an American machine, yet the F-86K was an export type. Spending an hour looking through reference shows this may have been an ‘L’. Not a problem to me though, as I’m in it for the Luftwaffe wings! As I have already alluded to, this is my first KH kit, so I can’t really draw any comparisons with the earlier F-86D release, other than I can glean from internet photos and previous reviews. Therefore, I can’t compare physical dimensions between this and the earlier release. I do welcome anyone who can provide me with comparison overlaid images. This kit contains SEVEN light grey sprues and a single clear sprue. The latter is packed within its own box, to protect it further from the rigors of bumping, banging and clumsy handling, whilst the majority of the kit has its sprues individually bagged, apart from one bag that contains two sprues. In the bottom of the box lie the instruction manual, two decal sheets and a small fret of photo-etch parts. There is a label on all sprues that tells you what kit the parts are designed for. On this release, they all say F-86K, but I do know that there are sprues on the previous F-86D release that are also labelled as ‘K’. From that, my sleuthing tells me that this release contains two sprues that are different to the original release, namely the wing and forward fuselage sprues. The remainder appear to be identical. SPRUE A Wings! This sprue, new to this release, contains just four parts, namely the upper and lower wing panels. The leading edge slat is a separate part, and Kitty Hawk have incorporated the actuators integrally to the upper wing panel, which then also slightly sit through notches on the lower panels. Their appearance, along with the other detail in this area, looks entirely convincing and is beautifully engraved. General surface detail is also extremely fine, with narrow panel lines and rows of rivets that look perfect for this scale, not being too pronounced or understated. On the undersides, a little moulded detail can be seen pertaining to the roof of the main gear wells. This looks perhaps a little weak, but I won’t be able to tell until I see how it looks when built up with the surrounding detail. SPRUE B Apart from the pitot tube, this sprue concerns itself solely with moving flying surface parts. Here you can see the leading edge slats that are suitably thin, superbly riveted and look fantastic! Landing flaps and ailerons are included here, and are both moulded as upper and lower halves, again with subtle riveting and panel line/access port detail. Where possible, sprue gate attachment points are on the joint faces and not on the detail surfaces. This is an approach I’m seeing more of, and that I prefer. SPRUE C Another new sprue, and when you look at what it contains, you’ll see why. The F-86D had only a retractable rocket tray for armament, and as this was fitted with cannon, the fuselage halves now have an aperture for the installation of these weapons. There are also a number of other differences from the previous release, such as panel line changes and the position of openings etc. Of course, the fuselage parts are for the forward section only, with the rear section being on a different sprue. I am very impressed with the recreation of the external detail. I know I’ve already mentioned the fine riveting, but I really do think KH has got this pitched perfectly, along with filigree engraved detail such as panel lines and ports. A number of intake ports are also moulded ‘open’, and just need a little clean up to make them look perfect. Weapons bay doors are also as fine, with their own fine louvre detail, moulded as proper openings. Another new part on this sprue is the lower, forward nose part that contains the opening for the nose gear. The previous release had the rocket tray opening in this area, and here it’s replaced with some excellent panel line and louvre detail. The majority of the remaining parts here are concerned with the cannon weapon bays. These are pretty complicated, with not only the weapons to install, but the cabinet itself and the ammunition feeds and containers also need putting together. Normally, I’d expect to find a box-like structure into which you fit the guns etc. so this multipart assembly for the box itself is quite surprising. However, the levels of detail within would sort of indicate the designer’s rationale here. Of particular note here are the twisted ammunition feeds. They really do look great! SPRUE D If you like a high parts count and component breakdown, then the General Electric J47 engine will really help to satisfy your needs. There is no doubt that the final result will be every bit as impressive as the sheer number of parts here. By estimation, the engine has well over 50 parts! This is broken down into multipart combustion chambers, exhaust tunnel, ancillary equipment and the bulkheads at the fuselage joint area. I would perhaps think that all you may need to add here are a few lengths of wire for plumbing etc. What’s really a shame is that you aren’t going to see most of this unless you find a way of cutting various panels away. The design of the kit does also dictate that you’ll need to put the majority of the main engine components in place for everything to assemble the way that it was designed. Still, it’s an impressive inclusion. Two nose wheel options are supplied here, moulded alongside the nose wheel strut. One thing I have notice here is that KH has used some external ejection pin tabs, which is good, and there are a number of ejection pin towers that need cropping from the internal areas of parts, such as those inside the combustion chamber halves. SPRUE E This is a general detail sprue that contains parts for the cockpit, engine (yes more parts!), radome, etc. As a cockpit lover who likes to see a busy, well-designed pit as the basis for a good project, I’m certainly more than happy with what I see here. The cockpit tub and side consoles are moulded separately, which of