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  1. Well, since I can't do much on the B-24 until I get a replacement canopy I've decided to work on a different 4 engine heavy. Because that makes so much sense. Reference material for the build. The conversion kit. The box contents. Carl
  2. Hong Kong Models 1/32 Avro Lancaster Grand Slam Kit No #01E038 839 parts Wingspan 972 mm / Length 664 mm The Hong Kong Models Lancaster has been around for a while now, but HK Models had several projects to release several variants of the mythic bomber This time, we have for review the fantastic Grand Slam. But first a bit of history: RAF 617 Squadron After The Dambusters Raid “After the success of the Ruhr dams raid in May 1943, 617 Squadron was retained by RAF Bomber Command for specialist precision bombing operations. It experimented with new bomb sights, target marking techniques and colossal new 'earthquake' bombs developed by Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the 'bouncing bomb'. An unsuccessful attempt to bomb the Dortmund-Ems Canal from low level in September 1943 resulted in the loss of five aircraft and the death of the Squadron's new commanding officer. Such missions were not repeated, and henceforth 617 Squadron concentrated on high-altitude precision bombing. In the run-up to D-Day, the Squadron attacked factories, V-weapon sites and communication targets in France. Its commander, Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire, pioneered a controversial new low-level target-marking technique. The improved accuracy minimised civilian casualties when attacking targets in occupied territory. In the autumn of 1944, 617 Squadron joined 9 Squadron in attacks with 12,000 lb 'Tallboy' bombs on the German battleship Tirpitz, moored in Norwegian waters. The first two attempts were inconclusive owing to cloud and smokescreens, but on 12 November they found Tirpitz with no protection. Sustaining two direct hits, the ship was shattered by an internal explosion and capsized. PHOTOGRAPHS A Lancaster B Mark I (Special) of 617 Squadron A Lancaster B Mark I (Special) of 617 Squadron releases its 22,000 lb 'Grand Slam' deep penetration bomb over the Arnsberg viaduct in Germany. Arnsberg lay in the eastern Ruhr Valley, not far from the Mohne dam, which had been the target for 617’s first operation in 1943. Now, its strategically important railway viaduct was the objective. On 19 March 1945, an attack by 19 Lancasters of 617 Squadron carrying a mixture of 'Tallboy' and 'Grand Slam' bombs brought it crashing down. Avro Lancaster B Mark I (Special), PB996 'YZ-C', of No. 617 Squadron RAF, flown by Flying Officer P Martin and crew, releasing a 22,000-lb MC deep-penetration bomb (Bomber Command executive codeword 'Grand Slam') over the viaduct at Arnsberg, Germany. © IWM (CH 15375) In the last months of the Second World War, 617 Squadron made further successful strikes against the German rail and canal network, coastal defences and previously invulnerable U-boat pens, using 'Tallboys' and the monstrous new 22,000 lb 'Grand Slam' bomb. Right to the end, 617 Squadron maintained its position as Bomber Command's ultimate precision bombing specialists.” Let´s see. The kit It`s was not the first time I saw the Lancaster box but I`m still impressed with it. The Grand Slam box is just the same size as all others HK Models Lancaster boxes and as always demands respect. As the Dambuster, in the contents only a few things are different from the B.Mk.I. There’s one extra sprue, an extra instruction booklet and extra decals. So before I continues, here`s the link of a full and deep review of the Lancaster Mk I. Now the new sprue. The Gg sprue: It’s a big sprue!! Well it’s also a very very big bomb! So you got a fully 1:32 Grand Slam Bomb and a all new “bomb bay” area. This bomb bay area comes in a single piece. The Grand Slam is impressive. Also you got a new “nose” to replace the front turret that the Grand Slam Lancaster unit didn’t have. The extra booklet As said there is an extra instruction booklet included to build the Grand Slam version. In the booklet it said that all the building is to follow the B Mk. I excepts the steps in the Grand Slam booklet as It tells you at which steps you need to use other parts or perform modifications. In the Grand Slam edition, its starts right on the step 1, with some seat modifications by putting the P42 parts (instead of P3() and exclude the P22. Then jumps right to the step 11, where all the front panels of the bomb bay is deleted (no M17 and Dd18) and some cutting has to be made in the M12 part. The step 12, I figure that part of the bomb bay sidewalls are not include! On the step 15 and 16, the only different is some cutting of the fuselage to accommodate the new bomb bay. The only problem I see here is that HK doesn’t said how much (in length) you need to cut so you have to guide yourself for the instructions picture and that it´s not that easy. The step 19 is the same but a bit more explicit on the new booklet so it’s a upgrade. The step 23, a bubble window is added on the left side of the canopy frame. The step 27 is a big step with a all new bomb bay area and the Grand Slam constructions steps. The steps 35,38, 52 and 57 are all equal: the engine. The only thing is not to put the exhaust/flame covers. Makes sense as for the night bomber, the exhaust flames will be something you need to cover. In the Grand Slam case, being a day bomber that no sense in the exhaust cover. Step 69 shows the small fuselage changes with the remove of the upper turret (with the U1 part, making the upper fuselage straight) and the frontal turret replace by a cover nose (part Hh5) The final steps is a little upgrade from the original booklet with some explicit identification if previous steps. Schemes This kit contains one scheme. - Avro Lancaster special PB996 'YZ-C', of No. 617 Squadron RAF, flown by Flying Officer P Martin and crew The decals for this new version is a single sheet with very good registration and color, a top quality product as expected from Cartograf. Also present is the original Lancaster Mk. I release, where you will take the insignias and stencils. However I would expect to see more options on this release… But here`s it is in action: One point the I was pointed out was that the Grand Slam version used the Lincoln wheels which has a large wheel hub. It’s a detail but a quite visible one but there`s no aftermarket 1:32 Lincoln wheels. Conclusion As all the other version, It’s a quite well researched (pity the wheels) and of course a fantastic addition to all the Lancaster line-up that HK Models is bringing to modelling world. All the news parts have the same injection and detail quality that all others sprues. The decals do have nice registration color, are quite thin but I was really expecting some more options but HK Models also only gave one option in the Dambuster box. If you want a1:32 Grand Slam Lancaster, this is your only option, and a Very Very good one. Very Highly Recommend Francisco Guedes A Very Special thank you to Neil and Hong Kong Models for the review sample. You can get HK Models in Europe on Ak-interactive website.
