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  1. 1:35 Conversion Set M-113A1 T50 MMK Catalogue # F3048 51 resin pieces and two photo-etched sheets. Available from MMK for € 24 When I get this conversion set sample to review, I thought to myself that it would not be to much to say or to look up. Opening the small and sturdy box, I could not be more wrong. After seeing so many resin bits and a medium size photo-etched sheet, I decided to get some online research to check up this one out… I was starting to “fall in love”… J A standard M113A1 with a Cadillac Gage T50 turret as used on the V100/V150 series of armored cars, mounting two Browning machine guns, a .30 caliber and a M2 .50 caliber machine gun. While the standard armored personnel carrier version in Australian service is also fitted with the T50 turret it initially carried only twin .30 caliber machine guns. In later service the LRV and APC versions both carried the 30/50 combination and the only difference between them was roles. LRVs were used in sabre (recon) troops of the Cavalry regiment and the recon troop of the Armoured regiment. They carried a crew of 2 or 3 (crew commander, driver and sometimes operator/observer). APCs carried a crew of 2 and dismounts, either infantry, assault troops, engineers or other troops. In practise an LRV was also perfectly capable of carrying troops, though in perhaps somewhat more cramped conditions as LRVs often carried additional stores and ammunition and had seats removed and replaced with storage lockers. For a short period of time in Vietnam the Aircraft Armaments Incorporated Model 74C Cupola/Command Station was used, but it was quickly replaced by the T50. Also used by the New Zealand Army until the M113 was replaced in 2005. The turret was first introduced into Australian service in Vietnam and was initially armed with two .30 calibre machine guns. Shortly after some vehicles had one .30 machine replaced by a .50 calibre machine gun. This 50/30 armament configuration was used until at least 2002. – copyright from several internet sites. This conversion comes in a small sturdy box, with all the resin pieces in several plastic bags. As the Springer, no instructions is given as it`s in pdf file on MMK website. You got 51 resin gray color parts, with some being for the interior. As I already said, I was quite surprise with the amount of resin on the one. The turret T50, the main pieces is with full interior details, with the seat, seatbelts, and ammo racks on the roof. The turret it shelf has all the periscopes made by photo-etched, the hatch with sharp details on both side, to give the modeler the option of left it open. With all the interior viewable, that hatch must be wide open. The interior is very complete, with inferior mesh floor, ammo box and ammunition belts to attach on the .30 and .50 guns. The two machines guns are very well cast with hollow ends. The large photo-etched parts is very comprehensive and very well detailed with nice details. You can see the floor mesh, ammunition belts, periscopes parts, ammunition rack etc. Also you get a roof crew hatch, just behind the turret that is mounted slightly forward of the normal commanders cupola. This hatch than can be open but that depends on the interior detail that the modelers puts in it. If none, closed should be the option. A fire extinguisher, radio, jerry cans with “water” marked on it, several ammunitions box, radio, and others details to enhance M-113 interior. A quite nice touch! It also comes with a large mesh to put on the rear of the M113 but in my sample didn`t have it. Really no a big problem to solve because it only a mesh with some barber wire, easy to get elsewhere. MMK doesn`t refer to which model kit this conversion is adequate but with no plastic surgery need, I believe that can be any M-113A1 model kit in 1:35. You don`t get any decal sheet so aftermarket decals should be need it. Echelon decals have two decals sheet to M-113 A1 with T50 turret being ideal to this conversion set - D356087 (Snoopy) and D356088. My Snoopy is on the way! JJ Conclusion MMK give all you need to build an Australian M113 with T-50 Turret with full interior detail. MMK always give the modeler the opportunity to have something different and original. All of the resin is beautifully cast and has no flaw and casting resin blocks can be easily removed with care. None of the castings suffer from seam lines. I really fancy the conversion set, so much that is going to my to do pile and my decals set is already on the way. Very highly recommended Francisco Guedes Our thanks to MMK for the review samples and all the support given. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.
  2. 1:32 Supermarine Attacker F1/FB2 Iconicair Available from Iconicair for £115 plus postage The Supermarine Attacker is a British single-seat naval jet fighter built by Supermarine for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA). The type has the distinction of being the first jet fighter to enter operational service with the FAA. Like most other first-generation jet fighters, it had a short service life due to the rapid development of increasingly advanced aircraft during the 1950s and 1960s. The Attacker developed from a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jet project, under Air Ministry Specification E.10 of 1944 (the E for experimental). The design of the Attacker used the laminar flow straight-wings of the Supermarine Spiteful, a piston-engine fighter intended to replace the Supermarine Spitfire, and what became the Attacker was originally referred to as the "Jet Spiteful". The project was intended to provide an interim fighter for the RAF while another aircraft, the Gloster E.1/44 also using the Nene engine, was developed. An order for three prototypes was placed on 30 August 1944, the second and third of which were to be navalised. An order for a further 24 pre-production aircraft, six for the RAF and the remaining 18 for the Fleet Air Arm was placed on 7 July 1945. The Attacker suffered from deficiencies which led to it quickly being superseded; one being that the aircraft retained the Spiteful's tail-wheel undercarriage (due to the extent of the re-tooling that would have been required to alter the Spiteful's wing), rather than a nose-wheel undercarriage, thus making the Attacker more difficult to land on aircraft carriers. Also the new wing was apparently aerodynamically inferior to the original Spitfire elliptic one, with lower critical Mach number, leading to someone quipping that "they rather should have left the Spitfire wing on the thing". The Attacker had a brief career with the Fleet Air Arm, not seeing any action during its time with the FAA and being taken out of first-line service in 1954. It remained in service with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) for a little while longer, being taken out of service in early 1957. The Attacker was replaced in the front-line squadrons by the later and more capable Hawker Sea Hawk and de Havilland Sea Venom. The Royal Pakistan Air Force also purchased a number of de-navalised Attackers in the early 1950s. The UK and Pakistan were the only countries to operate the type, of which a total of 185 were built. The kit Iconicair’s 1:32 Supermarine Attacker was launched during the latter part of 2018, and we are grateful to them to be able to show this kit here on LSM. The kit itself is packaged into a fairly large and robust box with a nice painting of an Attacker about to be launched from HMS Eagle, and with the box edges showing the schemes available for your built model. Of course, this is a resin kit with a number of metal parts, so bear in mind that extra effort will be needed to assemble, over and above a regular injection-moulded styrene kit. Ok, let’s take a closer look. Lifting the lid reveals a swathe of bubble-wrap sheet layers which carefully protect the various zip-lock bags of resin, plus the PE and white metal parts. Removing all of this reveals a single decal sheet and a 14-page instruction manual. Some of these resin parts are quite chunky and heavy, and this is of course reflected in the overall weight of the package. A number of zip-lock bags are used to hold the various parts, with them being laid out in an orderly way within the box, to avoid any possible damage. Some of the bags have casting blocks included which are further bagged, or even bubble-wrapped for those components which are perhaps more prone to being broken. Each of the two canopy sets is individually bagged, and stapled together, along with the wallets for the white metal u/c and PE fret. Our first bag contains the main fuselage halves (sans nose), belly fuel tank and a casting block of smaller components. By far the largest components are the tapering, cylindrical-ish main fuselage halves. External detail on these is very nicely engraved, and depicts the panel lines, fasteners, access panels, louvres, wing root fillet etc. superbly. The details should take a wash very nicely. You’ll note that the wing spars have a location slot into the fuselage. If there is one thing I would perhaps do with this model and that’s to add some subtle flush-riveting with a beading tool, to help create a little extra visual interest. There are no casting blocks with these main parts, and there is also a small number of alignment tabs cast to one half. I would probably remove these as I feel the joint surfaces need drawing over some wet ‘n dry paper to properly even them after the casting blocks/edges were removed by Iconicair. You can always add new alignment methods yourself. A single-piece belly fuel tank is included, and my test fitting shows a small amount of fiddle will be required to get it to seat fully, but nothing too onerous. I’m sure I’ve seen some images of the belly tank with raised riveting around the belly seal but would need to check that further as none is depicted here. The long casting block contains the cockpit floor, intake parts, seat parts, instrument panel chassis etc. Again, everything is cleanly cast and there won’t be too much cleaning up needed when removed from the block. Our second bag is smaller but still nicely packed out with resin. Here you will find the cockpit/nose section, which is supplied as halves. These include the intake edge to them also. External detail is commensurate with that of the fuselage we’ve just seen, and some minimal clean-up will be required before use. Internally, these contain the various cockpit structures into which the side consoles etc. will fit. You’ll of course need no nose-weight here as the Attacker has a tailwheel configuration. I did a quick test fit of the nose to the fuselage and found things were reasonable. I will need to pack out the fuselage a little though as it isn’t as wide as the edge of the nose section mating area. Other parts in this bag contain more intake parts, the ejection seat, and two separately wrapped casting blocks with multiple components. There are yet more parts for the ejection seat, seat mounting rail, several cockpit detail parts including the three-piece instrument panel fascia, map case, avionics etc. Some light flash will need to be removed, but this is nothing unusual for a kit of this type. Our third beg of resin contains a yet more casting blocks that contain many parts pertaining to the undercarriage bay and gear door areas. Two of the initial blocks are more or less mirror images of each other, with those chunky wing spars and other wheel well liners, complete with wall details. The last block in this picture holds some of the landing gear doors. Whilst there is internal detail, externally, they are blank. Thankfully, some brass strengthening has been cast within the wing fold hinges too. Here, we have more gear bay door parts, and also the main wheels and hubs. Tyre detail is nice, but care will need to be taken when removing from the casting block. They also aren’t weighted. Wheel hub detail is delicate, but only on one side. The reverse of these is totally blank. One singe block is protected by bubble-wrap, containing the cannon barrel fairings, pitot and several small parts from the main gear bays. Bag no.4 is chock-full of flying surfaces. This is pretty much where you’ll find all the wing parts. The Attacker can have its wings posed in a folded position, and as a result, each wing is cast to that effect. Each of the main, inboard wing panels is cast as a complete upper unit with partial lower panels too. The panels that are cast separately are done so in this way so the wing spars and gear bay liners can be fitted first. This prevents a serious undercut needing to be made in the moulds. Landing flaps and aileron parts are also cast in situ, so you won’t be able to pose these without serious surgery and/or scratch-building work. Surface details are excellent, but again for me, would be enhanced with some nice flush rivet additions. Of course the end of these wing sections is cast hollow to accommodate the wing fold hinge. Note that there is no actual detail in this area so you will need to do some work if you want to depict folded wings. The same applies to the wingtip folded parts. Minimal clean-up will be required in all respects, but I also note that the wingtip lights are moulded in situ and not supplied as clear resin. I think I’ll fix that anomaly when I come to build this. Onto the last bag of grey resin now. As with the wings, the elevators and rudder are cast as one piece with their corresponding tail surfaces. To pose these separately will require a little extra work. Surface detail is basic, so again, some nice, subtle riveting wouldn’t go amiss. The rearmost fuselage section for the tail pipe/exhaust area is cast as a single piece and fits quite nicely to the main fuselage parts. Very nice louvre details here, but again, the entire hollow fuselage will be seen through this and you should ideally find a solution to this problem. A casting block contains all parts for the rear tailwheel bay and tail hook. Here we have a small posse of bags which hold the last parts for this kit. Iconicair have done a very nice job of casting the clear resin parts. Two sets are included, with the minimally framed F.1 and the heftier-framed FB.2. Of course, you will need to remove the casting blocks, but the clarity on my sample is very good and shouldn’t need any further work. No masks are supplied with this model, so it’s the traditional hand-made mask technique that you’ll need to employ. Main gear struts and actuators are supplied as white metal parts. Whilst some edges are nicely defined, some detail is now and you’ll need to do quite a lot of cleaning up before use, especially on the seams. Lastly, a single PE fret is included that contains the pilot seatbelts and the instrument coaming. Production is very nice, if not perhaps a little thick. Some annealing will be needed to get it to drape realistically. Instructions The 14-page instructions manual is printed on 7 sheets of glossy and heavy A4 paper, stapled at one corner. The front shows a photo of a completed model, and the build is broken down into 23 constructional sequences. Stage 24 was missing, and the final assembly sequences weren’t included, but an email to Graham, and the files were quickly sent to me. Illustration is by means of clear, fine line drawings with some minimal annotation. Things look pretty easy to assemble, but like with any full resin kit, you’ll need to think a few stages ahead and have your wits about you. The last few pages are taken over with colour-printed profiles for the two schemes supplied in this release. Decals A single sheet of decals is provided, printed by Fantasy Printshop. I know their decals to be of extremely high quality, and these have excellent colour density, minimal carrier film and are in perfect register. As well as the decals for the TWO schemes, a three-part instrument panel decal is supplied, as well as a small number of stencils. By their very nature, the FAA schemes for this are quite simple and almost identical too. The schemes included are for: Supermarine Attacker FB.2, WP286/J-101, No.800 Naval Air Squadron, FAA, HMS Eagle Supermarine Attacker F.1, WA492/J-104, No.800 Naval Air Squadron, FAA, HMS Eagle, 1952 Conclusion This is a very nice kit of an oft-forgotten type, which is perhaps more deserving of its place in aviation history, especially when you consider the Spiteful link, and the direct lineage to the Spitfire family. Iconicair has produced a model with a fairly simple breakdown and some thoughtful engineering, along with some nicely rendered surface detail. There are some areas which I think would benefit from extra detail, such as the gear bays, wing-fold area, and the void behind the pilot seat. A lack of exhaust tunnel with a fan face is also something you’ll have to fathom yourself. Perhaps, for me, something which does look a little strange in comparison to period and contemporary photos is the beautifully clear resin canopy. In this kit, it seems quite bulbous and tall. I could be wrong. Whilst I do have some criticism of this kit, in all, it should look superb when complete and will certainly be the only incarnation of this currently available in 1:32. Watch out for this soon as I build it for Military Illustrated Modeller magazine. Now….if there were some rockets for this too! My sincere thanks to Iconicair for the sample reviewed here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  3. Hello friends! Today we decided to tease you with our new project - a Continental 760x100 resin wheels. They are compatible for 1/32 scale models of different german planes - Albatros, Fokker D.VII, Pfalz and Roland. We are expecting they will be available in March 2019. https://properplane.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=114
