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  1. A few years ago (7 i think) i saw a double kit in a local hobby and toy shop in town. It consisted of two models a Churchill MK VII and Scammell Tank Transporter both 1:76 (very small) i liked the look of it and came back with my pocket money the following weekend but the couple kits that were there had gone. so i bought a lone kit of the tank transporter on its own. and a couple weeks later the model of the Churchill showed up there so i bought that too. i had a good crack at the transporter and i think a few minuets on the tank. and then i stopped. Skip froward several years and i had done some more of the truck but not the tank. come to the present day having just finished the T-34 and looking for another model to do i come across the two models and decide to do them. now i am hear. pics soon and link to the T-34 that i have just finished.
  2. Latest project is a American Heavy tank T30/34 I will be building the T34 version and i will be using the plan camouflage scheme. I will also be trying weathering powder to put on the lower hull, tracks and on some other areas. i will also be putting weathering on parts like exhausts and gun muzzle.
  3. 1/35 Tiger I Middle Production Sd.Kfz.181 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Rye Field Model Catalogue # RM-5010 The Tiger I is a German heavy tank of World War II deployed from 1942 in Africa and Europe, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. Its final designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E, often shortened to Tiger. The Tiger I gave the Wehrmacht its first armoured fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (not to be confused with the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. After August 1944, production of the Tiger I was phased out in favour of the Tiger II. While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design for its time, it was over-engineered, using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns and was limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable. It was difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilisation when mud, ice and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels, often jamming them solid. This was a problem on the Eastern Front in the muddy Rasputitsa season and during extreme periods of cold. The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘‘Panzer VI version H’’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H) where 'H' denoted Henschel as the designer/manufacturer. It was classified with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182. The tank was later re-designated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181. Today, only about seven Tiger I's survive in museums and private collections worldwide. The Tiger 131 at the UK's Tank Museum, which was captured during the North Africa Campaign, is currently the only one restored to running order. The kit This isn’t a new release, but one from 2016 and the last of 5 Tiger variant releases from Rye Field Model. This time, RFM has concentrated their efforts of producing a mid-production Tiger I, and with a full interior. We recently reviewed their latest kit, the Panther G, whose review you can find HERE. The box for this kit takes up the same footprint as the recent Panther kit, but it about 20% shallower. However, this box is still crammed with plastic to the point where you need to put the parts back in the box in the same order as you got them out, or you’ll struggle to fit everything in again. The box lid has a superb artwork of No.217 (not Otto Carius due to the incorrect tracks) and this is one of three schemes available out of the box. Under a fairly airtight lid, you will find TWENTY-TWO sprues, moulded in either tan or grey styrene, and also a single-piece lower hull, clear box of track links, two frets of PE parts, PE Zimmerit tools, a single decal sheet, and braided copper wire. A few of the latter are packaged into a single clear sleeve, along with a mini-sprue containing just two parts moulded in tan plastic. Whilst not all sprues are bagged individually (identical multiples co-bagged), all parts are in perfect condition. That’s just as well when you consider that this kit has around 1000 parts! Oh, that doesn’t include the multipart track links either. More on that soon. Lastly, a 28-page colour-printed A4 instruction manual is also included. In all, this is quite a weighty package. The intention of this review isn’t to assess the accuracy of this kit, but instead to provide details of the contents and any options that are available to the modeller. As this kit is now over 12 months old, I will supply links at the end which will supply you with further information as to the accuracy and opportunities offered with this kit. Sprue A This tan-coloured sprue has a large hole in it where parts that are presumably from an earlier release, have been snipped out. Parts here are primarily centred on the multipart gun barrel (made from sections instead of the dreaded halves), turret and mantlet parts. There are actually three different mantlets here but only one (A3) is shown for use with this release. Another large and seemingly unused part is the turret lid. Instructions show one sprue Z as for use. So, some important useful parts for your spares box. Also to be found here are the stowage bins for the rear of the turret and the cupola. Sprue B Some large superstructure parts to be