  3. Hong Kong Models 1/32 Avro Lancaster B Mk.1 01E10 Limited Edition (Bonus Clear Fuselage) This review is intended to help you through the forest of small Lancaster modifications that were made in both field and factory and (as with the Spitfire) can be quite confusing. We have already shared photo’s of built examples and the first plastic that was available to us, so now it’s time to see what’s wrong and what is right. History of this kit Approximately five years ago Large Scale Modeller spoke to HK Models at the Telford (UK) show and heard of the plans to do a large scale Lancaster. One of the first questions we asked was: where did, or where, are you guys getting your drawings and input? Because we all know: a drawing is no guarantee for a correct shape. And most of us know that looking hard and long at surviving examples can cause lots of errors in detail, caused by post war modifications and repairs. This marked the start of a long and intense co-operation between HK Models and LSM. James Hatch, Cees Broere and Jeroen Peters were shown very early CAD drawings, which made it clear there was much work to be done. HK Models showed patience and willingniss to fix what was wrong. Mind you: almost all alterations and LSM input concerned the shape of tail, engines, fuselage, canopy, wings etc… When you look at the 1/48 Lancaster kit for instance you can’t miss the shape issues in the nose and engines, and we wanted to prevent these same mistakes in the first 32ndscale Lancaster kit. When we first got our hands on the 3d printed prototype a year later we were quite pleased with the rough shape. No details were present, only a solid 3d printed shape. This prototype gave everyone an idea of the size and rough shape. Nothing more. Months and months went by. Seemingly without any progress…. To the outside world at least. In the following months we went back and forth sharing photo’s, drawings and other intel to get the shape of the engines right. It’s weird: when you transfer cross sections from a drawing 1:1 to a 3D model, you might not get the exact shape you want. The computer interpretes the shape between to compley cross sections, whereas aluminium has it’s own way. The first 3D printed prototype, back in 2014. Currently being converted into a Manchester by Cees Broere: Slowly, bit by bit, we were shown small parts of the interior. The detail inside the cockpit and mid / rear fuselage is a step up from the B-25 and B-17 models. More on that later. Release dates were pushed back in the last two years. Sometimes caused by paint scheme options, sometimes by lack of 3D talent. A profession that is much in favour in Asia. Just in time for the Telford show (2018) HK Models told us that we would have a built production kit in our hands, and they kept promise. Just in time (or, depending on how you look at it, too late) in the sense that Wingnut Wings announced their release of a Lancaster a few weeks before the show. A big buzz on social media followed with the main proclamation being: HK Models must be furious! To my surprise HK Models took this news pretty well and responded: At least we know we gave this kit all we have. Which I know to be true. For me it was a special moment to see Neil Yan from HK Models talking to Richard Alexander from Wingnut Wings at the show, sharing experiences in the development of their kits. This is where I should address the oil canning announcement made by Neil Yan. Yes, this was to be the case, but with all the delay the kit had already suffered and the sheer amount of computer calculation needed to achieve this, the idea was abandoned. And let’s face it: if the Wingnut Wings kit (which will require at least another year of development) would not have this feature, nobody would have mourned the lack of this effect on the HK Models kit. In addition the Wingnut Wings kit will also have raised rivets. So in a year the modellers will be able to choose from a classic kit with fine recessed panel lines and rivets, or from a novell kit with raised rivets and all over oil canning. Both will require different paint / weathering techniques and will therefor attract different modellers. Enough on how this kit came about, let’s look at the plastic, in order of construction. The Box Facebook shows a lot of modellers that received their kit, marveling over the size. But it’s exactly the same size of the B-17 box. 66,5cm wide, 37cm deep and 16 cm high. To give you an idea of how big the Lancaster is, take a look at the B-17 kit and detract a few mm. The Lancaster kit measures 972 mm wing span and 664 mm length. Part count: 824. The B17 kit measures 989 mm wing span and 709 mm length. Part count: 709. The fact that the Lancaster is basically a smaller model but still packs over 100 parts more, shows you that the level of detail is higher. In this case we are looking at the Limited Edition. I believe Neil Yan told me that 1500 of these were made. It contains the clear fuselage, to show off the interior. In this box we encounter: - 4 fuselage parts (2x forward, 2x rear, in grey plastic) - 4 fuselage parts (2x forward, 2x rear, in clear plastic) - 2 main wings - 46 (!!!) sprues (including 2 clear sprues) - 1 photo etch fret I must add that a few sprues are moulded together and linked. But still… - One large sheet of decals to build either OLQ, POS or ARG. More on this later. - One large instruction booklets that has the size and weight of a magazine. The foreword has been written by our own Cees Broere. You also might notice the AK Interactive logo on there. AK Interactive has provided information on the three scheme options and will develop a special paint set for this kit in the near future. The sprues that contain most cockpit parts (Sprue O, P, Q, W, X): Step 1 through 13 (forward nose section interior / cockpit) • (Stage 1) We start construction with the pilot’s seat which is made up from 11 plastic parts, and 3 photo etch parts for the seatbelts. The seat part looks