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  1. 1:48 Me 163B Komet Gaspatch Models Catalogue # 20-48236 Available from Gaspatch Models for €36,00 The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was a German interceptor aircraft designed for point-defence that is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational and the first piloted aircraft of any type to exceed 621 mph in level flight. Designed by Alexander Lippisch, its performance and aspects of its design were unprecedented. German test pilot Heini Dittmar in early July 1944 reached 700 mph, an unofficial flight airspeed record that was unmatched by turbojet-powered aircraft for almost a decade. Over 300 Komets were built, but the aircraft proved lacklustre in its dedicated role as an interceptor and destroyed between 9 and 18 Allied aircraft against 10 losses. Aside from combat losses, many pilots were killed during testing and training, at least in part due to the highly volatile and corrosive nature of the rocket propellant used in later models of the aircraft. This includes one pilot by the name of Oberleutnant Josef Pohs, who was dissolved by the rocket fuel following an incident that resulted in a ruptured fuel line. It has been claimed that at least 29 Komets were shipped out of Germany after the war and that of those at least 10 have been known to survive the war to be put on display in museums around the world. Most of the 10 surviving Me 163s were part of JG 400, and were captured by the British at Husum, the squadron's base at the time of Germany's surrender in 1945. According to the RAF museum, 48 aircraft were captured intact and 24 were shipped to the United Kingdom for evaluation, although only one, VF241, was test flown (unpowered). Adapted from Wikipedia The kit Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting a rocket-powered interceptor to be on Gaspatch’s release schedule but seeing as it’s been over 30yrs since the last 1:48 Komet graced shop shelves with the Dragon/Trimaster (and oft-released by other companies since), I certainly won’t complain. A few years ago, I built the 1:32 Meng kit and found it fiddly, ill-fitting and not a wonderful experience to build. Gaspatch already have a reputation for wonderfully designed kits, so a Komet was an exciting prospect. The kit itself comes in a box which I would say was perhaps a little too big for such a diminutive aircraft, but one which suited their previous kit releases. A nice, simple Komet artwork adorns the box lid, with the SIX schemes available shown along the box edges. With the tabbed lid opened up, the kit’s FOUR grey styrene sprues and ONE clear sprue are seen, packaged into a single, re-sealable sleeve (with the clear sprue in another smaller sleeve to protect it). Gaspatch are known for their 3D-printed guns, so they’ve used their technology to create some 3D-prrinted resin parts for this release too, namely a couple of assembly jigs and a bracket (plus spare) that sits in front of the armoured inner windscreen. Masks are also supplied, as well as two decal sheets, a PE fret, and a colour-printed, 24-page instruction manual. Work begins in the cockpit, and it’s clear from the outset that Gaspatch have seen how fiddly the Meng kit was and decided to better it. The rear cockpit bulkhead is moulded in clear plastic. This is so you can use the supplied masks on the quarterlight windows and then simply paint the rest in RLM66…no glue anywhere near those small window areas! The cockpit itself is a multimedia affair of both styrene and PE. PE is used for the pilot seat rails which must first fit to the clear bulkhead, and with the two-part seat installed, PE seatbelts are then added. With the main tub connected to the bulkhead, the two pipes from the console fuel tanks can be installed. Between the tub and bulkhead. These were omitted from the Meng kit. The console looks perfect too, and the securing straps are also nicely represented. Rudder pedals are separate to the bar, and straps are supplied in PE. Cockpit sidewall detail really is exquisite, with a combination of plastic and PE parts, moulded with details that wouldn’t look amiss on a larger scale kit. The kit doesn’t come with a Walther rocket engine, but the spine of the model is represented by detail below those panels, including the ammunition saddle and feed, and filler cap. The quarterlight window ledges are also fitted to the interior spine unit which can be painted first before fitting the fuselage. The spine panels can be positioned either opened or closed. I admit I also prefer how Gaspatch has approached the landing skid assembly on this model. The details look far more refined than the larger Meng kit, with an option to pose the skid in both extended or retracted position. Parts detail really is excellent throughout, including the actuating mechanism. With the fuselage closed up, the Komet’s MK108 cannon can be fitted. Here’s where the 3D printed jigs are used. These are sat around each gun, holding it in the correct position on the exposed wing root, until the glue is set. Electrical firing boxes and ammunition belts then connect up to the cannon on what is already a beautifully detailed internal wing root area. Lots of lessons seemingly learned from the fussiness of the recent, larger scale kit of this aircraft. PE control surface linkages are also included, which are of course seen when the gun bay panels are open. The fuselage is moulded with separate nose cone and rudder, and the rudder has a very subtle fabric finish. Amazing that an aircraft like this even used fabric to cover control surfaces! Wing construction is quite traditional with both being separate and consisting of upper and lower panels. These trap the control surfaces in place when glued together. On the underside, the air brake panels are supplied as PE parts. For the undercarriage, a choice of faired and un-faired tail wheel is supplied, and of course, the main gear dolly is present. Both weighted and unweighted tyres are supplied, with separate hubs. The clear sprue is quite small but the canopy is nicely thin and everything has excellent clarity, including that armoured windscreen. Overall, the finish of the parts is of the highest quality, with nice surface textures where appropriate, including ports, panel lines etc. PE is also extremely high quality with good detail and narrow connection gates. Decals One main sheet of decals is included, and a smaller one which just contains the swastikas as halves. All decals are printed by Cartograf, and are nice and thin, with good, solid colour and minimal carrier film. Everything is in perfect register too. Instrument and stencil decals are also included. The SIX schemes are: Me 163B, W/Nr:191916, JG400, Brandis, April 1945 Me 163B, W/Nr:191659, JG400, 1945 Me 163B, White 14, JG400, Brandis, February 1945 Me 163B, W/Nr:191477, EJG2, Spring 1945 Me 163B, W/Nr:130061, Air Ministry 203 Me 163B, VF241, captured UK, post-war Instructions These are provided as a 24-page colour affair, with the first pages having a parts map and a colour guide. That guide is referenced throughout the build, so you’ll always have the part colour info at hand. Colour photos and illustrations also depict painting. The Komet itself is split over 14 constructional sequences in CAD/shaded style images, with PE etc. being easy to denote. The last pages show each scheme in full colour. Conclusion Simply a great little kit of a gorgeous little and ballsy combat aircraft. Quite small in 1:48, but with no less detail in than something you’d expect from a larger scale kit. The addition of the jigs for mounting the guns is a great idea, and the inclusion of masks for both the interior and exterior of the canopy is something I wish we’d see more of as standard. Now, I do know what Gaspatch are doing next, and it will be amazing, and this little model has really set the bar to a new level. Just a great kit! My sincere thanks to Gaspatch Models for the kit reviewed here. To buy directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  2. 1:32 Hispano HA-1112-M1L Conversion (for Hasegawa/Revell Bf 109G-2/4/6) Attitude Aviation As Catalogue # BUC-32002 Available from Aviation Megastore for €59,95 The Hispano Aviación HA-1109 and HA-1112 are license-built versions of the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 developed in Spain during and after World War II. In 1942, the Spanish government arranged a manufacturing licence with Messerschmitt AG to build the Bf 109G-2, the DB 605A engines, propellers, instruments and weapons were to be supplied from Germany. This proved impossible as Germany was incapable of meeting its own needs let alone Spain's, and only twenty-five airframes (without their tails) and less than half the necessary drawings were actually delivered. In May 1951, a developed version, the HA-1112-K1L, improved the Spanish Hispano-Suiza, HS 17-12Z engine installation, carried either one or two 12.7mm Breda machineguns and Pilatus eight-packs of 80mm rockets and its three-bladed de Havilland Hydromatic propeller earned it the nickname Tripala ("three blades"). The final variant was the HA-1112-M1L Buchón (Pouter), which is a male dove in Spanish. It first flew on 29 March 1954 with a 1,600 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45[4] engine and Rotol propeller, both purchased as surplus from the UK. This engine had a chin intake, that altered the lines of the Bf 109's airframe. It carried two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza 404/408 cannon and two Oerlikon or Pilatus eight-packs of 80 mm rockets and remained in service until 27 December 1965. Due to their longevity, Buchóns have appeared in several war films masquerading as Bf 109Es and Gs. in movies such as Battle of Britain (alongside CASA 2.111 bombers, a Spanish-built version of the Heinkel He 111), Der Stern von Afrika, Memphis Belle, Dunkirk, and The Tuskegee Airmen. Remarkably, Buchóns also played the Bf 109's opposition, the Hawker Hurricane, in one scene in Battle of Britain. Extract from Wikipedia The conversion set Why a conversion? Well, firstly, why not! Secondly, there is no injection moulded Buchón in large scale, and despite the moans from some that it isn’t significant and that they wanted to see something else, the Buchón is a subject that many of us have wanted to model, and especially in the colours of the BoB film veterans. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a conversion for this intriguing machine. Indeed, Grey Matter Figures did release one some years ago (2012/13), and I tried to convert a model with it, unsuccessfully, due to all manner of quality issues including bad shrinkage. I also have to say that the breakdown and actual parts vary, to my eye, quite a lot from that other resin set. Most definitely in final appearance of the Buchón. This set is provided in a resilient and deep corrugated cardboard box that has a product label that extends to both the front and rear, showing the finished model and a layout of the resin parts. Pulling out the tab opens the box to reveal, firstly, the numerous instruction sheets that we’ll look at a little later. Removing this, several layers of bubble-wrap can be seen, protecting the three clear and re-sealable bags of light grey resin parts. A small wallet is also included with two PE frets. You will note that there are no decals in this release. They will shortly be available from the Attitude Aviation As, as a separate product. You will be able to purchase either the German or Spanish decals. It also has to be noted at this point that the parts in this release are only really capable of building one of the German film veterans and not one of the Spanish machines. The reason for this is that the cannon fairings, wing fences and underwing rockets are not included in this set. However, it also has to be said that the tail struts of the German film veterans also aren’t included in this release, but I had heard they were scrapped from the film aircraft due to them falling off in flight. Ok, onto the resin etc. Bag 1 The first bag I’m drawn to contains the real centrepiece of this set, namely that new Merlin-engine cowl/nose. Unlike the single-piece nose in the GMF conversion set, this one is moulded in three parts, with the main cowl itself being hollow. This most definitely will help keep down the nose weight of the finished model. A nice touch here is also how the lower two chin parts have locating pins which fit the corresponding holes on the main cowl. All that needs to be removed from the parts are the well-placed casting blocks and some ultra-thin resin webs from the nose radiator opening and the exhaust openings. Detail is pretty commensurate with the original Hasegawa kit, with fine panel lines and also some exquisite latch detail. Note also the holes in the upper cowl. These are designed to accommodate the fake gun trough covers that were fitted to many of the BoB film veterans. If your machine wasn’t fitted with them, you’ll need to fill them in. Also nicely cast are the two rows of exhaust stubs with their neat hollow ends, weld seams and fastening bolts. There is an upper cowl fairing which is integral to these so it will be nice and easy to ensure correct location. A single casting block contains the cockpit radio set and the new undercarriage mounting blocks. Bag 2 You’re really spoiled here as there are not one, not two or even three….but FOUR different iterations of the spinner. Two of these are for the four-blade prop option, and the others for the three-blade. There is one spinner which is more or less a full shape, and the others have been cropped to represent the Emil of the BoB film, and these also vary somewhat in shape. These parts are to be married to one of two spinner backplate options, dependant on the numbers of blades used. An internal prop hub is included for each option too. There is a plate which forms the forward cowl ring, behind the spinner. Backplates and cowl ring are fully detailed too. Only a little clean-up will be required to prepare parts for fitting, and the casting blocks are connected via a then web. There were differences to the cockpit of the Buchón and as a result, there is a more or less complete cockpit tub included in this release, and it really does look gorgeous! You will need to supplement this with parts from the original kit, such as the rudder pedals etc. but you may want to use a little PE for some of these parts, where applicable, from a different aftermarket release. Also in this packet are a bulkhead for the fuselage, which sits behind the new nose, the lower cowl radiator outlet channel and the upper fuselage cowl which site in front of the windscreen. A small casting block contains parts for the cockpit. Bag 3 Our last bag of resin parts contains the four prop blades (with squared ends), a cowl to fuselage belly fairing, two fake gun trough covers for the movie aircraft, a prop shaft and dummy spinner gun. If you wish to model the three-blade prop machine, you will need to round the ends of these and create a profile akin to the Hamilton Standard prop. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to do the prerequisite work. The prop shapes are excellent with nice thin trailing edges and tips. Photo Etch There are TWO PE frets in this release. One of them, presumably made by Eduard, contains the multipart, colour-printed instrument panel which is of course specific to the Buchón. Print quality is typically Eduard with solid colour and nice instrument definition. The second fret contains the chin intake grille and also the radiator outlet flap, produced in bare brass. Production quality is also excellent. Instructions There are several loose sheets, printed on both sides, which form the instructions. Each sheet contains specific aspects of conversion, with photographs and accompanying text. Some of the photos are a little difficult to decipher unless you look at the parts and study things carefully. They also don’t address the shortening of the wingtips and the installation of the dummy wing cannon that are needed for film veteran aircraft. Conclusion You most definitely will need to either sort out decals for the German machine, and if you want to build a Spanish machine, then there extra parts to purchase, as well as the resin. Attitude Aviation As has made a compromise in terms of initial kit cost so that you only pay for what you will actually use. The design of the parts, rendered in CAD by artist Ronnie Olsthoorn, and 3D-printed and cast by SBS of Hungary, are flawless. You can actually see that the designers have thought about things in an intelligent way and pulled off what appears to be a fantastic conversion of the famous sibling of Messerschmitt’s famed G-series Bf 109. The only thing I need to add is that you will need to do a little reference hunting to ensure your finished Buchón will have the correct spinner and prop combo for the selected scheme, and that you will need to look at shortening the wingtips slightly and adding the fake wing guns that were used in the film. My set wasn’t provided with any colour scheme profiles, but these are available on their Facebook page. A seriously nice set! My sincere thanks to Attitude Aviation As, for the review sample seen in this article. For more info, check out the company’s Facebook page, here. Visit Ronnie Olsthoorn's Aviation Art page here. Prepare to be amazed!