course leaves the way open for the aftermarket guys, but what I see moulded is certainly not disappointing. Detail is sharp, fine and certainly worthy of use, even if you like to add PE and resin. Instrument panel detail is also extremely fine, with blank instrument faces that are perfect for adding individual decals. Kitty actually supplies both instrument panel and console decals as complete items. I’m always really wary of this approach as you’ll need so much decal setting solution to make them conform, and I imagine they’d look a little false. You can punch out the individual instruments, or perhaps use something from Airscale’s expansive range. The pilot seat is also superbly retro in appearance, and from the instructions and parts appearance, I can’t see any reason to replace it. Note also on this sprue the fuselage airbrakes, with excellent detail both internally and externally. SPRUE F This sprue was common to the previous release also, and contains, amongst other parts, the rear fuselage halves. I really don’t know if this section is supposed to be removable, but if so, there is no internal constructional detail inside, so it may be useful to fit this permanently, unless you intend to add scratch detail. As with the forward fuselage, external detail is first class, with fine rivet and panel line detail, plus port and fastener detail. Note that the fin is moulded separately too, with a separate rudder. Horizontal tail surfaces also exhibit that quality and style of detail, including some rather nice vortex generator detail. I don’t know whether there will be any PE upgrades from aftermarket companies, but I would be more than happy with the Kitty Hawk representation. Lastly, you specific nose intake part and intake channels are included here, moulded as upper and lower halves. Integrally moulded to the lower, forward part is some of the nose wheel bay ceiling. The style is very similar to the relief shown on the inside of the upper wing panels, for the main gear wells. SPRUE G Kitty Hawk has chosen to mould the parts for the main gear and gear wells on this sprue, which is predominantly the weapons/stores sprue. Wheel bay detail is pretty damn good, with neat side wall and ceiling detail, again only requiring a little lead wire to finish. Undercarriage legs are quite simple in appearance, and the wheels, moulded as halves with integral hubs, are provided in weighted format. Under-wing pylons are moulded here, and included are both drop tanks and Sidewinder missiles. SPRUE GP Packaged into a clear plastic sleeve, and then popped into its own box, the clear sprue is certainly protected properly. The main parts are the forward windscreen and main hood. Frame line definition is excellent, with fastener detail, and the non-clear portions are frosted too. These parts, and all others, are superbly clear, and perfectly moulded. General plastic observations There are small amounts of flash to be seen in places, but certainly nothing startling, but the mouldings themselves are excellent throughout. I can’t see any other flaws on my sample, such as sink marks, short-mouldings etc. and ejector pin marks are intelligently placed, or indeed, placed off the part, on a small tag. PHOTO ETCH This fret really is TINY! It includes parts for the seatbelts and airbrake areas. I do think the seatbelts look under-scale, and would look at Eduard’s options for these. DECALS These are sealed within a zip-lock sleeve, and are further protected by a glossy film that easily peels from them. Decals themselves have a gloss finish too, and feel a little thicker than mainstream ones that we see from the likes of Cartograf. I don’t know where these are printed, but the quality is still excellent, with good solid colour, fairly minimal carrier film, and of course, they are in prefect register. If your markings overlie the airbrakes, you will need to slice and dice them yourself as they aren’t provided as parts. Stencils are provided, and the markings themselves look great. Some utilise bands of clear carrier film to hold together various elements, so you will need to be careful when sliding them from the sheet and onto the model. The FIVE schemes supplied are: F-86K, JD352,3, JG 74, Neuburg der Donau, 1964 (Luftwaffe) F-86K, E.C.T.T. 1/13, Colmar, 1957 (Armee de l'Air) F-86K, XII Gruppo/36° Stormo, (Italian Air Force) F-86K, Royal Norwegian Air Force F-86L, 3556th CCTSQDN, Perin AFB, Texas, 1960 (USAF) Note the USAF machine is an F-86L. This is not possible with this kit due to the lack of the rocket tray, and the fact that this kit has cannon included. Instructions Kitty Hawk’s instructions are printed as an 18 page manual, with foldout, colour profile sheets at both the start and end of the publication. Drawings within look a little retro, but pleasing to my eye, with black/white line drawings, with a little shading added here and there. Colour refs are given throughout in both Gunze and FS codes. Colour profiles look great, wit clear colour notation and decal placement indicators. Conclusion For my first Kitty Hawk release, I’m very impressed. This looks very buildable, and with engineering that doesn’t look too problematic, being both conventional in style and approach. The kit is every bit as detailed as I would now expect to see from modern toolings, and some great schemes are included too, in terms of national variety. I’m not great with NMF finishes, so no doubt, I’ll be going Luftwaffe with this. This kit really does scream to be built, and as soon as my current project is complete, this will be on the bench. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Glen at Kitty Hawk Models for sending this over for us to take a look at. Watch out for a build of this in the not too distant future, within the pages of Military Illustrated Modeller. Please check out your local online retailer for the release of this kit. I suspect it to retail for between £50 and £60 in the UK, when comparing to the F-86D.
