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  1. 1:32 P-51D upgrade sets (for Revell kit) RB Productions Catalogue # see article for codes, links and price Available from RB Productions It’s been about a year since Revell released their newly-tooled 1:32 P-51D Mustang, and although we have had numerous aftermarket sets from the likes of Eduard, RB Productions has now released two new sets for this affordable kit of one of the most iconic WW2 fighter aircraft. These new sets were recently launched at Scale Model World 2018 (Telford) and I got my hands on them for this article. The sets in question are: RB-C32008, P-51D Bomb Racks, €15,01 RB-C32009, P-51D Undercarriage Doors (for Revell kit), €18,00 Bomb Racks This set, of course, could actually be used for any qualifying Mustang kit, and not just the Revell release. Presented in a small blister packet, this set contains an instruction sheet which double as the display materials, a single casting block with the two bomb racks, and a single PE fret with the swing arms. Parts are secured within a zip-lock wallet. The resin itself is a light grey material and the connection to the casting block is made on the underside mating surface, meaning that you don’t have to restore any details when removed. Clean-up will be a breeze. Detail is superb and refined, and the casting (I suspect MDC) is flawless. Of course, be very careful with protruding details. The racks themselves aren’t handed, but how you apply the swing arms will be crucial when it comes to how the bomb will hang. A single PE fret contains eighteen parts. The obvious elements here are the swing arms themselves, which will be bent to shape using the template printed on the instructions sheet. The rest of the parts are for the discs which will hang off the end of the arms and come into contact with the munitions. A small length of wire will be needed to connect these to the swing arms. I would also fully drill out the arms to accommodate the wire. Spare discs are supplied, in case you lose one or two. Instructions are simple to follow and nicely printed in colour. It’ also important that you note the orientation of the munitions, again shown on the sheet. Undercarriage Doors Packed into a similar blister as the previous set, this contains a single zip-lock wallet with each of the four light grey resin elements being cast on their own block. Connection to those blocks is my means of a thin, easily defined web of resin that could be cut through with a couple of passes of a sharp blade. Externally, the doors don’t really have details (as can be seen from reference photos), but internally, they most certainly do. Again, in comparison to reference images, RB Productions seems to have got these on the nail, with excellent pressed metal detail, rivets and access port to what I presume is the hinge mechanism. Again, the instructions are superbly illustrative, even if these direct replacements are fairly self-explanatory. Conclusion Two very nice sets that can be used with the 1:32 pocket moneyP-51D Mustang from Revell, and of course, very easy to install. Excellent quality all-round, from casting to PE manufacture, and simple to understand instructions. What’s not to like! My thanks to RB Productions for the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.
  2. Scribing Ruler 15cm/6in RB Productions Catalogue # RB-T049 Available from RB Productions for €4,50 Sometimes, it’s the simplest of tools that we get the most workbench satisfaction from. This tool is one of those that will probably be on your bench quite a lot due to its multirole purpose in aiding the marking/scribing/measuring of various aspects of your model’s surface. Packed into a slim, clear wallet, the Scribing Ruler is carefully taped to a card stiffener which protects it from bending and rolling around loosely. The rule itself is manufactured from very thin stainless steel and is already presented without the need to remove any fret, although I do suggest carefully removing the fret connection tabs from each end of the rule. A small jeweller’s file should easily do this. One edge of the rule is calibrated in metric divisions, whilst the opposite is measured imperially. For the metric, small holes are provided at every 1mm point, with pointers etched to show full centimetres and also 0.5mm positions. For the latter, you would need to gauge the position between two adjacent points. For the imperial side, holes are provided every 1/24 of an inch, with etched positions identifying every 1/12 and 1/48 of an inch. For the latter, again you will need to gauge this from adjacent hole positions. With this tool, you can of course wrap it around the surface of a model due to the very thin gauge of the stainless steel, and after marking the start and finish positions of your line to scribe, you can then use the straight edge to run a scriber along, providing a sharp, clear guide as you go, in the same way that some modellers would use plastic Dymo tape. Of course, you can just use the edge for casual scribing or marking your surface with a pencil, or just mark relative positions using the holes. The holes themselves are quite small and ideally you would need a very sharp pencil to be able to use the tool properly, but hey, that’s accuracy! Conclusion A simple, yet very nicely executed and manufactured tool which I don’t doubt will be immensely useful to the average modeller who likes to add rivet lines or scratch details to their models. My sincere thanks to RB Productions for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  3. 