  4. Even though I shouldn't be starting any new builds, this GB is a great excuse! Here we go!
  5. Tommy and Lazy Donkey 1:35 Royal Model (Catalogue n.º 790) Price Tag: 39.90€ ( 24 resin parts and a small PE sheet) Tommy and lazy donkey represents a caricature and humorous situation, perfectly plausible. In this set, we have 3 elements represented in the box art. Tommy, the donkey, and the wagon. The soldier stands in a comical posture with his hands on his hip and a smile on his face. The face has fun expression well achieved. All the posture is of fun and dialogue with the Donkey. And the donkey's attitude is really laziness and some irony that seems to appear from the donkey's expression. The detail of Tommy's clothing and his hat is immaculate. The donkey, beyond its expression of scorn, has delicious details in its saddle. At the anatomical level, both figures are very good and well achieved, attentive to the intended objective. The whole posture of the scene is really spectacular, being the center of any diorama in which it is part. The wagon is of complex construction with several pieces in resin and the decoration inferior in photo-etched. This small photo-etched sheet provides this lower decoration which is an interesting and demonstrative detail of the attention given by Royal Models. The entire lower structure is in resin with well-defined parts. Wheels are entire parts that need some delicate cleaning. The parts of the wagon that is wood are a very subtle details wood and the can be accented with a steel brush and will be a personal option for the modeler. I think the rays and texture of the wood are indeed very slight, not knowing if, under a layer of paint it will remain. The instructions are only for the wagon and in fact, there is no need for instructions as for the figures. Instructions are CAD drawings and although they do not have part numbers, they are easy to perceive and understand. All the resin parts have no distortions or bubbles and the resin chocks are easy to remove. CONCLUSION: Another set of great quality by Royal Models and a set that will be the center of a small diorama, giving it a touch of comedy and interest. The pieces are of high-quality casting and without any distortion or bubbles. The small PE gives an extra touch of quality and detail that is not at all to be overlooked. I'm already imagining a small road in a North African spot with a Topolino behind Tommy. VERY Highly recommended. With my sincere thanks to Royal Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click this link. Francisco Guedes
  6. 1:32 Fighter and Mechanisn of the WWI BLACK DOG Catalogue n.º F32003, F32006 and F32012 Price Tag:€23,50 The name Black Dog is a well know name for all AF modelers with their AFV accessories and conversion. So WWI figures and in 1:32 is a new thing from Black Dog and a very welcome to WWI scenario as Black Dog is known for the quality. Today we got the chance of reviewing 3 sets of two figures each. They all come in a small flip side box with each figure in zip-log bag. The box art are the figures full build and painted (with the exception of the mechanics set). Parts were safely secured in small pieces of sphincter and all the resin are very well cast, smooth, and with no bubbles at all or imperfections. Starting with the first set of German fighter pilots (F32003), both figures are in a standing position, one looking for a map and the other looking to the horizon with a thoughtful look. Both figures have several parts. The pilot with the binoculars is made by 5 parts. A single part is the all body (torso, legs and arms). The head and the left hand are in separate. Also two sets of binoculars are given, a short and a long version. The other figure (pilot with the map) is made of 5 parts, being the torso and legs in one piece. The head and both arms are in separate parts. The connections points are quite good, with a bit of cleaning. There`s only one head for each figure. The facial expression although is very well achieved. The hard cover to put the map is in single piece but no map is given. So you have to get some WWI maps to add to this figure. Both figures have some very good posture and great facial expressions. The second set of pilots has the same quality casting. The resin blocks are easy to remove with a small saw. The body posture is quite well achieved, being natural and credible. Both figures have little cleaning and construction to do, as the main body (torso and legs) is in one piece. The clothes details are at the highest level, among of the best. I love some fines touches like the glove inside the jacket pocket or the movement of the scarf. The last set, a pair of mechanic. As the other two pairs, the main torso and legs are in one single piece. Only one head is given. I love the look and body language of one of the mechanic with the cigarrete in one hand and the look like: “I`m totally wrecked… How I´m going to do with this?” The other figure is also very cool. And in the head, tool in the pocket… he`s saying: “What the ….?” I`m screwed….” Just love this pair. Conclusion: These sets have tremendous quality, maintaining the highest quality of these figures, showing why Black Dog is so loved by AF modellers. All the figures are quite easy to assemble and because of their posture/body language and facial expression, they will easily fit in any diorama with a Wingnut Wings. Highly recommended. My sincerely thanks to Black Dog for the review samples and for the patience. (You can buy directly here and if you do don`t forget to mention Wingnut Wing Fans and Large Scale Modeller) Francisco
  7. 1:32 Ansaldo A.1 “Balilla” WW1 Italian Fighter Aeroplane AVIATTIC (catalogue n.ºATTKIT006) Price Tag – £ 160 ( resin parts, PE sheet with parts) One day, I got a surprise waiting for me… a package with the Aviattic logo on it!! An excitement get over me and I was just like a 5 years old kid with a brand new toy Ansaldo A.1 Balilla in 1:32. Knowing Richard and all the products release by Aviattic the “Balilla” would be top noch in quality and detail. Richard from Aviattic is a devoted modeler and a WWI passionate so all their projects will come at their very best and a truly dedicate product. The love for their products is well patent on all their work. The Balilla is the best example of that. In a first glance I can tell that this is the most complete multimedia model kit that I ever seen. Utterly amazing! The all package. I had the chance to saw it, a first run full build “Balilla” and I was blow away with the detail. But just before going to open the box, here`s a bit of history of the tail slim and elegante aircraft. “The Ansaldo A.1, nicknamed "Balilla" after the Genoan folk-hero was Italy's only domestically-designed fighter aircraft of World War I to be produced in Italy. Arriving too late to see any real action, it was however used by both Poland and the Soviet Union in the Polish-Soviet War. The A.1 resulted from continued efforts by the Ansaldo company to create a true fighter. Their SVA.5 had proved unsuitable in this role, although it made an excellent reconnaissance aircraft and had been ordered into production as such. Ansaldo engineer Giuseppe Brezzi revised the SVA.5 design, increasing the size of the lower wing, and redesigning the interplane strut arrangement, abandoning the SVA's transverse Warren truss interplane strut layout, which had eliminated the need for spanwise-exposed flying and landing wires, which the new rigging scheme re-introduced to the Balilla's airframe design. While this produced more drag, it increased the stiffness of the wing structure and reduced stresses in the airframe. Engine power was increased to 150 kW (200 hp) and a safety system to jettison the fuel tank through a ventral hatch (in case of onboard fire) was installed. The first prototype was completed in July 1917, but acceptance by the air force did not occur until December. Test pilots were not enthusiastic in their evaluation. While they found a marked increase in performance over the SVA.5, the A.1 was still not as maneuverable as the French-built and designed types in use by Italy's squadrons, most notably the Nieuport 17, which was also produced by Macchi in Italy. This resulted in a number of modifications, including a slight enlargement of the wings and rudder, and a further 10% increase in engine power. This initially proved satisfactory to the air force, and the modified A.1 (designated A.1bis) was ordered into service with 91 Squadriglia for further evaluation. Reports from pilots were mixed. While the fighter's speed was impressive, it proved unmaneuverable and difficult to fly. Nevertheless, with a need to clear a backlog of obsolete fighter types then in service, the air force ordered the A.1 anyway. The first of an original order of 100 machines entered service in July 1918. The A.1s were kept away from the front lines and mostly assigned to home defense duties. In the four months before the Armistice, A.1s scored only one aerial victory, over an Austrian reconnaissance aircraft. It was during this time that Ansaldo engaged in a number of promotional activities, including dubbing the aircraft as Balilla, flying displays in major Italian cities, and in August donating an example to Italian aviator Antonio Locatelli as his personal property amidst a press spectacle. (This latter publicity stunt backfired somewhat when one week later a mechanical fault in the aircraft caused Locatelli to make a forced landing behind enemy lines and be taken prisoner). Despite all this, the air force ordered another 100 machines, all of which were delivered before the end of the war. At the armistice, 186 were operational, of which 47 aircraft were ordered to remain on hand with training squadrons, and the remainder were to be put into storage. The A.1 found a new lease of life, however, when a purchasing committee from the Polish army visited Italy in 1919 in search of new weapons. A contract for ten evaluation aircraft was signed, and these were delivered to Warsaw in January 1920. The initial impression of pilots there (mostly American volunteers) was extremely favourable, on account of its high speed and fuel capacity and, curiously, the maneuverability disdained by Italian airmen. On May 25, the A.1s were deployed to the front line. All but one of them were destroyed during the Red Army counterattack in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Polish government had already purchased another 25 aircraft and a licence to locally produce another 100. The new aircraft only arrived after hostilities had ended, and in July 1921 the first of 36 licence-built machines rolled out of the Lublin factory. The Lublin-built machines were some 80 kg (180 lb) heavier than the original Italian design and exhibited frequent problems with their engines and with the quality of their welds. Numerous accidents ensued, including at least nine fatal crashes. In 1924, the production order was reduced to 80 machines, and soon thereafter to 57 (the number actually constructed at the time). The following year, the armament was removed from all A.1s then in service, and by 1927, the type had been withdrawn from service completely.” – wikipedia courtesy. I got the Italian version with a beautiful box art featuring n.º 16553 Balilla of Tenente Antonio Locatelli. Richard was too kind and also send all the parts and decals for the polish version. Back to the Italian version, the design of the box is very well achieved, with the sides boxes with color profiles and a very vintage look. Opened the box, a truly gem is inside with a professional and passion packing with resin parts popping every ever and some RB seatbelts in the middle at a first glance. The package is the best I ever seen. The resin parts are separate in several zip log bags, but separate by groups of parts of the same part of the aircraft: cockpit, engine, engine cowlings, undercarriage etc. In each zip log bag, a small business card with reference photos of the corresponding parts of the aircraft. As example: the tail wing. A fantastic treat for the modeler. The wings and flying surfaces are taped to a foam-core sheet on the bottom of the box to keep them flat and protected. The foam-core is bent on one end creating a space for the main fuselage, made by two parts. Everything is made to prevent any damage to the parts. First job: counting all the resin parts… I confess I give up after counting 130 but I`m sure that it goes up 150… All the resin is in grey color and with some outstanding casting and sharp detail. No a single bubble… quality control with A+. The professional packing just prevents any broken part being all in their perfect shape attached in the resin block. Let´s check a few of the parts. The fuselage is made by 3 parts: a large tub piece side and bottom in one part, separate upper decking and tail. The separate upper deck has also part of the cushion of the pilot seat. The other main parts, the wings are solid parts, the upper in a single piece with the upper wings ailerons in separate and the lower wings are in two parts Also the tailplane has the flying surface in separate. The detail on the wings is very well achieved with subtle accurate wing rib strips that will enhance the look of the wings. Passing to another main point of all WWI, the engine. The S.P.A. (società piemontese automobili) 6A is a 6-cylinder inline engine, 14,6 litre, 200hp and it`s just gorgeous with tons of details. It`s a the level of the Taurus engines ones. It`s that good. Its all there, the valve springs, camshaft gear tower, magnetos water pump, oil lines… everything is there in all 63 resin parts and PE parts. You can decide to put inside or not with this details level. In fact is quite a good idea, a stand with the engine with the Ballila at side, engineless. But if you want to put the engine on the Balilla, the engine cowlings parts are separate parts, cast in very thin resin parts. The cooling vents are not totally open so you need to sand off gentle the thin areas inside. To cover or not all the details, the engine cowlings are beautiful cast with all the shape and details on these so evident part of an aircraft… the nose! The radiator and propeller are also beautifully cast and with high detail. As for the armament, the machines are included in beautiful cast parts. The polish version has another version of machine guns, two British Vickers guns. The cockpit just like the rest of the model has exquisitely detail, with lots of attention to instruments/levers and cockpit gauges. The instruments decals are very well register. This sheet is in continuous film so the ideal tool to take then off is a punch and die set. (The fuel tank is a fantastic piece with tons of detail) The seatbelts are made by RB Productions giving modeler fabric belts and PE buckles. There`s the indication of interior color: if you do the presentation aircraft (Antonio Locatelli and Natale Palli) a quite challenge you will face with the white and blue painted cockpit. If not, plain and bare wood. The cockpit is quite complete with lots of resin and PE parts, showing again that this model is not for beginners. The resin parts with attachments like wings and wings struts have wire inside of the part to assure good and solid attach. The undercarriage is also reinforced with wire to assure a good holding structure and no resin bending. But not all resin made this beautiful package: two brass sheet (a large very large brass PE, with tons of detail parts and another small), a much smaller nickel steel PE sheet with spokes for the wheels. All sheets are designed by Ron Kootje. On the large brass PE you got handles pedals, engine details, turnbuckles, etc. The medium one, the wire wheels. And small details on the smaller one. The package parts only finish with a white metal tail skid and a length for spark plug wire. On the box, there´s not instructions. Those can be found here, in a PDF download format build log. The build log is quite good, with clear indications and simple and quite understanding step-by-step constructions. I fully understand that the non-inclusion of a print instructions version was an economic reason to keep the model at the lowest PVP possible and even so this exclusive model still not cheap. However and being the Balilla a bit obscure airplane type of WWI, Aviattic decided to include (instead of the instructions) a 28 page reference booklet. This little booklet is quite fantastic with quite a lot of white and black pictures, a brief history and several walkaround color pictures. Another bonus is a frameable four view color artwork with some decals options. A beutifull artwork. Checking the decals, they are made and design by Pheon Decals, ehci means quality at all levels. The decals are like all Pheon Decals in continuous film, so the modeler need to cut the decal by the edge. The colour registration is top noch. The Italian decals includes six markings (with the two presentation shemes). The spectacular hand-painted “St.George” made originally by Venturi Having the luck of getting also the Polish version, the decal sheet for the Polish option gives seven options, six Polish and one Mexican version. Besides the markings, Aviattic also provide walnut graining for the fuselage for both types: dark wood (Italian version) and light wood (Polish version). Being Aviattic the main source for linen decals, clear doped decals are provide for the wings and the colourful top wing of the Italian version, along with instrument decals. And on top of all that, a set of nail-head decals made by HW. This version of the Balilla (32007) have a reproduction of a statement/letter from Marian C. Copper, Captain of the US Army to the Polish government offering his services to fight in the Polish-Russian conflict. Conclusion: I can say for sure that it`s the most complete resin kit that I ever seen. I already review others resin kit (armour and aircraft, including Cutaway Catalina form HpH) and any of them is as complete as Aviattic Balilla. Tons of work and love is on the jewel. Yes, it’s a jewel… for 160£ you get some precious resin parts, tons of PE, booklet with fantastic pics, fantastic decals sets from Pheon, nail decals from HGW etc. Checking the pictures from the booklet and others sources, all the parts looks quite accurate. The casting is outstanding as there´s no distortion or bubbles, all are in perfect shape. It`s without any doubt, the most complete and comprehensive resin model kit that I ever had the pleasure to get my hands on. Now to the bench to start cutting some resin!! I do hope in finish this beautiful Balilla until the end of the year. Very High Recommend Our truly and sincere thanks to Richard from Aviattic for the review samples.