found here, including the upper hull with the larger cooling air intakes moulded integrally. Of course, PE screens are included for these. One of the TWO options for the rear hull plate are included here, catering for the different equipment and exhaust layouts. Also found here are pioneer tools, equipment boxes, various braided ducts/hoses for the Feifel air filters, stowage boxes and the ends of the towing cables with their crimps, and the vertical plate with driver’s vision port and MG position. Sprue C (x2) These two sprues contain all of the road wheels. As this wasn’t one of the retrofitted steel wheel machines, the rims on these were rubber. The manufacturer and wheel size can be clearly read on the rims. Detail is superb, with excellent hex bolt details on the hubs. Circumferential seams are non-existent, but of course, the sprue gate attachments will need to be eliminated. I always find this easiest when the wheels are paired together. Sprue D (x2) Here we have the drive and idler wheels, transmission gear housing, torsion bars and swing arms etc. The torsion bars will work if you make a slight adjustment to each one. There is a small plastic tab on these that locks them into a single position, but removal will make the swing arms move. Ideal for those dioramas. Sprue F There are more unused parts on this sprue, such as alternative side hull walls and yet another mantlet, plus the lower side front hull where the transmission gear housing fits. With the latter, refer to unnamed sprue for the parts we will use with this release. What we will be using, however, are the fenders, engine cooler intake doors, front shelf that sits below the driver’s vision port, and also brackets for the spare tracks which will fit to the turret side. These are moulded as a curve, so you can create the assembly properly before it’s fitted to the turret. Very nice design… Sprue H Moulded in a medium grey styrene, this sprue contains parts for the Maybach engine, petrol tanks and other associated rear hull internals. Sprue J Another grey sprue, appearing to mostly if not exclusively, containing parts for the turret internals. Again, some parts are not for use, such as the internal turret ring and the turret floor. The parts to be used are to be found on Sprue U. Sprue K The genius in me has worked out that all interior parts (generally) are moulded in grey, as we now look at a sprue which contains the Tiger’s transmission, driver compartment parts, disc and steering brake units, wireless radio, bulkheads and firewalls etc. One side of my sprue is curved in through stress, but no damage to parts can be seen. Sprue M (x2) Every tank needs ammunition and here you will find the main gun shells and ammunition pouches for the MGs. Sprue N (x4) These for sprues are moulded in dark grey styrene and are all concerned with track construction. Each link it built from 5 pieces, and here you will find the track pins that are moulded in blocks of four. These are designed to stay on their mini-sprues until after you have inserted them to the tracks and added cement. Only then do you clip the sprue from the assembly. The other track parts are the horns (2 per link). These are going to be seriously tedious to assemble, so patience will be required. Each of the Sprue N has a section of jig which will fit together for you to assemble reasonably log runs of track per time. Sprue O Here we have the 22T jack, external pioneer tools, and jerry cans, which actually fit within the turret! It looks like some parts here aren’t for use, such as an alternative rear turret stowage bin. Sprue S This tiger is moulded with a single piece external turret, but the internal turret details such as the viewing ports, will be fastened to a two-part interior shell that fits inside the exterior once the main turret assemblies are completed. Internally, there isn’t any real detail on the walls as internal stowage, if any, was fitted to the inner rim/floor of the turret. Sprue T The only clear sprue in this kit, containing the various periscope parts etc. Clarity is excellent, and everything is beautifully sharp. Sprue U This grey styrene sprue contains more engine parts and the alternative internal turret ring and floor which should be used with this release. Photo Etch P & V Produced as PE are the engine intake cooler screens, internal hull frames, pioneer tool clasps, etc. To properly identify PE parts in the instructions, I wish RFM had inked them in a different colour to differentiate from the styrene parts. PE quality is excellent, with narrow gates to snip through to remove parts. Photo Etch Y These are the Zimmerit tools, and four different ones are provided. The tooth pitch is the same on all of them, but the scraping faces are different lengths. Those verticals will need to be cut separately, of course. Unnamed Sprue This contains only two parts, and is to be found in the bag containing the decals and wire etc. There are parts which form the front of the lower hull sides, where the transmission gear housing fits. Sprue Z Here we have the slab sides of the tank hull, turret lid (the one that will be used), alternative rear hull panel, two cupola options (both can be used), mantlet (not to be used with this release), engine access door and various external detail parts. Lower Hull A superb single-piece moulding with fine internal and external details. Internal ejector pin marks seem to be placed where the various pieces of equipment will be installed, and if you really want