to be a bit on the long side and also the distance to the rudder pedals seems to be a bit long. Since I myself will replace the rudder pedals with photo etch ones’ from Eduard (which I’m sure will appear), I will position these a bit more towards the seat. Pilot's seat side frames: Pilot's seat rear frame: The arm rests: Rudder pedal arms: The kit's photo etch seatbelts: • (Stage 2) If you’re building a Mk.1 in early war situation beware. This cockpit includes a GEE indicator unit. See photo for reference. This unit was introduced in 1942. The GEE Indicator, type 62, used as navigational aid: The kit's part. Lovely detail: The kit's supplied radio: And the real thing. No complaining here: • (Stage 5) Also: this cockpit includes a Fishpond indicator (next to the radio set) and was only introduced in 1944. Again: see photo for reference. The fishpond indicator has a visible back which is moulded hollow. An error pointed out by our team and now receives a photo etch backing plate. The Fishpond indicator: The complete H2S indicator installation: • Also: The HS2 unit (radar) which is also included in the kit only saw service in 1943. Note that it works in co-operation with the supplied radar bulge. More on this part later. Using these parts is not necessarily wrong, since some Mk.1’s had this equipment fitted as the war continued. • (Stage 9) The instrument panel is quite nice but could have been a bit more detailed. The throttle levers for instance stand out… In reality these had two gracefully formed outer levers and two short levers in the middle. The HK Models levers look different. If you look at the Airscale offering, you’ll see what we mean. A nice illustration that shows you what is what: The kit's panel: This is what the throttle levers should look like: Here's a look at the Airscale panel: • (Stage 10) Part P26 is the Williamson F24 camera. One feature that is missing (we don’t know why) is the cone / lense of the camera. You’ll have to add this yourself. The kit's camera, seen from the top, with correct detail: The real thing: • (Stage 11) The trimming console (part number 59) next to the pilot’s seat (right side) should feature two star shaped trimming wheels. These are absent. See photo for reference. This is typically one of those details that an Eduard cockpit set will include… The trimming wheel console seen from above: Here's the kit's steering wheel, lacking the wheel brake lever on the left: And here's a look at the real thing. As you can see, the dimple in the middle, should be a dome: • The back of the steering wheel column is hollow. This should be solid / closed. So this needs to be filled. • The flight engineer panel (part P1) should be a separate panel from the panels that are alongside of it. These panels protect the wiring behind it. Please note that the Airscale photo etch supplies this panel separately. The kit's engineer panel: The real deal: The Airscale offering: • (Stage 13) The bomb aiming / computer (part P64). This element is quite visible through the glass domed nose and needs a bit of attention. First of all: If you’re building an early Mk.1 (pre 1942) you’d need to use a different bomb aiming mechanism; the CSBS (course setting bomb sight). Also note that the CSBS sight did not have a computer attached to it (part 15). If you are building a post 1942 Lancaster, this Mk.XIV will probably be correct, but still needs a bit more detail. See photo’s for reference. The early CSBS sight: The later Mk.XIV sight: Part 64, the Mk.XIV sight as supplied by the kit: • (Stage 15) The instructions call for a seatbelt on the bomb aimer’s seat, but as far as we know, it did not have these. So maybe better to leave them off. • (Stage 16) The cockpit window (part Cc1). In our honest opinion there should have been an inner cockpit framing. Like HK Models supplied on their Mosquito kit. The forward windscreen part of this frame was a solid cast part. The top of the middle section featured a stainless steel tube frame and the rear section was made of square strips of wood. So not all of it was a round frame. A feature that will be included in the Wingnut Wings kit. However this will be made from square shaped tubing, which isn’t correct either, since the top middle section needs to be round. Also: the horizontal frames of the aft section of the canopy (think of it as forward, mid and rear affair) did not have any framing on the outside. The Perspex was screwed on the inner structure with only the screwheads visible on the outside. This was actually pointed out to HK Models by the LSM Team but unfortunately not incorporated in the kitparts. If you paint on the inside of the canopy the horizontal frames (usually black), that would give the effect but that still leaves the outside framelines. If you want to go the whole nine yards, you will have to scrape or sand off the horizontal frame lines and polish for clarity and then paint the horizontal lines on the inside with the screwheads (steel or black) on the outside. Another thing are the separate bubble shaped windows. These glue on separately. Not exactly correct, since the pilot is supposed to stick his head in those, which is not possible if you glue these on. I'd recommend glueing these with Future. Early Mk.1's did not have these bubble shaped domes, later Mk.1's sometimes had only one and late Mk.1's often had two. So again: check your references. The cockpit window: The separate bubble: And here's a shot that clearly shows the tubular cockpit framing and bubble window: And while we're on it. The inside cockpit featured curtains that were used to blacken out any light from the cockpit, making the Lanc less visible at night. You might want to add this feature too. Note the wiring the curtains run along: UPDATE (step 14 to 32) • Step 14: The FN5 (Frazer Nash) Nose Turret The FN5 nose turret is made up from 22 parts (inclusing 2 clear and 2 photo etch). The basics are all there, but there is a lot of room for extra