  3. Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 “Gustavs over the Balkans” Exito Decals Catalogue # see article for codes, links and prices Available from Exito Exito recently sent me two of their debut releases in both 1:72 and 1:48 scales. Today we look at the second from this Polish company, concerning the Bf 109G-6 ‘Gustav’. For purchase, here are the links to both scales. 1:48 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 “Gustavs over the Balkans”, €10,82 1:72 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 “Gustavs over the Balkans”, €7,20 Exito’s decal sheets are presented in a re-sealable A4 clear sleeve with a standard printed profile insert at the front. In this case you can see that there are three scheme options to choose from, and all quite startling in their differences. It’s also to be noted that each pack is quite weighty too with a serious piece of stiffening card sat within. This protects not just the decals but also the high-quality poster art within. The back of the packet shows a simple paper insert with some contact details, plus you can also see the decal sheet that’s included. Having three schemes means that Exito has provided each of these on light grade card with a satin finish, and the printing on them is absolutely superb! In fact, very much akin to what I would expect to see in a high-quality publication. I don’t just mean that in terms of the quality of print, but also the profile rendering and artworks themselves. For me, I’ve not seen anything quite this good when it comes to aftermarket decals. Whilst the front of each scheme sheet contains both port and starboard profiles of each scheme (one with gear down) plus the emblem for the machine and name of pilot etc. (unadulterated with annotation for decal placement), the reverse of the sheet contains an upper planform for the aircraft, and wing lower panels, plus a section showing the tail. All of these graphics are annotated for decal ID, plus an RLM chart is provided, with paint reference codes for Mr Hobby and AK-Interactive paints. A single decal sheet contains everything that you’ll need for these schemes, with the exception of the stencils that you’ll need to either source yourself or have provided for you in the kit (such as Eduard). The sheet itself is clearly broken down into sections of which each contains decals for a single scheme. It has to be noted that my sample has both full swastikas as well as the halved ones which I presume will be for those lucky customers in Germany. The sheet has been designed so the corner, with complete swastikas, can be cut off for those particular countries, in much the same way that Eduard do. Printing is by Cartograf too, and these glossy-finish decals are nice and thin, have minimal carrier film, plus solid and authentic colour. Registration is also perfect. The machines depicted are all G-6 types as denoted by the title, and as none of these relies on shared decals, you can build three complete models from this release. The three schemes provided in this release are: Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, coded ‘White 12’, flown by Uffz. Anton Riemer of 7./JG 77, Mizil, Romania, January 1944 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, coded ‘Black 5’, 3./JG 53, Borovo, Croatia, May 1944 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, W.Nr.166133, flown by Capt. Constantin ‘Bâzu’ Cantacuzino, San Giovanni (near Foggia), Italy, 27thAugust 1944 Conclusion For Exito’s debut on the decal market, this is mighty impressive. Not only do we have poster-quality prints that really are worth framing, but the subject choice and schemes will prove to be highly popular. The fact that three models can be built from one release also increases the value for money even further. I really can’t wait to see their future releases, and I hope they also extend to 1:32 scale in future. My sincere thanks to Exito Decals for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.
  4. I can't believe it's 3 years since my last post http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/1798-airfix-junkers-ju87-b-2/ but I'm now out of the licensed trade (Thank God!) and have more time for models....I just need more time to post what I've been doing I've been on with the Bf 109E-4 for a couple of months and here's the progress so far. As suggested in the post title, I last built this model in the 70s and a lot has changed since then I'm sure we all know the fit isn't great and the detail a little lacking but I've tried to scratch build some bits to compensate Engine first,not much to tell. It's not great detail but I Dremmelled off the moulded pipes etc and added some of my own. Due to the build a lot of the engine isn't visible so no point going too much to town. Painted in black with a little gunmetal added. Weathered with an oil wash and some oil stains etc added. Also I've added engine numbers to try and add a little realism I'll try and get an update on later with cockpit build etc. As ever any comments, advice are most welcome Regards Craig So, onto the cockpit. It's a bit sparse by todays' standards but I've tried to pep it up a bit First, before any huge debate I've used Humbrol RLM02 as my weapon of choice. This will be painted as a BoB from Aug 1940 so I'm happy that the interior should be RLM02. As I said it's a bit bare in there so I've made a seat back from Milliput and distressed it up a bit. Also used the RB seat harness which I think is brilliant and forms a little project all its own (especially at 54 YoA and with dodgy eyes close up) I got all the parts in. This pic shows the rudder pedals with the addition of the red hydraulic brake lines and the foot holders made from lead wire. It also show the full metal replacement instrument panel from Airscale. Pricey but worth it. If anyone has any opinions on the Yahu ready made ones I'd be grateful as next up for me is the 1:24 Hurricane Left side wall I've added various pipes etc and lots of decals from Airscales Luftwaffe placards set. Also managed an attempt at the harness tensioning device from behind the seat Right side wall saw me remove the moulded wiring and replace it with red telephone wire. The oxygen regulator got a new coiled pipe from copper wire and some decals on the valves. A blue oxygen pipe was added running up the side wall to the pilots connection. The map was downloaded from an original Luftwaffe one and shrunk and printed(I've since taken the bottom off at an angle to make it sit right in the pocket Top view shows a bit of weathering and staining etc. Next will be the fuselage halves going together. Now won't THAT be fun I've decided to do a bit of a detour and get the wings sorted before looking at the fuselage. The wings were a terible fit so I had to kidnap the wife's nail sanding sponge block and work it to death to get a decent fit. Wheel wells were blocked in with plastic sheet and a bit of strip for the formers along the floor of the wells Bit of an oil wash and they don't look too bad. I've tried using some masking tape cut to size, painted and stitching pencilled in to represent the canvas cover that protects the wheel well surround. Still a bit of sanding etc needed round here. The guns were painted with a mix of gunmetal with a touch of black then drybrushed silver and a silver crayon used to add some wear and tear. The wing radiators were again a poor fit. I ditched the horrid plastic kit grilles and fitted some fine wire mesh instead. Even though the grilles sit quite deep in the housing so aren't that prominent, it still adds a more realistic touch....or at least I think so. Over the last few days I've put the fuselage together. What a Job!!!. I'm not going into detail but I reckon I'll keep Squadron and Milliput going for at least another year with the amount I've used. Not to mention the wet and dry and sanding blocks. The fit was so bad I've had no choice but to glue the covers of the cowl on and fill the gaps, so losing the detail of the cowl guns I spent hours on. but here a re a couple of pics I took prior to that. I got a micro drill and drilled out the air cooler holes along the barrels to enhance the look and took off the moulded wiring and added some real stuff. I'll be posting a couple of shots when I've got a coat of primer on Wow. Bit of a lag since my last post so here's a catch up. I adjusted the map in the map pocket to look more realistiic and tidied up the cockpit generally Next on were the wings.. Not too bad but filler and sanding needed again I really thought I'd taken pictures of the base paint job going on but the PC HDD crashed (hence the delay in updating the post) however I can't now find them. It's a basic RLM02/71 upper paint job and RLM so it's onto the decaling. I've decided to do Wick's aircraft in October 1940 and I'm using various sources. Some photos from Falkeeins excellent site: http://falkeeins.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/helmut-wick-his-me-109-wnr-5344.html?m=1 as well as some good paintings of Wicks camouflage So, decals. I've used the Techmod ones and they''re a bit fiddly to say the least Ii should mention my thinking here and I hope someone will correct me if it's wrong I decided to put a base paint job on first ie a factory finish then put the decals on as I figured the stippling so typical of JG2 planes would have been applied after the crosses and other markings. exceptions were the kills on the tail and the stab markings Anyway here's a few pics of how they've gone on: Next up came the stippling. I tried a cut down brush but found a bit of quite "holey" sponge from a 50p Wilkinson's bath sponge worked best. I went for a light overall stippling first: Then over successive coats tried to achieve a heavier look. I put the stab markings on over this then stippled onto them a little. Again, I'm not sure if its correct but it seems to work OK I've put the kill markings on after all the paint is done So now it's some touch up on the paintwork and a coat of varnish then just the weathering to do.
  5. 1:32 Me 262 Detail sets Eduard Hot on the heels of the new 1:32 Revell Me 262B-1/U-1 Nightfighter release, comes this suit of PE sets from Eduard. Whilst these were sent to me as individually packaged products, these should be available as in Eduard’s BIG ED packet before too long, saving you a little money if you wish to utilise all items on your build. Let’s take a look at what Eduard has released for this new kit, and what it covers. #32395, Me 262B-1 exterior (Purchase link) This set comprises of a single fret of bare brass PE, packaged into Eduard’s usual slim, re-sealable wallet. Two A5 sheets are included for instructions, printed double-sided. When Eduard state that something is ‘exterior’, what they are actually mean is that it is exterior to the cockpit, so unless there are specific sets for things like engines and weapon bays etc. then you will find it on their exterior set. This particular one covers the landing gear and bays, weapons bay, engine areas and several other details that are scattered around the airframe. There is nothing in this release that is designed to majorly overhaul the Revell kit, as it simply doesn’t need it. Instead, this set helps to refine what is offered, and with generally very little surgery needed. For the engine areas, the upper removable cowls are to be fitted with interior constructional detail, and there is a pull handle for the Reidel starter in each nose cone. These housed a rudimentary petrol engine, so it was a little like pulling the starting cord on a lawn mower! For the engines, that really is it. The undercarriage and bays get a nice touch of PE, with a little port and plating detail, plus some extra detailing for the interior of some gear doors. Eduard will also release a set of resin wheels, and despite the kit parts being passable, they aren’t weighted. Some nice touches are added within the weapons bay. These include fastening plates for the gun bay doors, ejection chute and door internal detail, plus some very welcome latches to use if you position the doors in the open position. These are often forgotten about on many finished Me 262 models. A little fiddly, but well worth investing time in adding. One area that will need a little thought are the replacement of the slat actuation brackets. I’m not absolutely sure I would be totally comfortable in removing the moulded detail and fitting the PE parts. These are quite thin in relation to the plastic. Eduard has also supplied the metal plate detail that will be seen if the slat is drooped forward. A very nice touch. Other external details include end plates for the landing flaps, providing more detail here, and also for fuel filler caps that sit atop the fuselage, just forward of the canopy. Then it comes to sanding the seams, this detail is easily lost, so there’s no need to worry with these in your arsenal. Aileron, elevator and rudder trim tab actuators are also included. #32893, Me 262B-1 interior (Purchase link) Packaged as per the exterior upgrade, this set contains two PE frets; one in bare brass, and the other is nickel-plated and colour-printed. Again, instructions are printed double-sided across two sheets of A5 paper. Here we see the usual and obvious candidates in these particular sets, with a colour, mult-layer/part instrument panel and side consoles, both with extraneous lever detail etc. Some surgery will be required on the rudder pedal bar, and new pedals themselves are included. A rather nifty PE gunsight is also provided. This will be a little fiddly to execute, but it is an improvement over the kit part. A piece of clear acetate is included for the glass reflection plates. Instrumentation changes also apply to the radio transmitter and receiver units within the rear cockpit, with the main radio unit being composed entirely of PE, replacing the kit part. The pilot’s switch/fuse panel also benefits from a number of placards, as do other cockpit areas. A small number of seat modifications are also included, such as side plates that require the plastic parts to be thinned, and seat fixing brackets. Other areas addressed and corrected in this set are canopy actuation levers and fastening lugs, rear upper panel replacement, fuel filler cap detail (yes, in the rear cockpit!), and internal canopy details. Here you will find a real bonus; the night vision radar unit that is missing from the kit itself! This sits in the forward cockpit, and must surely have been a hindrance to the pilot during routine flying. One anomaly in this set is the inclusion of the data placards that fit to the electrical boxes in the weapon bay. As it wouldn’t have been economical for Eduard to have added these colour parts to the exterior set, they are included here. If you don’t want to go for the full fat interior detail, then consider the Zoom set which concentrates on the colour-printed parts only, and of course, costs a little less. That can be found HERE #32894 Me 262B-1 seatbelts steel (Purchase link) Eduard has now extended its steel belts range to cover this kit specifically. If you weren’t a fan of their original colour PE belts (and you either love or loathe them), then these might impress you more. Thankfully, these are now extremely thin and much easy to manipulate, and my limited experience of the range shows proved to me that the ink didn’t flake off. The appearance of them is also much better, with a little shading included. There is no need to construct a myriad of small parts here including belts and buckles, except for adding the padded section to the lap belts. It’s all done for you. This set also includes the attachment lugs for the Me 262 seats themselves. Supplied in a narrow sleeve, a single sheet of instructions clearly shows how these are installed to the model kit. #JX196 Me 262B-1 masks (Purchase link) I hate trying to mask something by hand, so these are always a godsend. A single sheet of kabuki paper masks includes parts for all of the canopy panels and also the wheel hubs. Due to the raised details on the hubs, these are supplied as outer circumferential parts only, which I actually prefer. Instructions are nice and clear, and you should have no problem in fitting these. Conclusion When the time comes to build this, I’ll certainly try to fit in as much of this as I can. I’m particularly impressed by the enhancements in the interior set, such as the radio equipment and the night vision unit. Some of the upgrades will require some extra care, and the one that comes to mind is the slat actuators. In all though, I think these upgrades are worth checking out. Highly recommended Thanks to Eduard for the review samples.