1:32 Red Nose P-51D Mustang Aces RB Productions Catalogue # RB-D32025 Available from RB Productions for €18,50 Also available in 1:48 and 1:72 scales (check site for prices) There are quite a few products which RB Productions has sold which have some relation to Romania – Radu’s country of origin. This new decal set is one such item. But how does the P-51D relate to Romania, you ask? Well, these particular (mostly) stripe-tailed machines saw action over Romania. See…there isa link! Launched at Scale Model World(where I received my copy), these are available in all three popular scales (of which I have the 1:32 set). This decal set is packed into a re-sealable clear sleeve which neatly shows four P-51D profiles on the cover, complete with information about their pilot and Fighter Group. Flip the sheet over and you are presented with a couple of black/white images, plus some further pilot information, plus a splendid colour photo of MX-A, resplendent in its red tail stripes. Some colour notes are supplied here, and a key is also printed which pertains to the colours used, in ANA, FS and Lifecolor codes. For further info, the specific references are also listed, should you wish to seek out those particular tomes. Opening up the folded presentation sheet reveals all four profiles in much more detail, including decal position reference and paint application. Notes are also supplied for the wing bands (and fuselage/tail bands for one machine), in all three scale dimensions (as this insert is common to all three different scale releases). Where kit decals need to be used, then this is also clearly highlighted. Two decal sheets are supplied. Neither of these carry any national markings or regular stencils, and as noted, you will still need to use the kit decals for that purpose. The first, larger sheet contains the individual machine serials, codes, names and kill tally markings, as well as the red stripes for the tail and the forward central portion for the stabiliser stripes. Also note that numerous black stripes are included for the edging of the fuselage, tail and wingtip stripes of the last scheme on the sheet. A smaller, second sheet contains the upper and lower stabiliser stripes. Note that these, and the stripes for the fin on the previous sheet, are printed as a whole piece, without separate rudder or elevator portions, so you will need to divide these soon after application. Lastly, a decals for the last scheme is also included. A very nice little touch on this set are how the decals re numbered. Scheme A has all decals prefixed with ‘A’, scheme B prefixed with ‘B’ etc. I think you get the idea. It certainly makes things easy to identify. All printing is done by Fantasy Printshop and is superbly thin, cloggy, has minimal carrier film, plus also solid colour that is in perfect registration. Having used Fantasy Printshop decals many times, I know how good they are, and they conform well to surface details. I’ve also used decal setting solutions with zero problems. Of course, all decals are also silk-screen printed. Conclusion A very nice set of reasonably colourful P-51Ds (as far as silver goes!), and of course, you can also build more than one scheme from this set, as long as one of them is scheme D (without tail stripes). Nicely researched and superbly printed, this is one to perhaps adorn the recent Revell P-51D kit. I’ll soon have some aftermarket parts to show you for that kit too. My sincere thanks to RB Productions for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the links at the top of this article.
  4. Set Square & Protractor RB Productions Catalogue # RB-T050 (Metric) and RB-T051 (Imperial) Available from RB productions for €7,50 each I’ve been using RB Productions tools for a number of years, including their various rivet tools, scribers and razor saws etc. and find them a real joy to work with, as well as nicely designed and of high quality. Whilst I was visiting the RB Productions stall at Telford’s Scale Model World, this November, Radu Brinzan gave me a few goodies to review and publish here at Large Scale Modeller. The first of these (well, actually two items) are the Set Square & Protractorsets in both metric and imperial gauges. Sounds like we’re back at school, right? Well, if you are do any degree of scratch-building in your hobby, then these new releases could be very useful. The Set Square & Protractor sets are packed into a small zip-lock wallet with a piece of card inserted to protect the thin photo-etch fret. The PE itself is manufactured from stainless steel, so shouldn’t mark too easily and also last a long time, providing you treat it with some respect. Before you can begin to use these, you’ll need to remove them from their frets. This material is a little tougher than brass or nickel sheet, so a new blade and some successive scribing and gentle bending will remove the parts. Use a small file to remove any tab that may remain and/or cause a sharp edge. As for the tools, they are very, very self-explanatory. The protractor has a series of very small holes and thin slots that can be used with a sharp pencil, to mark accurate angles from a single reference point. That point comes from a notch in the bottom-centre of the tool, exactly as you would use as reference with a clear, plastic protractor that you used in Maths at school. Of course, the protractor is identical in both of these sets, marked in one-degree, staggered intervals that allow super accurate measurement. All positions are etched with the degree mark, and run both clockwise and counter-clockwise, so it’s easy to determine your angle no matter what side you work