  6. Kitty Hawk P-39Q/N Aircobra KH32013 Available from many online-stores around £53.99 The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States enteredWorld War II. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, which scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other major users of the type included the Free French, theRoyal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force. Designed by Bell Aircraft, it had an innovative layout, with the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller via a long shaft. It was also the first fighter fitted with a tricycle undercarriage. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the absence of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. As such it was rejected by the RAF for use over western Europe and passed over to the USSR where performance at high altitude was less important. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, the P-39 was one of the most successful fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell. The above taken from Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_P-39_Airacobra The Kit and Contents. The kit comes in a sturdy box, with some great artwork on the front and sides showing the various painting and markings options. The box isnt particularly large or particularly stuffed with parts and there is some room inside for the parts to move about. The breakdown of the parts in the box is: 8 Standard Grey Plastic Parts, 1 Clear Plastic Parts, 1 PE Fret, 2 decal sheets (one large one small), 1 Set of Instructions with attached painting guides. All the sprues are individually bagged and there are two sprues attached to each other for the grey plastic parts. The plastis seems to be up to the usual Kitty Hawk standard and there is no sign of flash on any of the parts. The clear parts are very clear and come in a protective cardboard box as well as the usual bag. The decals look to be very well printed, in register and there are some really nice schemes included in the kit, more of that later. The small PE fret is a couple of what looks like intake grills and the pilots harness straps. The build is pretty standard in that it starts with cockpit interior, the fuselage and then wings, undercarriage and weapons. Whats different is the location of the engine which is behind the pilot seat and there is a full engine included here in the kit. The usual limitations of plastic are there in the cockpit and some of the smaller parts. The engine looks good and the maybe the engine cover panels themselves could be a little thinner in etch but Im sure the usual suspects will create some update sets for this kit. The Sprues. The 9 sprues are as follows: Sprues A and B: These sprues are joined and they consist of the wings, some undercarriage pieces and the control surfaces for the wings. Sprues C and D: These sprues are joined and consist of cockpit and fuselage interior pieces. Sprue E and F: These sprues are joined and cosist of the Fuselage sides, panels and the the propellor and its spinner (of which there is a choice of two). Sprue G and H: These sprues are joined and they consist of more fuselage interior parts included the engine and its parts. They also include the horizontal tail surfaces and some of the other exterior appendages including bombs. Sprue GP the 'Glass Parts': This sprue is the Cockpit Glass and the side widows for the car style doors. It also includes the anti-collision and wing marker lights. The small PE Fret: This fret has two intake grilles along with the majoirty which consists of the harness straps for the pilots seat. The Decal Sheets: There are two decal sheets. The larger has all of the national and airframe markings along with stencilling. A second smaller decal sheet contains the Artwork shown on some of the schemes along with the cockpit decals for all of the various panels within the cockpit. The Instructions: The Instructions are really clear, well printed and include colour callouts for Gunze Sangyo Mr Color and in some cases RLM which was a surprise to me as none of these aircraft have German Markings. I cant speak to the accuracy of the marking as yet, Ive yet to do any research on these but all of the choices are very colourful and interesting. I can see myself wanting to do a couple of these. The French and Russian ones are particularly attractive to me. The Painting Guidance: As mentioned above there are some great schemes here. The one I do recognise is Snooks 2nd, the only US marking option here. Again all colour callouts are for Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color and RLM (?) so you'll need conversion charts if like me you use other paint manufacturers. The Choice of colourings are: P-39Q-5-BE "Snooks 2nd", 71st TRS 82nd TRG 5th Air Force USAAF, P39Q GC III/6 "Travail", Armee de L'Air, La France Combattante, P39Q-5-BE, 1st AE, 30th GvIAP, 6th IAK. Co of 1st AE 1st.Lt.A.P.Filatov, 1945, P39Q, 1st AE, 213th GvIAP, Co of 1st AE assistant 1st.Lt.M.I.Orlov, Germany, Summer 1945. P39N-1-BE, 9 Gruppo, 4 Stormo, Italian Co-Belligerent AF, June 1944. Conclusion: This is yet another welcome large scale release from Kitty Hawk. The kits just seem to get better and better and with the included engine and schemes I think it will fly off the shelf. Granted the aftermarket will probably release plenty updates for this but one can, I believe, build a great representation of an important and often ignored WWII aircraft type. Highly Recommended to all.