  8. Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a/U3 built with AIMS resin conversion and decals Why do I do this? Ok, there will be an update on the 1/32 Fw 189A-1 in the next days, and this is on the runway for completion in a few weeks. Despite this, I still have an open topic for the Sea Hornet that I'm hoping to make progress on in the next months......BUT, how about an infill project? Converting the 1:32 Trumpeter Me 262A-1a fighter into a reconnaissance machine, Me 262A-1a/U3. These were rare machines, with many being converted from standard fighters at Cheb airfield in the Karlovy Vary Region of the former Czechoslovakia. The seed for this project was sown a couple of years ago when a good friend of mine gave me a part of a fuselage stringer from one of these rare machines, shot down, possibly by a Mosquito, whilst in the Cheb area. When AIMS announced a conversion kit, I decided to get this and stash it for future use. This is a fairly simple conversion, and whilst I yet have to get the associated decals for it, I thought I'd plant a flag here, right now and say that I WILL build this one. On top of the resin conversion, I'll be adding the AIRES cockpit and main gear bay set too. This is the basic kit: And these are some photos of the conversion from the AIMS site.....something to aim for!! Hope you like it.
  9. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 HpH Catalogue # 32030R Available from HpH for €210 If there was one country that didn’t mind defying convention with their aircraft design, it was Germany. Unlike some of the more unusual projects created by the Allied nations, the Germans really didn’t mind pushing the experiment further and as a result, a number of pretty unorthodox airframes entered regular service. One of these was the Focke-Wulf Fw 189, designed by Fw’s chief design engineer, Kurt Tank. This specific machine was the winning design for a requirement to provide the Luftwaffe with a tactical reconnaissance and army cooperation aircraft that was also able to carry a light bomb-load. Another notable machine which the Fw 189 competed against was Blohm und Voss’s unusual and asymmetric Bv 141. The Fw 189 was generally referred to as the Uhu (owl) and the ‘flying eye’, and consisted of a twin boom layout with a heavily glazed fuselage nacelle sitting on the centre wing section. Powered by two Argus As410 engines, the Fw 189 was perhaps a little underpowered, and relatively slow in comparison to fighter aircraft. Despite this, the sheer manoeuvrability of the type, with its incredibly small turning circle, made them relatively hard to shoot down, and the Uhu became a successful aircraft, operating mainly on the Eastern Front, with great effectiveness. A crew of three was carried, and defence was provided by MG15s fixed into two gun cupolas. A further two MG17s were positioned in the wing roots, firing forward. Externally, up to four SC50 bombs could also be carried. Almost 900 Fw 189 were built, with only one surviving today, in a state of severe disrepair (under rebuild at time of writing), and several other nations operated them, including Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. Norway actually operated the Fw 190, post-war. It’s often been said that large-scale modellers are living in a truly golden age. Who would’ve thought, only a few short years ago, that we would see even one quarter of the amazing and ambitious releases that we are being offered on a regular basis. A number of particular subjects are of course classed as a Holy Grail amongst certain modellers, and the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 is one of them. Great Wall Hobby have given us two wonderful 1:48 kits in injection plastic, and now HpH have stepped up the mark with this new resin-based multimedia kit. As soon as this was announced, I really had to register my interest. The real Fw 189 had a wingspan of 60ft, which means that in 1:32, this model has a span of no less that 570mm. That means this model is no shrinking violet. With that in mind, it might surprise you to find that this kit is packed into a relatively small box, measuring 410mm x 260mm, and with a depth of only 55mm! HpH have decided to use an action artwork on this release, instead of the profile art of previous kits, and I have to say that it’s a smart move. The box itself is quite a rigid type, and inside, it’s compartmented in order to keep parts from sliding around. This also adds further rigidity. If you are ordering this kit from long distance, I have to tell you that HpH pack their products superbly, and this arrived safely, wrapped in corrugated card and bubble-wrap. Open the lid, and sat on top of the mass of bubble-wrap protected packets, sits two zip-lock wallets. One of these contains a set of HGW-made seatbelts, vinyl canopy masks, turned brass parts, single decal sheet and a CD that contains the instructions manual. I quickly printed this in colour, as it’s far friendlier for workbench use. The other zip-lock wallet contains two large brass photo-etch frets and a single colour-printed one, protected by a piece of cardboard. All smaller resin components are bagged into zip-lock wallets that reflect the parts groupings printed in the manual. The larger airframe parts are inserted within the compartments, and bubble-wrapped for protection. Firstly my apologies, as having fumbled through these parts in order to asses and understand them, I seem to have possibly put some of them back into wrong bags prior to taking photographs. I’m sure you’ll still understand what I write though. Parts Bag A I quite like HpH’s solution of casting their parts on ultra-thin wafers. Some decry this, saying it makes it difficult to remove, but I prefer it to casting blocks. This bag contains TWELVE wafer casts and one part on a casting block. Four of these wafers are duplicated once, for those many multiple parts that are required, such as internal undercarriage bay structures, multi-part engine cylinders, rudder counterbalances, internal canopy framing, gear bay wing spar sections, engine bulkheads etc. Generally, parts are grouped onto wafers which are specific for certain areas of construction. Where they aren’t, this can still be pretty easy to locate what you need. There are so many parts here that it wouldn’t be feasible to list them all. Other wafers include cockpit floors and sidewalls, instrument panel, gun cupola rings, and also rods that runs along the leading edge of the landing flaps. The single cast piece in this pack is the rear fuselage deck. If you’ve never seen an HpH kit before, then you’re in for a treat. All detail is excellent, with the minutest trace being there to see. Casting is sharp and among some of the best I’ve seen. Without a doubt, this must go to create one of the best cockpits I’ve ever seen. Take a look at the images for yourself. HpH isn’t relying on resin alone for some of the key parts, like the multipart cockpit floor. These are supplemented by photo-etch parts such as tread-plates. This will look incredible when assembled and painted, and with that large greenhouse glazed area, it really has to be very good indeed. Parts Bag B Another nine wafers are packed into here, but not as large as those in the first bag. Predominantly, this package contains cockpit parts, such as padded cushions, seat buckets, control column, rudder pedal assemblies, armour plate framing, ammunition saddles, compressed gas cylinders, canteens, camera mount, equipment bags etc. The camera itself is to be found in the previous bag of parts. The design of this kit has the camera pointing down through a hole in the fuselage floor, yet the centre underside wing panel has the aperture cast as closed. There is some PE to use as what appears to be a door here, so I assume you can drill out that section and pose the model with the camera door in an open position. Non-cockpit parts include the undercarriage, main gear wheel hubs, and underwing ETC bomb racks. Parts Bag C There are a small number of wafers here. One of these holds the two engine crankcase blocks onto which the cylinders fit. Full engines aren’t supplied for this model, but no doubt that it could be achieved with a little ingenuity. An option to provide for this would have been a nice tough. tail wheel leg with wire reinforcement Immediately recognisable are the amazing looking engine cowls, cast as single pieces into which the engine cylinder assemblies will slide. You can appreciate here the rather beautiful lines of the Argus As 410 engine cowls. Very impressive. External detail is itself worth noting. Panel lines are fine and even. A fine wall of resin needs to be removed from the rear circumference of each cowl, and this is designed to be easy to do. Each of the four 50kg bombs are also cast as single pieces, complete with stabilising fins, and the non-glazed upper fuselage section is also a single piece, connected to its block by another thin resin wall. HpH have cast the spinners as a single part, minus the attractive fins which will be added as photo-etch parts. Propeller blades are cast onto a wafer, and jointed down one of their edges. Care should be taken in removing them for use. All wheels are cast as single parts, and the main gear doors are to be found, two per block, with excellent detail both outside and within. The single piece main gear struts are a beautiful piece of casting, and are made rigid by the insertion of a steel rod. Some clean-up will be required of course, but certainly nothing more than you would expect. Parts Bag 4 If the thought of lots of clear resin parts was to make you wonder about their quality, then fear not. These are probably the best I have ever seen, including those seen in their other kits (and I thought THOSE were good too!). There are fourteen parts here, and the most obvious, the nose, is certainly attention-grabbing. This single piece unit, like the other parts, is crystal clear, with beautiful external framing detail. Like the other parts, it is connected to its casting block by a thin resin wall which will be easy to saw through. I’m still drooling at the nose, but onwards! Framing detail and clarity are standard across the whole of this bag. For the rear gun ring, HpH has cast this in two parts, allowing the modeller to choose the final position of being either opened or closed. Of course, the parts can also be placed in any position on that ring, as it of course swivelled in actual use. You really will need to make an outstanding job of that cockpit, as you’ll see little bit of detail though this canopy. The crew access doors can be positioned in either an open of closed position too. My only reservation here is that all these fragile parts are in the same bag. It would’ve been better to use a few smaller bags in order to prevent scratching. A few clear and coloured resin pieces are included for wingtip lights, plus a few smaller parts for underwing light etc. Parts Bag 5 A lot of key parts here, with the central under-wing/fuselage panel, rudders, stabiliser, elevator and ailerons being found here. Again, external detail is amazing, and as good as any you will find on a top-quality injection moulded kit. Detail consists of fine panel lines and port access plates, as well as restrained riveting. Fabric and rib detail on the ailerons and rudder are subtle enough and will need no further work, and the stabiliser is a two-piece item, being cast as upper and lower panels. You will need to remove the resin webbing from the tail gear well area. Well detail is cast on the upper inside of the stabiliser, and this is enhanced further with photo-etch inner rib detail. Wings Whilst the wing upper and lower panels seem conventional, they aren’t. Upper wing panels also contain a portion of the fuselage nacelle sidewalls. Cast into them is also the tail boom fairing and forward engine cowl. The lower wing panels are shorter, stopping at the tail boom junction. Ailerons and landing flap areas are separate items. I find the surface detail absolutely gorgeous. Look at the photos and see how precise and even the panel lines are, and the other engraved detail. The full airframe is also riveted, and it looks impressive. A lower landing light is provided as a separate inner reflector and external lens, with a PE plate. PE is also used for the aileron actuator and hinge covers. Detail is comprehensive. Of course, there are casting blocks to remove, and these lie along the wing leading edge with the upper panels. These are connected so as to cause minimal disruption to external detail, whilst not affecting the lines of the forward-most leading edge lines. Lower panels have the blocks connected along the rear edge, where the ailerons etc. will fit. Three inner wing spars are also included here, cast onto a wafer. The main spar is reinforced with steel rods. The instructions clearly show their positions, plus there are channels and ribbing within the wings which provide a position location for these parts. Tail Booms Construction is conventional here, with each boom consisting of port and starboard halves. Notice that they insert within the gap left by the lower wing panels, and include the wing cross section at that point, meaning they should be easy to align. Rudders are separate, and we saw those earlier. External detail matches the other parts beautifully, with some very neat rows of rivets. You will need to replace any of these that could become lost when removing seams. External detail is supplemented by photo etch detail, such as the strakes that run along the spine and belly of each tail boom, and the strap that covers the bolts which hold the tail fins to the booms. Like a number of parts in this kit, there are positions within the parts that are designed to accept resin locating pins that will help with alignment. HpH’s attention to detail extends into the main gear wells, where you’ll see some very nice rib and stringer detail. Along with the other components, just a little wiring is all that will be needed to create an amazingly detailed area. Resin summary All parts are cast in a light grey resin, unlike some of the releases I’ve seen where this has a pale green/yellowish hue. Surface finish is superb, looking very akin to an injection kit. External surfaces are polished. This kit appears to have no defects anywhere, or any breakages. Quite simply, an ultra-high quality resin product. Clean up and block removal should also prove to be very simple, in comparison to other resin releases I’ve seen over the years. Turned brass parts MG15 gun barrels are provided here, and look like MASTER parts. If you’ve seen these before, you’ll know just how realistic they are. A small PE fret also provides parts for the reticules. The remaining parts are for the pitot, and two sets of slide-fit tubes for the prop shafts, allowing the finished item to rotate. Photo-etch parts A single colour-printed fret contains the instrument panel and the fascias for other instrumentation units within the cockpit, including various levers etc. A number of non-colour parts are also included for general cockpit use, such as the rudder pedals and observer’s feet racks that sit within the glazed nose. The largest brass fret contains parts solely for the landing flaps. All photo-etch in this kit is produced by Eduard, and these flaps follow their typical design whereby you fold and twist the small ribs within the flaps, to 90 degrees. The skeletal framework is fitted to a separate outer skin, and you will need to add the leading edge tubes to complete them, as well as various other small parts. I did say this fret was solely for flaps, but I can also see the tail-boom spine and belly strakes here too. Lastly, a slightly small fret contains parts which are general to the model. These include the anti-glare panel from the cockpit, ammunition saddle parts, alternative PE bomb fins (requiring removal of resin cast parts), plus various straps, plates and other minor detail. Production standard is as high as is to be expected from Eduard, with everything clearly numbered. Masks With a canopy with so many panels, you’d be correct in assuming that this would be a killer to mask. Thankfully, a beautifully cut set of vinyl masks is included. Mask material exhibits no shrinkage, and appear to be high quality. Either way, you’ll be thankful that HpH included these! Decals HpH’s decal inclusion has undergone its own revolution. In previous releases, standard decal sets have been included, but recently, a fellow Czech company, HGW, have been using a new technology called Wet Transfer. These started with stencil sets, and progressed to actual markings. The beauty with these, as opposed to regular decals, is that they contain ZERO carrier film! Each decal is soaked in water, and then applied to the model. After a few hours, the carrier film is peeled off, leaving just the ink on the surface. HPH have decided to include a custom set of these in this kit, including both national, individual, and stencil decals. Printing quality is high, and in perfect register. Check out those stencils, and they are readable too! Three schemes are available in this release, and these are: Fw 189A-1, 1.(H)32, Pontsalenjoki airfield, Finland, 1943 Fw 189A-1, 1.(H)32, Finland, 1942 – 1943 Fw 189A-1, 1.(H)32, Finland, 1943 Seatbelts HGW’s second collaboration with our kit manufacturer is for the inclusion of some seatbelts, specifically designed for the Fw 189. These are made from a combination of printed and laser-cut textile parts, and a small number of buckles and clasps that are included on the colour PE fret. These belts are simply the best available, and can be posed in a natural way by scrunching the material before assembly. They can also be weathered with oils. Instructions A CD is provided which contains all the high-resolution colour JPG pages that you will need. Ideally, you should print a copy of these and work from that. I hate staring at computer screens whilst I work. Also, as I use a Macbook Pro, I didn’t have a CD drive, and needed to dump the files to a pen drive whilst at work. The instruction files are very high resolution, and start with showing the contents of the parts bags, all numbered. Clarity is very good. Instructions are then shown for assembling the seatbelts, and then construction begins with the wing and spar assembly. These first steps are critical and need to be followed closely. Assembly drawings are in line drawing format and look easy to understand. These are punctuated with colour photos of the test assembly. Colours are indicated, but in simple terms, and not in manufacturer codes. Instructions to add the decals are also given, and of course, each scheme is illustrated in various profile format. In all, a very clear and concise publication that you should have any trouble with. Chocolate What chocolate? Looks like HpH decided to discontinue that little treat. It’s a shame as it softened the way with my wife when I introduced yet another kit to her! Conclusion For me, this is HpH’s best release yet. I know the subject is one that really appeals to me anyway, but I do own a few other earlier kits, such as the Walrus, He 111, Me 410 and Sea Hornet. Those are all masterpieces, but I think this piques even those kits. Yes, this one is slightly more expensive than was originally projected, but the increase in PE accounted for that. This is also no beginner’s kit. In fact, unless you’re well-versed with resin, I would think twice about it due to the unusual layout and the critical factor in getting everything to align properly. As a kit, it’s simply outstanding; highly detailed, and a superb piece of model engineering and casting, along with those seatbelts, photo-etch and turned brass parts. I really couldn’t resist this one, and the main exterior parts indicate this was #03 from the moulds! If this at all appeals to you, treat yourself, and tell them you saw it at Large Scale Modeller. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to HpH Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  10. 1:32 Gotha Bomber German Crew from Cooper State Models Catalogue n.