detailing. First up are the Browning .303 machine guns. They miss some detail on the flash hiders: the horizontal grooves at the base of the flash hider. See photo’s for reference. Master does a real nice set for the HK Lancaster, letting you replace all 8 barrels. Even if the grooves would have been there, I would have recommended to replace the barrels. They add strength and crisp hollowed detail. In terms of detail you could go to town and add electrical wiring and ammo belts. One part that is difficult to get right on the FN5 turret are the twisted arms that connect the main frame to the gun mounting. In the kit these are flat, whereas these should be twisted. Again: see photo for reference. What is remarkable is the fit and quality of the clear parts. You can practically click them together and they hold. Beautiful clear plastic with a perfect snappy fit: Building steps of the nose turret: The Browning .303 machine guns. Not liking the barrel detail that much, but the best possible in injected moulded plastic: Note the ventilation vent (which is missing) and the flash hider details: This is the Master Barrels set. Note the flash hider and barrel detail: Check this modern repo and you'll see the twist in the arms I'm talking about: · Step 19: The FN50 Mid-upper turret Like the FN5 turret, again, the quality of the transparency fit is amazing. All the basic detail is present (comparable with the B17 turret details) but offers a lot of room for extra detailing. The first thing I looked for was whether the rollers for the barrels were present, and they are. See photo for reference. These rollers followed the shape of the fairing and tail, preventing the guns from hitting the plane itself. The Lancaster turrets did not really have seatbelts, but rather lapbelts. These were slightly wider than the notmal seatbelts and had a steel wire attachement to the seat. You might want to replace the PE provided seatbelts with HGW ones’ which will surely be available soon. Don’t stare to hard at photo’s of still flying Lancasters, because they all have modern era seatbelts… So, check your references. Again: beautiful super clear plastic: Gun controls: Here's a wartime pic. Note the two rollers which followed the "Taboo Track" around the cupola. Present in the kit: · Step 20: The FN20 Rear turret The transparent dome for the FN20 turret is a one piece affair. Really nicely done. It allows you to build the interior and just place the dome over it, without risking glue on parts you don’t want it. When first test shot pics were released of this kit, people screamed: where are the ejection chutes?? We’ll, they’re conveniently provided in photo etch, like they should be. Again, as with the other turrets, I would recommend replacing the barrels for brass Master barrels, adding ammo belts and some electrical wiring. The one piece glass dome: Here's a nice drawing I found showing the top view and dialog of the FN20 turret: The ejection chutes (parts 1 and 2) and lap belts are provided in photo etch: · Step 26: The fuselage halves In the limited edition kit, you get the option to build your Lancaster with a transparent fuselage. I myself, would only do this if I was to add all the detail that it needs. Lots of wiring, wing spar, parachutes, etc… Anyhoo, you will notice that the clear fuselage does not have any rivet detail on the outside. This is done as to keep these parts as clear as possible, to show off the interior as much as possible. You will also notice that on both the clear and grey fuselage halves the windows are provided separately. I assume that leaving rivets off from the clear fuselage was easier than to mould all the windows closed? I’ve seen some chatter about these windows. There are people that want to build a later mark without windows. Know that lots of later Lancs that did not feature windows, simply had them painted over. Again: check your references. Note the smooth surface and absence of rivets on the clear fuselage: Delicate rivets along the fuselage and window openings: Fuselage windows: · Step 31: The bomb bay This is one parts of the kit that really need some TLC. The Lancaster had a whole wide variety in bomb loadout options. In the kit you’ll see the forward section of the bomb bay carries 4 bombs in a row. This is a possibility, but not a standard feature. The bomb bay contained three bomb stations. In order to carry two rows of bombs on the mid station, an adaptor bomb carrier could be fitted. This caused the mid 2 bomb rows to hang slightly lower than the 2 outer bomb rows. So: you can either attach 3 rows of bombs in your bomb bay, or fashion a frame that makes the mid two rows hand slightly lower. The detail in the bomb bay itself is pretty minimal, but I’m sure Eduard will go to town here… Also I’m hoping aftermarket bomb options will become available. Like incendiary cannisters (see photo for reference), mines or 1000lb and 2000lb bombs. Forward section with false 4 row attachments: Rear section with correct 3 row attachment: Typical 3 row bomb layout: Bomb bay detail. Three rails and lots of wiring: Loadout with incendiary canisters and one cookie: Another part of step 31 is the bomb aimer lower sighting window. Part 15. Not that the Mk.1 window is provided (the one with the rectangular window ), but also the later version. The rounded one. Again: know what version you are building and check references. Two escape hatch options: · Step 32: The tail wheel The tail wheel is the later anti shimmy type. Like shopping carts have a center groove to prevent the wheel from wiggling and causing possible structural failure to the tail. So if you’re making an early Mk.1, check whether this type of wheel is correct for you. These were also retrofitted on earlier Lancs. Note that the kit decal options are correct for this wheel. The detail is pretty low on the tail wheel, but on the other side, there just wasn’t much detail on the real thing either. The real deal: TO BE CONTINUED!