  7. My ultimate Navy aircraft of WWII may surprise some. The OS2U Kingfisher. Don't know why but I love it. Just looks great to me. So, how excited am I that Kitty Hawk just announced that the 1/48 is a mistake, it's going to be 1/32. I don't care what's on the bench, when this comes I'm all over it. What's everyone else think?
  8. Kitty Hawk 1:32 OV-10D “Bronco” HH32003 The Bronco - Wikepiedia Entry The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It can carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroops or stretchers, and can loiter for three or more hours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Rockwell_OV-10_Bronco The Kit. Well, as soon as I heard about this I knew I had to get it. It’s been on my pre-orders since day one and today it arrived. I have to say that, so far, Im not disappointed. Some have said they’d rather Kitty Hawk had started with the OV-10A and worked through the various models. They also say that the various bumps and extras on the D model make it ugly. Well for me it just looks right, yes its fugly but so is the A-10 and it never did that aircraft any harm. So onto the fun bit, the kit breakdown. The box is big, not WnW Duellist big just big. Its about 60cm wide, 20 deep and thickness of about 15cm. Its also packed to the gunnels with plastic. There are 9 sprues of grey plastic that’s as good as any I have seen (including Tamiya) and 1 of clear. A nice touch is that the clear sprue is housed in a special box of its own. There is also a metal nose weight that seems quite heavy and a fret of small PE along with 2 sheets of decals. The Sprues: Spue A has main engine parts, some panels for the engines and some cockpit elements too. Sprue B is the main outer wings and the flaps associated with that and the tail Sprue C is the main inner wings and again more control surfaces Sprue D is the main engine pylons and the small stub wings that fit below the cockpit Sprue E is the tail, some panels and some cockpit elements too Sprue F and J are the tail booms, cockpit parts and various under wing stores, missiles and bombs Sprue GP is the clear parts and this kit has a big cockpit, Sprue I (there are two) is weapons and the engine parts Sprue H (there are two) is more weapons, some engine parts and ancillary equipment. The Instruction Manual The Instruction manual is very good. It has bi fold out front and back covers and full colour guidance on the colour schemes, more of those later. It’s very well printed, clear and up there with the best. Whilst I’d say it’s on par with Tamiya its not up there with WnW But you can see that Kitty Hawk has really worked hard on these and to make them as clear as possible. The Colour Schemes I think I many need at least 3 of these kits, as I love all but one scheme. They are: US Marines VM)-4 airframe tail-number 55498, which is 3 tone wrap around scheme in Green (FS34102), Greyish Blue (FS35237) and Grey (FS36801 a very attractive scheme. US Marines VMO-2 airframe tail-number 55468, which is the main box cover Brown (FS30219) and Sandy Brown (no FS Callout but C19 in Gunze Sangyo) with an underside in Grey (FS16640). US Marines, VMO-2 airframe tail-number 55479, which is in a 2 tone grey wrap around scheme in Grey (FS3618) and Greyish Blue (FS35237). US Navy unidentified squadron tail-number 55172, which is Field Green (FS34097) over Grey (FS3662). This one is my least favourite and probably the only one I wouldn’t build personally. All of the schemes are also referenced, as is the whole kit in Gunze Sangyo colours. Personally I’d like some other callouts too but that’s just me, I always use Vallejo and convert using their colour charts anyway. Overall Impression This for me is a dream kit. I remember years ago buying the Testors 1/48 kit and the Paragon Details update with wings and pylons and I loved the look of the aircraft as much as I do now. For me it’s highly recommended. On all the sprues the detail looks great and where it exists there is some very fine riveting detail and great panel lines, which look to be mostly even and clean. Its currently being built by someone on a Facebook page and I think he has nothing but good things to say about it so far, though only into the cockpit area so far. There are also two full engines, removable panels and it’s all visible if you leave these off. A nice touch I think. The rear cargo door is accessible too and can be posed open as can the nose giving access to the hardware in there including the Optic systems in the nose. I’ve not been lucky enough to see Kitty Hawk’s earlier Harvard and Texan kits in 1/32 but from what I have read they are just as good and if they look as good as this does in the bare plastic I don’t see where anyone but the most choosy could have a problem with this kit. There is a very good selection of drop tanks, air to air and air to ground weapons. There are also some very nice cannons for the stub wings and they have full detail down to the bays in which they sit. A super details person could go mad with all the open panels and could build an absolute blinding kit from this. That said even OOB this is going to look great. I got it from Hannants at £59.99 but it should be available from all good model stockists. Highly Recommended.