º F32-008 Price tag: €29,95 And…. Here we go again, with a new release from Cooper State Models, now with a entire crew for the WnW Gotha. The CSM site has a brief history that is quite interesting and well worth the reading. It´s not the first time I post the CSM history but it´s always good to remember a brief history. So here`s goes: “In 1996 my parents decided that they were ready to retire from the family business. Since I was ready to do something else for a living, we sold the company. I had recently got back building models after a 25+ plus year hiatus and decided to try that for a business. I chose the name Copper State Models (CSM) because Arizona is also known as the “Copper State”. The logo is the state’s outline with the state flag inset into it and a Fokker D.VII. At first I tried building for hire but soon discovered that I was too slow of a builder to make that work! A friend of mine named Bob owned The Model Car Garage (high end model car details) and was doing well with it. He became my mentor in starting CSM. I picked WWI a/c because not everyone and his cousin was doing that subject and I had a real interest in it. This was the beginning of the golden age of WWI a/c modeling. You had Eduard and Toko doing quality plastic kits so I saw a place for high quality details and put CSM in that direction. The hardest part of getting started was finding the vendors I needed to make the things I couldn’t make myself. Bob from MCG put me in touch with Tim for the PE (Photo-Etched parts- I.S.) artwork. We hit it off real well and he started drawing for me. PEC also came from Bob and for me they are the best PE producer in the business. Microscale has been doing quality decals for a very long time. They were close, good and willing to work with a small outfit like CSM. Laura and Vickie were absolute jewels to work with. Marty’s claim to fame was his magnificent hand carved wood props. I was buying props and corresponding with Marty by snail mail (no email then). Marty’s written English was in its learning stages and a friendship developed. When I told Marty about starting CSM, I had in mind selling his props as part of my line. He was agreeable and asked if I would be interested in kit masters. I said “absolutely” and he sent me the Do. D.I kit and that was the beginning of the CSM kit line. I started advertising in Windsock magazine very early. Ray and I became friends. He reviewed CSM’s products fairly and this was a huge boost to the company. He is one of the greatest supporters of WWI a/c modeling. Marty and I chose kits together based on interest and available documentation. We tried to pick kits that the “mainstream” model companies wouldn’t do. There was such a wealth of WWI a/c that has never been kitted in 1/48TH scale before for us to choose from. Float/flying boats and 2 seaters were our mainstay. I enjoyed my time setting up and running CSM. It was a great way to earn a living. With the passing of my parents I decided to retire and sell CSM. I would like to thank all the great vendors I worked with and my great customers all of whom I enjoyed dealing with. I would especially like to thanks my parents for their help and encouragement without which it never would have happened. I wish Ilya and Slava good hunting, God’s speed and all the success in the world. I hope they enjoy CSM as much as I did in their new venture. My advice would be to produce a quality product and charge a fair price and you will do well. Eric R. Hight Copper State Models Founder and Former President We have another opportunity to get a good look of the latest CSM release, and very desirable one: an entire Gotha Crew. This set came in the usual small and sturdy box wrapped in bubbles There`s no assembly instructions and no decals for any of the figures. This single set is quite simple nonetheless the 3 figures. The construction of each is one of the best I ever seen in resin figures, being almost done with a little cleaning and perfect fitting. I decided to build them all after pictures and I really must say that they in fact are quite ease to get together with low cleaning job. The resin is in medium/light gray like the others previous releases. All the 3 figures comes with the one piece body and legs in one very nicely cast piece and with a separate head and arms. In sum, 4 pieces with separate arms and head and one piece for torso and legs. The rear gunner is the only standing figure. The position and body expression are really good, with the jacket details in evidence like the buttons, pockets and even buckle boots are reproduce. The jacket leather looks quite realistic, you just can smell the leather. Although the face is partially hidden behind the scarf and helmet, still conveys an expression of concentration. The pilot, besides the high cloths details, does have a relax posture.. almost like driving a car with the arm outside the window… style pure style! The pilot is also the on that does have the face most cover, just seeing the eyes and the moustache. The front gunner/navigator also with some “false” relax position, a pre-mission concentration. The facial shows precisely that with the scarf to cover part of the face, with the ever-present without moustache mouth. In fact this figure is the one that has no moustache. The highlight of this set, besides the extreme and sharp details, is the fact that this set is not a fly set but a crew ground set… Nonetheless this a Gotha Crew for starting take-off and just before take-off or after mission. I decided to build all the set… and put in my WIP Gotha, that is already close with seatbelts. Conclusion: Quality is really the middle name of CSM. The castings amd resin quality are top noch. Apart of that, the details are exquisite at all levels. The helmet, goggles and scrats are very well done with incredible details. The facial expression and details (like eyes and mustache) are very well worked out and very convincing. The resin chunks are very easy to remove and the buils is quite straightforward. The 3 figure come together in less than 15 minutes. Cooper State Models is a well know name in modelling Market and their Stuff mean QUALITY! You simply can`t go wrong with these figures, as they are perfect to stand on your Gotha… An d with a bit of imagination, they don’t need to be all inside of the Gotha. Highly recommended. My sincerely thanks to Edgar from Copper State Models for the review samples. (You can buy directly here and if you do don`t forget to mention Wingnut Wing Fans and Large Scale Modeller) Fran
  11. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 56 Stösser Lukgraph Catalogue # 32-06 Available from Lukgraph. Email for enquiries The Focke Wulf Fw 56 Stösser (Goshawk) was a single-engine, high-wing monoplane advanced trainer, built in the 1930s in Germany.t was developed, in accordance with a request by the Reich Air Ministry for an advanced fighter trainer, by Kurt Tank, chief engineer with Focke-Wulf. It was also considered for possible use as a home defence fighter. The first prototype flew for the first time in November 1933. A second prototype had some modifications made to the fuselage, and metal rather than wooden wings for flight testing. The third prototype, which flew in February 1934, reverted to the wooden wing and satisfied the technical designers. After comparison flights in 1935 against its two competitors - the Arado Ar 76 and the Heinkel He 74 - the Air Ministry ordered production to begin. A few were sold for private use, for instance to Gerd Achgelis, who later founded the helicopter company Focke-Achgelis with Henrich Focke. Ernst Udet, an advocate of the use of dive bombers, tested the second prototype - Fw 56 V2 - in this role, and on his recommendation the development of dive bombers was given greater attention. The Fw 56 was a high-wing aircraft with a fuselage of steel tubes, clad in metal at the front, and canvas elsewhere. The wing was of wood, clad mostly in plywood, while the trailing edge was covered with fabric. The three-point undercarriage was fixed and possessed a tail skid. Although only 1000 were built, the Fw 56 had numerous operators, including Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, The Netherlands, and of course her native Germany. (Wikipedia) Lukgraph are a relatively new company on the resin kit scene, and this is only their sixth 1:32 release. This is one model kit that I’m certainly happy to see, and in my preferred 1:32 scale, having got a liking for the subject when I built the old 1:72 Heller kit several decades ago. As far as I know, this is the first venture into this subject, in this scale, from any manufacturer, and it’s been a long time coming! Thank you Lukgraph. The kit itself is packaged into a quite small box, but this is the beauty of resin kits and no large sprues. Presentation is clean, simple and effective, with a Luftwaffe profile adorning the glossy-printed lid, and various national emblems showing that those countries will be represented with the available schemes. Unlike many 1:32 kits, this one actually has no less than TEN schemes to choose from, and we’ll look at those later in this article. The information given on the Lukgraph website, gives these credentials for this release: Material: Grey resin
 Parts: 120 pcs. 
 Etched parts: 16 pcs.
 Decals: over 100 pcs.
 Film: 1 pcs.
 Color manual
 Model dimensions: (Length) 237,5 mm x (Span) 328 mm Inside the box, the resin components are protected by a sheet of bubblewrap, carefully wrapping around all parts. Within, the resin fuselage and engine cowl are dry-assembled with some nifty Lukgraph-printed tape pieces, and there are two zip-lock wallets. One of these contains the wing, aileron and wing connection parts, whilst the other holds the rest of the parts, neatly bagged into smaller re-sealable wallets. Decals are printed over two sheets and one strip, protected by a plastic sleeve, and a single fret of PE parts is placed in a small packet along with a self-adhesive sticker for the instrument panel (to fit behind the PE fascia), and some small pieces of acetate for the windscreen. An attractive, colour-printed manual completes the contents….well, almost. Included in this pack are two of the schemes, printed on a high quality vellum-style paper, and each of them is personally dedicated to me! That really is a personal touch that I’ve never seen in any other kit release, ever. Ok, onto the parts: Fuselage External detail shows the forward metal plating and rear fabric texture very well. Panel line engraving is very good, with only the line separating the plating from the fabric, perhaps being a little shallow and in need of a quick re-scribe. A couple of other panel lines would benefit too. A little filling and re-scribe will be needed on one of the engine cowl panel lines, as it seems to go a little wonky in one spot. Again, a simple fix that shouldn’t tax anyone with the skills to build a resin kit. The subtleness of the fabric and rib effect looks correct to any photos you may Google of this machine. A few minor scratches, possibly on the masters, will need a small touch of filler to fix. In all though, a very nice representation, and with lines that look perfectly captured. Where the undercarriage and wing support struts fit, indents are cast, with a central spot that will need drilling out in order to plug in those parts. Internally, the cockpit walls have their former and stringer detail cleanly cast, with indents for locating the rear corners of the cockpit tub. All parts here are cleaned up and ready to assembly. You will need to use a little putty along the lower fuse seam, where the casting block has been removed. This isn’t uncommon with resin kits. Wings I have to say that these are most impressive. The forward edge and top central panels of the real machine, were plywood covered, with only the rear third being fabric. This looks perfect to me, with the rib detail being perfectly subtle. Even panel lines distinguish the plywood sheeting panels and demarcation from the fabric areas. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean a lot, and here, the pips onto which the ailerons hang, line up with the small protruding hinge covers on the upper surface. This means that when you pop the ailerons into position, the very slight intentional gap at the leading edge, portrays those pips as being the actual connections points. Those ailerons also fit perfectly. To reinforce the wings, they are cast with a steel rod running through them. That also doubles as a connecting point on the central block, along with two resin pips. That block will need drilling out at that point, and the steel pins themselves may need shortening by around 1mm so they don’t clash. A fine rub down with a sanding sponge will finish the sheeted areas of the wing off nicely, prior to priming. All parts have casting blocks removed, and you’ll just need to do some remedial clean-up where they used to fit, such as the minor edge that runs down the forward wing leading edge. From here on, it’s easier to look at what the kit offers in terms of detail and show the resin parts accordingly. Cockpit Typically, construction starts here, and the model is built around a tubular framework tub. Each side is cast as a single piece that will need minimal clean-up. A castellated casting block is the biggest obstacle to tackle, but a razor saw will make short work of it. The spacers dividing the sidewalls are cast onto a block, and the manual gives the specific lengths for these at every connecting point. A nicely cast cockpit floor with tread boards then sits into this, and the pilot seat position is clean and unambiguous. A casting block will need to be removed from the latter, and a set of PE seatbelts is included to furnish this. As mentioned, the instrument panel is a multi-layer affair, and this is sat atop a rectangular PE board with yet more neatly etched details. The Fw 56 cockpit was still quite a simple affair, but one I feel is certainly more than adequately portrayed here by Lukgraph. Engine Yes, unlike many resin models that feature inline engines, this one has the complete Argus As 10C engine that you can display with the engine cowl removed. As the lines of the Stösser are so beautiful, I will really have to tear myself to be able to break them to reveal this nicely reproduced engine. First World problems! The As 10C is comprised of a series of both resin and PE parts, with the engine block being separate to the eight cylinders and individual conn rods, magnetos and ignition conduits. A note is given in the manual to add the ignition leads yourself, if required, using lead wire. The parts are beautifully cast, along with engine bearers and a detailed firewall. A forward engine cowl completes the ensemble, flawlessly cast and with some nice detail. Two propellers are included, one with spinner and one without. Exhaust stubs are individual too, and the ends are hollow cast. Struts Here I’ll look at all struts, be it the undercarriage or the wing support items. These are cast with what appears to be a brass reinforcement rod running through them, and they are well-cast, with no breakout of the metal, despite it looking so on the thin parts. Holding them to the light shows that the metal rods are fully encapsulated. There are two main struts per wing side, and some small sub-struts that run between the main struts and the wing. Cabane struts join the fuselage directly to the wing, and you will need to open up the wing and fuselage locating points before assembly. The undercarriage struts are quite wide but also thin, with reinforcement rods cast in situ. These will need to be bent at point of exit, and then cut to length to suit the connection to the fuselage and wheels. As with many parts in this kit, the wheels are removed from their casting blocks and simply require a little clean-up before use. Tail Surfaces These are popped into a single bag, and need minimal work on them before they can be used. One pip is missing from my stabiliser, for mounting the elevator. This can easily be replaced with wire. Elevators and rudder display that subtle fabric and rib finish, and the stabiliser is plywood skinned. This part fits to the fuselage via two locating pips. I did try to fit these and the curve on the fuselage area is too pronounced for the stabiliser, and there is a gap between the two. As sanding the connecting fuselage face would elongate the joint, I suggest that something like Magic Sculp is added to the fuselage joint area, and a wetted stabiliser is temporarily added to achieve the correct profile. All resin is nicely cast, and with a precision that I like to see, a’la ailerons and fuselage fit etc. and most casting block removal and clean-up is done for you, with only a razor saw needing to remove the rest, and a sanding stick/sponge for the remainder of parts. There are a few bubbles here and there, but none have broken the surface , so cause no issue at all. Photo Etch & Instrument Foil Here we have engine parts, seatbelts, two instrument panel fascias and numerous other small details. These are etched onto a thin sheet of plain brass, and connection tabs are nice and thin. Detail itself is as good as from any other contemporary manufacturer. The inclusion of a coloured sticker for the instrument panel is actually quite smart. Any problem with alignment, and you can unpeel it and correctly replace. It’s glossy so you don’t need any acetate either. Instrument definition is also spot-on. Decals These simply look perfect, and akin to the sort of decals I’d expect in an Eduard kit. Not only are they amazingly thin, but they also have minimal carrier film. Colours are solid with the white not being too vivid, and the other colours look authentic. The only thing I can criticise is a lack of stencils, assuming the Fw 56 was adorned with them. You might need to raid your spares drawer for that. Swastikas are supplied as halves, in the conventional way that gets around the draconian laws of countries such as Germany. The schemes represented here are: Fw 56 Stösser, G1+43, Hungarian Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, G-129, Hungarian Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, G.126, Hungarian Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, C-I, Spanish Republican Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, 11, Bulgarian Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, LSK III, Dutch Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, 102, Austrian Air Force Fw 56 Stösser, PM+AP, Luftwaffe Fw 56 Stösser, NN+AA, Luftwaffe Fw 56 Stösser, PW+NN, Luftwaffe Instruction Manual A glossy and attractive 20-page publication that has the box art and history of the Fw 56 on its cover. Inside, the constructional stages are illustrated by means of shaded line drawings that look easy enough to follow. Where necessary, colour labels are attached to the parts for painting, and PE parts are illustrated by means of yellow part labels. There is a little rigging on the struts, but nothing to be alarmed about. I reckon you could rig this in 30 minutes! The remainder of the manual is given over to the ten colour schemes, with nicely rendered side profile, and simplistic upper and lower profiles. Paint codes aren’t given, but are instead simply ‘named’. Please do your reference here. And here are the rather nifty personalised cards that were included with this kit. One of them is also of a scheme I intend to build for Military Illustrated Modeller Conclusion I really do worry about future years, as all the models I wish I had the chance to see are being released over such a short time! No, I’m not complaining at all, and I feel honoured to be given the chance to look at one of those kits I always hoped I would see. Lukgraph has done a wonderful job of recreating the lines of this parasol-wing trainer aircraft, and crammed in just the right amount of detail. Construction looks very straightforward and I dare say that this is a model that could be made by someone who has worked with resin before, but relishes a chance to build a full model. Such a variety of schemes is also a clincher! Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Lukgraph for the opportunity to review this release. To purchase directly, check out your online hobby store, or email Lukgraph HERE.