  4. 1:48 Lancaster (HKM) and 1:32 Westland Whirlwind (Special Hobby) mask sets Artscale Available from Artscale (see article for codes, prices, links) There's another player in town when it comes to mask choices. Like Eduard, ArtScale (also Czech-based), are using Kabuki paper for their new range, but from the outset, you can see there's a difference here. As well as producing beautifully cut masks, the sheets are also printed to help locate the individual parts. That printing also extends to grouping the parts too for extra clarity, as well as some occasional text thrown into the mix. There is also of course a parts map supplied with helps you locate the mask parts within each group. For the Lanc, two sets are available. These are single-sided and double-sided. 1:48 Avro Lancaster B. Mk.I (single sided) (€12,90) Single-sided means that the masks contain parts for only the canopy/turret exteriors. Even with that, there are a lot of parts to stick onto your model. 1:48 Avro Lancaster B. Mk.I (double-sided) (€17,20) 1:32 Westland Whirlwind F Mk.I (€7,80) These are actually double-sided (although it doesn't state), including masks for both the interior and exterior of the canopy. Conclusion In all, these are great sets, and not too expensive either. I know if you have the Lanc, you will definitely want to use a set, and I really do recommend the one from ArtScale. Quality is everything we expect these days with crisp, sharp cutting, and I have to say I really like the extra printing on the sheets. My sincere thanks to ArtScale for the samples you see reviewed here. To purchase direct, click the links in the article.
  5. Hi all, I had this itch to build a propeller type again. And if it itches you have to scratch. Although this time no scratchbuilding is involved, ...I hope. Here’s a start with the tailplanes.
  6. There are only three Lancasters in the world that are not stationary in a museum: The BBMF Mk.III PA474, the Canadian Mk.X FM213, and NX611 "Just Jane" - the one below. This virtual tour has been created for the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby. There are three panoramas from the outside, eight of the inside, from the bomb aimer to the rear gunner, and a high resolution panorama of the Memorial Chapel. Almost all details are labelled, many explained, just move the mouse cursor over an item of interest. Click here open the panorama, and switch to full screen mode! Internet Explorer is not recommended here, all other browsers work well. If you are interested in future aircraft panoramas, please sign up to my mailing list! A bit more about the panorama can be found here. Next to come are a Tiger Moth. If you can think of an aircraft that could benefit from such work, please let me know!
  7. So this is one of my on-going projects, I would like to share with you... It's been on the bench, on and off for quite some time now, well originally I bought it around 1978-79. About a year ago, around the time I heard about the upcoming HK Model 1/32 Lancaster, I decided to take it apart and start over again, using it as a test build, to improve my detailing skills... Getting to know the Lancaster. First my scratched cockpit interior.... I'm not to comfortable with the 1/48 scale, it really is difficult to detail this. Only After Market Assessories are Eduard Seatbelts... These are photos from around a year ago, I will upload some more of the build later, when I get the time...
  8. This great big box has been staring at me for weeks. I got some other goodies to go with it, too... At least once every day, I'd open the box, ogle all the styrene stuffed into it - and promptly close it again. I brought the beast to my monthly club meeting, sure that I would win the "Mine's bigger" bragging rights. I did. I also received a challenge - bring it to build night! Once a week, a group of us meet at a local burger joint for a little camaraderie and to build. Challenge accepted! I figured I'd start with the resin; that way I won't feel so bad about putting other projects aside for a little while. Still a little filling and sanding to do here. Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb... The bearer and framework are only half done here; I like to put them in situ while cement on the cross members dries. More soon!
  9. Lancaster B Mk.I, R5868, PO-S (S-Sugar) It's been a week or so since I tool delivery of the test shot for HK's soon-to-be-released Lancaster kit, and despite some pretty crap illness last week, I made some headway this weekend and snipped some plastic. Most of what you see here is dry-fit, with a very small number of glued components. I've read on another site that this model has soft detail and soft edges. Perhaps that's the impression my photos gave, but actually having the plastic here, I know it's not the case, and is no better/worse than recent and contemporary releases, and is every bit as sharp as I would expect from a modern tooling. There was also a hint towards 'brand loyalty' too, suggesting that I would happily write nice words where none were really justified (in not as many words). My answer to that is bullshit. There's no such thing as a perfect kit, and this is far from a perfect kit. However, the Lanc is my thing, so here we go. From the RAF Museum: Building a Lanc As I have said, work at the moment has simply to snip some plastic and do a little test fitting. This time it's quite nice to be furnished with some instructions as I was building blind with the test shot fuse I received in Shizuoka. Unlike that test, this one required me snipping off all of the injection points which double as pin towers, from the circumference of the fuse halves. These are connected to the joint faces, which I prefer, and you'll notice that because of this, there are no pin marks within the fuse halves. Of course, the nose is a separate unit too. Hers's a couple of basic mock-ups of the cockpit area, minus many key details which still need to be installed. This kit does have a serious lack of wiring moulded into the cockpit areas, linking up the various avionics panels. This will need to be added with some lead wire before I can start to add some paint. When complete, things should look quite different. The bomb bay is around 12 inches long and is constructed as two parts. No other items fit into here apart from the sidewalls. The munitions plug directly into these plates. 18 bombs and 1 cookie. I also did a little turret work too, and here you can see the rear turret sat in position on the rear fuse. Note the tail spar boxing and the walkway. There will also be internal fuselage doors installed here, which I'll add when the interior is painted. More soon!