from. Radial slots are provided too, at five-degree intervals. The set square will prove to be a very useful tool. The metric one is marked in millimetres and centimetres. There are actually 0.5mm etched marks on this, so you can easily determine the position of such if you mark the millimetre either side of this. Both inner and outer edges are marked and etched with a series of holes for your sharp pencil. Being very thin, it’s also easy to drape this over a fuselage or wing and accurately mark positions. As the RB website also states, the flexible edge can be used to scribe against, having accurately marked your start and end positions. Of course, the imperial set square is marked in inches, and divisions thereof. Conclusion An inexpensive tool that will earn its keep if you like to do more than just glue kit parts together. Produced with high quality materials and the design rationale of a first rate modeller himself, Radu’s Set Square & Protractor sets have multiple uses and their literal flexibility will make them a delight for marking out rivet lines and other surface demarcations. My sincere thanks to RB Productions for the samples reviewed here. To purchase, click the links below. Set Square & Protractor (Metric) Set Square & Protractor (Imperial)
  5. 1/32 I.A.R.80 decals RB Productions Catalogue # RB-D32021 Available from RB Productions for €14,75 Romania’s I.A.R.80/81 was certainly as advanced, if not more so, than many contemporary fighter aircraft of that period, yet it is one which I imagine is far less known than those operated by other belligerent countries during that conflict. If anyone is best-placed to research and design a set of decals for the I.A.R.80, it’s Radu Brinzan. Having already written two books on this subject (which are superb, indidentally!), Radu is incredibly knowledgeable about this specific type, and being Romanian himself, it’s most certainly a passion. RB Productions have released decals for the I.A.R.80/81 before, with sets being available for the I.A.R.80-M (modified 80/s1 series machine) in all main scales, but this one concentrates specifically on the I.A.R.80, and what appears to be the earlier machines. Whilst the forthcoming I.A.R.80A to be released by FRROM would be the ideal candidate for the 1/32 version of these decals, you source the initial Azur/FRROM release. To utilise these on the I.A.R.80A though, you would need to make a small modification to that kit. As the I.A.R.80A was fitted with 6 guns, you would need to delete the outboard gun and associated access panels on each wing. NOW you can use this set safely! RB Productions new decal set (available in 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72), comes in a re-sealable clear sleeve, with an attractive, folded A4 sheet with the EIGHT schemes printed in full colour. Print quality is superb, and very sharp, depicting five fuselage profiles on the front, and a further three within. Each of these is provided with a small paragraph of specific information next to the image. Each profile is also annotated with key colour details, as well as the main colours themselves being given in Lifecolor and FS codes. To use other makes, you’ll need to cross-reference. Inside the sheet, a further opposite side profile is given for the standard camouflage application, with notes on stencilling and weathering. Four images are supplied of the upper and lower wings, and you will need (quite easily) to tie the correct one to the specific scheme profile you will choose. Dimensional information is included for wing stripes. The back page shows the camouflage scheme in planform, with the wraparound fuselage paintwork. A single decal sheet is included, printed by Fantasy Printshop in the UK. My experience of their decals is that they are as good as the main contemporary manufacturers, and every bit as good as Eduard’s own in-house production, which incidentally, I very much like. I’ve found they also work well with decal setting solutions, where required. Printing is also flawless, with the decals being nice and thin, and having minimal carrier film. Colour reproduction is excellent and everything is in perfect register. One thing I do know is that Fantasy Printshop are sticklers for quality! As well as the various national marking styles that were applied to these machines, a seriesof stencils is also included. In fact, two sets are included, meaning it’s perfectly possible to build at least two models from this sheet (more, if you don’t count the stencils!). The supplied marking options are: I.A.R.80, No.2 of Escadrila de Experienţe, August 1940, Pipera I.A.R.80, No.3, Şc.Vt/Flt.3Vt., Galaţi, October 1943, flown by Elev Av. Ciobănaş Andrei I.A.R.80, No.9 of Gr.8Vt/Flt.2Vt., flown by Adj.Stg.Av. Vasile Niţă, March 1941, Tirgşor I.A.R.81-C, No.17 of Esc.41Vt./Gr.8Vt, flown by Adj.Stag.Av. Florian Budu, July 1941, Bârlad I.A.R.80, No.22 of Esc.42/52 Vt., Gr.1 Vt, flown by Adj.Stag.Av. Gheorghe Firimide, July 1941, Bârlad I.A.R.80, No.26, March 1941, I.A.R. Braşov I.A.R.80, No.42 of Esc.42/52 Vt., August 1941, Sturzeni and Sărata/Salz I.A.R.80, No 44 of Flt.2Vt./Gr.8Vt., March 1941, Tirgşor Conclusion Radu has chosen some beautifully varied machines here in terms of styles of Romanian markings used, and in colourful terms also. Certainly a very welcome accompaniment to the Azur/FRROM kit. A very well researched product that is printed in superb quality by Fantasy Printshop. There really is nothing NOT to like here! Highly recommended My sincere thanks to RB Productions for the review set seen here. To purchase directly in 1/32, click HERE.