  12. 1:32 MiG-15bis HpH Catalogue # 32025R Available from HpH for €150,00 The Korean War was the first major conflict where jet fighters from both sides of the conflagration, fought against each other in pitched aerial battles. Even though the RAF operated the Meteor during WW2, and the Germans the Me 262, these two types never met in combat. Without a doubt, the most iconic jet fighters of the Korean War were the F-86 Sabre, and the MiG-15. Unlike the Allies in May 1945, the Russian jet programme wasn’t particularly advanced, with the MiG-9 ‘Fargo’ taking its first flight in 1946, after hostilities were ended. At the end of WW2, scientists, under military jurisdiction, raped German technology and spirited away Germany’s technical programme into various countries. For the Russians, already with their own disadvantage, the path to catch up to the Allies was longer hard fought for as the Iron Curtain began to fall. As with the slightly later F-86 Sabre, the MiG-15 was a swept wing, transonic fighter aircraft, first flown in 1947 and being introduced into service in 1949. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8APaZIxJEr4 Developed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich, the type was powered by a Klimov VK-1 centrifugal flow turbojet, and the second generation bis (improved) machine, was fitted with two NR-23 cannon and one Nudelman N-37 cannon, plus a capability of carrying unguided rockets, bombs or drop tanks on external wing stores. The MiG-15 has often been described as one of the most effective and robust fighters ever produced, and was operated by over forty countries before production ceased. Total production was around 18,000 aircraft, of which 6000 were licence built in China. The MiG-17 was designed to replace the MiG-15, but for continuity, serial production of the MiG-15 continued throughout the Korean War, and as a result, the MiG-17 never saw service in that conflict. By the time the type entered service in 1952, the MiG-19 was about ready for service. HpH manage to cram a surprising amount of resin into their superbly designed and robust corrugated boxes. These attractive packages have a colour profile artwork on their lid, and in the case of the MiG-15, highlighting the two schemes that are possible to be modelled. The box interior is compartmented so as to snugly fit the various bags of resin and main airframe parts. On top of the various parts lies a ziplock wallet that contains an instruction manual CD, decals, photo-etch frets, turned metal parts and some nifty seatbelts from HGW. In case the initial inspection makes you a little hungry, a small Belgian chocolate is tucked away into the lower compartments. Of course, my wife always takes this little treat. Not having a CD drive on my MacBook Pro, the first thing I do before starting to write my review is to dump the files from the CD onto my USB pen drive at work, and then print out the document. First inspection of the whole kit before photography shows that there is no flaw in casting. There are a couple of break-out points on parts where strengthening wire is included, but nothing that will cause any problem. The surface of the main parts seems to be speckled a little with what I think it simply mould release agent. I wiped this with a little isopropyl alcohol and it almost removed it. Again, I’m not overly worried about that. Only the larger parts have casting blocks that need traditional removal and clean-up. The other smaller components are cast on thin resin wafers. This means you will need to carefully grind the connecting portion of the part in order to remove the thickness of the wafer. In some cases, you could probably ignore this, but you need to test fit your part to be sure. This kit contains: Around 160 grey resin parts 9 clear and coloured resin parts 3 bare brass photo-etch sheets 1 plated and colour printed photo-etch sheet Series of turned brass parts and wire rod MiG-specific HGW seatbelts 1 comprehensive decal sheet Set of vinyl canopy masks CD with instructions in JPG and PDF format 1 Belgian chocolate Cockpit http://i1324.photobucket.com/albums/u614/LargeScaleModeller/LSMReviews/hphmig/DSC05437.jpg There really is no doubt that HpH’s releases drip with detail, and this mini-masterpiece is built upon two intake tunnels that are first glued to the inside of the fuselage halves. Here is where you of course need to arrange your painting early on in construction. Those tunnel parts are not only detailed for the interior cockpit, but they have rivet detail all the way down the exterior faces that you can see down the intake path. The same goes for the internal face of the fuselage parts too. Deep inside those intakes, HpH have even included airflow vanes that help to evenly distribute air over the intake fan. Once you’ve installed those intake sections, the cockpit work can begin. The cockpit is a true multimedia event, with some beautifully refined resin detail, supplemented by a respectable amount of photo etch work. All photo-etch parts in this kit are produced by Eduard. A combination of both brass and colour PE will be installed here. With the forward and rear bulkheads installed, the cockpit is then outfitted with ejection seat rails, avionics, regulators, valves, plus the usual gamut of parts, such as the seat, control column and hydraulic cylinder, rudder pedals etc. Cockpit detail is superb, with nice sharp resin detail shown alongside the Eduard colour PE parts. These early MiGs didn’t have the interior turquoise colour that defined the typical Russian Cold War cockpits, and the instructions show this as ‘Light Grey Blue. I know the some do not like the inclusion of colour PE, but the parts included here look perfect, with a non-pixelated, solid finish. I’m more than happy to use the parts supplied for this purpose. Of particular note is the laminated instrument panel, finished in black. To help you with precise location of parts in this tiny but packed cockpit, photos are included to assist you, as well as illustrations on assembling the various components themselves. Fuselage This is supplied in full length halves, with sharply refined panel line detail and subtle rivet lines. HpH added the casting blocks so that they run the full length of the fuselage underside. These are quite thin and just require a knife or razor saw to part them. You will of course need to recreate any missing detail from the surface in those areas, but you would need to do that anyway when you sanded the joint seam. There are actually a couple of areas on the underside that need to be cutaway in order to attach other parts, but these cutaways couldn’t be incorporated with the casting block position. RB Productions scribers and saws look perfect for adding any missing detail, as they are fine, and the pounce wheels are available in various pitches. You are sure to find one that matches. Note that the fin is cast as separate parts too, which for a resin kit is surely easier when it comes to alignment and gluing. When the time comes to attach the halves, a series of peg holes are provided so you can insert your own pins. This should remove any concern about the joints being raised/lower on one or the other parts. Just check the fit first before committing to glue. If you wish to pose the airbrakes in an open position, then you will need to first cut away the resin cast detail. This will then be replaced by photo-etch brake doors and internals surface detail, with a number of resin detail parts. This is always a leap of faith, and I would have liked to have seen some resin cast brake doors, onto which PE detail could be applied. Internal bulkheads are supplied to help you install the internal exhaust pipe. The latter is detailed with a rather nice fan surface. Wings and fins Before you can work with these parts, you will need to remove the leading edge casting blocks. Again, surface detail really is excellent and looks perfect for the scale, with fine panel lines and subtle riveting. The internal wheel bay ceiling detail will be added to with separate sidewall parts, leaving you to perhaps just add a little wiring here and there. There’s no real need for anything else, as HpH seem to have it covered! As well as a number of other internal resin components, and a clear light lens that need to be installed, the rear work here will be the inclusion of the landing flaps. These are a photo-etch addition, and unlike Eduard’s tried and trusted system of flat panel – fold and twist, these are mostly produced from individual parts, such as ribs etc. The result does look pretty damn good. Take a look at the photos here. For the flap itself, construction is mostly flat and curved plate, and looks very straightforward. More photo-etch is included for the wing fences, and there are clear locations to which these will insert. As previously stated, the vertical fin is a two-part assembly. The upper and lower rudder elements are cast as single parts, as are the stabilisers and their separate elevators. You will need to look at pinning the stabilisers to the fin, and as the latter is separate to the fuselage, you might opt to do this before assembly to the fuselage itself. Ailerons are also separate parts. Wing tanks look realistic! Undercarriage The struts themselves are steel wire reinforced, and will take the weight of the model with no problems. There is a little wire break-out at one point, but this will be entirely covered by the gear bar doors. Wheels and hubs are separate parts, which, depending on your assembly chronology, will make painting these parts much easier. All undercarriage ancillary parts are highly detailed, and all you may need here is a little plumbing from lead wire. Photo-etch parts are used for various brackets and couplings. Weighted wheels have been supplied for this release, and to my reference, HpH appear to have got this right. Whilst the nose wheel is tread-less, the main gear wheels have a fine, circumferential tread. To attach the nose wheel to its strut, you will need to drill it and slide it onto a hidden length of wire that juts out between the fork. Be careful that you gauge the position correctly so the wheel ‘flat’ sits on the ground. Clear parts HpH really are the masters of clear resin. They have this down to a fine art. The canopy parts here are just amazing. There are casting blocks to remove, but they have thoughtfully included a resin web to separate the part from the block. Clarity is exceptional, and frame lines are sharp. A small piece of sticky-backed card is included, with a number of coloured resin parts included, such as the wing tip lights. Yes, no need to formulate your own translucent painting solution for this model! Photo-Etch & seatbelts FOUR sheets are included, containing a myriad of parts that are assigned to just about every area of the airframe. These include landing flaps, airbrakes, undercarriage parts, and of course a whole colour-printed sheet for the cockpit. Buckles required for the seatbelt set are also included on these main sheets, and not as a separate fret, as is normal with an HGW release. As this is Eduard, production standard is high. All I can say is that you’ll need to carefully follow the instructions so as not to miss any of the parts supplied. The seatbelts are made from a ‘microfibre’ textile and are laser cut. You’ll need to peel off the packing sheet, scrunch up the parts to break their stiffness, and then assemble. HGW’s belts are incredibly realistic when assembled, and they can be washed with oils or enamels etc. Turned metal parts Barrels for the three cannon are included, and the larger cannon has a rather exquisite but fragile looking muzzle. A real masterpiece of turning and milling. Beautifully done. These parts are included inside a small zip-lock bag. Masks A small sheet of vinyl masks are included for the canopy, but strangely enough, not for the other clear areas such as the transparencies in the belly and lower wing. You’ll need to mask these yourself! Decals These have all the hallmark of Eduard-produced decals, and that’s a possibility due to the other Eduard parts in this release. A single sheet is included which supplies decals for two machines, plus a whole load of stencil data too. Printing is very thin, and has minimal carrier film. Colours are solid and look authentic, plus everything is in perfect register. The two machines catered for here are: MiG-15bis, 147.GIAP VVS, Soviet Air Force, Kubinka AFB, 1952 MiG-15bis, 351.IAP, Major A.M. Karelin, Korea, 1952 Instructions Unless you have a tablet, PC or laptop in your workroom, you will need to print out this manual. I suggest it anyway, or you’ll be constantly flicking backwards and forwards to reference build sections. The instructions themselves are excellent, being a combination of both drawn illustration and photograph reference. There are 36 pages included, with a parts breakdown and simple colour reference. The colour profiles and stencil placement diagrams are excellent. Conclusion This really is no kit for the beginner to resin models. Resin can be notoriously tricky to master, and this model is very complex, as are many other HpH releases (Note, if you want an introduction kit, try their Ohka Type 11/Reichenberg kit). You’ll need your wits about you at all times to ensure that everything comes together as it should, and that no parts are omitted. Detail is just crazy, and if you crave amazing cockpits and other such areas of eye candy, then this release will fulfil your needs. I think my only real criticism is the lack of a really good scheme. One is quite standard, and the other is fairly difficult to achieve unless you are a demon with an airbrush. To screw your model at such a late stage would be gutting. Nonetheless, we now have a fully detailed MiG-15bis, and I can’t wait to start! Note: Profimodeller have a neat engine set for this kit, complete with new rear fuselage, drip tray etc. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for supplying this review kit. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  13. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8 cockpit and gun bay (for Revell kit) Eduard Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from Eduard Following hard on the heels of the undercarriage struts and wheels that we looked at recently, are two brand new sets that are designed for Revell’s recent Fw 190F-8 kit. Having built the test shot, and being in receipt of the production kit, I do know there are a few areas where the new Würger is let down a little. Whilst the cockpit is passable, it isn’t state of the art, and the forward gun bay is probably the worst feature of the kit, due to being both poor and lacking in much detail. The plastic parts, for me, were quite rudimentary, and the gun cowl was thick and lacked any interior detail. That pretty much kills that area for me, and you would either need to be a super-scratchbuilder or simply not bothered about it, to be able to display this area. Again, Eduard come to the rescue with these two new Brassin releases. 