  6. The final pieces to this puzzle arrived today. So, I thought I should reserve the space for my very first build on LSM, now, even though it will probably be a couple weeks before I can start it. My initial intention was to have an early Bf 110 in my collection, but I was fairly certain that it would be a day fighter. The C variant seemed to be the obvious choice, so that's the kit that I picked up. I found a few promising schemes (something I'm very picky about when it's going to be in my own collection. It has to have "the look" and be "the one".), but when I came across this photo of an early nightfighter, I knew that it was indeed "the one" and it happens to be a D. So, since I had only the C kit, I ended up doing some trading of parts, in order to obtain the proper tail and tail wheel pieces that would be required to do a D variant. On top of that, I managed to pick up the following parts that I thought would help complete this build and make some improvements over what comes in the box (which is already pretty darn nice, from what I can see!). Dragon Bf 110C kit (with swapped out parts to make it a D) Eagle Cals decals (probably only be using the stencils) Montex masks HGW seatbelts (will be my first time using them) Eduard Zoom PE set Eduard canopy masks (but may just use the Montex, not sure yet) Quickboost exhaust pipes Aber brass barrel set for the 110C/D (these look amazing!) Some spare squadron crest decals donated from a fellow member at the LSP forum. I'm not a 110 fanatic, but I've always liked the look of the plane and it has a pretty rich history. In my lifetime, I have built a couple of the Monogram 1/72 kits, the Promodeler 1/48 G-2, as well as Revell's 1/32 G-4. However, only one of the little 1/72 builds survived over the years and the Dragon kit, along with all this aftermarket support and my improved patience and skills over the last twenty years (since I built my last 110), should be able to produce something that will blow all the previous builds clean out of the water. So, I am really looking forward to this one. I also have a pretty good stash of other Luftwaffe twin engines to build, so I figured this would be a great place to start with that lineup. I hope you all enjoy it and I want to say that I'm not opposed to constructive criticism and helpful information. So, feel free to add anything that you may feel is helpful. I may not implement every single thing, but the information is appreciated, nonetheless. John
  7. 1:32 Messerschmitt Me 163 Anhänger Profimodeller Catalogue # 32248 Available from Profimodeller for 1,749Kč We recently took a look at the new Scheuch-Schlepper and Pressluftballonhänger from Profimodeller. Read the historical noted there for an insight into the release of this new set. The balloon cradle lifter, whilst I talked about this in conjunction with the Me 163B, was possibly more akin to the recovery of the earlier Me 163A, although possibly not exclusively. However, it is certain that the tracked recovery cradle was the type that was generally in use for the later service Komet aircraft. We’ve seen this in both 1:72 and 1:48 scales before, but this is the first time this has been released in 1:32, and suitable for the Meng and Hasegawa Komet kits. Of course, this was towed by the Scheuch Schlepper, and you really should look at both of these kits for your Komet diorama. This release is packed into a sturdy little corrugated box that has an attractive product label attached to the lid, depicting a clear line drawing of the Anhänger. Inside this box, there are two smaller boxes containing the resin parts and another that contains the photo-etch, and wire etc. No other loose parts are contained in the rest of the main box expanse. In total, there are around 118 resin parts that are cast in a combination of black and cream resin. There are also no shortage of metal parts, with a further thirty turned brass parts, plus wire, metal rod and TWO photo-etch frets. I think you can see that this is no weekend project! Instructions are supplied as a 14-page A6 booklet. First of all, let’s see what we have in each box, then a look at construction. Each of the resin boxes has a single bag, containing all the parts therein. Careful handling is a necessity, and in my sample, there don’t appear to be any broken parts. Contents Box 1 Contents Box 2 Contents Box 3 The breakdown of this is quite different from the Pressluftballonhänger in that each arm of the lifting cradle is constructed from a number of smaller components instead of being a single large casting. Of course, this means that you have a number of elements that need to be assembled so that they lie correctly, without any twist. Looking through this kit, I would advise either small quantities of epoxy or CA gel for adhesive, allowing some adjustment time. I would also advise that both left and right booms are assembled at the same time, and one at a time, per side, whilst ensuring both sides are balanced. Remember, there are tracked wheels on this, and they really should lie ‘on the flat’. Get it wrong, and these won’t lie equally flat. Construction starts with the bank of two hydraulic rams that I presume are for raising the rear arms of the lifting boom. As I have no reference of the Anhänger, I have to try to understand the mechanics of it. The Anhänger is quite unusual in that these boom extremities have their own articulation. I presume this is so that each can be raised in turn until the Komet is safely off the floor. If the ground is uneven, it could be another reason for needing to raise each arm at different levels. The body of the Anhänger is next to be built, and again, there is a lot of importance that I need to push here for ensuring that alignment is correct. A number of subassemblies are required to fit between the two main frame halves, including a complicated jack/ram system that is used to raise the whole main, rear boom. There is, of course, a third hydraulic cylinder, standing vertically, which would have been used to move this section. As a number of holes are required for line up, I would perhaps use some styrene/ABS rod to aid in this, whilst waiting for other sections to dry. I think it’s important to look a couple of stages ahead during all construction. Each beam has 3 x 3 sets of wheels, made from resin, and mounted upon turned brass axles/spigots. As this is probably one of the most important areas of construction, I’m pleased to see that metal parts are used instead of resin. To encompass these, TWENTY-SIX resin blocks are included, each with two resin track parts. Both parts are different as only alternative tracks are fitted with a running guide that slips in between the outer/inner wheels and the centre wheel. I’m afraid you will need to drill these out so that you can insert a wire link to hold the tracks together. I would suggest that you actually link the tracks together and drill them at the same time whilst dry fitted, or you may find that you can’t accurately pin them together. Of course, these wheels are fitted to fixed beams, with the actual lifting beam sitting above this. Please look at the images of the instructions, just to see the level of detail on this kit. All resin parts are superbly cast, with very little clean-up, except for casting block removal. My sample has no flawed or broken parts. Of course, these is a lot of block removal due to the high parts count. Connection points are designed to be easy to remove, and production is some of the best I’ve seen, outside of the big name companies in our hobby. The metal parts are also excellent. PE frets are beautifully made, with sharp detail, and are left in their bare brass finish. Turned metal parts are perfect, with no burrs or other issues. Instructions These are clear and concise, but with many constructional stages due to the nature of the model. Unfortunately, there is no painting guide, so you’ll have to either ‘wing it’ or see what the general consensus of opinion is over this item. Conclusion Profimodeller have improved in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years, with some of the best detail and improvement sets available, outside of the regular companies, such as Eduard etc. The set is well designed and thought out, and beautifully produced. I can’t vouch for accuracy, simply because I don’t have the prerequisite reference material, and of course, this sort of review is quite difficult to put together, and remain informative. Everything you need to build this model, should be included here, such as wire for linking the tracks etc. A very comprehensive kit, albeit not too cheap, but in my opinion, well worth the asking price (currently at around £48 equivalent). Along with the Scheuch Schlepper, you can guarantee that the actual Komet part of your model, will actually only account for around a quarter of the total parts that you assemble!!! HIGHLY recommended Is that it? Er no! We have ANOTHER set here designed to be hooked up to the Scheuch. If you’re actually able to source a 1:32 V1 flying bomb, then we now have a trolley designed to carry them around the launching site....... 1:32 V1 Anhänger Profimodeller Catalogue # 32247 Available from Profimodeller for 1,749CZK This cradle-like trolley was used to carry the partially disassembled V1 ‘Doodlebug’ or ‘Buzzbombs’ from their storage facility, out to the waiting launch aircraft, such as the Heinkel He 111P. Essentially, this consisted of a transporter frame that had a hydraulic crane that allowed the weapon to be loaded and unloaded. Like a lot of specific German technology, it was quite innovative and fulfilled its purpose precisely. The wings of the V1 were packed alongside the fuselage, and once the fuselage was located to the Heinkel, the wings would then be fitted. Again, packed into a rigid cardboard box with a line drawing product label, this particular set contains THREE small boxes and another beautifully drawn instruction sheet. One package contains two PE sheets, with some wire, metal rod and the Anhänger wheels that are supplied as rubber rings. Another box has the more fragile rods and support parts cast in black resin which I think is perhaps a little more resistant to breakage than normal resin, and the last box holds a number of cream coloured resin parts for the frame, chassis, turntable etc. There are a total of around SEVENTY resin parts, SIX rubber tyres, THIRTY metal parts, including rod and turned metal items, and a further EIGHTY pieces of photo-etch. Again, this last figure is an approximation. Resin parts are superbly cast, with casting blocks that will be simple to remove and clean up any remnants. No breakage or flaw can be seen on my example. Photo-etch parts are also extremely good, with small connecting tabs and some great detail, such as the tread plates. Turned brass parts are also cleanly produced, sharp and with no burrs or debris to remove. Wire is included for the various hydraulic lines. Contents Box 1 Contents Box 2 Contents Box 3 This is no simple to make model though, and you’ll need to really take your time in ensuring that all beams and frames are aligned, and I would advise some slow-cure CA for those final connections. Instructions look easy enough to follow, with the line drawing illustration being pretty clear. There is NO colour information at all, so you’ll need to get creative but sensible with this little model kit. I know you’re going to ask about a 1:32 V1, yes? The good news is that Profimodeller will be releasing one of these in a few short weeks, so get ready for that super He 111/V1 combo/dio you always wanted to build in 1:32! HIGHLY recommended! …… but it’s not over yet. There’s more… 1:32 Tipping body for Scheuch Profimodeller Catalogue # 32249 Available from Profimodeller for 499,00CZK Please remember that the Scheuch wasn’t actually designed for the Me 163 Komet. It was only the towed items that were for this purpose. The Scheuch was actually an agricultural machine, and as such, it could tow other things. This set depicts a simple tipping trailer that could also have been military in use, for carrying tools, equipment and building materials etc. This little kit is a much simply affair than the Anhänger we just looked at, and as a result, comes in a smaller box that contains all parts that are simply packed into zip-lock wallets. One wallet contains the creamy coloured resin parts, whilst the other holds the black resin, photo etch and metal rods. A little unusual to see PE in a bag with resin, but this fret is a heavier gauge than we normally see, so will come to no harm. BAG 1 This contains the cream coloured resin, with a total of four parts. Two of these are the wheels. These actually look very good, with nice hub and tread detail. My only reservation is that the casting block connecting point is a little too wide, obscuring more of that tread than I would have liked to see. The other two parts are the main tipper body and the flap door side. These are very thin indeed and require some care in handling. Again, detailing is excellent, with metal frame and bolt detail, and the body itself having a faux wood grain pattern which should look good with an oil grain application and wash. The casting blocks have been thoughtfully placed, and will be easy to remove. BAG 2 Another ten resin parts reside here, cast in black resin. These form the tippers chassis, and will connect directly to the ring attachment at the rear of the Scheuch. Essentially, these parts are blocks and rods, and you’ll need to follow the instructions carefully with regard to spacings and lengths of parts. Construction looks easy, it’s just that you’ll need to take constant care before you commit glue. All casting is first rate, with no flaw or defect to be seen in my sample. A single PE fret contains brackets, shrouds, latches and hinge plates. Production is excellent. Metal rod is included for axles etc. Instructions are quite a simple affair with line drawing imagery. A little colour notation is supplied, but you can pretty much paint this how you see fit, whether it be grey, green, yellow etc. Conclusion Profimodeller’s Scheuch family is building nicely, and this little kit will no doubt will a hole for a good number of modellers. All it really needs now are some figures, but where can we get them? Highly recommended 1:32 Scheuch German crew Profimodeller Catalogue # 32258 Available from Profimodeller for 249,00CZK The last of our current Scheuch review items is definitely most welcome. It contains crew figures in various poses, that would look great being seen adjusting the Komet or Anhänger, and of course, sat driving the Scheuch too. This release, packed into a relatively large box, contains not one, two or three, but FOUR figures. They appear to be dressed in Luftwaffe ground crew uniforms, as their hats and tunics sport the Eagle symbol. These guys were collectively known as ‘Black Men’ due to their uniform colours, yet these uniforms are depicted in a Grey-Green tone. My history and knowledge here isn’t good, so I’m probably wrong. Each figure is cast without arms, and with the exception of the kneeling figure (mechanic), also without hats. The three hatless characters have peaked caps, unlike the kneeling figure. The latter figure can be posed so that he’s adjusting the Scheuch or the Komet, as his arms have hands that mimic the handling of either a tool or piece of equipment. One figure is supplied as a Scheuch driver, and he stares intently forward with his hands on the wheel. This is only really any good if you don’t use the other guys, as he appears to be driving. A seated figure, looking over his shoulder with one hand on the wheel, would’ve been more appropriate for this set, or an option to pose as such. Two ‘helpers’ are provided too. As these are fully stood up, they would perhaps be batter placed around the Komet. One of them looks like he has his hand, chest height, resting on something, but his right arm is resting along a flat surface. I’m sure there is a role for him, it’s just that you’ll need to find what that is. All figures are superbly cast, with minimal clean up and easy casting block removal. A little flash can be found here and there, but it’s very fine. Left arms are identifiable due to numbered dimples signifying fit and position. Uniform detail is very good, with creases, folds, belt detail etc. being nicely rendered. My only reservation, not being good at figure painting, is that the various emblems aren’t supplied as decals. You’ll need a steady hand to paint the various insignia, epaulets etc. The instructions consist of a single sheet that shows each figure as a complete character, and printed in colour. A small colour chart denotes painting. Conclusion I do have a couple of reservations here, but that is probably because I’m no figure builder and painter. Detail on these figures is very good, and no doubt will look perfect in the capable hands of a good modeller. I just wish there was a driver option for a stationary Scheuch. Recommended My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for the review samples seen here. To purchase these, click the links in the article.