  6. 1:32 Me262B-1a/U-1 Upgrades RB Productions Available from RB Productions RB-C32005 Radar Antennas and Pitot Tube (€24,99) RB-C32006 Main wheels Tube (€12,50) RB-C32007 Bomb & Drop Tank Racks (€12,50) RB-M32007 Canopy masks (€7,49) RB-P320061 Luftwaffe seatbelts (standard) beige (€6,00) Introduction Did we really need a new Me262 nightfighter? Trumpeter released theirs in 2008, following their first Me262A-1a kit back in 2005. The engineering of these kits and the accuracy did not leave much to demand. To my eye the only thing these kits need is a little toning down of the somewhat heavy panel lines and rivets and some attention in various areas, like the wheelbays, cockpit and gunbays. Revell surprises friend and foe by doing their take on the subject. When I first saw a testshot of their version I can remember asking the poor Revell guys 5 times whether they were sure this wasn’t a build up Trumpeter kit to satisfy the curious modellers’ impatience. I had to look really hard and then details gave away this was indeed the new Revell kit. More elegant antenna’s, finer surface detail, no matt grid on the canopy frame, etc… A little birdy told me Radu Brinzan himself was involved with the Revell kit engineering and research, which is always a good sign. That’s one reason to buy the Revell kit. Another reason is the prize. Around € 45,00. Whereas the Trumpeter kit can set you back at least €70,00. Oh! And ofcourse. The Trumpeter kit has vinyl tyres. We don’t want those. But what do we need to take the Revell kit to a whole new level? Seatbelts, after market antenna, cockpit upgrade, detailed wheels and perhaps some more interior details in the gunbay, gearbay, etc… For all these desires both Eduard and RB Productions have you covered. Eduard recently released a whole string of upgrades for this kit. I can recommend their interior and exterior set. But their seatbelt set (pre coloured photo etch) I would skip and opt for an RB Production set or HGW set. Which ever you prefer. Radar Antennas and pitot tube As said: the plastic antennas in the Revell kit are an improvement over the plastic ones’ in the Trumpeter kit. Thinner and more delicate in detail. Master barrels already made a superb brass enhancement for these. To use them you had to cut off the antennas from the main arms. Then you needed to drill a small hole in the main arms to accommodate the brass antennas. I have a feeling these brass parts in this set are the same as Master released for the Trumpeter kit, BUT in this set you also get study resin main arms to replace the Revell plastic part. On top of this you get a very nicely made brass pitot tube and both fuselage antennas for the radio. Here's a look at the Revell part: This is a photo of the Master set designed for the Trumpeter kit: Very well packed resin part: More lovely packing: As a dry fit I insterted the antenna’s into the horizontal base tubes and the fit is amazing. It’s so tight, you don’t have to spend any time or effort in aligning the antennas. With an element so prominent in view as the antler antenna, you’d do yourself short not to invest in this after market. Fuselage antenna: Pitot tube: Main wheels Where the Trumpeter kit offered you vinyl tyres, the Revell kit has pretty well detailed plastic ones. BUT the diamond pattern and the fact they come in to separate halves, might make it tricky to ensure the pattern to blend in nicely. The plastic detail is nice, but can’t beat the crispness of resin. Also: no lettering is seen on them. So…. RB Productions has these great resin wheels. The casting stub is really small, so no annoying resin removal drama here. As a comparison I grabbed the Eduard resin wheels for the Trumpeter kit out of my stash. As you can see: similar diamond pattern. But the Eduard wheels need some more cleanup. Both the resin wheels offer lettering, but I think the RB Production wheels are a little but more delicate if you look at the pattern. The Eduard set however includes the nose wheel and paint masks. The small parts you see on my finger are the brake line attachments. The brake lines themselves should be sourced from lead wire. Really liking this set. Here we have the Revell plastic parts: Nice, but not THAT crisp and no lettering. Lovely seamless pattern: Hubba hubba: Brake line connections: A comparison: Eduard top, RB bottom: Eduard left, RB right: RB left, Eduard right: Bomb & Drop tank racks Also called Viking ships because of their shape. These resin parts are direct replacements for the Revell plastic parts. They even have locator pins that mate with the holes in the fuselage. The rivet detail on the sides is nicely done as is the detail on the flat surface. The 8 small parts you see are the braces that keep the payload or drop tanks steady. Canopy masks Here’s a set of vinyl canopy masks. To be honest I prefer kabuki (paper) maskes, since vinyl tends to let go in difficult corners and bulges. However; these masks actually have the inner larger surfaces separated. This should prevent this annoying problem. These larger areas should be masked with liquid mask. Again: I compared this set to the Eduard (also new and designed for the Revell kit) masks. I did this because I was wondering if the Eduard set also only included the outside masks and not the inside. This was the case. I like to mask my windows inside and outside. Especially with a large side hinging canopy like this where the inside framing is prominent. Ah well.. you can’t win them all! I removed the outer waste material to show the masks better: Luftwaffe seatbelts (standard) beige The RB Production strap-them-yourself seatbelts were (as far as I know) the forst on the market of this kind. I can spend an entire evening fiddling with the small buckles and paper straps, but the result is always worth it. RB Production was followed by HGW seatbelts (which also show printed stitching and lettering) and Eduard (which are similar to HGW seatbelts). I have always been a fan of the RB Production seatbelts. Why? Because the soak up my washes. This really brings them to life and let’s you blend them in with the rest of the cockpit. Also: Not much cutting is needed as you can see. When ordering this set, don’t forget to add two sets to the basket! You’re building a two seater! Our sincere thanks to RB Productions for these samples. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Jeroen Peters