632056, Fw 190F-8 cockpit, 37,45 € 632060, Fw 190F-8 MG131 mount, 29,95 € Fw 190F-8 cockpit This set, presented in Eduard’s familiar satin black box, is designed to be a simple, drop-replacement set for the kit plastic parts. A quick scan of the instructions shows that to be the case, with no surgery needed to the host plastic, whatsoever. Inside the box, we see the three-sheet instructions, folded over some soft grey foam. Lift this out and you will find a one-piece resin cockpit tub, three small zip-lock wallets of resin, two photo-etch frets (one in colour), and a small decal sheet. Just as Revell made their tub in one piece, Eduard has designed theirs to fit the kit using the attachment points already present on the Revell styrene. As I know the Revell part very well, I have to say that, for detail, there is no comparison. The detail here is more numerous, accurate and certainly sharper. The ugly moulded-on throttle of the Revell part is a separate part here, which will attach neatly to the lever channel. Eduard really have made a beautiful job here, with a better looking foot plate and shield that covers the control column linkage, and the turtle-deck is a big improvement too. Not only is the stowage door is provided as a separate piece, there are two PE options provided. Removal of the casting block should be fairly easy too, and remember to also remove the resin web from the wall behind the pilot’s seat. Packet 1 Six parts are to be found here, cast in the same light grey resin that the tub itself is made from. Eduard’s seat really is excellent, being both thinly cast, and containing neat rivet detail and mounting attachment points. Two optional parts are also included for this. These are the main seat cushion, and separate lower back padding. The latter was missing from the Revell release. Also included here are resin replacement parts for one headrest option. Eduard supply a new instrument coaming too. Packet 2 Cast in a darker grey resin, the second canopy internal frame option is included. The armoured headrest for this is in the next package. Here you will also find a perfect-looking control stick (vastly different from the weedy looking thing in the kit!), the rudder pedal frames. Connection of the frame and canopy interior are easy to saw through, being thin resin membranes that require minimal effort to remove. Packet 3 Notice that Eduard have opted NOT to include a colour PE instrument panel here. The bezels and other detail on the Fw 190 instrument panel, perhaps don’t lend themselves too well to the 3D relief that is required? Maybe. Either way, the split level panel is supplied as resin parts, with blank instrument dial faces into which you can apply the decals that come with this set. As you can see from photos, the detail is really very good, with wiring also included. Optional panels are also included for WGr.21 rockets, or for the MG FF controller unit. These themselves are attached to one of two panel options. Another floor mounted instrument panel is included, as are two gun-sight option, with clear acetate parts for the lenses. Other parts include hood release handle. Photo Etch As standard, Eduard seem to include the colour-PE seatbelts in these cockpit upgrades. If I’m really honest, I’d much prefer to see the inevitable textile set included instead, as these are far more realistic and easy to manipulate. Still, a full set of belts is included, and printing is very good. The brass fret contains the bulk of the extra detail for this set, including stowage panel door options, levers, rudder pedals and mounting frames, forward hood facing, sliding hood elements etc. As you can see, quality is everything you would expect from Eduard, with narrow, thin attachment points, and fine detailing. Decals All instruments are supplied as separate decals, and ideally, you should punch them out so as to eliminate every trace of carrier film. This will make them easier to apply. Decals are included for the warning shield on the pilot’s headrest. Just a thought, but if these are included, maybe some replica placards would be good too, such as those that Barracuda produce for the Mustang and Corsair. Again, just a thought…. Printing is very good, and is thin, in register and there is minimal carrier film. Instructions You really should have zero problems in assembling this product. Illustrations are clear and concise, and optional parts are self-explanatory. Mr Hobby paint codes are supplied throughout too. There are three folded A4 sheets here that makes use of different coloured inks to show the demarcation between resin and plastic parts. Fw 190F-8 MG131 gun mount This set corrects perhaps the weakest element of the Revell kit. Discard those plastic parts and install this beautifully detailed gun bay, complete with a thinly cast and amazing looking gun cowl! Packed into a clear blister packet, this set contains TEN resin parts, and a further NINETEEN photo-etch pieces, all designed to totally transform this area of the host kit. Resin parts are cast in a combination of light and dark grey resin. It seems that the darker resin tends to be used for the more fragile parts, perhaps with a slightly different and more flexible property to them. The light grey parts include the upper weapons tray, ammunition boxes, feed chutes and empty shell chutes. Just compare the kit part against Eduard’s resin weapons tray, with its connectors, wiring and other detail. Then look at the guns for comparison. Now you can see why I consider this set to be essential, if you wish to pose this area in an open position. I think these MG131 guns are an absolute work of art. Ammunition boxes have their riveting, neatly cast strap handles, and of course, hollow shell ejector chutes. It did seem that Revell perhaps knew their gun bay detail was more than a little bit pants. They made no real effort to produce a thin, detailed cowling. The clunky and internally featureless affair isn’t very good. However, Eduard’s resin alternative is a world away in terms of quality. It is so thin that light streams through the resin when it’s held to the light. Externally, the detail of this looks great, with neat riveting, and recessed cowl latch areas. Internally, all the constructional elements can be seen, including the rear of the latch recesses. Also the hinge matches up perfectly to that moulded on the weapons tray. Now….who will be the first to try and drill/pin these so they move? The PE parts include a sheathing for the kit bulkhead, providing some good detail, as well as a couple of frames that attach to this. You will also find the cowl latches here and a nice addition too, namely the windscreen wash tubes. With the latter, I would still possibly make these from thin lead wire, but at least Eduard included them. Again, the instructions are easy to follow, but you will have to conduct the most basic of surgery to the internal bulkhead. Colour call-outs are supplied for Mr Hobby paints. Conclusion. I love what Eduard has created for this kit. Revell did a great job with the new 190F-8, generally. The look and feel of it, to me, is correct, and these sets add that detail that I just love to see. Both sets are reasonably priced, and won’t break the bank. Surgery is minimal, if any is required at all, and as a result, a relative notice should be able to fit these to their model too. What I now wonder is if we’ll see a super-detailed BMW801 engine to compliment these sets. I really do hope so! VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Eduard for these review samples. To purchase directly, click the links in the review. James H
  14. Hello, it was a long time working on it, but finally I think it is done... a cover of plexiglas still missing, but the diorama and the truck itself seems to be finished. It is the KrAZ-255(, a Russian heavy military truck which was used also in and around Tschernobyl after the nuclear catastrophe. This is the place my diorama is settled in. A truck bringing some pipes to the reactor or to any other place in this area shortly or some days later after the catastrophe. The kit itself is a resin kit with photo etched parts in scale 1/25, produced by company MiniManFactory in Hungary. I have added several details, wires at the frame and axles, at the engiine, modified the plattform a little bit, added some further parts at the interior etc. The pipes on the plattform are resin parts as well which were normally used for playing with trains.... 1/22,5 scale from company Duha which I have shortened a little bit so that these will go on the plattform. Then I have painted them and weathered it. The construction of the kit and the diorama you could see also here in the board or on my website with many many more pictures. Here we go.... I hope that you like it! If you want to see more - thousands of pictures on my website http://www.world-in-scale.de/modelle/milit%C3%A4rfahrzeuge/1-25-kraz-255b-by-minimanfactory Cheers Michael
  15. 1:32 F4U-1A cockpit Eduard 'Brassin' Catalogue # 632053 Available from Eduard for €41,25 Bunny Fighter Club price: €35,06 It hasn't taken Eduard as long to release a complete cockpit upgrade for the recent 1:32 Tamiya F4U-1A Corsair as it did for the initial Birdcage variant, and I'm pretty pleased about that. Having the kit in my stash for a pending magazine project, and knowing the level of detail within the cockpit, it may seem surprising that a whole resin replacement is now available, but just wait until you see this! You really won't want to build that kit without first seeing the detail that this upgrade offers. Before you say it though, yes, this set does differ from the original F4U-1 cockpit. I can't give a list of general changes, but the pilot seat on the F4U-1A set is in a higher position than it its predecessor. Eduard have used their satin black cardboard package for this release, and before you open it, you can feel that it's quite weighty. When opened, you'll see that part of that weight are the four, double sided and folded instruction sheets required for this project, followed by SIX bags of resin which is cast in a combination of light grey, mid grey and clear, plus a small wallet with two PE frets and an instrument panel decal. Two casting blocks are packaged within the main box, un-bagged due to their delicate nature. The resin parts are protected within the box by pieces of soft grey foam, and the instructions are wrapped around these for extra security. This is going to be no quick project, and the FOURTY-NINE pieces of resin and around SIXTY photo-etch parts, are testimony to that. Strangely enough, I'm attracted to the bag with the two largest parts first, plus those loose parts: Eduard appear to use the darker resin for the thinner components, and here, these are the deeply curved floor and the upper side walls which are attached at a late stage in construction. Light grey resin is used for the forward and rear bulkheads. The detail within these key areas is stunning, with plenty of subtle detail hiding around the key structures and avionics/pipework/cabling. I have to say that some carefully applied washes and dry brushing will bring levels of detail out that would normally be overshadowed by the larger cockpit components. Holding the various parts together, you can see that a lot of effort has been made in ensuring that detail areas, such as constructional elements, line up perfectly, as was seen in the 1:48 Spitfire Mk.IX cockpit replacement set. There are a number of minor webs on the cockpit floor, underneath cabling and pipes, and this will need careful trimming away. This goes for the main, central web in the floor too. These thinner, fragile parts are connected to their casting blocks via thin resin walls which look easy to remove and clean up. You will fine smoothly recessed areas on the sidewalls into which the side consoles will neatly fit, so there will be no guesswork here. A number of avionics boxes and cabling are included too. The main, light grey components for the bulkheads are a detail painters dream; especially the forward bulkhead with its mass of pipes, wiring, junction boxes etc. My only real criticism of these parts are the quite thick casting blocks which will need some elbow-grease to remove and clean up. This is a very complex set and one which will bore the pants off you if I describe every single piece (many of which I couldn't' even put a name to), so from here, let's take a look at this bag by bag, with photos, using captions where appropriate. I will also highlight anything which I think you should be aware of. Wallet 2 Wallet 3 Wallet 4 Here we can see that Eduard have given the choice of two different instrument panels. A full resin part is supplied, including cast instrument detail. Those instruments also have dial detail, so unless you're into dry brushing and micro-detail painting, you might prefer the other option. That second option is a resin panel with only a minor amount of cast detail. A first layer of PE is then applied, and then the instrument decal. Finally, a PE fascia is overlaid to complete the panel. This will be painted, and onto this you will lay the instrument decal before then applying the fascia. In an unusual move, this fascia panel is supplied as base brass, and is not colour-printed. Wallet 5 Wallet 6 All resin parts have been thoughtfully connected to their casting blocks in the least obtrusive manner possible. Many connecting areas fall along assembly joints, or will be hidden from view, despite them not really being a problem anyway. Eduard has mastered the easy to remove system for casting blocks, with only those two bulkhead parts having blocks which will require some substantial effort to remove. Many parts are also quit e fragile-looking, such as various pipes etc, and again we see these parts cast in the darker grey resin, which perhaps is a little different and more resilient to being handled. No flaw can be found anywhere, such as breakages, bubbles or short cast. This is as good as it can possibly get. Photo Etch There are two PE frets in this set, with one being colour-printed, and the other in bare brass. The colour fret contains the seatbelt set which is composed of belts and separate buckles. I think I prefer the textile belts to these though, for a more realistic effect and weathering possibilities. The second fret holds the various instrument panel layers, with neatly etched bezels. A series of levers are included too, as well as pedal adjustment ratchets and various brackets. Etch quality is excellent, and small connecting points mean parts will be easy to remove from the fret. Instructions There is a LOT of work involved in assembling this, and an even bigger job in painting it, but that is fun, right? There's no doubt that Eduard have done an admirable job in presenting the various constructional sequences with relative clarity. Newly attached parts are shown in blue ink, whilst any surgery required to the host kit, is inked in red. There is indeed some surgery to perform, but this seems to be limited to the removal of the moulded structures (frames) within the cockpit, and no actual wall thinning is required. This should be a relatively easy project to install within the plastic. Colour reference codes are supplied for Mr Hobby paints, throughout construction. A useful parts map, with part numbers, is supplied on the rear page of the manual. To complete the cockpit assembly, you will need a little lead, tin or copper wire for various tasks. Conclusion In the UK, you can buy this set for £30 to £35, and whilst the Tamiya kit itself can be bought for around £90 to £95 (cheaper from Lucky Model etc), it seems like quite a high proportion of cost to spend on just the cockpit. Having said that, the sheer number of parts in this set, and how thorough it is, for me, is a perfect reason to do so. It seems incredulous that you could improve the Tamiya kit parts to such an extent that you'd scrap them completely, but this is exactly what this set provides, at the same time, offering a mammoth leap in detail over the original. For me, this set is a MUST! Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  16. 1/32 De Havilland DH.103 Hornet HpH Catalogue# HPH32024R Available from HpH €184,00 Some aircraft are born destined for greatness, revered as classics or even given legend status. Aircraft like the Spitfire, Mustang or Zero are part of their respective nations identities and are celebrated in the mainstream by people with relatively little knowledge of aircraft; others have a cult following amongst enthusiast, celebrated by those more informed on such matters. The De Havilland DH103 Hornet is one such aircraft. Effectively a scaled down Mossie it borrowed much from its larger sibling and as such inherited its flying qualities and improved them further, had the war continued it would have taken the fight to the “Japs” as a long range escort fighter. Looking to repeat the success of the Mosquito De Havilland stuck to their proven formula of using bonded wooden composite and developed it further by incorporating aluminium into the airframe such as with the wing spars. Further innovations came from the experience gained with the Schneider Trophy Racers of the 1930’s and this resulted in possibly the tightest most aerodynamic cowling ever fitted to a Merlin powered airframe. Described by Legendary aviator Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown as a Grand Prix racer for the air, it made a huge impression on him and is at the top of his list of all-time greats, no mean feat when you consider that during his illustrious career he flew and tested almost 500 different types! The Hornet went on to serve the RAF well into the mid 50’s until it was unceremoniously scrapped while serving in Hong Kong due to deterioration accelerated by the Far Eastern climate. Sadly this is probably the chief reason we don’t have a surviving airframe, the nearest we have is an excellent cockpit section currently being reproduced using original parts; you can follow the progress here The Hornet has received its fair share of attention from kit manufacturers, with several excellent if challenging kits being produced in 1/48th by Classic Airframes and Dynavector, a more recent release by Trumpeter received a panning from the critics but is a certainly a much easier prospect to build than the Limited run and Vac form offerings. Now HpH come to our rescue with a 1/32 Hornet family, Jim Hatch recently reviewed their DH Sea Hornet NF.21 and gave it the thumbs up, let’s see how its land based counterpart compares. Don’t let the slim yet sturdy box fool you, this is crammed to capacity with some of the best resin I’ve ever had the pleasure to fondle, it’s so tightly packed that after photographing the parts for the review I seriously struggled to get the lid back on! Inside the box we find that everything is carefully swaddled in bubble wrap and after close inspection everything has survived the trip to the UK from the Czech Republic. All the main parts of the airframe have their own compartments and the smaller components are in ziplock bags, on top is a larger ziplock containing the generously sized decal sheet and wallets containing the photoetched parts, HGW laser cut fabric seat belts and CD containing the instructions. Another small ziplock contains the turned metal components BUT NO BELGIAN CHOCOLATE! FUSELAGE Let’s start with the fuselage, this is split vertically in the conventional way and is a significant chunk of resin which I’m told is reinforced with glass fibre; this makes sense as despite being relatively thin the fuselage halves feel rigid