  8. 1:32 and 1:48 Wet Transfer Stencils (Various) HGW Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from HGW This, of course, isn't the first time we've looked at the new series of Wet Transfer from HGW, but this series is now expanding quite rapidly. We have been sent the latest releases in 1:48 and 1:32, so we'll take a look at each set independently, and what they offer the modeller, over the standard, traditional decal. 'But surely, these are decals', I can hear you say. Technically, yes they are, but that's where the comparison ends. These are like a halfway house between the regular decal and the dry-rub down decals that have made appearances over the years. Where these differ is that you get all the benefits of a carrier-filmless decal (as per the rub down stencils), but with all the convenience of the traditional decal that you apply with water and setting solution. Of course, masks are always another option for regular decals, but certainly not for stencils. That solution is totally unworkable. Adding regular stencil decals to a model, means you will always have that excess carrier film present, that you so desperately try to hide with setting solutions, gloss varnish etc. If you use masks for the remainder of your model, then this compromise in realism is something you've had to live with. Well, no longer! When these decals are added, there is NO carrier film whatsoever. All you are left with is the stencil....... The sets we have in 1:32 are: 232001, Spitfire Mk.IX Stencils, 159 Kč 232006, Messerschmitt Bf 109E Stencils, 295 Kč 232008, P-51D,J,K Mustang Stencils, 295 Kč Those in 1:48 248001, Spitfire Mk.IX Stencils, 159 Kč 248008, P-51D,J,K Stencils, 159 Kč 248009, Messerschmitt Bf 109F,G,K, 159 Kč 232001, Spitfire Mk.IX Stencils This set is presented in a slim, re-sealable wallet, with a tough card stiffener to stop it getting bent, and damaging the contents. Like all sets, the basic instructions are shown on the cover. These are: Cut out the required decal Soak in hot water (tepid!!) and wait until the decal loses its base paper Apply as a regular decal Push the water from below the decal Leave to dry for 3 to 4 hours Remove the transfer foil and remove any glue residue with water You will note I inserted the word 'tepid' into there. I would never advise you use hot water for decals, and as I've previously used the rivet decals, which work on the same principle, I know you can use tepid water. Also not mentioned here is the use of a decal setting solution. With the rivets, I do use this, but I don't know what the result would be here. You're best testing a spare decal first. This particular set contains a complete set of stencil decals, including the narrow wing walkway lines. Being fastened to the carrier whilst you apply them does mean that decals such as these are far easier to apply than regular decals. HGW has produced a very comprehensive stencil set here that could completely remove the need to use those in the Tamiya or PCM kits etc, and the result is that when they are applied, they will literally look like they have been painted onto the model. What's more, these decals are so fine and sharp that you can read the test on just about every single one! A decal placement guide is obviously included, and this shows in detail where everything needs to be applied, using a regular numbering system. All very self-explanatory. 232006, Messerschmitt Bf 109E Stencils Now, here we see something very different. First of all, this sleeve is much larger than the Spitfire stencil set, and secondly is that this is far MORE than a stencil set. Yes, the stencils are included here in their entirety, including fuel tank decals and wing walk decals in both black and red, but here we see a radical departure from the 'stencil only' set. The same small, narrow sheet also contains kill tally markings and other items such as the Mickey Mouse that adorned Adolf Galland's JG26 machine. I'm presuming the other markings here are for the same. They certainly look like it to me. Now, there is a second, LARGER sheet. In fact, it's twice the size of the first, and this contains no stencils whatsoever. What it does contain are many common markings and unit emblems. All of these are in the same format as the stencils, meaning the decal should look like the next best thing to applying masks. This is quite an extraordinary set which will no doubt satisfy the requirements of many Luftwaffe builders. There are also kill tallies etc. As with the Spitfire set, drawings are given for the location of the stencils, but NOT for the aircraft markings. You'll have to check your references before you use those, as they are simply designed to replace what you may be using for your scheme anyway. You still won't get away from using regular kit decals for the national markings, but in this case, I would suggest you go for masks for those. 232008, P-51D,J,K Mustang Stencils One thing you can say about the P-51, it was FULL of stencil data! Again, this set comes in the larger size wallet because it also includes more than simple stencils, although only one sheet is used here. About half of the sheet is taken over to stencils (and there appear to be hundreds of them), and there are a few decals that are optional, depending on which variant of Mustang you are building. The remainder of the sheet is taken over again with personal markings and emblems/codes for actual schemes. In this case, I can identify these aircraft: P-51D, 473305, 4th FG, 334th FG, 'Blondie', flown by Lt. Marvin W. Arthur, February 1945 P-51D, 411622, G4-C 'Nooky Booky IV', 362nd FS, 357th FG, Major 'Kit' Carson', Suffolk, England P-51D, HO-M, "Petie 2nd" As with the Me 109E set, you will need to source your own information for the placement of these non-stencil decals. I will only briefly summarise the 1:48 sets, as most has been covered above. All sets are packaged into the narrow wallet, and the Mustang set appears to be identical to the 1:32 version, with everything simply scaled down. What is remarkable is that I can STILL read the stencils, at 1:48 scale!! All the same stencils are included, as well as the scheme markings. As per the 1:32 version, the 1:48 Spitfire set contains stencils only, while the Bf 109F,G,K set contains both Balkenkreuz and specific machine markings, to compliment the comprehensive stencils set. I'd go as far as to say that there are enough stencils for two models here also. Conclusion I very much like the concept of stencils with zero carrier film. I've not actually used any of these in anger yet, but intend to on future builds. What's really pushed these for me is the inclusion of scheme markings too. Perhaps we'll see scheme sets released by HGW in future? I'd like to think so. By themselves, the stencils make a great addition to your Spitfire/Bf 109E and Mustang builds, and I hope HGW extend this to include the Fw 190, and also generic stencils to cater to those kits which simply don't supply them in regular form. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to HGW for these review samples. To purchase directly, click the links in the review. James H
  9. 1:32 Desktop Bf 109F Imcth Catalogue # IMCZ-003 Available from Hobby Link Japan for ¥30,000 This is one we have seriously been waiting to see for what seems like ages, yet it was only a few months ago that Imcth announced they were releasing a Messerschmitt Bf 109F in their amazing 'Desktop' series of all-metal kits. If you've been living under a rock for those last months, check out our reviews of the jaw-dropping Desktop Mustang and Desktop Zero. I do warn you though, prepare to have your wallet seriously dented in the process. Admittedly, these kits aren't cheap, but you are paying for quite a niche item, and one which will never let you see these aircraft in the same way ever again. When you buy something from Imcth, you are getting something which they have obviously poured their heart and soul into. First impressions are everything, and the packing box in which this kit came was also adorned with their 'Desktop Bf 109F' logo, hidden amongst the various address labels and invoice sheets. This study box, once opened, revealed the actual kit box, produced in a glossy white cardboard, with a metallic product sticker on the lid. This rather substantial box is then opened via a large side flap which then lifts the lid to reveal a number of other boxes within. On top, two smaller boxes contain the various white metal parts, wire, vac form canopy etc. These are safely held in situ by a couple of rolls of bubble-wrap around the internal box perimeter. Remove all of these, and underneath is a much larger box, securely fastened with tape, and containing the instruction manual, and various large sheets of stainless steel photo-etch parts. If you've read our previous reviews on the Mustang and Zero kits, you'll know that these aren't simply a flat, two-dimensional affair.....they are actually STAMPED to curve wing panels and fuselage sections! I don't recall seeing any other kit that includes such an innovative idea as this. Whilst we are in this particular box, we'll start to take a look at the various components on these sheets, interspersed with any specific findings on the instruction sheet which might help to colour things in a little for you. Then we'll work onto the white metal parts and other accessories in this release. The PE sheets themselves are quite fragile due to the pre-shaped parts, but thankfully, these are separated from each other with plenty of bubble-wrap. The flat sheets are packaged into a clear sleeve, protected from each other with tissue paper. SHEET A One thing you will notice with these kits is that the stainless steel PE sheets are actually a thicker gauge than you will be used to. This is obviously because it's more to scale with this being a 1:32 model. Whilst I'm explaining this, I will say that there are various parts within this kit, more namely bulkheads, which you will build up from laminated parts in order to achieve the desired thickness, but I digress. This first PE sheet contains wing components, and is laid out so that it is obvious that one half of the sheet is port, and the other starboard. Every wing rib in the 109F's svelte wing is immaculately recreated here, all individually. There are full ribs, sub-ribs to allow for wheel bay placement etc, and also partial ribs where they weren't full depth in the real aircraft. In short, if you could really peel back the skin on one of these iconic fighters, then what you would see, has been beautifully recreated here. This sheet contains the dual upper/lower inboard radiator flaps too, which will actually move on this model, so you can pose them as you wish. The landing flaps are built up from an exterior metal skin and a number of rib-lets, whilst the ailerons start life as a single piece of PE in which you need to twist the various ribs 90 degrees to the upright. As these are still too thin at the leading edge, they will be supplemented with white metal upper and lower frames which will give these parts their aerodynamic shape. Simplicity, but neatly executed. A wing needs spars of course, and this is where you will find them. Wing tips are actually supplied as cast metal parts, and we'll look at those later in the review. These comprehensive wings will eventually be fitted with ammunition, wing slats and slat actuators etc, all from white metal. SHEET B We take a break from the wing at this point and look at a sheet which contains the lion's share of the fuselage parts. All formers are presented here with various notches into which longerons and stringers are inserted. I did mention earlier about laminated formers. You will find these here. These notable go to the front and rear of the cockpit module, and the middle lamination of three is notched to allow the external framework tabs to slide into the recesses cut into the middle lamination. Everything is extremely well thought-out during the design process. This sheet contains those longerons and stringers, as well as various frameworks that exist within the fuselage, and also items such as the sloping plate to the rear of the pilot's head. Whilst we are in that specific region of the aircraft, the cockpit module itself is formed from a single piece of PE which starts at the cockpit wall, bends to form the floor and forward bulkhead, then back on itself to produce the upper framework, extending to the rear cockpit fuselage frame. This clever way of creating the basis onto which every fits, ensures that all the various extra frameworks and internal details should fit perfectly. SHEET C Now we're talking! I mentioned those pre-shaped PE parts, and here you'll most certainly see them in the form of upper and lower wing panels. These contain the caps to the wing ribs and other major wing structural elements. The curvature of the wings is superbly captured here. Apart from the wing panels, spars and ribs are also supplied here for the horizontal stabiliser, as well as a couple of vertical fuselage formers for the construction of the vertical fin. SHEET D This is the last of the PE sheets in this kit, and again it contains pre-shaped parts, namely the fuselage belly, cockpit module side frames, and undercarriage doors. Other parts on here include the elevators and rudder, supplied as per the ailerons with twist ribs and a structure that will be 'bulked' with white metal castings, as well as exhaust plates, nose radiator meshes and a number of other smaller airframe detail, as well as seatbelt buckles. All photo etch is produced to the very highest of standards, with no defect. I'm particularly impressed with the loop tags that Imcth now use to hold the shaped parts on the frets. The previous straight tags could break, meaning a small piece of tape was added to hold the part in place. These looped ones are designed to open up when the fret is stamped into shape. Now, onto the white metal parts. All of these are supplied in grouped bags in one of the smaller boxes. All white metal parts are expertly produced by Model Factory Hiro, who produce some of the very best castings seen in our hobby. There are no horrible pitted textures here, and poor, soft detail as seen on white metal undercarriage legs that we see from a particular manufacturer. These are sharp, smooth and perfect. Nowhere on my sample did I see any parts bent out of shape either. A little clean-up of parts will be required. Some cast parts will have the faintest of mould paring lines that a quick tickle with a fine grade sanding stick, will eradicate. The cloudy appearance of the parts is also only mould release residue, and a polish with a rotary tool will show these parts to be as sharp, if not sharper, than contemporary plastic kit equivalents. E – Propeller Parts This is a simple packet containing just three parts. These are a full piece propeller and boss, and a main spinner with a separate back plate. The propeller locates to the rear spinner plate by means of a cast pin. As with the majority of these white metal parts, you will need to open up most locating holes with a small drill bit, as indicated on the instruction sheet. A hole in the rear plate allows the hub cannon aperture to seat neatly, and the spinner itself falls neatly over the top of everything. You will need to open up the central hole in the spinner as this is cast closed. A little clean-up of the prop edges will be required. F – Engine Parts There are FIFTY-TWO parts which go to produce the Daimler Benz DB 601E engine. That's pretty impressive, as is the design of this area. All parts are split between THREE bags, stapled closed. I would use some cheap zip-lock bags to store the parts, until you come to use them. Of course, you need to check everything to ensure it's all there, and you don't want those parts rolling loose in the box. A very traditional method of assembly is used for the engine, and one that plastic modellers will immediately recognise. What is particularly neat are the cylinder banks. These are supplied as halves, with the cap casing separate. The banks themselves are designed so that the inner half inserts within the outer, meaning there is no horrible and awkward joint line at the front and rear. Another example of how Imcth are evolving their design work. The breakdown of the engine is very traditional, with supercharger intake, engine bearers, oil and glycol tanks, fuel injector block, supercharger induction pipework, ignition conduits, magnetos, hub, prop shaft, and split crankcase. Some parts are supplied on casting blocks with a paired part. These are easily identified as left and right parts with L and R being cast. Even the fragile looking engine bearers are die-straight with no bending. Congrats to Model Factory Hiro for getting this so darn right! G – Main Wing Parts All of the structural elements of the wing that can't be reproduced with PE are here, as well as parts to give the ailerons their correct profile. The latter is achieved by means of adding a half aerofoil section to both upper and lower faces of the flat PE ailerons. This specific group contains TWENTY-THREE parts. Here you will find wing slats, slat