to remove them, they are only superficial. Welding seam reproductions are exquisite, and this is a triumph of slide-moulding technology with beautiful, sharp details on all surfaces. One thing I do note is that the external port detail on the underside rear of the hull, don’t match the port details on the inside. This shouldn’t matter though as the Maybach engine will completely obscure the erroneous details. Tracks (x192) These are supplied in a clear plastic box and are moulded in dark grey colour plastic and are attached in strips of 12, with two small connectors between each one. Moulding really is very nice, but you will need to fit the horns yourself, plus those pins, creating 5 parts per track, and with 96 links per side, that equates to 475 parts for the tracks alone! Patience, Padawan! Cable A single length of braided copper wire is included with this release, listed at 45cm in length. Decals Just a single sheet here for all three schemes. Printed by Cartograf, these are beautifully thin, contain minimal carrier film, and are in perfect register. Colours are nice and solid, and the finish is matt. The three schemes in this release are: No.217, February 1944, Eastern Front No.342, Early Spring of 1944, Belgium/Mons No.321, June 1944, Northern France Instructions I’m a real fan of RFM’s instructions format. This manual is A4 in size, has 28-pages and printed in full colour. The first pages provide a parts map, but no shading for unused parts. Unsually, the next pages contain the three schemes. These are usually found at the rear of a manual. The profiles are said to be provided by Mig’s AMMO, as are the paint references. If you use anything other than that brand, you will need to source your own paint reference codes. Next, various internal assemblies are shown in colour for your painting reference, and then a Zimmerit map which shows the various faces which need to have putty added. I do admit that I’d like to have seen a moulded Zimmerit option, but hey ho! The rest of the manual has the Tiger broken down into 37 constructional sequences, but don’t let that fool you as most sequences are broken down further. Colour again features throughout, not only with more colour subassembly illustrations, but also shaded parts which define parts attachment. The last pages show more colour illustrations of the interior of the Tiger. Conclusion I purchased this kit whilst on a weekender in York, in between the various fine real ales and green tea Lattes, but it wasn’t on a whim. It was only a few weeks earlier that I’d reviewed the brand new Panther Ausf.G, sent to me as a sample from Rye Field Model, and the detail hooked me instantly. A decision was made to pick up the slightly older kit if I ever came across it, and so I did. This one cost me £59.99 at Monk Bar Models, and it was the best money I spent that weekend (next to the real ale!). I’m certainly not disappointed. The superbly detailed full interior, intricate external details and superb engineering. I’m still a little daunted by the prospect of adding Zimmerit myself, having never done this before, but I suppose I need to start learning some armour techniques if I’m to diversify a little. I also find the tracks a little daunting too, with the 5 parts required per link, including the pins, but RMF’s trick of adding them whilst on the sprue and then snipping the sprue from them, is genius. In all, a seriously nice package that I’ll need to restrain myself from starting, until at least the Panther is built. Very highly recommended Review kit courtesy of my wallet and the fine folks at Monk Bar Model Shop, York. Tell them you saw the review on Large Scale Modeller!
  4. 1/35 Panther Ausf.G ‘Early/Late with full interior’ Panzerkampfwagen “Panther” Ausf.G (Sd.Kfz.171) Rye Field Model Catalogue # RM-5016 Available soon from Model Kits for Less for £56.50 inc UK Hermes The Panther is a German medium tank deployed during World War II on the Eastern and Western Fronts in Europe from mid-1943 to the war's end in 1945. It had the ordnance inventory designation of Sd.Kfz. 171. It was designated as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther until 27 February 1944, when Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral "V" be deleted. Contemporary English language reports sometimes refer to it as the Mark V. The Panther was intended to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Nevertheless, it served alongside the Panzer IV and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. It is considered one of the best tanks of World War II for its excellent firepower and protection, although its reliability was less impressive. The Panther was a compromise. While having essentially the same engine as the Tiger I, it had more efficient frontal hull armour, better gun penetration, was lighter and faster, and could traverse rough terrain better than the Tiger I. The trade-off was weaker side armour, which made it vulnerable to flanking fire. The Panther proved to be effective in open country and long-range engagements but did not provide enough high explosive firepower against infantry. The Panther was far cheaper to produce than the Tiger I, and only slightly more expensive than the Panzer IV. Key elements of the Panther design, such as its armour, transmission, and final drive, were simplifications made to improve production rates and address raw material shortages. The overall design remained somewhat over-engineered. The Panther was rushed into combat