without being brittle. As with any resin kit there will be some cleaning up for you to do but HpH have kept this to a minimum and the casting blocks will require little more than a few passes with a fresh scalpel blade, things like the cockpit aperture or openings for the wings are only flashed over with a wafer of resin so clean up time should be too much of chore. Being of plywood construction surface detail is fairly minimal as on the real aircraft, detail such as the cannon access panels on the belly is represented by fine panel lines and rivet detail which is as crisp as you would get from any current Tamigawa offering. Inside there is no detail to be seen as the cockpit sidewalls are inserted once the fuselage has been joined, HpH have thoughtfully included locating holes but you will have to add your own pins to them from plastic rod. WINGS The wings are again a substantial piece of resin and have a very glossy appearance when compared to the fuselage halves; I believe these are also reinforced with glass fibre which is reassuring considering the weight of the completed model. Split into top and bottom halves they have a thin casting block running around their outside but as the waiter in Monty Pythons meaning of life would say “Its wafer thin”! The upper wings have minimal surface detail, due again to the wooden construction, what is provided is to the same high standard as the fuselage and even features subtle raised detail such as where the engine nacelle meets the wing. The inside of the upper wing incorporates the ducting for the carburettor which should look very realistic once the sliding shutter is added from the etched brass sheet, the ribbing for the landing flaps is also cast onto the inner surface. The lower wings give us a little more to look at as the real aircrafts were constructed of Alclad reinforced by extruded Duralumin stringers to provide ridigity, as such the lower wings feature full rivet detail which is superbly done and far subtler than you would see on a Trumpeter effort for example. They also have the same wafer thin casting block around the edges which no doubt prevents any warping during the casting/curing process and certainly makes the parts more robust for postage. The lower wings also incorporate the roof of the undercarriage bay, this is fully detail with the ribbing structure represented and the recess for the wheel itself, as Jim Hatch observed this will only require some hydraulic lines and wiring to make it utterly life like! The wings build up into one piece with a substantial resin spar running the length of the finished component and are designed to slide into the fuselage in one whole piece. ENGINE NACELLES As I mentioned at the beginning the Hornet featured the most tightly fitting cowling of any Merlin powered aircraft and every effort was made to reduce the front cross section to aid the aerodynamics, as is often the case precise engineering makes for beautiful lines; HpH have replicated this perfectly and have really captured the petite lines of the Hornets nacelles. All the catches and access panels are depicted with subtle rivets and recessed panel line detail. These parts feature more flash than any other part of the kit but this seems to be due to the more complex shape of the nacelles, HpH look to of used various casting blocks (most of which they seem to of removed for us) to ensure the shape is not distorted during the casting/curing process. The inner undercarriage bay is represented by raised ribbing and when mated to the wing will look superb, the rear of the nacelle is solid and has a large locating peg to aid with alignment along with locating holes as such we saw on the fuselage. Moving on to the small components, these are spread over four zip lock bags, for simplicity ill describe the contents of each bag rather than trying to group cockpit parts etc. together. All of the smaller parts are cast on a thin wafer of resin (Mr Creosote would approve) which I’m sure is very useful for HpH when mass producing their kits, admittedly this does add some thickness (not even a millimetre )to the parts but this won’t be an issue and only a few parts will need thinning down. BAG A Bag A is mainly cockpit parts such as the side walls, instrument panel and other structures. The cockpit detail is excellent and well on par with an aftermarket set from someone such as Eduard, a resin instrument panel is supplied which is intended to be used with the coloured photo etch and will look very convincing when complete. Other parts include firewalls for the undercarriage bays, matrix for the radiators, landing flaps, exhausts and a superb set of wheel hubs which must surely be the product of 3D printing?! BAG B Literally a mixed bag here! Let’s start with the control surfaces, the tail fin, rudder, tail plane, and elevators are all here and all are separate for those who like to inject some life into their builds, they all feature full rivet detail and recessed panel lines, some cleaning up will be necessary as they all have casting blocks on their leading edges. We also have the spinners and propeller blades which are superbly thin and free from distortion, just take your time when fitting them as the Special Merlin 130 series engines fitted to the Hornet were handed so both propellers could rotate towards the cockpit. Of note are the tyres which again must be tooled using 3D printing?! The tread detail is so fine and well defined it hurts my eyes if I stare at it too long! A pair of bombs is included, undercarriage doors and under wing pylons. The only casting flaw I have noticed on the whole kit is a very slight short shot on the cockpit floor, this won’t be noticeable in the depths of the cockpit and I’m amazed at the quality HpH have achieved. BAG C Far fewer bits in here, the under carriage legs are worthy of mention as they are cast with an integral metal rod which will be a relief with full resin kit! Same goes for the tail strut. Two pilot seats are provided, one in the style also seen in the DH Vampire the other is the more familiar type seen in Spitfires etc. both are commendably thin. We also have the tail fins for the bombs, ribs for the inner surfaces of the flaps, inner hubs to seat the spinners on and some more cockpit details. BAG D Even fewer parts here! The characteristic Drop tanks of the Hornet are produced as one solid piece and have a large casting block to remove, fear not as it’s attached by only thin web of resin. And lastly the resin wing spar which will be necessary to give the required strength to the model and also help with alignment. CLEAR PARTS As you can probably tell from the photos these are beautifully cast and virtually free of flaws! Care will be needed when removing them from the rather large casting blocks, but once separate they are the equal of any injection moulded effort and any minor imperfections will be invisible once given the Johnsons Clear treatment. Wing tip lights are also included although it’s a shame the gun sight lens isn’t included as it is in the Sea Hornet kit. PHOTO ETCH Eduard has handled the etched here and it’s as good as you would usually expect from them, three frets are supplied, two in traditional old skool brass and one nickel plated pre-painted fret. The brass frets handle most of the external detail and larger parts such as radiator matrix and fins for the rockets. The smaller pre-painted fret handles most of the cockpit detail including the buckles for the seatbelts, instrument panel dials and ancillaries. SEATBELTS HpH have also collaborated with HGW who have produced a Hornet specific set of their excellent micro fibre seatbelts, once combined with the etched buckles these surely must be the most realistic solution to scale seat belts! MASKS A modest set of vinyl masks are provided for the windscreen and canopy, you will have to fill in the the centre of the canopy as the masks only cover the edges, the Hornet Canopy isn’t an especially difficult shape to mask but this is a welcome inclusion all the same. TURNED METAL PARTS With Eduard handling the brass and HGW doing the seatbelts it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Master had a hand in these parts, they certainly appear to be of the same quality as Masters offerings. The warheads for the rockets are turned aluminium and are perfectly finished and ready to paint, the body of the rockets are produced in brass and even have slits on the ends for the etched tail fins. There are some larger brass tubes but I can’t find them in the instructions so they will be resigned to the spares box. DECALS A single decent sized sheet contains all the national insignia and stencils for the two options provided, to me it’s very reminiscent of Eduard’s own decals that they produce for their kits stencils, hopefully they will perform the same way too. All markings are in register with strong colours and even the smallest of stencils is perfectly readable. Two schemes are provided: INSTRUCTIONS HpH provide a CD that contains the instructions in both JPEG format for ease of printing or PDF/Acrobat if that’s your preferred medium. These are very clear and concise and distinguish between etched and resin parts, both colour options are given in profile and top down views. CONCLUSION We’re big HpH fans here at LSM I think that much is obvious! Their previous releases have all been given the thumbs up by us and it’s clear they are at the top of their game, the fact they can produce resin kits that in many ways exceed injection moulded levels of quality and detail blows my mind! Their Hornet is certainly not for the faint hearted but I think it could still be a good choice for your first resin kit if you already have experience working with the medium and a good few kits under your belt, despite the Size and price of this kit once it’s cleaned up it’s a relatively simple model. I have heard a few grumblings about the shape of the nose and windscreen but I’m struggling to see the issue and feel it captures the delicate lines of the Hornet beautifully. I think this is going to have to jump to the top of my stash; you’ll be able to follow the build on the LSM forum. Definitely highly recommended My sincere thanks to HpH for the review sample. To purchase directly, please click THIS link Ben Summerfield
  17. 1:48 Heinkel He 177A undercarriage set CMK Catalogue # 4176 Available from CMK for €31,80 It's taken me a little time to fathom out this specific detail set. We recently reviewed the He 177 engine set, and of course, this protrudes into the wheel well area of this behemoth. Now we have the undercarriage set itself, with a significant area of overlap. What we'll try to do here is to explain to you this set from two standpoints. The first will be fitting this set without the engine detail set, and then we'll look at what you'll need to do if you wish to install both of these into your MPM 1:48 He 177. As with the engine set we've just looked at, this set in packaged within the same style yellow and black trademark box that we are used to seeing with many of the more intense CMK resin detail sets. This sturdy little box has a top opening flap, and within, there are TWO bags of resin parts, and a single A4 instruction sheet, folded into an A4 size mini booklet. Opening the first, smaller bag, I'm getting a sense of Déjà vu. A quick glance at the instruction booklet does nothing to destroy that impression. The construction of this set starts in the very same way as that of the engine detail set, i.e. in the forward spar area which of course doubles up as the bulkhead section for the engines, but of course.....there are no engines in this set (or so you might think!). Does this make sense so far? The construction of that spar area is about 90% identical to that of the engine set, so you will already appreciate that if you wish to install both sets, you will have a significant number of spare, duplicate parts left over from the first stages of construction. Onto the spare are fitted many of the same parts as the previous sets, including the inner ribs, but now we see a change. Instead of fitting the plastic, outboard ribs that are supplied with the kit, instead a resin rib with an integral gear well roof, is now installed, creating a unit that has both an enclosed inboard and outboard section. Normally, the engines would fit into the centre area. It's at this juncture where you can of course go down two different paths. If you wish to install the engines, then you would fit the engine module to the spar in the same way that you did with the parts in the engine set. However, if you don't want to use the engine set, then the undercarriage set comes complete with a module which represents the rear detail of the engine. It is cheating, but of course, you do need to still see this detail in the wheel well. Unlike the engine set though, no resin exhausts are included here. There is another, larger bag of resin here, and with the exception of a few parts which are used for the 'common' assembly and dummy engine block, the rest are very specific to the undercarriage area itself. The most obvious parts are the replacement wheels. These are 'weighted' and treadles, therefore look correct in that aspect. The hub detail, including the hydraulic line, is perhaps a little rudimentary, but are certainly good enough for this set. I would maybe replace that line with a short length of wire. Replacement undercarriage doors are also included here too, which are thinly cast, with some very nice internal detail. The one issue I have with all of these particular parts is that the casting block connection protrudes onto the exterior face. On the larger door, the inner recess makes the wall so thin that you will need to pay particular care in removing the parts and cleaning them up. Building the kit out of box, the outboard gear doors are moulded closed. Of course, with this set, you can now pose them open, revealing those wheel bays. Parts are also included here for the hot air ducting that fits in these outboard wells. As with the previous set, resin casting is excellent, with everything manufactured in creamy, yellow resin, with the exception of the wheels which are a little darker. Some casting blocks will need careful removal, so take your time. Again, instructions are printed on a single A4 sheet, folded into an A5 booklet. A parts map and colour reference chart (Humbrol), are supplied, and all illustration is given as simple line drawings that are easy to follow. Conclusion With the amount of visual detail generated in the actual wheel bays, I would say that this set is really aimed at those who want to super-detail their model, as the main, outboard gear doors were commonly closed anyway, with the aircraft on the ground. Maybe this set is more applicable if you want to produce a maintenance diorama etc, or if you like to pose your models on mirrors so you can see the detail underneath. The inclusion of the rear engine module is a nice touch though, and the gear doors and wheels to offer something over the standard kit parts. For me, this is still a nice set, and it does make sense for me to add it simply because I'm also going to display the engines. Apart from that, it is a reasonable extra cost to a model that will already cost you €100. If you like the whole enchilada, then go for it! Recommended My sincere thanks to CMK for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  18. 