actuators, wingtips, radiators and housings, wing ammunition bay, control surface horns, and aileron mass balance etc. H – Cockpit Parts For the detail connoisseur, the cockpit is always a main area of focus, and I think Imcth know that, because this rather detailed and busy group of white metal contains no less than FIFTY parts. In all fairness, not all of them are strictly in the cockpit, but are more concerned with what can only be described as the cockpit module, incorporating the undercarriage unit and forward weapons bay. This kit actually comes with two sets of undercarriage legs; one for deployed, and the other for retracted. You CANNOT change these once you install them, so you need to decide how you will pose your model when complete. Those legs include the bracket/pivot assembly as part of the leg itself, and this is what dictates this move. As it comes, the PE cockpit tub is devoid of any detail except for a number of holes which are used to locate the various white metal components. It's now you really begin to see the level of detail afforded to the modeller. There are THREE bags of white metal included here. These include forward ammunition bulkhead/feed, machine guns, oleo scissors, control column, rudder pedals and rudder pedal spacing bar, foot plate, fuel tank, various instrumentation and avionics units, two part pilot seat, two part trim wheel (to be supplemented with PE), lower fuselage support framework, and instrument panel. That is by no means a comprehensive list, as you'll see from the photo of the parts. The instrument panel is so designed that two colour printed paper inserts fit into a recess from behind to form the dials. On top of this sits a plate depicting the rear instrument area. Those instruments themselves are better than the previous release. The larger panel is very good, but the smaller could do with some Airscale decal magic. I – Tail Parts The TWENTY-FIVE parts included here are concerned with the rear fuselage, right down to, and including, the tail area. Detail in this rear fuselage area isn't often depicted, unless you super-detail using resin aftermarket sets, but here, absolutely everything is included. Here you will find two bags containing compass, radios, compressed gas bottles, choice of retracted or extended tail gear leg, tail fin and stabiliser parts including the elevator and rudder surface profiles, junction boxes and socket plates. All I think could be added as a little extra is some lead wire to wire things up. That's the end of the metal parts. Now we look at the last box in this kit. J – Sheeted Parts & Rubber Parts Vac-form parts are supplied for the canopy. Please don't let that put you off as these are exceptionally clear, and with superb frame line definition. Rubber tyres are provided, but they don't look quite right for a 109. Perhaps these can be replaced with an aftermarket item. For your information, the hubs are separate to the tyres. Some resin parts are supplied for the wingtip lights and gun sight reflector. These are milky in appearance, so I would look at replacing these with clear plastic. The box also contains a fabric material which is for the seatbelts. The parts are pre-cut, but as the sheet is a little thick, I would perhaps use some HGW or RB Productions seatbelts here. As well as the instruments printed sheet, there are two self-adhesive foil sheets which are pre-cut, and contain the canopy framing. These also have laser etched riveting on them. This can be a tricky area, hence the reason you have been supplied with two sheets of parts. Take your time. This sheet also contains gun barrel jackets, designed to be wrapped around wire. Again, I would replace these with barrels from the MASTER series of products. The last remaining parts in this box are some lengths of piano wire and some tubing. Instructions These are about as comprehensive as it can possibly get. Firstly, there are A3 two sheets which contain parts maps and also an explanation as to the different fold styles employed. The assembly drawings have different symbology which refer to things such as 'valley fold', and 'mountain fold', referring to whether parts are to be internally or externally folded. Instructions are also given on how to eradicate any pouring nubs and paring lines on the cast parts. As for the constructional sequences, there are MANY! Whilst this project isn't quite as complex as the Mustang and Zero with regard to airframe (nature of the beast!), it is still a complex model which deserves your time and patience. Construction is broken down into various areas, such as engine, wings etc, as you would imagine, but there are TWENTY-FOUR pages of A4, double-sides diagrams which you need to carefully study, and explain all aspects of that construction, including memos for when you need to fold, drill and file etc. The drawings themselves are actually very clear when you look at them in relation to the parts, and start to mentally visualise the skeletal form of the model. Model Stand My sample was sent with an acrylic stand which simply plugs together. The clear acrylic is protected by paper sheet which needs to be peeled off. Bearing in mind that the narrow undercarriage is white metal, this would probably be a good idea to use, and of course, it's unobtrusive. Conclusion As I just mentioned, the Bf 109F airframe doesn't have the same level of overall complexity as that of the Mustang and Zero, but it is faithfully reproduced here for you in mindboggling detail. You still have a LOT of work to do to complete this model, and the results, from the finished images we have, or staggering. Yes, I would replace the seatbelts, barrels, and the clear resin parts, but that is something and nothing. The wheels and hubs seem simplified too, but there are so many accurate and cheap ones on the market that these can easily be replaced. My only other minor niggle is the lack of weapons tray for the MGs mounted on the upper fuse. This area is faired off with a cowl panel. If you wanted to make something representative here, which I may just do, you'll need to employ a little scratch-building. You may not bother too much about this, and it certainly is no deal breaker for this amazing kit. Where else can you get something which contains all this detail such as fuel tanks etc? Also of note are the wing to fuselage connection points. These employ lugs and pins, as per the real aircraft. The level of detail is simply that good. This is a brand new release, and it just seems that Imcth are getting better and better. If you liked the Mustang and Zero, this will blow you away! VERY highly recommended James H Our sincere thanks to Imcth for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  10. 1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109H conversion Alley Cat Catalogue # AC32037C Available from A2Zee Models for £20 Have you ever wanted to try something different when it comes to large scale Bf 109 models? The endless stream of Emils, Friedrichs and Gustavs can become a little samey, even to ardent Luftwaffe fans. Alley Cat have never shied away from producing conversion sets to help the modeller create something a little more unusual when it comes to the Emil (with A, B, C and D conversions available), and now they've turned their attention to the new Revell 1:32 Bf 109G-6. This set will let you build this sleek aircraft as the not-quite-so-sleek Bf 109H, high altitude fighter. Before the advent of the Ta 152, this was Messerschmitt's solution to intercepting the massed bomber streams that flew high above German towns and cities. Basically, this machine was an adapted Bf 109G, which had a taller tail section, pressurised cockpit, and an extended wingspan. The latter was achieved by adding a new un-taped, centre wing section which extended the wingspan of the 109 by over 3 metres. The whole project was cancelled before production began, due to the prototype being destroyed in an air raid, and newer aircraft coming on-stream. Alley Cat's conversion set is packaged into a small, sturdy box that has a colour label depicting the product in profile format. Inside the box, two Zip-lock wallets hold a total of FOURTEEN parts, cast in light grey resin. The largest of these, the wing centre section, occupies its own wallet. A series of laser printed instruction sheets are included, as is a mask set for the scheme. What this conversion sets out to do is actually very simple and logical. The regular Bf 109G wings remained unchanged in their format, with the exception that the under-wing radiators were moved into their original locations, which now lay on the new centre piece. I don't know Messerschmitt's logic for doing this, but of course this means we need to erase those radiators from the kit wings. The wing centre section is impressive, and is cast with the new location for the undercarriage strut on the outboard side of the panel, giving the aircraft a wide-track undercarriage instead of the narrow one it is always seen with. Detail on this section is excellent, with cutaways to install the new radiator positions. A small resin pouring stub exists on forward point, where it connects to the engine cowl. This is totally unobtrusive and will cause no problem when removing it. As with the rest of the Revell kit, the exterior is devoid of rivets. What again will make this aircraft look unusual is that this new section is without any dihedral. The kit wings, when fitted to this, will have their regular upward angle kept 'as is', creating a most unusual looking bird. To remove the radiators from the kit wings, a blanking insert is included. New radiator parts are included for the extra wing section, complete. As the kit wing itself contains the centre fuselage section, you will need to cut this, and the instructions clearly show how you go about this. It's suggested that you perhaps pin the kit wings to the new resin panel, and I think that's a pretty good idea in the circumstances. New resin radiators are provided for the new section, complete with internal grilles. Those radiators are handed, so ensure you fit them correctly. This new wing calls for the split, trailing edge flaps to be reinstated on the new section, and resin parts are supplied for this, clearly identified on both the casting block and instructions. You will need to use the forward, adjustable shutters on the kit radiators and fasten them to the new resin ones, in the same location. The next major change comes with the removal of the entire tail section from the kit fuselage. Careful measurement is needed here, and this is given on the instructions sheet. It still always pays to take the last fractions of a millimetre off very gradually so that you get an even and perfect match between the plastic and grafted resin part. The new tail is very different to the standard 109 style, and this comes with a separate rudder. Revell did sort of drop the ball on the kit gun troughs. This conversion supplies a corrected gun trough, but oddly enough, not the corrected Beules or spinner. For these, you will need the buy the G-6 correction set we reviewed HERE. There is a small dark mark on the upper piece, but this appears to be a little dark resin, and will cause no problems when I build this. I really can't complain about the quality of the resin parts. They are flawless, easily identifiable, and any casting blocks will easily be cut away. It's also not greasy, and no visible signs of mould-release agent can be seen anywhere. Perhaps just lightly scrub them to be sure. Masks are supplied on a sharply cut vinyl sheet, and look superb, with no shrinkage. Only the fuselage codes and swastikas are supplied, as you will use the kit markings for the Balkenkreuz. Three colour-printed sheets are provided for the instructions, with photographs and clearly notation. I would have perhaps liked to have seen a photo of the completed model, or at least with the wing having the inboard slit trailing edge installed. You really shouldn't have too much of an issue following these instructions. The last sheet contains the line drawings of the 109, with the scheme applied to the side profile. Conclusion Alley Cat has produced another superb conversion set for a version which you only occasionally see in smaller, short-run kits/conversions. The finished 109 will look a little clumsy and ungainly, but that is part of the attraction for this machine. There isn't provision for creating that pressurised cockpit, so for that area, you will have to check out online references for similar machines, or at the very least, conjure up your own solution. I also assume the engine had some differences, but externally, you won't have seen them. That would only really apply if you wanted to add a resin engine. In all, a really good, solid conversion set that should be manageable by modellers who have worked with resin parts before. A good, first conversion perhaps? Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to A2Zee Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  11. I started this one last month but the progress has been pretty slow, finally got to the point where I can post some pictures. This is the 1/32 Dragon kit (D-1/R1 boxing), I'll be doing it as "M8+AP" from 6./ZG 76 piloted by Hauptmann Heinz Nacke, Argos, Greece in May of 1941. Minimal after-market will be used, the kit really doesn't need it. HGW seatbelts, Quickboost, exhausts, Hobbydecal stencils, Montex Super Mask set and an RB brass MG 15 for the rear gun. Most of the cockpit work is done, the biggest project of this nature I've done to date, lots of detail and lots of parts! Fuselage sidewalls: Cockpit deck: Instrument panel, done with Airscale and Mike Grant decals:
  12. 1:32 Messerschmitt Me 410A-1 HPH Catalogue # HPH32023R Available from HPH for €196.00 The Me 410 had a sort of ignominious history. By the outbreak of World War 2, the Bf 110 was already a little long in the tooth, and after the success of Blitzkrieg in Poland and the Low Countries, the limitations of its design had become painfully apparent during the Battle of Britain, when losses for the type had become quite severe. The Germans, never ones to let the grass grow under their feet, had already started to design the successor to the Bf 110, and this, the Me 210, first flew around the start of WW2. In an unprecedented show of faith, the RLM granted Messerschmitt to put this machine into full production, despite it not having being proven in both performance and handling trials. What was worse, the Me 210 had a number of design flaws which were literally to prove fatal to some of the crews that flew it. The favour in which Willy Messerschmitt was held, had now been proven to be acutely embarrassing to both the RLM and the Messerschmitt company itself. Whilst the Me 210 did see service in a small number of variants, it's successor, the Me 410, was already coming on-stream, with a number of existing Me 210's being recalled and updated. A number of Hungarian produced machines, designated Me 410Ca-1 entered service with the Luftwaffe, and they were relatively well-received. The Me 410 had uprated engines, as well as an extended fuselage which helped with handling characteristics. Other changes included automatic leading edge slats and outboard forward wing sweep. The new aircraft was designated Me 410 in order to disassociate it from the rather abortive Me 210 programme. This new aircraft was nicknamed 'Hornisse', or 'Hornet'. Carrying an internal bomb bay within the nose, and packing serious forward facing firepower of two MG17 machine guns and two MG151 cannon, these were also supplemented by a further two MG131 machine guns installed into rear-facing barbettes and controlled remotely by the rear gunner/radio operator. Without a doubt, the Me 410 design was actually quite versatile, with a number of versions spawned which carried heavy guns within the forward bomb bay. The type was also capable of carrying multiple WGr.21 rockets underneath its wings. Despite the relative success of the Me 410, and a promising development program ahead of it, production was cancelled in favour of the Me 109G, and even more ironically, the Bf 110G design which was finding a renewed success as a night fighter. Total production run of the Me 410 stretched to around 1200 machines. The Me 410 is almost identical in size to the Bf 110, but the box in which HPH have released this new multimedia kit will surely make you think otherwise. In comparison with the Dragon Bf 110 box, this one is a little understated. Yes, it's got quite a reasonable upper surface size, but it is also quite shallow. Don't let that fool you though. This is one cleverly packaged kit, and one that is simply choc-full of resin, photo etch and turned metal parts. Two schemes are available 'out of box' and both of these are shown in profile on the lid. We'll look at those schemes towards the end of this article. Open that lid and you'll see probably one of the best-packaged kits on the market. That is perhaps with the exception of the clear parts. No biggie, but again, I'll come to that shortly. The inside of this large box is compartmented specifically to cater to the various larger assemblies primarily, with a number