  7. 1:32 Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka Type 22 RB Productions Catalogue # RB-K32003 Available from RB Productions for €64,50 The Japanese named the Ohka Type 22 ‘Cherry Blossom’, however, the Allied codename of ‘Baka’ (fool) was probably more appropriate. As the war had already started to go badly for the Japanese in 1943, plans were drawn up for design and production of a small, one-man suicide aircraft that could be used against enemy shipping. Essentially, the Ohka was a rocket powered flying bomb, flown onto target by a pilot with a death wish. Unlike German guided rocket systems, this small bringer of instant death was to be carried and launched by the Mitsubishi ‘Betty’ bomber aircraft. Having its first manned test flight in late 1944, the Ohka was designed by Mitsuo Ohta, and was designed to initially glide towards its target upon release, and then it would activate its solid rocket boosters once on target. This would essentially make the aircraft nigh on impossible to shoot down simply due to its speed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN4fZcXrkiY Ohka was also no folly. Its deployment saw it destroy seven US ships, including the USS Mannert L. Abele in April 1945. A real Achilles heel was the slow speed of the launch aircraft, with many of them being shot down and prematurely launching their ill-fated suicide aircraft. Despite their being over 750 built, and their relatively low success rate, these were composed of the earlier Type 11, and not the Type 22 which this kit depicts. This particular version used a simple Campini-type Ishikawajima Tsu-11 motorjet engine which was designed to overcome the short range of the earlier rocket powered version, and could be launched from a more agile and smaller Yokosuka ‘Frances’ in order to deliver its 1,320lb warhead. Records show that none of these type were ever used in action. This last year or so has certainly been very kind to those who like to build the more esoteric suicide aircraft employed by certain Axis powers. Last year, HpH released a 1:32 double kit comprising of both a Fieseler Fi 103 Reichenberg, and the more numerous Type 11 Ohka. Modellers can now add to that the new Type 22, motorjet-powered machine into those ranks, thanks to RB Productions. As with the HpH release, this is also a resin kit, and it is packed into a small but beautifully presented, sturdy corrugated cardboard box, complete with an attractive artwork showing a photo of a surviving Ohka located at the NASM, plus a number of profile images, clearly indicating that this kit also comes with a ground-handling trolley and booster rocket. Whilst RB Productions aren’t newcomers to resin releases, this particular kit does herald a new cooperation with them and CMK, who are the producers of the resin with thin this release. Kit statistics are: 60 resin parts 57 Photo-etched brass parts 1 clear resin part 1 vacuum formed part 1 decal sheet printed by Fantasy Printshop When ordering, you will be immediately sent the link for the downloadable instruction manual. Of course, you may choose to access this on your computer or tablet, or you could print it out in the old fashioned way. I prefer the latter, and do this with the CD manuals supplied by HpH also. Inside the box, there are five zip-lock bags. These contain the numerous light grey (and a few darker grey) resin parts, with the clear resin windshield and vac-form sliding hood being bagged separately. Underneath these, a single, small brass PE fret is separately packed, as is a single decal sheet. You might think there won’t be too many decals for this model, but think again. Also in here is a set of Radu’s Imperial Japanese seatbelts. After all, you need your suicide flight to be safe! The fuselage halves are wrapped in a cellophane bag, and well protected. Fuselage Of course, the Type 22 fuselage differs significantly in appearance from the Type 11 of the HpH kit, having the opening for the Ishikawajima Tsu-11 Motorjet at the rear and separately moulded rear fuselage intakes. Externally, detail is superb, with finely recessed panel lines and access ports along the nose/warhead area. To enable clean fitting of the small wings, the roots are cast in situ, along with their fairings, and the wing connected by a tab/slot mechanism as is common with regular injection-moulded kits. Those ports along the nose are slightly off centre, which is of course correct, but the seam unfortunately has to pass through the edge of them. Be careful on clean-up. A neat recess exists so that you can easily attach the resin windscreen. Internally, the Ohka is no less impressive, with some excellent cast detail for the cockpit sidewalls, including ribs and stringers, complete with fasteners, and numerous other structures. Again, this is highly impressive. What has really aided the amazing production of this model is the fact that it was designed in CAD (ok, not unusual these day), but then it was 3D printed and the resulting parts were then cleaned up and polished in order to remove any tell-tale signs of layering. The result is what you see here, and I admit that I very much like it. Casting tabs will need to be removed from the adjoining connection surfaces, and several openings are lightly flashed over with resin, for casting purposes. Wings and stabiliser Both the stabilisers and wings have separate control surfaces, which is a very nice touch. Port and starboard stabilisers sit neatly into an undercut on the rear of the fuselage, and a hole is located in the fuselage area behind this into which the elevator connecting rods fit. You’ll note that there isn’t too much detail on the flying surfaces, simply because the real thing was sheeted in thin plywood. However, the wingtips were moulded metal parts, and they can clearly be seen here, along with their fasteners. Some very nice detail is present on