at the Battle of Kursk despite numerous unresolved technical problems, leading to high losses due to mechanical failure. Most design flaws were rectified by late 1943 and the spring of 1944, though the bombing of production plants, increasing shortages of high quality alloys for critical components, shortage of fuel and training space, and the declining quality of crews all impacted the tank's effectiveness. Though officially classified as a medium tank, its weight is more like that of a heavy tank, as its weight of 44.8 tons puts it roughly in the same category as the American M26 Pershing (41.7 tons), British Churchill (40.7 tons) and the Soviet IS-2 (46 tons) heavy tanks. The tank had a very high power to weight ratio however, making it extremely mobile regardless of its weight. Its weight still caused heavy tank-esque problems however, such as an inability to cross certain bridges. Extract from Wikipedia The kit If you like large kit boxes, you’ll not be disappointed. This one is almost twice the size of my Cyber Hobby 1/35 King Tiger, and the deep lid contains a superb artwork of the Panther G of what they say is an unknown unit, with zig-zag winter distemper covering the base camouflage. RFM have sent me the Limited-Edition kit with clear turret and upper hull parts, as labelled on the lid. One side of the lid has three colour CAD illustrations of the model with its complete interior (yes...complete!) and the other side has three colour profiles for the schemes on offer with this release. This is certainly no weekender project. I thought it apt to place a little of the blurb here that Rye Field has told us of this new kit, designed to celebrate their third year in the business. Clear turret and upper hull parts Up to twenty multiple-choice designs Moveable design for track links, suspension system, artillery and other components Provides a set of 800mm steel road wheels which can be used for after April 1945 Accurately reproduced interior and exterior structures of Panther Ausf.G tank Offer of special gift of three kinds of drawings by famous Japanese military painter, Mr. Kei Endou Multi-function grenade launcher can be posed open or closed Rear escape hatch door can be posed open or closed Optional turret vent types Complete interior, including Maybach HL230-P30 engine, transmission, fighting compartment, driver position etc. Option for seat and storage positions of shell box Two options for hydraulic drive units Spring-loaded recoil Two mantlet options Moveable gun Optional engine heater and comprehensive part options associated with this (firewall, roof vents, heater duct, spoiler etc. Optional artillery observation periscope bracket types Three options for turret cupola mounting for AA-MG Optional air-defence machine guns Optional observation lens types Moveable double torsion bat structure Optional bow machine gun ball shield Idler wheel options (665mm dia. and early 600mm A-type) Workable track links, track disassembly tools, and ice cleats Optional driver periscope rain cover Optional cockpit roof vent Multi-position barrel travel lock Two types of headlights Three types of rear stowage boxes Open/closed engine cover plate options Lifting hooks with two optional positions Two options for cooling air outlet grilles Four exhaust configuration options Deployed and stowed 20T jack options This information of course doesn’t even go into including the details of every single reproduced component within the interior of the Panther Ausf.G. If Rye Field Models wanted an epic for their anniversary release, then they got one. Please excuse the resolution of some of these company images. I couldn't get them any higher. Inside the box, the first thing I’m confronted with is another large but shallow box with colour illustrations of two of the schemes (I think this is the offer of drawing gift that RFM refer to), and inside here is a single, large, clear sprue that contains the Limited Edition parts, such as the upper hull, turret, glacis etc. as well as standard clear parts for the periscope et al. I do find the clear plastic pretty quirky and don’t intend to build this with a visible interior, but the option is there for you. The rest of the sprues are moulded in a light brown styrene, and there are FOURTEEN of these. Most are individually bagged except for the ones where there are multiples. Two sprues are interconnected, with two copies, counting as four sprues. A bag containing wire and a spring also contains a flexible black sprue with captive wheel nuts and four wheel rims. Track parts (x190) are included in a brown zip bag and these, moulded in dark brown plastic, come as two per sprue. TWO PE frets are supplied, one decal sheet, and lastly, a hefty 52-page instruction manual. As I said, this is no weekend project. You’ll need to set serious time aside. We’ll now take a look through the various sprues and focus in on those fine details which really set this release apart. Sprue A I could be wrong, but it does look like RFM has thoughtfully grouped the parts for specific areas mainly together on their respective sprues. This certainly beats the constant toing and froing between sprues, especially when there are so many as with this kit. Here we see parts that seem to exclusively concern the Panther’s powerful 7.5 cm Kwk 42 L/70 gun, including turret parts and two mantlet options. The latter are for the curved mantlet, and the later version with a vertical face below the upper curved section, providing extra armour