  10. 1/32 Paint Mask Set for Avro Lancaster B Mk.I (Numbers and Insignia) DN Models Catalogue #32/827-027 Available from DN Modelsfor $21,99 Introduction Today we take a look at a ‘complete’ mask set for the HK Models Lancaster, which ofcourse will also be applicable for the future Wingnut Wings Lancaster. The brand behind this mask set is new to me, but as the logo states has been around since 2013. Founder and owner Mitko Nikitov sent us these masks after we came into contact through his HK Models Lancaster review. His website shows an extensive range of mask sets for all scales. We being Large Scale Modeller ofcourse only look at the 1/32 and 1/35 sets, which include masks for the B-24, Do-335, Me-262B, A-4 Skyhawk, Starfighter, etc… The branding, look and feel and product looks very professional. Therefor we’d like to welcome Mitko with his DN Models product range to Large Scale Modeller! The set When comparing the quality of this product to other suppliers of masks sets, I’m tempted to look at Montex or Maketar, because the same kind of material is used. There are people that prefer the Kabuki paper (like is almost always used by Eduard and is also offered by Masketar) and there are people that prefer this rubbery, plastic adhesive like we have here. To me it definitely depends on the type of curved surface we’re working with. Plastic tends to have a sharper edge but is more difficult to work with on rounded and strongly curved areas. In this case, the case of the Lancaster, I would definitely prefer this material over Kabuki. The complete set: When people ask me whether I have started my Lancaster build I answer with a strong ‘No’. The reason is that I think using decals for the roundels on a kit this size is a no go. No matter how good you are in getting rid of silvering with setting solution, you will always see a decal was used. Besides: on roundels this big I love to play with contrast and shade insides the large red and blue areas. Fading, chipping… all things that are near impossible with decals. Here's my recent finished Wellington (48th scale) on which I used only masks. The roundels bland in with the model and are sprayed very thinly. Alongside this full mask set for the numbers and insignia DN Models has released a canopy mask set for the Lancaster, which we will look at in a separate review. This is a first for them in this scale and we’ve seen them do the same for the B-24 kit. The mask set includes three sheets with all insignia and numbers to build any of the three options included in the HK Models kit: AR-G B.MkI, W4783, No.460 Squadron, RAAF, Binbrook, United Kingdom, May 1944 The ‘G’ for George is a WW2 survivor with 90 operational flights and can be seen today at the Australian War Memorial in the Anzac Hall. What I like is that the serial number W4783 in reality shows small interuptions in the letter W and numbers 4 and 8. This is because masks were used in reality as well. These small interuptions are also present in the paint mask. PO-S B Mk.I, R5868, No.467 Squadron, RAAF, Waddington, United Kingdom, May 1944 ‘S’ for Sugar. When looking at reference photo’s of this aircraft (I’m talking about photo’s of the RAF Museum in Hendon) you’ll things like a large ‘S’ above the flash on the tail. This ‘S’ does not show up in earlier wartime photographs. Make sure you use wartime photographs of this plane and be sure to pick a certain time period, since this plane was altered in many areas. Think of needle props vs. paddle props for instance. The Cookie bomb carried by PO-S features hand written text: 100 NOT OUT. Even this artwork is included in the mask set. This hand chalked marking was done to indicate the 100thmission of this plane. OL-Q B Mk.I, R5868, No. 83 Squadron. RAF, Wyton, United Kingdom, June 1943 ‘Q’ for Queen. You might notice the same serial number on this plane. This is because this plane started out as OL-Q where it flew with the RAF, and was transferred in September 1943 to the Australian RAAF and received codes PO-S. This set does not replace all the decals provided with the HK Models kit. Only the larger ones’ you really want to spray. The mission nose art of PO-S, ground crew instructions, etc.. are not included. The large square you’ll find on one of the sheets is not mentioned in the instructions. This is ofcourse the marking for the life raft on the top side of the right wing. Verdict This set is (in my eyes) a must have for anyone building a large scale Lancaster. It’s complete, easy to use (easier than Kabuki in my honest opinion. Especially in this large size), and it’s well produced. No small corner inaccuracies that can cause masks to tear were spotted. Mitko was quite critical on the absence of colours in the HK Models kit instructions. We can say that he makes up for this in his own way by adding colour in his own instruction sheet. Well done Mitko! The only thing that I would have maybe added is an instruction on how to use these kind of masks. Many modelers lack experience in this craft. Make sure you use a marker to draw a large X over the roundels. This makes it easier to reposition the removed sections. And use masking tape to holy the letters, roundels and numerals in place while transferring them to your model. When in doubt: ask a fellow modeler on the forum! Highly recommended. Our sincere thanks to DN Modelsproviding this mask set for review. Jeroen Peters
  11. Hi just got the HK Models beautiful Lanc. Interested to know, what is the status of the accessories for this like fabric seat belts, dash boards, Instrument panels, barrels, wheels, Bomb sight, H2S radar etc..?