connecting faces of the aileron to wing area, including the aileron control rod fairing on the upper wing face. Ailerons and elevators exhibit some beautifully fine detail and look very impressive. Unusually, it was decided to cast the vertical fins onto the stabiliser parts. I actually quite like this approach as it removes one potential screw-up in fitting them at a slightly incorrect angle. As with the other control surfaces, the rudder parts are cast separately and can be posed if required. Propulsion Whilst this model doesn’t sport a fully detailed engine (that would be pretty pointless), it does supply all the elements that can be seen. These include the intake fan, and a couple of other internal components, plus the mixing/combustion section, and the exhaust nozzle. For ease of painting, the nozzle can be fitted after main assembly. Detail is very good, and certainly more than adequate for what you will be able to see within the intakes and exhaust pipe. Those intake fairings are also cast separately, with superb fastener detail and evenly cast, thin intake edges. The intakes will also be supplemented by PE vanes. A solid rocket booster is supplied, cast a single piece, and designed to fit under the fuselage, at the wing intersection. This part itself has sharp detail and a nice thin wall for the exhaust nozzle. Other Parts Getting about This kit actually provides the ground-handling trolley which would have been used to manoeuvre this Ohka into position underneath the wings of the carrier bomber. This consists of the main framework which supports two elevated brackets onto which the wings sit and are held by means of a leading edge hook-over. Also supporting the aircraft are two profiled wooden frames onto which the fuselage sits. The whole lot moves on two main wheels and two smaller forward wheels that are mounted on a moveable bracket to aid towing. Two ‘T’ shaped towing bars are also included, of different lengths. A small number of other resin parts are provided for such things as internal cockpit detail, trigger fuse, motor exhaust stubs and venture etc. but the rest of the model detail is provided as photo etch parts. All resin parts are thoughtfully connected to their casting blocks, meaning clean-up should be easy and minimal. My sample also has zero flaws, and no trace of mould residue, although you are still advised to wash in a mild detergent. Clear Parts As mentioned, the windscreen is made from clear resin, and this very good. It might not be quite up to the standard of HpH clear parts, but it’s certainly some of the better clear casting I’ve seen. Short range clarity is very good, which is all that’s required on a model of this size. As tends to be normal practice with vac-form parts, TWO main hoods are included…just in case you screw one up. I would pack the interior out with a little Blu-Tak to provide rigidity, and then carefully score until cut. Gently finish the edges with a fine sanding stick. Frame definition is excellent and so is clarity. Photo Etch This single sheet provides enough parts to keep you busy! These include the complicated rudder cable drum assembly for the rudder bar, and numerous other internal cockpit parts such as the seat and frame, fuel cap, head armour, and cockpit floor. Externally, there are in the intake vanes and sighting devices etc. Production quality is excellent, despite the fret not having the shiny appearance of those from Eduard etc. Seatbelt If you’ve never used one of Radu’s seatbelts, then you’re in for a treat. These are supplied as die-cut, coloured paper, with PE buckles etc. Assembly is advised with something like stick-glue (Pritt etc.), and although they can take a little longer to assemble than other belts, they look great when finished. Decals You won’t be exactly spoilt for choice as with other kits when it comes to colour scheme options, and the decals reflect that. Apart from the beautiful Cherry Blossom emblems that are used instead of Hinomaru markings, you are also provided with numerous airframe stencils, cockpit instruments, airframe numbers and red decal strips that run down the length of the upper fuselage. Printing is excellent, being thin, having minimal carrier film, authentic colour, and of course in perfect register. I expect nothing less from Fantasy Printshop. You probably won’t need decal setting solutions on this model, but I do know from experience that they do work well with this manufacturer’s decals. Instructions These are supplied in PDF format, and have been meticulously drawn and are clear to follow.All illustrations are CAD format and in greyscale, with colour added for notation and PE parts. Simply, these are very easy to follow, and even more so as each step has descriptive text. You don’t see that so often! Well done Radu. Colour notation is also described in the text, but the main scheme image provides you with something even more solid. Those scheme images show every profile in colour, including the ground-handling trolley, and paint reference is made for Gunze. Decal positioning notation is easy to follow too. If you’d like some actual photo-reference, this is also included with 17 colour images of the NASM example, spread over the final two pages. You should have everything you need here. Conclusion This really is a superb little kit, and bang on with detail. It certainly is ideal for a first time resin kit project, and there are no corners cut when it comes to photo etch either, with plenty of both internal and external detail to make this a very eye-catching little project. Production quality counts for a lot, and you have nothing to worry about in that respect, with superbly fitting parts being manufactured by CMK. At €64,50 too, I also think it provides very reasonable value for money, and even more so with the current weakness of the €uro against the £ and $. If you have already purchased the HpH twin Reichenberg and Ohka Type 11 kit, it really is crazy not to include this in the stash alongside it. VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to RB productions for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  8. 