of other compartments set aside for mass bagging of the many other smaller parts. All resin parts are packed into a number of zip lock bags with the larger parts being wrapped in layers of bubble-wrap. Peeling back the initial layers of bubble-wrap, the first thing we come across is a wallet containing a large decal sheet, HGW laser-cut seatbelt set, two wallets containing photo etch parts, an instruction manual on CD, some HPH leaflets, a bag of turned metal parts, vinyl masks, and last but not least.....a rather tasty Belgian chocolate. The latter might be a gimmick, but so what! My wife certainly enjoys these, and it didn't last long once the kit was opened! We'll look at the fuselage halves first. You really must see past the rather jaggy resin edges, as these of course need to be carefully ground away in the clean-up phase. Look across the surface of the parts. You'll see the most refined panel lines, and the some superbly refined raised detail. Port and access panel detail is sharply scribed, and the whole exterior exhibits some rather fine riveting. I feel this is pitched correctly, with a quite subtle appearance that is lacking in most injection moulded plastic kits. Internally, the detail is every bit as good, with clean stringer and other constructional elements. Cockpit and gunner side-wall detail is excellent, with cutaways included in that detail into which the various assemblies fit. My test fit shows that these parts perfectly align. That internal detail also includes the tail wheel area. Bulkheads will be installed here, along with a highly detailed tail wheel strut, reinforced with a steel pin. If you wish to install the detail for the forward bomb/gun bay, then you will need to remove the doors which are cast in a closed position. Replacement doors are supplied for posing them 'open', so don't worry about saving the removed resin. If you don't want to pose them open, the fuselage still has a very good level of cast detail in situ in this area, which of course can be seen through the glazed nose of the Hornisse. HPH have cast the fuselage beautifully thin, and very lightweight. Whilst the resin has a lot of inherent strength, just be cautious when you're removing the waste material before construction. You'll notice the tail fin is a separate part. This approach is good as it means that this isn't cast with a thin fin which could be warped and difficult to align properly. The resin fin itself is a single piece, with a separate rudder. A little clean up of this area and the excess resin at the rearmost tail/fuse area, will be needed. It's clear to see what needs to be removed. My parts have numbers written on them internally. For me, it's #133. I presume this is the 133rd kit to be produced. Who knows? Apart from some excess resin at the tail, and a small stub on the nose, there's no sign of any casting block. Once you've cleaned up the mating surfaces, you'll need to remove the webs from the cockpit area, barbette, wing area etc. With this kit, there's no fumbling with wing dihedral and trying to ensure that port and starboard are aligned equally. The lower wing is a full span part, which in itself is a serious feat of resin casting. There is a full length casting block that will need removing from the front edge of this part. Thankfully, the connection to the part is quite thin, and shouldn't be too difficult to remove and quickly profile the leading edge. Some other areas will also require cutting out, such as radiator, undercarriage, and aileron filler resin webs. Again, no big shakes, and will be quite simple to perform. Detail on this part, and on the upper wing panels is excellent, with the same standard of fine panel lining, access panels, raised detail and subtle riveting. Looking at the underside of the upper wing panels, you'll see some wheel bay detail. This will be surrounded by a rib and spar box to complete the area. The forward spar extends into the wing center section, which then glue together to give extra lateral strength. You'll notice that the engine/undercarriage nacelles aren't cast along with the lower wing. These are separate units, and they align perfectly with the finely scribed guide lines on the lower panels. These are cast with the lower main gear doors closed, as many period images do show them closed while on the ground. If you do wish to saw the rear covers off the nacelle, and pose them open (as they are on the machine at RAF Cosford), then you'll have the added benefit of seeing the wing internal detail. As with most resin kits of this ilk, there aren't any engines supplied in this kit. Instead, there are two upper forward engine cowls which fit directly to the lower nacelle, and into these fit plates which hold the engine exhaust manifolds, which are suitably hollow ended These upper cowls are also 'handed', as are the nacelles, meaning that they have to fit the correct side of the machine. These parts are marked with an L and R internally. Also identified with the same key is a forward internal cowl insert into which you'll plug the pins onto which you'll hang the propeller/spinner assembly. That insert, which is suitable tapered and fits perfectly, also has an arrow pointing upwards, for better clarity. The spinner is cast as a single piece, with holes to take the separate prop blades. HPH seem to have got the shape of these parts just right. You will need to put your own hole into the rear of the spinner, and a jig is provided to help you do this. You will have noticed that I said the ailerons are separate parts to the wings. This is the same of the landing flaps and also the rear radiator plates/airbrakes at the trailing edge of the wing. Resin and photo etch inserts fit along the trailing edge of the wing in order to blank off any gaps in the airframe, and at the juncture of where landing flaps end, and airbrakes start. Every minute detail is present. When it comes to posing the flying surfaces, this is easy as they are pinned into position, so all you need to do is to use soft copper or brass wire and et voila! The same applies to the rudder and elevators too. Whilst the vertical fin plugs into the upper fuselage via a resin tab, there are steel pins cast into the horizontal stabilisers, and these plug into the pre-determined holes in the rear fuselage. When I say this kit is amazingly detailed, that is probably an understatement. There are a number of large zip-lock wallets in this kit, containing hundreds of resin parts, and some of these larger wallets have a number of small wallets within. These predominantly contain the parts which are cast onto unfeasibly thin resin sheets, so they have less chance of totally breaking apart within the package. Thankfully, HPH do include these parts grouped together as sheets on their parts plan, making it fairly easy to locate the bits you need quite quickly. To remove these parts from the resin sheets usually takes no more than a quick twist of the sheet, and a clean up with a knife. If the sheet is a little thicker in places, and the parts more fragile, then I recommend removing the majority with a knife. The instructions do say that this backing should be sanded off to remove the minor extra thickness. You'll find in most cases that you won't need to do this, or you certainly won't need to remove much material, if you do decide to sand. Now, those big bags of resin. I'll not categorise and describe every single part within this kit, but look at the key areas, and describe the overall detail of the kit. A number of parts are cast on thin sheets, as I've just said. Some of these thin sheets are duplicated, where there is a need for two of each part to be used, such as undercarriage brackets and main gear nacelle interiors. The most crucial, load bearing parts, i.e. the undercarriage struts, are cast with pre-formed metal wires within them. These are extremely rigid, and will more than cater to the job they were designed for. The tail wheel leg has a false fork which only appears to hold the wheel. There is actually a length of wire protruding from the leg which will insert into the wheel itself. Of course, the fork will hide this. A small length of wire will be needed to thread through the fork and wheel too, for effect. Wheels are supplied weighted, and with separate hubs, Detail is generally excellent. I did find the tail wheel hub a little undersize, but that's a quick fix. If you're a detail freak, then the cockpit is seriously going to impress. The pilot's office is based around a tub with consoles containing moulded detail. A set of colour PE is supplied too, and if you want to use this, then you will need to remove the cast detail. Instrument panels and other details within look excellent, and they include instrument bodies to the rear. You'll just need to add a little wiring to these. The pilot seat is supplied with two resin cushions, which although almost hiding the seat detail, will look very good when fitted. Pilot knee pads are cast as a part of the cockpit tub. Side wall detail and that for the sliding rudder control assembly is perfect, with numerous small parts including junction boxes. Between the rudder pedals, a sheet of glass was installed to aid the pilot's downward view when bombs were carried. This part is supplies as a pane of crystal clear resin. HPH have supplied the bomb/gun bay with a full suite of detail, which looks excellent. To display this detail though, you will need to pose the forward bomb bay doors open. These doors are cast closed on the fuselage, so you'll have to take a razor saw to them and remove the resin. Don't worry about saving the doors. Throw them away. HPH have provided a set of extra ones which contain internal detail and the swing brackets. The rear gunner's position is no less well-appointed, with more great side wall detail, compressed gas bottles, foot rest, radio equipment and remote barbette controls. Unlike the pilot area, you will actually need to install some of the coloured photo etch here, as most corresponding parts do not have any cast detail. These include fuse/switch-banks, and the many radio transmit/receive sets. As a note here, these units are cast with wiring looms in place. Internally, there are also fuel tanks and a large number of other smaller detail parts, some of which sit on a thin upper deck which spans the full length of the pilot and gunner positions, but allowing space to fit the many glazings around its circumference. A key feature of the 410 was those remote gun barbettes. Discs of waste resin will need to be removed from the fuselage, and a retainer disc glued in from the fuselage interior. These are drilled to accommodate a pin which will ensure you can actually rotate these guns into any position you require. A two-part barrel/muzzle assembly is supplied for each. Most larger resin parts are supplied in a number of zip-lock bags, and contain some sort of casting block, albeit minimal, and easy to remove. You'll find a good number of parts for which the casting block is already removed, and just a little cleanup is required before assembly. Having these parts together in larger bags has no ill effect on them at all, as the bags are also bound with bubble wrap when inserted in the box. Resin quality is excellent throughout, with only an occasional air bubble being the very worst you'll have to tend to, and those are extremely rare in this kit. All parts are easy to clean up, and no mould release residue is apparent, although I still recommend washing parts in warm soapy water before any paint hits them. Now, my only real bugbear with this kit, and it concerns the clear parts. HPH are masters of producing superbly clear resin, and they are connected to their casting blocks by means of a narrow resin wall. The problem for me is that all clear parts are packaged into the same bag, and that can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to their clarity being damaged with scuffs and scratches. My parts, thankfully, are in perfect condition, and I suggest you package these parts into their own wallets as soon as you get your kit. Framing quality is sharp, and casting beautifully thin. This is a complicated canopy, so take your time. Both pilot and gunner positions can have their sections posed in an open position. Clear resin parts are supplied for the wingtip lights too. You will need to saw the grey resin and replace with these parts. TWO photo etch frets are supplied, produced by Eduard. One is colour printed, whilst the other is in bare brass. The colour fret, as you will imagine, contains all of the various instrumentation panels and consoles. The split IP in the Me 410 is provided as a lower instrument face, and an upper instrument panel. Various levers etc. are supplied on this fret. The bare brass fret is larger, and contains cockpit parts such as rudder pedals etc. and also a large number of other parts, including radiator screens, control surface linkages, undercarriage and bomb/gun bay detail, aerials, aileron mass balances etc. Too many parts to try to determine during the course of this review. I would perhaps thicken up the lower aerial rails and mass balances with a little thinned white glue. There are no pesky colour PE seatbelts in this kit. HPH have included a set of HGW's laser-cut fabric seatbelts, designed specifically for this release. These are colour printed and even have laser-engraved stitching which will look great when a wash is applied. Read SP&R's reviews on these to give you an idea about how to work with them. A small PE fret is included which contains the various clasps and buckles. Assembly is easy, and the end result spectacular. Vinyl masks are included to help you when it comes to covering that complex canopy, prior to airbrushing. There isn't any real shrinkage to be seen, and if the finished model I've seen online is anything to go by, these should fit very well. A bag of turned metal parts is included for MG barrels, blast tubes, and also the under-wing WGr.21 rockets. Production quality is superb, with beautifully milled holes in cooling jackets, and those blast tubes which are pre-profiled to fit into the interior bomb bay. Those rockets are turned aluminium, and will be fitted with a PE exhaust gas collector ring at the rear. Their launch tubes are lengths of aluminium tube. The fit is excellent. Should you not wish to fit rockets, then resin fuel tanks are supplied. Instructions are superb, if not perhaps a little ambiguous in some places. Starting with a photo parts list, and followed with a Gunze paint reference chart, seatbelt and mask instructions, all sections in this are depicted with photographs of the actual model, with notes attached, including reference to any PE parts, where applicable. You will need to be careful with the instructions as occasionally, you will see something fitted which just appears from nowhere. Usually, you will see this being fitted later in the presentation. This is just how these guys have built their test model. Some things such as tail wheel addition are a little ambiguous. You are advised to study these images for many hours, along with the parts, and dry fit before you commit to glue. Unlike normal instructions, these are supplied on a CD. The primary file is a 180mb PDF, but all pages are also supplied as JPG. With a model this size, you are advised to print this manual out, but I warn you, it is FIFTY-TWO pages long! The colour TWO colour schemes are provided in the rear of the manual, in plan and elevation form. Decal placement is easy to follow. The schemes are: Me 410A-1, Erg. Gruppe/KG51 (Jagd), Germany, 1944 Me 410A-1, 5./ZG26, Königsberg, Germany, July 1944 Decals are provided on a single sheet, which look to have been printed by Eduard. It certainly has the appearance of their product, and I've always had good success with them. A full suite of stencils is also supplied, alongside national and unit markings, and the good news is that swastikas ARE included! I don't know if these are snipped out for German sales, or a different sheet is included. Printing is thin, and everything is in perfect register. Carrier film is minimal, and colour reproduction looks solid and authentic. Conclusion Simply put, this is a seriously amazing kit, dripping in enough detail to satisfy the fussiest of us. Kit design and production is also equally as good. I will tell you that this is not a kit for the faint-hearted, or someone with no experience of resin kits. It's a complicated kit which requires much understanding of all construction sequences before you even open your glue pot. You will need to measure, and ensure everything aligns perfectly all the way through. Those canopies and glazed nose are a certain width, so ensure that this is reflected in any part clean up you perform. This isn't a cheap kit, but for the model you get, and the limited nature of it, it represents a very reasonable value for money. If the Me 410 appeals to you, then this is just about the only kit available in 1:32, if you ignore vac-form. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to HPH for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Please let these guys know where you saw this review. James H.