1:48 Heinkel He 177A-5 engine set CMK Catalogue # 4174 Available from CMK for €31,80 This is hardly a new set, being almost 10 years old now, but when we get the opportunity to take a look at some of the relatively vintage kits and aftermarket products, then we don't shy away from it. That is certainly true when, a decade later, there is still no other kit or aftermarket solution from any other manufacturer. MPM's 1:48 Heinkel He 177 'Greif' is still the only game in town, and even in quarter-scale, cuts an imposing presence. Thankfully, SP&R have been sent not only the 'Hi-Tech' version of this kit (reviewed next week), but also two resin detail sets. Today, we look at the engine set. CMK's He 177 engine set is packed into one of their familiar top-flap opening cardboard boxes, attractively printed in their yellow and black trademark style, and sporting line drawings of the He 177 and a snapshot of the engine installation. Inside that box, we have a single zip-lock wallet containing over 40 pieces of pale, creamy yellow resin, and of course an instruction sheet. Firstly, you need to know that despite this set having two Daimler Benz DB605 engines, only one engine nacelle is catered for. Of course, the He 177 actually had four engines, but coupled in pairs. Two DB605 engines created a single unit designated as DB610. The two engines here are designed to be displayed in one of either wing, therefore there is no provision for having both engine nacelles opened up. The actual engine nacelle was partially buried within the wing of the He 177, with both coupled engines angled, reducing the overall depth of the nacelle so that if could fit within the wing structure without any deep bulges. Of course, this means that displaying the engines will naturally give away a little of the wing interior detail too, and this is of course included within this set. A certain amount of surgery is also required in order to fit this upgrade, but you'll be thankful to know that that aspect is very simple. Essentially, all you need to do is to cut away the two engine cowls from the plastic upper wing part. That's it! I would maybe consider just thinning the edge of the plastic at this point too, making look a little more scale in appearance. Construction centres around the main, forward spar. Depending on whether you wish to fit the engines into the port or starboard wing, spars are provided for both sides, as of course the shape of them is specific to each wing. Make your choice directly at the outset. Two sets of identical resin inner wing ribs are also included, despite only one set being used. This is puzzling, so perhaps you could display the remaining nacelle with the engines removed too? Onto the spar fits a couple of plastic ribs and gussets which are supplied within the kit. A little pipework finished the spar/engine bulkhead section. The spar itself is highly detailed, with much structural detail being exhibited, and of course some wiring and plumbing. CMK haven't supplied complete engines with this, as the forward hub won't be seen. The remainder of the engine actually looks pretty comprehensive, with excellent detail throughout, including the cylinder head blocks and fine ignition wiring. Fuel injectors can be seen underneath the engine, yet this detail won't easily be seen unless you plan to cutaway panels from the underside of the nacelle. Some detail will be seen though the wheel well, however. One side of each engine (opposites) has a block cast to it with two sockets. These sockets glue into a central former which angles the engines properly. This looks a little odd to be because I've seen one of these engines, and the coupling is direct, and not though a reasonably thick wall. I'm assuming that this is here simply to allow the assembly to fit into the host model. Once installed, you really shouldn't notice this at all. Each engine is cast with a supercharger which are fitted to the outside of the DB610 unit. Exhausts are also supplied for this set, and CMK give sets for both sides, so you can match the external detail. Having removed the engine cowl doors from the plastic, you'll need some resin replacements, and of course, they are supplied in this set. These are suitably thin, with internal structural detail. No detail is present externally, but this mirrors the model itself. All resin is superbly cast, with no visible flaws seen on my sample. Casting block connections are so designed for easy removal. One resin cowl door hinge is missing from my set, having been knocked off the casting block, but this is easily replaced with plasticard or PE. A single A4 instruction sheet is supplied, printed in black and white. This starts with a parts plan for identifying the components, and also information on what part of the kit's plastic needs removing. Construction is shown as a series of line drawings, which are all clear to see and should present no problem in following. Colour call-outs are supplied throughout construction, with Humbrol codes being supplied, and a simple colour description too. Conclusion If you like the detail side of building, then I presume that the Hi-Tech version of the He 177 would be the one you'd choose to buy. This set takes increases the detail levels even further, supplementing the resin already in the host kit, and taking your He 177 to another stage. Ideal for dioramas and of course those of us who have a voyeuristic nature when it comes to wanting to pose various cowls and panels in an open state. Everything here appears to be simple enough to build and implement, and well within the capability of most modellers. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to CMK for sending the review sample shown here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  19. 1:32 Letov LF-107 Luňák HPH Catalogue # HPH32031R Available from HPH for €60.00 The Luňák first took to the air in 1948, designed by a number of key, prolific Czech aircraft designers. It has the title of being the first ever glider to utilise laminar wing technology, put to great use in WW2 by the North American P-51D Mustang. Construction was generally of metal, with a later version being constructed of wood. Aerobatic performance was exceptional, and the type notably caught the eye of many aviation enthusiasts of the time. The late 1940's were a tense time in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union was increasing its grip over a number of countries. The facilities where the Luňák was being produced was taken over for military aircraft production, notably MiG fighter planes. A total of 75 of the Luňák were produced, with only 9 surviving to this day. Perhaps if you are a builder of military model aircraft, as I am, your eyes will also be opened by this cute release. Normally, I model WW1 or WW2 Luftwaffe subjects, so when HPH sent this to us, along with their Me 410 kit, it was an opportunity to take a look at something I would possibly never have looked twice at. That would have been a crying shame. We know HPH are more commonly known for military aircraft themselves, but they do produce a range of civilian/quasi-civilian types, and today, I'm pleased to be able to bring you our review of the LF-107 Luňák. This release is packaged into a relatively small, but deep and sturdy cardboard box, with a forward flap which releases the lid. Inside the box, all smaller resin parts are sealed into zip-lock bags, and overlaid with plenty of bubble-wrap. The fuselage halves are simply wrapped in bubble-wrap. HPH have compartmentalised the interior of the box so nothing rolls around. One of these compartments runs diagonally, from corner to corner, and contains the wing parts. These aren't wrapped, but are still well-protected. As well as the resin, there is a wallet containing a TWO photo etch frets, canopy masks, a decal sheet and a set of printed instructions. This is the first HPH release I've seen without a CD, but as the instructions pages are low in number, I presume it was a better solution to just include the paper version. Last but not least, there is the now standard inclusion of a Belgian chocolate. Mine lasted just long enough to get the package photos. You can ask my wife what happened to it after that! There are around 30 parts of pale, olive green resin which comprise the Luňák, plus a single vac-form part for the canopy. The parts which intrigue me first are the wings. This aircraft had quite a reasonable wingspan, hence the need to pack the wings diagonally so they fit into the box. Overall, the model will have a wingspan of around 45.6cm. These wings are quite narrow and thin, so in order to strengthen them, they have been cast with a full length stainless steel rod within them. This protrudes at the root, to provide you with a locating pin for fixing to the fuselage. A casting block exists along the leading edge of each wing. This slightly encapsulates the extreme forward leading edge point, so please remember this when removing it, and profile the leading edge accordingly. I absolutely love how HPH cast parts such as the fuselage. This is a beautifully thin casting, with a block which needs to removed from the lower joint. External detail is almost non-existent due to the filled and sanded structure of the real thing. A fine wing root fairing can be seen though. Internally, the cockpit walls are a little thicker, with some constructional elements reproduced. A structure exists for you to fasten the instrument panel to. Along the joint between the fuse halves, exist a series of point where you can insert pins to help align the parts together. The vertical fin is a separate part to the fuse, as is the rudder to the fin. All fixed structures are smooth externally. Construction is unusual with this in that the fuselage should be completed and painted, fit together, and then the wings added BEFORE you install the cockpit module. A large casting block contains all of the wing aileron sections (3 per wing), and elevators. Detail is fine, with neat rib and fabric being subtly reproduced. Again, the casting block is joined to the parts via their leading edge, but by a thin wall of resin which will be easy to remove and clean-up. As an aside note, the wing control surfaces don't connect directly to the wing, so no need to pin them. They are instead connected via the photo etch linkages supplied. A drawing in the instructions clearly show the angles at which these surfaces need to be posed. Another casting block contains the horizontal stabiliser, fin, and rudder. Despite the relative simplicity of a glider to a military aircraft, the interior of the Luňák still contains a very respectable amount of detail. A profiled cockpit floor, with separate resin/fabric overlay is connected to a detailed back wall. There isn't a seat in this bird, as the floor is shaped to fit to the pilot. It must've been a pretty uncomfortable ride. Rudder pedals, control yoke and instrument panel are supplied as resin parts, but if you want to use a PE instrument panel, then a two part, colour—printed one is included. A number of other photo etch parts are included for the cockpit, and these include levers, instruments, map case and placards. A full set of colour seatbelts is included too, but these look to be exactly the same as Luftwaffe types. Perhaps the Czechs were using these in the late 1940's. I would perhaps choose to use a replacement laser cut seat belt set from HGW. All resin parts are beautifully produced with no visible flaw. Clean up is an minimal as HPH could get it. Some resin parts are supplied as separate parts in a zip lock wallet, but some others are connected to a thin resin sheet. Other resin parts include the landing wheel. The colour fret is produced by Eduard and is superbly printed. As well as the cockpit parts just mentioned, other parts include those control surface linkages, wing access plates etc. There is a small, bare brass fret which contains wing root reinforcement strips and also a riveted strip that I can't identify on the plan. That cockpit is a vac-form part, but is almost exactly trimmed to size, except for a small section at the front and rear. This makes using a vac-canopy quite easy, and not something to be feared. There is no framing on the canopy, but this is supplied as vinyl parts on the 'mask' sheet. You will of course have to fathom how you will paint this. I think application of the vinyl, and then further masking of the open canopy areas. Clarity is excellent, and what's more, you get TWO canopies, just in case you do screw up! A wooden veneer is supplied for you to laminate the forward landing skid, as per the real plane. That's a nice touch. Just try to induce a subtle curve into it before use, possibly by soaking it in boiling water for a short while. A single decal sheet is included, catering to TWO schemes which HPH have supplied for this model. These are: LF-107, Prague Aero Club, Letňany, 1970-1971 LF-107, Airborne Troops CSLA (Czechoslovak Army), 1950's The decals appear to be an Eduard-produced item, or at least they seem very familiar to me in terms of style of layout and printing etc. Printing is superbly thin and in perfect register. Carrier film is minimal and colour authentic and solid. A small number of airframe stencils are also included. Both schemes are printed in colour on an A4 sheet, with decal placement being easy to follow. Predominantly, the schemes are yellow, but both very attractive. Another sheet contains the instructions for this kit, in line drawn format, with easy to identify parts ID. The sequences only take up less than 2 sides of one A4 sheet, and look very easy to follow, with both resin and PE parts clearly identifiable. Conclusion This really is a simple model to build, as the instructions clearly show. Nothing here should be taxing to the modeller, and I may even venture as far as to say that this would be a perfect introduction for a modeller who wanted to try their hand at a full resin model. Please don't think that that means that there is compromise here. There isn't. This is a beautiful and detailed model kit with superbly refined detail. The price isn't a killer either. If you're thinking of dipping your toe into the resin model world, look no further! Very highly recommended James H My sincere thanks to HPH Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  20. 1:32 Fokker E.I / E.III / E.IV Resin Cowlings Manufacturer: Aviattic Available directly from www.aviattic.co.uk Everyone agrees that Wingnut Wings kits are top of the range when it comes to details. But lately we’ve seen a huge increase in aftermarket and scratch added detailing on Large Scale Modeller. Aviattic offers us more colour true Lozenge decals with added printed fabric texture. Quite an improvement over the Wingnut Wings decals to be honest. With these decals and other aftermarket sets (like Gaspatch’s anemometer and turnbuckles, Master Barrels guns, real wooden props and real spoked metal wheels) you can really go to town on these kits. Just when we thought we had seen it all, Taurus hit us with their amazing resin engines. About 130 parts make up just one engine. About as much as the entire Fokker E.III kit!! So imagine the disappointment when I heard from Jeroen Veen that this masterpiece would not fit my WNW plastic cowling… Not knowing what Aviattic was up to, I shortened every cilinder to make it fit. Quite an operation and not something you want to do to such an expensive AM part. The same day I finished decreasing the engine’s diameter, I spotted these resin cowlings on Facebook. Not having spotted any inaccuracies in WNW’s cowlings I asked Aviattic if by any chance these were made to accommodate the Taurus engine…. „Yes”. What’s in the bag? A sturdy block of grey resin that gladly has some flexible characteristics. Attached to the rear, undersides and with a thin strip on the top. The first things that strikes is how thin the resin is. Scale thickness. And that’s exactly what you need to make the Taurus Oberursel engine fit, since it is also true to scale! This can be best seen when keeping the resin to the light. My samples featured nu bubbles, cracked or flash whatsoever. Do you only need this if you have the Taurus engine? No. The plastic IM WNW cowlings is too thick and this is quite visible when looking at your model from an angle. These cowlings add the same realism like the PE Spandau cooling jackets. Also the cowlings have moulded on mounting bands which are fairly simplified on the WNW kit. HGW includes these as PE in their update sets. Some nice modeling on the master maker Ron Kootje! Construction To saw the delicate cowlings from their casting blocks you’ll need a micro saw. Since the top attachment is located in quite a visible area you’ll need to be careful here and polish behind you when done Conclusion Nice! Another way to enhance the realism on your WW1 fighter. And at the price of 4,75 pounds per cowling quite worth it. I’ll definately use a set on my current Fokker E.IV build. Highly recommended Thanks to Richard from Aviattic for the review samples!! You can order your set directly here: Aviattic Jeroen Peters Large Scale Modeller
  21. F4U-1 Wheels Eduard Catalogue # 632 019 Available from Eduard for 7,10€ Bunny Fighter Club price: 6,04€ Eduard have made many after market sets for the beautiful Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage Corsair, which will all be reviewed over the next couple of days here on LSM. My first review covers the resin wheels designed to directly replace the wheels and rubber tyres supplied with the kit. The wheels of the kit are very detailed, but the rubber tyres are more difficult to weather than these resin replacements, then of course we must consider the difficulty of obtaining a realistic bulge on the flat spot on rubber tyres. The set comes in Eduard's normal split bubble packaging, with the foam insets to keep everything in place. (The foam is great for replicating paint chipping, don't throw it away). The set contains six resin parts, a set of paint masks and instructions, painting colours are called up from the Gunze range. The outer hubs are beautifully cast. It is left to the modeller to open up the holes between the spokes, but these sections are wafer thin and will come out easily. There is an alignment peg to ensure correct radial alignment of the spokes. On my sample each outer hub part has a tiny air bubble in the centre cap, nothing a drop of Mr Surfacer won't sort out.. The inner hubs are a direct replacement for the kit parts and will fit directly onto the Tamiya undercarriage leg with no modification whatsoever, a very nice touch from Eduard. The tyres are also beautifully cast with a bulge and tyre lettering, both absent on the rubber kit parts. Tread detail is superb. The instructions are colour printed on both sides of one A5 sheet of paper. This little resin set is beautifully cast and is worth every penny when you consider you get rid of those love 'em or hate 'em rubber tyres AND get tyre lettering and bulges. Recommended!! Thanks to Eduard for supplying this great set of wheels and tyres. I will be using these and all the other Eduard sets on my online build, starting here on Large scale modeller soon.......
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