  9. Kitty Hawk 1:32 F-86D Sabre Dog HH32007 The F-86D - Wikepiedia Entry The North American F-86D Sabre (sometimes called the "Sabre Dog" or "Dog Sabre") was a transonic jet all-weather interceptor of the United States Air Force and others. Based on North American's F-86 Sabre day fighter, the F-86D had only 25 percent commonality with other Sabre variants, with a larger fuselage, larger after-burning engine, and a distinctive nose radome. The Kit. After my review of the Kitty hawk Ov-10D Bronco I was contacted by Glen of Kitty Hawk. He asked what I thought of the plans for the F-86D which of course my reaction was I couldn't wait for it. It's a great looking aircraft, from the classic days of Fighter Jet Development and I was really looking forward to it, especially given a chance to try some Alclad finishes on it. Well I didn't know Glen at the time was from Kitty Hawk so when he asked for my address I was really surprised and when he told me why even more so. So, first of all thanks to Glen for this review sample. Now the box it came in said "Commercial Prototype" and I must say if this is a prototype its a pretty good indicator for what we can expect as it just pops out of the box. I love the cover art, really dynamic with a good realistic look, it also has some nice shots of the various schemes on it (there are 5 to choose from!) and they all look great, more of that later though. The box is standard Kitty Hawk, very well bagged, individual sprues, individually bagged decals and some etch and a box which contains and protects the bagged up clear parts. There are of course also the instructions which are great, easy to read and where necessary colour callouts are in FS and the Gunze Sangyo Mr Color Range, so let's see whats in the box. Kit Breakdown and Instructions. The fuselage is split into 3 here, a forward, centre and rear section, the wings are standard upper lower as are the tail control surfaces. There is a full engine and one could imagine a super-detailer having a ball here, especially if the rear end of the kit is left off. There is no cradle here for the rear end if it is left off but again for a super-detailer that's probably not beyond research and scratch building. There is also a split top and bottom full air intake all the way from the mouth to the engine forward section. The fuselage really hints towards other models and looking at the pre-order releases available on some websites it does look as if a few different models of the Sabre are on their way. Whilst I can't (yet) vouch for the fit all joins in the fuselage fall on panel lines and I don't suppose assembling this kit is beyond the abilities of the readers here. Some care may be required in lining up the sections but again with care and patience I don't see this being a problem. There is also a full radar set under the nose which can be posed open as well as what looks like very detailed, multi part wheel wells and a weapons. Interestingly here the 24 FFAR Rocket pack that was considered more effective against enemy bombers than standard aircraft cannon is replicated, which I think is a nice individual touch for this type. Underwing fuel tanks and early model sidewinders are also available as is open speed brakes on the rear section with a very detailed bay. All very welcome additions Im sure you all will agree. The breakdown of the kit and detail involved looks really good and looks like it'll go together really quickly and easily. Of course this is yet to be proven but I don't think any of it is beyond the skills of readers of this website and the really talented people will have a stunner even if built straight out of the box. So, onto the individual sprues. The Sprues. There are 7 grey plastic sprues, 1 clear and 1 small photo etch. The plastic is I would say of a great standard up there with the best including Tamiya, not particularly soft and not particularly brittle