to the lower quarters. Whilst some would decry the lack of a metal barrel in this kit, the plastic one is moulded in one piece instead of as halves. Of course, the muzzle is moulded as separate parts for which no seams exist. These details are supplemented by a little PE. Sprue B We generally have a lot of internal turret details here, ranging from the traverse motor to the gun counterbalance, hydraulic drive, loader/gunner/commander seats, azimuth etc. To say the turret interior is comprehensive is pretty much on the money. You’ll certainly need no aftermarket here. The instructions show lengths of wire that must be added using the supplied material. Sprue C (x2) Wheels, torsion bars and other associated parts are found on this sprue, of which two are supplied. I do note a few parts from other areas of the hull, but generally this is where the rolling stuff happens. I’ve already said that the wheels/torsion bars do work, but not as they are initially moulded. If you don’t want to simply build this with static, non-moving torsion, then that is the default position. If you want them to articulate, then a small tab of plastic needs to be removed from each bar. Quite a simple task and one that satisfies all builders of this kit. Sprue D Many general interior parts here, such as the driver’s seat, transmission, comms system power supply, periscope storage, front drive brake units etc. In fact, many items from the lower hull forward interior will be found here. Sprue E & X (x2) Both of these sprues are supplied connected, and there are two frames included. The most obvious inclusion here are the many shells that will be distributed around the hull interior. That much explosive in one space must’ve played on the minds of the crews. Note also a jig for building the tracks, and the multitude of track pins. The individual links are first sat on the track jig and then each bank of pins is installed whilst on the sprue. When in situ, the sprue will then be removed. Genius! Other parts here include wheels, engine fan amongst many other small components. Sprue F This sprue provides the rear and front glacis, lower hull sides, fenders and the hull floor. As this kit has a full interior, the hull floor has details moulded within. I can’t understand the reason for the forward glacis as this is moulded in situ on the clear upper hull, as the non-clear F1 part is designed to fit over the top of this, despite the test models showing it without F1 attached. Detail is excellent, especially on the hull sides. Some very nice weld seam details to be seen too. Sprue G Many items here that appear to be associated with the rear engine decal, with numerous options provided, such as those for the four different permutations of exhaust layouts, heaters, tool racks, access doors (poseable), front fender mudguards etc. Note also options for the rear stowage bins. Sprue H This Panther kit can be fitted with the heated duct system as an option. This means that RFM needed to be able to enable the modeller to easily install these parts. Note here two internal bulkhead options which provide the means to display the model with or without the heat duct system. Certainly better than having to mod the part yourself. Internal rear compartment walls, shell racks, lower hull central floor, fuel tanks, filters etc. Sprue J Another multitude of small and key components to be found here. Everything from the 20T jack (that can be posed deployed or stored), drive gear housings, rear glacis parts (including towing mechanism), hull tools, towing cable ends etc. Sprue K Here you find the mighty Maybach and other associated parts. A variety of other components are moulded here too, such as the rear mantlet plates (two options), ammunition storage rack parts, hoses and ducting, radio sets, and the remainder of parts that are scattered around the interior. Sprue L (clear parts) As I already stated, this particular kit is a Limited-Edition version with these parts being moulded in clear styrene. From this, I can only presume that regular editions will have this in the same colour as the rest, with the periscope parts etc. being moulded separately. I honestly don’t know. However, that’s a story for a different day. Like or loathe clear parts, these really are superbly moulded with exceptional clarity, should you wish to finish your model, so the interior can be viewed through the plastic. Sprue P This is a rubberised sprue containing four wheel rims and a series of captive collars for holding the wheels in place on the torsion bar arms. Tracks Moulded in a dark brown plastic, these are moulded in twos, interconnected with a small sprue. There are 85 each of these, totalling 190 separate track links. I can’t comment on how easy these will be to assemble at this stage, but they look straightforward enough with the supplied jig and method of applying the track pins that I mentioned earlier. Photo Etch Two frets are included in this release, packed into a wallet with a card protector. Quality is excellent, with narrow part gates that will make it easy to remove and clean the individual components. Included in PE form are the heater grilles, internal hull lower chassis frames, clasps, etc. There are a lot of parts to keep you occupied. Extras Only a few bits here, namely different diameter wires and a spring for the main gun recoil. Decals A single sheet is included with decals for the three schemes included. A whole load of stencils are also included. Printing is excellent, with