  13. 1:32 Me 163B exterior Eduard Catalogue # 32355 Available from Eduard for 22,45 € Bunny Fighter Club price: 19,08 € We recently took a look at Eduard's other detail sets for the new Meng Me 163B Komet. Having built this kit, and knowing a little about how the Komet 'should' look, Meng pretty much got things right with regard to the exterior and shapes etc, but a number of anomalies existed, such as missing detail and also some areas which looked a little 'unfinished', such as the mating surfaces of the tail and fuselage. Some detail is incorrect and over-simplified too, so thankfully, it's Eduard to the rescue. The recent 'interior set' dealt with the cockpit alone, but this new exterior set tackles the other areas on this kit which require some loving attention. That upgrade work doesn't just begin and end with the exterior, as the product title suggests, but also extend to a number of non-cockpit interior areas, such as the engine and weapons bays. Packaged in Eduard's familiar letterbox format wallet, the Me 163B exterior set comprises of a single bare brass PE fret measuring around 145mm x 80mm, containing over SEVENTY individual parts. A good number of frame edges etc on this fret are extremely delicate, so Eduard have thankfully made their connection tabs super fine so you don't distort anything when you try to remove those parts. For the Walter rocket engine itself, only a couple of quick fixes are required, as Meng did a bang-up job in this area. The rocket exhaust needs to have its external fire ring removed and replaced with a rolled PE part which contains the exhaust gas holes around its circumference. This requires just a little surgery. A little more PE is added to the combustion chamber, with what appears to be an access port. When you split the Komet in two, in order to display that engine, you'll see some of the sloppiness of Meng's design. Whilst there are a couple of inserts which fit into the wing root, allowing the sections to be fitted together, if you pose the model as sections, then the ugliness of the hollow wing root and the flat, featureless mating surfaces can be seen. You need to know here that adding a lot of the detail in this set will call for you displaying the model as separate parts permanently. You will NOT be able to unplug and plug the tail unit at will. This is no loss, as the tail section is a poor fit when you mate it to the fuselage. Those mating surfaces between the tail unit and fuselage are covered in circular and partially circular PE, with rivet detail added. This goes a way to hiding any joints in the plastic parts in this area. In some cases, a little surgery will be required to shave off a small amount of plastic detail. Those ugly open wing root areas on the tail section will also have a constructional plate glued over them, and internally, where an insert isn't a very good fit, a circular bulkhead, with rivet detail, will hide Meng's sloppiness. Moving onto the spine of the Komet, and the detail that can be seen here. The underside of the removable hatches displays zero detail on the underside of those panels. Eduard have created a framework which you need to bend to the inside curvature of those parts, incorporating the rear detail for the latches also. On the spine itself, missing detail from around the fuel filler point is now added, and the incorrect moulded detail on the ammunition saddle is forever banished with a photo etch fix. Meng did a pretty reasonable job within the weapons bay, but in reality, it isn't as accurate as it should be. You will need to remove the moulded detail on the wing root and replace some PE strips which need to be bent into the angles that these structural beams had. I do find it surprising that Eduard didn't also include the linkage detail for the rudder in this area too. I added this into my own Komet (published issue #222 Tamiya Model Magazine International). Other weapons bay detail includes the rib sections which sit either side of the electrical firing unit. Again, I'm also surprised that Eduard didn't elect to produce a wing rib to cover the horrible joint which results in the bay area when you glue the upper and lower panels together. You'll need to use plasticard to fix this rather sloppy area. Finally, for the weapons bay, new external panels are included to replace the rather thick plastic ones which suffer from ejector pin marks on their reverse. One thing I really like about the Meng kit, are the air brake panels on the wing underside. You can pose these in an open or closed position. Like the rest of the PE that Meng supplied, they are perhaps a tad thick. Eduard furnishes us with a new set of air brake panels, and also modifications to the rams which actuate them. Lastly, we turn out attention to the landing skid and wheel dolly. The skid itself benefits from a more accurate upper surface, with some missing detail from within the skid well, being added in there as riveted strips. In some areas, you will need to shave off moulded detail again. Meng's wheels also lack a little something too, so unless you decide to go with the new Barracuda resin replacements, then the parts on this set might just be enough for you, as they include new rims and axel plates. The instructions for this set are typically 'Eduard' in style, with line drawings being used, and coloured ink to highlight areas of work and areas where detail needs to be removed. Conclusion Having already built a Meng Komet, I see this set, and the others we previously reviewed, as being pretty essential fodder for the modeller who wants to make a far more accurate job of their Me 163B than Meng allowed for. A little work is required in removing some plastic here and there, but nothing onerous. I mentioned a couple of things which I thought would have perhaps been included in this release, and for me, their omission is a little odd, but apart from that, this set really is a 'must have'. Highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Consider joining Eduard's Bunny Fighter Club programme for extra discounts on Eduard products in their e-shop. James H
  14. 1:32 Bf 109G-6 engine Eduard Brassin Catalogue # 632025 Available from Eduard for 44,95 € Bunny Fighter Club price: 38,21 € That time has begun. In the months now proceeding the release of Revell's highly anticipated Bf 109G-6 kit, we are starting to see a whole swathe of aftermarket accessories arrive for this superb kit. It started with a correction set from Alley Cat which took into hand certain accuracy aspects of the base kit, such as the rather anaemic looking bueles, amongst other things. Now we have Eduard weighing in and adding their super-detailing expertise to this model, making it more than a viable proposition for the hardcore 109 nut. Today we look at possibly the most impressive detail set for this so far, namely the Daimler Benz DB605 engine. This release is packaged into the neat, top-opening Brassin box that Eduard uses for many of its more complex and parts-numerous releases. Finished in satin black, a label is affixed to the top to indicate the set within, complete with a CAD rendering of the two assemblies supplied within. Yes, two assemblies. Not only does this set provide the engine itself, but it also supplies the MG mount/tray system to the rear of the engine. Oh, did I not say? There's also a set of engine and MG mount cowls, incorporating that correct size buele too. One cowl part not in this kit is the lower radiator cowl. This set is designed to be used with the forward fuselage moulding still intact. We'll look more closely at this soon. This is a rather heavy box, hinting that it's chock-full of Eduard resin goodness within. That assumption certainly wasn't wrong. If you like lots of parts to your projects, then there's no element of disappointment to be found here. In fact, this set contains SEVERTY-THREE parts cast in a combination of both light and dark grey resin, plus TWO photo etch frets containing over THIRTY parts more. Six zip-lock bags have been used to bag up the resin parts, whilst a large casting block containing both engine cowl halves, is provided un-bagged. Protective layers of foam are used to cushion the parts within the box, and the instruction manual is provided folded over the contents. Tackling the first and most obvious packets that catch my eye provide some data for your use. Firstly, the engine isn't designed to be displayed without the lower engine tray/cowl in place. It is specifically designed to be used with this kit part in situ. This is because below the engine exhaust level, there is no detail provided, such as the shape of the cylinder banks, the plumbing or the fuel injector assembly. This is by no means a criticism, as this is designed to be seen from the level of the exhausts, upwards, and the detail provided here is just mouth-watering. Eduard has done an amazing job with the DB605's ignition leads, cast complete with their connector detail, and the conduit through which the leads run. The forward hub is cast separately, as is the rear ancillary equipment, but the main body is cast with a lot of sharp and very accurate looking detail, such as the breather which sits atop the crankcase, and various plumbing connectors and equipment mounting points. A large casting block needs to be removed from below the engine, but as this is the 'dead zone', there's no concern about hitting any detail by accident. One other part is given in this pack, and that's the rear cowl for the weapons area, complete with partial buele. This has full internal detail too, and it designed to be posed 'off the model'. The second pack also provides some useful information for the builder. Eduard has designed this set to be used with both the 109G-6 and 109G-6/U4 variants. There are quite a lot of differences internally, and both options are provided here in amazing detail. Optional parts include two full rear engine bulkheads, two different style weapons trays and a number of other ancillary parts. The bulkheads and weapons trays just have to be seen to be believed. I think this is probably some of the most detailed resin upgrade stuff that I've ever seen. Dripping in detail such as plumbing and wiring valves, connectors and other avionics. The various sections are also designed to be modular, with the completed engine locating positively to the MG sheath which protrudes through the bulkhead. It's pointless detailing every single part within each bag without this article becoming increasingly irrelevant and dull, so let's take time out here and look at just a few key pointers when it comes to detail, and follow with some images of what to expect when you open this substantial box of resin components. Exhausts: all individually cast, and with hollow ends Engine hub is cast with engine shaft in situ. Shaft is keyed for fitting the propeller Highly detailed spent ammunition chutes. Highly detailed glycol header tank supplemented by photo etch parts. Each MG built from two parts, with forward section incorporating MG mount. MG's have semi-hollow muzzles Superbly detailed multi-part engine mounts Separate oil tank and external engine plumbing Separately cast external air intake which neatly sites into rivet edged recess on cowl side Of special note are the cowl sides. These were actually damaged in my sample, but Eduard's customer service saw them send out a replacement immediately. This is the same level of service I've come to expect off these guys since I've been dealing with them. The cowls themselves are quite exquisite, with finely riveted external detail and neatly defined gun troughs. You will need to remove a small lip at the barrel side of the channel. This is simply a small web from the casting process. Each top edge has a finely reproduced set of hinges which were quite obvious on these machines. Internally, the detail is every bit as thorough, with excellent constructional elements all sharply defined. All resin parts are connected to their blocks either by means of an easy to saw-through stub, or in the case of some of the finer parts, via a thin wall which could easily be removed with either a saw or a fresh knife blade. Some areas, such as the gaps in the engine mounts, are flashed over and this will of course require removal before assembly. All resin is superbly cast, with absolutely no flaws on our sample, and no with seams which are nigh on negligible. TWO PE frets are included, produced in bare brass. The parts on these include rear glycol tank strip, lifting lugs, linkages and connectors, exhaust flame deflector plates, intake grille etc. All parts are superbly manufactured, and tags are minimal. A small amount of folding will be required, but nothing onerous. A comprehensive detail set will require comprehensive instructions, and the ones for this set are printed over four double-sided A4 sheets, containing a total of 37 constructional sequences. The drawings are line based, and are easy to follow. Coloured ink is used throughout to highlight newly assembled areas and those kit parts that need to be modified. You will need a little plastic strut and lead wire to complete the assembly of this set, and all this is clearly shown on the instructions. Some surgery to the base kit will of course be required, but nothing too complicated. Colour call-outs are also supplied by means of GSI/Mr Hobby codes. Conclusion Another winner of a set, which is chock full of detail and surely cannot fail to impress. This is no five minute project, as both the respective cost and parts count should tell you, but when installed to Revell's new kit, must surely go the best part of the way to producing the most impressive Gustav there is to be found anywhere. A mini project, all in itself. Very highly recommended James H Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample used here. To purchase directly, click this link. Consider joining Eduard's Bunny Fighter Clubprogramme for further discounts on your purchases.
  15. Building Tamiya's 262 now and went over to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC this morning to take some photos with my new camera. Perhaps some of you find some of these useful in determining panel lines etc.