  12. 1:32 Avro Lancaster B Mk.I Hong Kong Models Well, it’s almost here. After a few short (some would say long!) years of delay, the gargantuan Hong Kong Models’ 1/32 Avro Lancaster B Mk.I is soon to hit the shops, and is in final production as I write this. In a few weeks, the decals will be printed, as will the instruction manual and glossy box with its artwork by Piotr Forkasiewicz. There’s no doubt that this will be an impressive product, and certainly one that will make many a heavy-bomber fan very pleased indeed. HK’s kit has 817 parts, a wingspan of 972mm and a length of 664mm, so you will need some decent place to display it when completed. The wings have been designed to detach in the same way as the B-17, with a slide and lock mechanism, and looking at the instructions, and parts, it does look like you may be able to also detach the substantial tail and fin assemblies. The final model will also come with three schemes, one of which is S-Sugar (PO-S) which adorns the box art. Stencil decals will also be supplied. \ My test sample is by no means the final version. A small number of other modifications have already been applied since mine was pulled from the tooling, including an improved wing-locking system via tweaking the wing tools. Arriving by DHL Express from HK, the kit you see here arrived in a plain card box with all parts bound in a many layers of bubble-wrap. However, the clear fuselage/nose parts were actually ready in their heat-sealed packets, and these will be included in the Limited-Edition release. At this point, I expect that the standard grey parts will also be included with this Limited-Edition. The clear parts are also covered in a peelable protective film to lessen the chance of any scuffing on that crystal clear and shiny surface. A relatively small quantity of Limited-Edition kits will be released, and I imagine that a fair few of these will have been sold on kit pre-order. HK’s kit has FIFTY-ONE (fifty-five for Limited Edition) sprues, a number of which are interconnected on my sample, and may or may not be on the final production release. A number of these aren’t sprues in the most literal sense, but are themselves large, single pieces, such as the fuselage, nose and wings. Two standard clear sprues are included, and everything else is moulded in light grey styrene. The fuselage is split at a joint just inboard of the wing leading edge, as per the actual aircraft, which was sort of built in modules. As for the wings, these are moulded as a single piece, so no need to glue upper and lower halves together. This is produced in the same way as the Mosquito’s innovative single-piece wing. Wingtips are separate items, and these are again moulded as single-piece, hollow parts. Note the openings for the engine nacelle modules to be installed. The latter can be more or less completed and then plugged into the wing, complete with undercarriage for the inboard nacelles. Whilst it was an original intention to depict oil-canning on the exterior surfaces, HK has decided not to take that approach, and have stuck to their fine panel lines and rivets finish as per today’s standard. The WNW kit will have the quilted appearance on their release which is scheduled for late next year. Internally, the Lanc’s fuse has a complete set of formers and stringers moulded in situ, with no pesky ejector pin marks that need removing. Instead, a series of tabs will need to be cut from the perimeter of these large parts, and a couple from selected windows. Fit of these large parts is excellent, and I can testify to the fit quality of the cockpit too as I built an early test shot just after Japan’s Shizuoka show. Internally, detail is excellent, with a fully fitted-out cockpit, radio operator, engineer, bomb aimer stations, as well as the infamous main spar which proved such an obstacle to crews which had to abandon their damaged aircraft. Ammunition containers, feed belts, doors to access rear turret, main hydraulics tank, flap jack, flare tube, turret hydraulic pressure recuperators, and even the Elsan toilet for those awkward in-flight moments! As you will imagine, the interior is spread around a number of sprues, and the completed model should look quite amazing. Note that the kit will come with some photo-etch, including such things as the seatbelts, but this test shot doesn’t have that. Those turrets are also nicely detailed within, and the joint lines on the forward and mid-upper follow a natural frame line. The rear turret glazing is moulded as a single piece item, and all turrets can be positioned/moved when installed. Barrels in this kit are moulded from styrene and the use of slide moulding has created hollow muzzles. Cooling slots are micely depicted. I do know that Master Model will produce a set of barrels specifically for this model. A small sprue contains the mid-upper fairing, and also a blanking plate, but the latter isn’t for use with this release. Another key external part that isn’t scheduled for use with this kit is the bulbous H2S housing that sits under the belly. So, it’s obvious that HKM has plans for the Lanc, as alluded to on the box art (Avro Lancaster Series). Four detailed engines are included in this kit, plus their respective oil tanks, mounts and firewalls. A little extra lead plumbing and wiring, and these will look very nice indeed. Of course, the intake radiators are included, with their very fine textured finish. Looking at the engine nacelles, HK do seem to have got the shapes correct after a failed few first attempts, so kudos to them for persevering with that. The nacelles, undercarriage and engine installations can be completed as separate units and then installed later. The appearance of the gaping mouth of the intake looks correct, and of course, the engine panels can be posed off the model to reveal the workmanship within. Exhausts are separately moulded stubs with semi-hollow, detailed ends, thanks to slide-mould technology. You will notice that both paddle and needle type prop blades are included, and both look slated for use with this release. The flying surfaces of the Lanc are pretty large. To strengthen the tail areas, the inside of the parts have a series of ribs that will stop any accidental compression from cracking the seams, and also provide more basic rigidity. Elevators and rudders are moulded separately and can be positioned. A large bomber needs a substantial payload, and this is supplied by means of 5 sprues of bombs and two which contain parts for the cookie. Plenty of construction work here to fit out the working face of the Lanc, but construction is very simple here. These are moulded with their plungers in situ, as well as fins, and you just need to add the ring to the fins. The instructions show the bomb bay doors and actuators being fitted at fuselage completion, which would be correct as the wings are separate modules which will install later. Clear parts are exceptional, with well-defined framing and no distortion, visually. Blisters are supplied to fit the main canopy sides, and the forward side canopy windows are separate too. Note that two different bomb aimer blisters are included in my sample, with only one for use with this specific release. I don’t know whether these extra unused parts will be supplied in the general release. My sincere thanks to HK Models for sending out this test shot for this article, and to build for the Military Illustrated Modeller magazine. In the meantime, check out the Facebook page for building the 1:32 Avro Lancaster, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LancAssemblyLine/
  13. Hi all, Here's a very rough build of the cockpit section for the forthcoming Avro Lancaster from Hong King Models. Please remember that this ISN'T the final product and pieces are missing from the cockpit area too, so it will be more comprehensive than you see here. Also, the external surface textures haven't yet been applied. I was going to paint this up properly but as it isn't complete, it didn't seem worth that extra time. We wanted to get this to you as soon as we could in the wake of the Shizuoka show. Hope you like it!