either. The clear parts are crystal clear and there is no sign of flash anwhere, theres also little to no sign of any ejector marks. Where these do necessarily exist they seem to be in areas which are invisible once the kit is complete. Sprue A is the main upper and lower wings and shows that there is scope here for the flaps and every other leading edge or trailing edge control surface to be positioned. The riveting and panel lines here is very subtle and from what I can tell they are all in scale. The detail will just pop under a thin coat of good paint I think. Sprue B has the control surfaces for the wings on sprue A and again the panel lines and rivets are very subtle, again it'll look great under a layer of paint. Sprue C is the front fuselage section along with all the separate panels for this section. Sprue D mostly consists of the engine parts and some of the fuselage elements including the nose radar assembly. Sprue E includes more engine parts, the cockpit and other ancillaries, effectively closing off the forward 2/3 of the airframe. Sprue F is the rear section of the airframe including the rear fuselage, control surfaces and fin with its separate posable rudder. Sprue G is undercarriage bays, weapons, drop tanks and the wheels and wheel gear bay doors. Sprue GP includes the clear parts including cockpit transparencies, anti-collision lights and other clear parts. The cockpit parts here really are 1st class with great rivet detail, no seams to clean up and they are crystal clear. Really nice to see them protected in a dedicated box too. The PE fret is the parts for the cockpit and a few smaller items only really scale correct in PE for the airbrake bays. Decals The main decal sheet is huge, quite literally the full footprint of the very large box. Of course aircraft of this era were very colourful (if only we could say the same today) and with that in mind the register of these decals looks to be up there with the best. The chosen schemes are varied and colourful and I for one can't wait to try the decals out, if I had a preference It'd be the Texas ANG aircraft with its Day-Glo orange panels but I'm sure we can all find a scheme we'd like to build and I'm also pretty sure that the AM market will soon have schemes flying out of warehouses. The available Schemes are: Scheme A: Bare Polished Metal, Red and White of the 82nd FIS (the box art), Scheme B: Bare Polished Metal, Orange and Red of the 325th FIS USAF "Sabre Knights" Aerobatic Team, Scheme C: Bare Polished Metal, Day-Glo Orange of the 181st FIS, Texas Air National Guard, USAF (my personal favourite), Scheme D: Bare Polished Metal, JASDF Scheme, Scheme E: Bare Polished Metal, ROKAF Scheme, Scheme F: Barley Grey FS16440, ROKAF Scheme. Final Thoughts Well I do believe we are really in the golden age of modelling, especially in 1/32. Kitty Hawk has grabbed this by the scruff of the neck and has started producing kits I think we have always wanted and thankfully hasn't stuck to the old favourites we can all name, do we need more Spitfires or ME-109s? I love them both but its time for the more obscure and interesting kits to start flowing I think. On this alone I have to congratulate Kitty Hawk. Who'd have expected 2 years ago a 1/32 Harvard, 1/32 OV-10 of any variant, with more variants rumoured to be coming, or even this Sabre Dog kit. I cant wait personally to see what comes next and whilst Kitty Hawk keep releasing these I think they will keep having a dedicated following of 1/32 modellers. I can't wait to see their upcoming P39Q for instance, Ive hoped for that aircraft in a large scale for some time. The after-market will make a killing here too I'm sure. I don't suppose it'll be long before there is a resin cockpit, some metal undercarriage (it could be a heavy kit so I hope it is coming from someone) and some stunning decal schemes. What would I replace if I could? Well Im a sucker for a good bit of coloured (Eduard?) PE Cockpit and a BrassIn Ejector seat, the rest however would just be polish on an already great kit I believe. So, highly recommended and if it comes in at the price level of the Harvard and OV-10D (circa £50 - £60 is a guesstimate) I'd say this is a must have. I think this just jumped to the top of my build list once my current build is over and that says a lot for me as I have quite a few waiting in the stash. Thanks to Glen at Kitty Hawk for the review kit and I assume it'll be available soon (is already available to pre-order) on any number of good model stockists. Highly Recommended.
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