1:32 Fokker Eindecker wing conversion set For Wingnut Wings E.II/E.III/E.IV kits RB Productions Catalogue # RB-P32032 Available from RB Productions for €55,01 World War 1 modellers spend so much time creating painting and finishing effects that make their plastic creations look like fabric covered, timber airframes. But, what if you actually wanted to show those interior structures for real? What if you wanted to build a skeletal or semi-skeletal version of your subject? What if you wanted to create a diorama of a crashed or damaged aircraft? I’m sure we’ve all thought of the possibilities, but unless you’re endowed with amazing talents and plenty of time, it’s pretty much beyond the scope of most modellers. Well, RB Productions must’ve been thinking along those lines, and have now released a set for the WNW Fokker Eindecker kits; specifically for the E.II/E.III and E.IV releases. E.I machines had a shorter span and aren’t compatible. This set is erroneously called a ‘wing conversion set’, where to most accurately name it, I’d call it a ‘skeletal wing replacement set’, as nothing is actually converted. It simply replaces the plastic wings, tail plane and rudder with photo-etch ribs, spars and cap strips etc. This would be ideal for showing the model in a factory diorama etc. If you want to go further and make a framework fuselage, Radu has included instructions for you to be able to do that too. However, that isn’t the actual remit of this kit, so let’s look further. RB Productions’ Eindecker wing conversion set is packed into a sturdy but very shallow corrugated box, with a CAD render image of the completed parts on the lid. Inside, several folds of bubble-wrap cover two small zip-lock bags, each containing a single PE fret. Underneath this is a piece of thick black paper that covers a large zip-lock wallet in which there is the main PE fret and a card stiffener that has a copy of the box artwork printed on it, and TWO download links. One of these is for the PDF instruction manual, and the other is a reference PDF with many colour photos of an actual Eindecker airframe. Very useful indeed! Lastly, two lengths of plastic rod are included, of different diameters. This is quite an unusual review simply because of the nature of the product, but I’ll certainly try. WINGS Every constructional element of the Eindecker wing has been meticulously recreated here. Construction starts with the front and back spars, and as PE is of a certain thickness, the spars will be made from photo-etch laminations. To help you get everything in the correct position, some PE ‘keys’ have been supplied. Slow cure glue is also suggested for this construction, and the use of clamps to keep things together along the length of the parts. Getting this right is imperative. To hide those laminations, cap strips are added to the spars, and all parts are numbered directly, so you can’t get them mixed up once removed from the fret. Ribs are provided as three parts; leading edge, main, trailing edge, and of course, these accurately represent the structures of the real thing, or this would be a pointless task! All rib parts interlock at the spars, creating a solid joint whose parts are correctly placed. Remember to occasionally lay the structure flat to ensure that you don’t in-build any warp. This can still be tested flat, despite the wing having an under-camber. Onto the wing, you will now add some fitments, such as rigging points, tread-plates, internal/wing-warping wires and bracing turnbuckles, compass, gimbal and housing, and anchor points and plates for the wing warp mechanism. You will need short lengths of the styrene rod that is included in this set too. To help define the various constructional elements within the wing, the instructions use colour ink on the CAD drawings, making everything plainly obvious. Whilst the wings look terribly complex structures, this set has been engineered and explained so as it won’t cause the modeller any headache. TAILPLANE & RUDDER Construction of these is again faithful to the original machine, with the separate ribs hugging the main spar/tail post items. The ribs are made as single pieces, whereas they would have been upper and lower elements on the real machine. The overall appearance will look no different though. Those spars will be made from the styrene rod that is included. If I’m honest, I would prefer a length of brass tube here, but I’m sure this solution will work just fine. As per the original, you will need to fit control cable horns, and other associated fitment hardware from the PE sheets. FUSELAGE This set is designed to be fitted to the Wingnut Wings fuselage, but if you actually want to have a totally skeletal machine, then drawings are supplied of the fuselage frames, and how to cut the kit fuselage so that you can graft it onto the forward section of the plastic fuselage parts. This would look incredible, and I think this set really deserves that level of attention in order to get the very best from it. You will need to reference the internal bracing etc. so that you get this as accurate as possible. INSTRUCTIONS/REFERENCE The instructions are a joy to read, and totally comprehensible, despite the complexity of the structure. I don’t feel that anything here will be difficult to build. Now, an important mention is made of priming the parts before assembly, due to their fragility etc. It is also suggested that you use an adhesive such as Gator Glue etc. The reason for this is because the wing and tail structures could flex slightly due to weight etc. This would cause CA glue to crack. Another option is to solder the parts, if you have those skills. I’m a big fan of the reference material supplied here too. This contains not only further links to online reference, but also a suite of superb colour photos of a surviving Eindecker, with great reference showing the internal inter-rib tapes etc. Conclusion Certainly one of the most original and innovative PE sets I’ve seen in a long while, and one that I’ve always dreamed of eventually seeing. Radu’s design and production are excellent, and whilst not a cheap set, the cost probably doesn’t even reflect the actual work that’s gone into designing this excellent release. All you need is a Wingnut Wings E.II, E.III, or E.IV, and you’re ready to go! Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to RB Productions for sending over this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  9. I'm about to set off on assembling my first set of these anyone have tips or suggestions for these? Thanks in advance, Ben