  14. 1/32 Avro Lancaster B. Mk.I Test Shot First Look Hong Kong Models Price: TBA Large Scale Modeller was lucky enough to have been in attendance at the Shizuoka Hobby Fair 2018, when Hong Kong Models’ forthcoming Lancaster B. Mk.I test shot was on display. We were also lucky enough to receive our own test shot to bring home and look more closely at, before we actually build it up for you and show you what it looks like. What you must understand from the start is that things WILLchange from what you see here, more specifically in what you see as external details, although we can’t rule out internal amendments too. As soon as the tooling was used to produce these parts for the Shizuoka show, they went straight back into the machine shop for completion. This is envisaged to last another 6 weeks, approximately. HKM has invested a lot of time in this release, and the production kit will have stressed skin appearance. Notice this is totally missing at the moment, as are panel lines and rivets. What we see here is a basic exterior appearance but with quite a comprehensive interior. One of the niggles of the B-17 was the ejector pin marks in between the various internal details. You’ll notice here that the Lancaster has no such marks and is ready for assembly and paint. The fuselage itself is split into two sections, with the nose being separate to the main fuselage. The latter is moulded with windows, as befits the early B. Mk.I machines, and this means that HKM can easily produce the windowless B. Mk.III version later, should they so choose. HK designed the split in the fuse to be the same one that Avro used in the manufacture of the bomber. Whilst the main fuselage is moulded in grey styrene, for the purposes of this test, the nose is moulded in clear styrene. This could be used for a limited-edition version in the future, with grey styrene then used as a standard edition. We’ll have to see. I’d love to see HKM release the nose as a separate kit too, so the modeller can choose to maybe build a range of nose-art subjects. Now that would be verycool indeed. The interior of the fuselage has stringer and frame details from front to back, with the nose section fitting cleanly to the main fuselage. For the upper turret, there will of course be a fairing, but this is on a sprue which is currently unfinished. You’ll see it in the final release. We all know the levels of detail in the B-17, and this seems to perhaps surpass even this landmark kit. In my photos you’ll see much of what constitutes the interior of this future release, along with some images I’ve included from the Shizuoka show. I don’t have all the interior here, with there being parts missing that belong to the main interior, plus some floor and bomb bay sections, but you’ll get a general idea. Having seen the CAD as well as the test shot, HKM seem to have very much captured that interior, including the infamous main spar area, and the stabiliser as it passes through and into the rear fuselage area, just forward of the tail turret. Also of note are the double doors that separate the rear turret from the fuselage interior. Please remember that I’m still exploring this kit at the moment and will get a better grip on things as I start to glue things together, and I’ll share those findings here. Internals are included for the forward turret in my test shot, but not for the others due to the fact that the tooling process is still ongoing. I hope you get the general gist from what I can show. I received two clear sprues for this model, with some extremely nice details. The main canopy is almost a single part, with the two forward side windows being separate parts. Forward and upper turrets are moulded as halves whilst the rear turret is a single clear part. Also note the inclusion of the blister for the H2S radar which would be fitted to a later variant. Two nose blisters are also included. These are the early production shallow blister, and also the deeper type used on later versions, again hinting of course at the B. Mk.III being a future kit. Note that a canopy blister is also supplied as a separate part. As soon as I have the final test shot for my magazine work, I’ll provide a clearer and more expansive look at this much anticipated release.
  15. Lancaster B.1 R5868 - RAF Museum, Hendon The oldest surviving Lancaster in the world, the RAF Museum's R5868 has an enviable war record, having flown 137 operational sorties, including 8 trips to Berlin and 16 to the Ruhr. The aircraft actually started life on the Metropolitan Vickers production line in Manchester as an Avro Manchester (part of a batch ordered in 1939), but was completed as a Lancaster. It was delivered to 83 Squadron at RAF Scampton on 29 June 1942. Text from: http://www.lancastered627.shaunmcguire.co.uk/Surviving%20Lancasters.htm
  16. Whilst NOT strictly a walk-around, GUY5SY has asked that post the following YouTube clip here as there is an amazing amount of footage of the Lancaster and of the Mosquito whilst in the ground and both inside and out. Then, of course, you get to see and hear 6 aircraft powered by Merlin engines flying in formation with each other :- It's glorious!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceuU1UQuwVU Enjoy it. Grant
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