  16. As I was trying to find some Dutch Courage before starting Dragon's Bf 109E-4, I got cold feet because I want to build that bird with as much engine detail as possible. Since it has been too long since I finished a model I decided to have a go at Hasegawa's Bf 109F-4/Trop in Marseille's markings. To make sure I concentrate on "clean building" and the paint finish, I decided to build it according to IPMS-UK "Standard Kit" rules. Otherwise known as "Straight From The Box". I even plan on using the kit decals. IPMS-UK rules allow the use of aftermarket decals (won't be using them), the addition of (aftermarket) seat belts and the addition of rigging and radio wires. Sooooo..... Because Dave J is busy with W,Nr. 10137, I'm happy that I had already decided to build W.Nr. 8693! You know, the one with the red rudder... Please feel free to chime in with tips & tricks or if you think I made an error in accuracy. I learn from constructive criticism and although it might not be feasible anymore to correct something (or I just decide not to... ) it'll sure be a heads-up for my next project. And besides, it'll add to the value of the WIP as it isn't unthinkable that in the future an innocent new modeller finds this thread through a search machine and learns some new things! So, don't hold back! Although one compliment in ten criticisms would be appreciated by me... Hasegawa's box-top. Mine has Shigeo Koike's autograph... Sounds smug, I know, sorry.... Okay, know your subject. I have Lynn Ritger's books on the Bf 109, but since it isn't practical or legal to copy what he writes on the Bf 109, here follows what can be found on Wikipedia on the Bf 109F: "Compared to the earlier Bf 109E, the Bf 109F was much improved aerodynamically. The engine cowling was redesigned to be smoother and more rounded. The enlarged propeller spinner, adapted from that of the new Messerschmitt Me 210, now blended smoothly into the new engine cowling. Underneath the cowling was a revised, more streamlined oil cooler radiator and fairing. A new ejector exhaust arrangement was incorporated, and on later aircraft a metal shield was fitted over the left hand banks to deflect exhaust fumes away from the supercharger air-intake. The supercharger air-intake was, from the F-1 -series onwards, a rounded, "elbow"-shaped design that protruded further out into the airstream. A new three-blade, light-alloy VDM propeller unit with a reduced diameter of 3 m (9 ft 8.5 in) was used. Propeller pitch was changed electrically, and was regulated by a constant-speed unit, though a manual override was still provided. Thanks to the improved aerodynamics, more fuel-efficient engines and the introduction of light-alloy drop tanks, the Bf 109F offered a much increased maximum range of 1,700 km (1,060 mi) compared to the Bf 109E's maximum range of ~1200 km (746 mi). The canopy stayed essentially the same as that of the E-4 although the handbook for the 'F' stipulated that the forward, lower triangular panel to starboard was to be replaced by a metal panel with a port for firing signal flares. Many F-1s and F-2s kept this section glazed. A two-piece, all-metal armour plate head shield was added, as on the E-4, to the hinged portion of the canopy, although some lacked the curved top section. A bullet-resistant windscreen could be fitted as an option. The fuel tank was self-sealing, and around 1942 Bf 109Fs were retrofitted with additional armour made from layered light-alloy plate just aft of the pilot and fuel tank. The fuselage aft of the canopy remained essentially unchanged in its externals. The tail section of the aircraft was redesigned as well. The rudder was slightly reduced in area and the symmetrical fin section changed to an airfoil shape, producing a sideways lift force that swung the tail slightly to the left. This helped increase the effectiveness of the rudder, and reduced the need for application of right rudder on takeoff to counteract torque effects from the engine and propeller. The conspicuous bracing struts were removed from the horizontal tailplanes which were relocated to slightly below and forward of their original positions. A semi-retractable tailwheel was fitted and the main undercarriage legs were raked forward by six degrees to improve the ground handling. An unexpected structural flaw of the wing and tail section was revealed when the first F-1s were rushed into service; some aircraft crashed or nearly crashed, with either the wing surface wrinkling or fracturing, or by the tail structure failing. In one such accident, the commander of JG 2 "Richthofen", Wilhelm Balthasar lost his life when he was attacked by a Spitfire during a test flight. While making an evasive manoeuvre, the wings broke away and Balthasar was killed when his aircraft hit the ground. Slightly thicker wing skins and reinforced spars dealt with the wing problems. Tests were also carried out to find out why the tails had failed, and it was found that at certain engine settings a high-frequency oscillation in the tailplane spar was overlapped by harmonic vibrations from the engine; the combined effect being enough to cause structural failure at the rear fuselage/fin attachment point. Initially two external stiffening plates were screwed onto the outer fuselage on each side, and later the entire structure was reinforced. The entire wing was redesigned, the most obvious change being the new quasi-elliptical wingtips, and the slight reduction of the aerodynamic area to 16.05 m² (172.76 ft²). Other features of the redesigned wings included new leading edge slats, which were slightly shorter but had a slightly increased chord; and new rounded, removable wingtips which changed the planview of the wings and increased the span slightly over that of the E-series. Frise-type ailerons replaced the plain ailerons of the previous models. The 2R1 profile was used with a thickness-to-chord ratio of 14.2% at the root reducing to 11.35% at the last rib. As before, dihedral was 6.53°. The wing radiators were shallower and set farther back on the wing. A new cooling system was introduced which was automatically regulated by a thermostat with interconnected variable position inlet and outlet flaps that would balance the lowest drag possible with the most efficient cooling. A new radiator, shallower but wider than that fitted to the E was developed. A boundary layer duct allowed continual airflow to pass through the airfoil above the radiator ducting and exit from the trailing edge of the upper split flap. The lower split flap was mechanically linked to the central "main" flap, while the upper split flap and forward bath lip position were regulated via a thermostatic valve which automatically positioned the flaps for maximum cooling effectiveness. In 1941 "cutoff" valves were introduced which allowed the pilot to shut down either wing radiator in the event of one being damaged; this allowed the remaining coolant to be preserved and the damaged aircraft returned to base. However, these valves were delivered to frontline units as kits, the number of which, for unknown reasons, was limited. These cutoff valves were later factory standard fitting for Bf 109G and K series. ArmamentThe armament of the Bf 109F was revised and now consisted of the two synchronized 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s with 500 rpg above the engine plus a Motorkanone cannon firing through the propeller hub. The pilot's opinion on the new armament was mixed: Oberst Adolf Galland criticised the light armament as inadequate for the average pilot, while Major Walter Oesau preferred to fly a Bf 109E, and Oberst Werner Mölders saw the single centreline Motorkanone gun as an improvement. With the early tail unit problems out of the way, pilots generally agreed that the F series was the best-handling of all the Bf 109 series. Mölders flew one of the first operational Bf 109 F-1s over England from early October 1940; he may well have been credited with shooting down eight Hurricanes and four Spitfires while flying W.No 5628, Stammkennzeichen SG+GW between 11 and 29 October 1940. Bf 109F sub-variants F-0, F-1, F-2Bf 109 F-2/Trop. As the DB 601E was not yet available in numbers, the pre-production F-0 (the only F variant to have a rectangular supercharger intake) and the first production series F-1/F-2 received the 1,175 PS (1,159 hp, 864 kW) DB 601N engine driving a VDM 9-11207 propeller. The F-0/F-1 and F-2 only differed in their armament; the F-1 being fitted with one 20 mm MG FF/M Motorkanone firing through the engine hub, with 60 rounds. The F-1 first saw action in the Battle of Britain in October 1940 with JG 51. The most experienced fighter aces like Werner Mölders were the first ones to fly the first Bf 109 F-1s in combat in October 1940. A total of 208 F-1s were built between August 1940 and February 1941 by Messerschmitt Regensburg and the Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke. The F-2 introduced the 15 mm Mauser MG 151 cannon with 200 rounds. The Motorkanone was supplemented by two synchronized 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns mounted under the engine cowl, with 500 rpg. As the harder-hitting 20 mm version of the same gun become available, a number of F-2s were retrofitted with it in the field. About 1,380 F-2s were built between October 1940 and August 1941 by AGO, Arado, Erla, Messerschmitt Regensburg and WNF. No tropicalized version was built, although individual F-2s were retrofitted with sand filters in the field. The maximum speed of the F-1 and F-2 was 615 km/h (382 mph) at rated altitude. F-0 (Pre-production aircraft built from E series airframes, Adolf Galland was one of the few to fly one operationally) F-1 (Armed with 1 × 20 mm MG FF/M Motorkanone cannon and 2 × 7.92 mm/.312 in MG 17 machine guns) F-2 (Armed with 1 × 15 mm (.59 in) MG 151 cannon and 2 × 7.92 mm/.312 in MG 17)F-2 trop (tropicalized version, only as field conversion) F-2/Z (high-altitude fighter with GM-1 boost, cancelled in favour of the F-4/Z) F-3, F-4, F-5, F-6 Bf 109 F-4. The 1,350 PS (1,332 hp, 993 kW) DB 601E was used in the F-3 and F-4 model together with a VDM 9-12010 propeller with broader blades for improved altitude performance. The DB 601E was initially restricted to 1,200 PS (1,184 hp, 883 kW) at 2,500 rpm; however, the full rating of 1,350 PS at 2,500 rpm was cleared for service use by February 1942. The DB 601E ran on standard 87 octane "B-4" aviation fuel, despite its increased performance; while the earlier DB 601N required 100 octane "C-3" fuel. Only 15 examples of the F-3 are believed to have been produced by Messerschmitt Regensburg between October 1940 and January 1941. Like the F-1, the F-3 was armed with the 20 mm MG-FF/M and two 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s. From the F-4 onward, the new 20 mm Mauser MG 151/20 with 200 rounds was used as the Motorkanone. The first F-4s reached frontline units in June 1941. Production lasted exactly a year between May 1941 and May 1942, with 1,841 of all F-4 variants produced. Some of the later models were capable of mounting two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons under the wing in faired gondolas with 135 rpg. These were designated F-4/R1 and 240 of them were produced by WNF in the first quarter of 1942. This optional additional armament was standardized as field kit for later G and K series. A special high-altitude variant, the F-4/Z featuring GM-1 boost, was also built with a production run of 544 in the first quarter of 1942 and saw extensive use. Finally, the Erla factory produced 576 tropicalized F-4 trop in the first half of 1942. Bf 109 F-6. With its initial engine rating of 1,200 PS, the maximum speed of the F-4 (and F-3) was 635 km/h (394 mph) at rated altitude; and with the clearance of the full rating of 1,350 PS, maximum speed increased to 670 km/h (420 mph). F-3 (As F-1 but with 1350 PS DB 601E engine, produced in limited numbers) F-4 (As F-2 but with DB 601E engine, 20 mm MG 151/20 "Motorkanone" cannon replacing the 15 mm MG 151)F-4/R1 (As F-4, but capable of mounting two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in underwing gondolas) F-4/Z (As F-4, high-altitude fighter with GM-1 boost) F-5 (Recon version of F-4, only one prototype known) F-6 (planned but not built)" So, this ends tonight's history lesson. Now I'll have a cup of coffee after which I'll continue with Jochen's office... Tomorrow I'll post some pics of "Gelbe 14" under Fair Use policy ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use) that I found on the internet and share my ideas on the pilot's seat of the Bf 109F-4.... S
  17. And now for the Dragon Bf 109 Ok My friend changed his mind about which version he wanted something that I am very used to so this is the final choice hehe I think he made a great choice so more fun for me like this one to. Now overall the fit is great only the top motor deck sits to high and I needed to sand it back so you notice the white filler to get it back in shape the wing roots needed some work. The canopy fit is great just drop in place. all the seam are now smooth I did glue the control surface fixed place yesterday. same here the prop and spinner dry fit. Now ready for some paint the wheels and legs are ready and drop tank. Have fun Johan bos
  18. Hi Finally I have some time to post the progress I made from the last time I cleaned up the seams and now very busy getting everything ready to get some paint on it heres some photos so far. Here a photo how I closed the holes I used a black marker so it is already black so less trouble to get some black paint in the little corners. The canopy needed some work the middle part needed to get shorter about 0.8mm and after first paint I will fit the front and back so I can fill the little seams. The spinner and prop is dry fit so I can paint it separately. Did drilled the wing light out and fix them later when painting is done. I made the antenna point yesterday and some more little adjustments that do not show now you see them when I get some paint progress photos Have fun Johan bos
  19. This photo popped up on another modelling forum beginning of 2012... Once I saw it, I had to do this scheme! Bf 109 G-2, WNr 10436 Oberfeldwebel Wilhelm Schilling, 9./JG 52, Siverskaya, Soviet Union, September 1942. There is no Decal Sheet available for this scheme, so it will be done via a mixture of custom made paint masks and decals... I will be using the Promodeller G-4 Trop kit and back dating it to a G-2 I started this again in beginning of 2012 while my family was overseas for 4 weeks... but for some reason it got stuck on the shelve for some reason... Since its so close to being done, I need to resurrect it and finish it! Started off grinding off all the detail in the Cockpit to fit the Aires pit... Its for a Trumpeter kit, but all the mounting points seem to be the same as a G-6 pit for a Hasegawa kit Sprayed RLM 66 using Mr Color Lacquers All the items that need to be painted different colours received a base coat of white, this was done using Tamiya acrylics. All the components picked out using a fine brush Some Airscale Placards were added to make the pit "busier", Everything was sealed with a gloss clear and then given a oil wash. Once dry a coat of Alclad Kear Kote was sprayed on to tone everything down... A normal HB pencil was used to add scratches and wear in areas.
  20. Hello All! Heres a quick over view of Herman's work ,,, 1/32 Trumpeter Me262 A-1a with Eduard BigEd add on,, it will be styled after the "Red Four" oob as Herman likes the camo scheme,,, With the office complete the gun bay was finished and plumbed......................... Onward too the engines and remote radio ..... As always thanks for lookin!! More to come,,,,,,,,,,,
  21. My entry for the GB is the Bf 109 G-10 in 1/48 scale from Hasegawa. White 2 from IV/JG 27 - Germany 1945. Boxart Extra parts Starting with the Cockpit. Some scratch build with lead foil and wire. A seat from Ultracast. Paint on. Maincolor for the Cockpit is Gunze RLM 66, the fuel line is Tamiya XF-4 green yellow. Weathering with MIG weathering wash. Rescriping the missing panel line on the upper wing. and opening the wheel wells for the bigger tires of the Bf 109 G-10
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