  10. Nano Saws RB Productions Catalogue # RB-T038 Available from RB Productions for €6.50 If you haven't yet seen the light and tried out some of RB Productions rather excellent photo etch saws, then here comes another release of those sets you will end up filing under "how did I cope without that?" RB Productions have released a saw for almost every season, with bucksaws and micro saws, but for those of you who want fine saws for the most delicate of applications, then this miniature, yet mega pack of no less than SIX separate, different shaped 'nano saws', should be on your shopping list. All you'll need is an X-Acto style handle to mount them in. Let's take a look at what this pack offers. Packaged into the familiar small zip-lock bag with a card stiffener, this set contains a small fret of stainless steel containing those six very sharp saws in different formats, held in situ with a small number of very small tags. As this is stainless, you will still need a fresh, sharp blade to remove them from the fret. You might also require a small jeweler's file to remove any sharp protrusions from the tags. Please be careful, these tools do have a very sharp cutting edge. Whilst all the saws are different shapes, they do fall into 3 categories, and are listed on the instructions as so: 2 x curved saws: these can be run along a rule (as per instruction photo). Two sizes are included – the narrower blade can be used to follow curved edges 3 x tapered saws: these can be used to make piercing cuts – drill a suitable hole first and use it as a starting point for the cut 1 x straight saw: this saw can be used to make long, straight cuts All saws are indeed very fine, with a high number of teeth per inch, and as previously mentioned, very sharp too. Just because these are photo etch doesn't mean they are inferior to other saws. I've been using RB Productions saws since they were first released, and they are a staple of my workbench now. You will need to avail yourself of an X-Acto, or similar fitting Swann Morton handle, also available from RB Productions, in order to mount these blades. I usually buy a few at a time so that my favourite saws are always at hand, without having to change the previous saw/rivet tool etc. So what do we think? For the detail modeller with his/her collection of aftermarket resin sets, then these saws are a godsend, especially with the increasing number of small components we regularly find in these detail sets. These are extremely affordable, working out at only just over a Euro each, so you really have no excuse but to try them out and look at RB Productions back catalogue of saw and tool sets. Very highly recommended Our thanks to RB Productions for the review sample used here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  11. 1:32 Fokker D.VII Radiators RB Productions Catalogue RB-P32031 Available from RB Productions for €6.00 Only an item or so of aftermarket has surfaced for the excellent range of Wingnut Wings Fokker D.VII kits (F, OAW, Alb & Fok) so far. HGW have released a set of D.VII specific seatbelts, and will no doubt have a number of other sets on the market before too long. RB Productions have now released a simple upgrade set which is designed to improve the incorrect mesh pattern of the kit radiator parts with a more accurate and sharp honeycomb design. RB Productions PE Fret Close-up of honeycomb texture on RB Productions parts This simple set comes in a small zip-lock wallet, containing a single stainless steel etch fret with SIX parts, and a small instruction sheet. A piece of black stiffening card is inserted which will give this thin fret a degree of protection against the worst that Royal Mail can throw against it. Working out how to install these is a breeze. Each photo-etch piece has a part number which directly relates to the actual kit number part. As the radiator has an internal mesh as well as the front external one, both are supplied for each of the three radiator types. Each photo etch piece is connected to the fret by means of a small, tapered tag which will require a fresh, sharp blade to sever. As these parts will need to be folded, an etch guide line is given on the rear of each part, making this job a worry-free one. If you haven't availed yourself of RB Productions superb Flip-R5, then this is the perfect opportunity to buy a tool which makes consistently sharp folds. Wingnut Wings part Close-up of incorrect 'cross-coss' pattern on WNW part. The instructions suggest that you try to get the angles of the folded parts as close to that of the parts so that little to no tension will exist in the folded metal, allowing it to sit effortlessly to the plastic part. It is also suggested that either Johnson's Klear, or PVA is used as adhesive. These allow parts to be moved and aligned, unlike most CA, which RB Productions does not recommend. I use Klear for the majority of my photo etch, where I am fixing flat plate PE to a plastic face. It works exceptionally well. You'll see from my photographs above just how different the mesh on these parts are, in comparison to the kit parts. So what do we think? A single fret contains enough parts to build THREE Fokker D.VII's, depending on which schemes you want to build. So, play your cards right, and if you are a D.VII junkie like me, then you'll be able to utilize all the parts here for 3 different projects, at only 2€ per model! This upgrade will really set off an already excellent kit, and for accuracy junkies, it is a real 'must have' item. Very highly recommended. My sincere thanks to RB Productions for the review sample used here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
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