the decals being nice and thin and with minimal carrier film. Colour is solid and in register. Instructions RMF provide a 52 page A4 manual for this release, with there being a total of 71 constructional sequences. However, many of these include enough assembly to have merited further breakdown. All drawings are in line format and are clear to understand. Coloured ink is introduced to illustrate some of the finer nuances of construction, such as new part placement and where parts are only to be dry-fit at certain stages. Some of the English annotation is a little messy and could do with having been corrected, but the general gist is easy to follow. Paint references are given for Mig AMMO and Gunze paints. Conclusion Well, what can I say? Firstly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kit with as many options available to the builder, nor one with this incredible amount of full interior detail in 1/35. You’ll need your wits about you as you progress through the build in order that you use the correct permutation of parts, plus any component modifications that are required to common parts. It’s a minefield, but at least it’s a fun one! Perhaps one of the most complicated kits I’ve yet encountered. Moulding quality is up there with the very best, with hardly a seam to be seen, and zero flash that I can determine. Any ejector pin marks should also be hidden behind installed equipment, so again, no concerns there. There’s no doubt that Rye Field Model have created a masterpiece and if the images and videos from the recent Nuremberg Toy Fair are anything to go by, then this will look simply amazing when complete. As I have said, this is a complicated kit and you need to check assembly at each turn with relation to parts options, so ensure you know exactly which vehicle you’ll be building, right at the outset. All I can say is this is just stunning! HIGHLY recommended! My sincere thanks to Rye Field Model for the kit sample seen in this First Look article. At the time of writing, the kit only seems to be dribbling through Asian suppliers but should be available in the rest of the world over the next weeks.
  5. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-0 Zoukei-mura Catalogue SWS#11 Available from Zoukei-mura for 10,584¥ Kurt Tank’s Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was the ultimate incarnation of his Fw 190 series of thoroughbred fighter aircraft. As Germany’s war situation was worsening, there was a call to introduce a fighter aircraft that could fly at higher altitude in order to intercept enemy aircraft, and the possibility of the B-29 being introduced into the European Theatre of Operations. The Ta 152 was Focke-Wulf’s submission to the RLM when key aircraft manufacturers were approached with the problem of developing a high-altitude interceptor that could tackle the increasing numbers of bomber streams that were pulverising the Reich to rubble. The Ta 152H was based on a lengthened Fw 190D fuselage, although technically different. In order to re-establish the centre of gravity, the nose was also lengthened, producing a startlingly long and sleek fuselage for a fighter of the day. Powered by a Jumo 213E with a good high altitude performance, the ‘H’ series machine had a wingspan of over 48ft. Electrical gear retraction systems were replaced with hydraulic systems, and a heated windshield was introduced, for bad weather operations. Of course, a pressurised cockpit was also a necessity. Weapons were a single MK108 Motorcanone that fired through the spinner, and two MG151/20 cannon in the wingroot. The Ta 152 came way too late to make even the slightest difference in Germany’s war effort, but that shouldn’t detract from the innovation and achievement in the design itself. Very few Ta 152 were built, with the figure standing at around 43 machines of all variants, including prototypes. It’s been a whole FIVE years since Zoukei-mura released their second SWS kit, the Ta 152H-1. With this release, it’s now the turn of the rarer H-0 variant. This is the type which sits in the NASM, and of course is the only machine now left in existence. Of course, there is no excuse to them get this wrong. So, as we have already seen the H-1, what exactly does this kit offer that makes it worth buying? If you don’t have the original release and you like the Ta 152, then nothing is stopping you! However, if you do have the original H-1, then I can tell you that there are significant differences in this kit, and owning the original shouldn’t preclude this from being in your collection. This kit is a mix of original H-1 sprues, newly-tooled H-0 sprues AND re-tooled H-1 sprues! Yes, Zoukei-mura have revisited those areas in their earlier release that some may have thought weak, and perhaps areas they wished to refine themselves anyway. Either way, we’ll now take a look. For a retro look at the original kit, take a look HERE The artwork on this kit does seem quite familiar in style to the original release, and no less attractive, with a single Ta 152 tearing into a stream of Liberator aircraft. Box sides show the completed model, with most text in Japanese. As ZM are now firmly a global brand with their model show presence and US offices selling their kits, some dual language text would be nice for photos etc. Lift that lid and you have SEVEN sprues in light grey styrene, and ONE in clear. You might remember that the early ZM kits, including the Ta 152H-1, were moulded in different colours. This was always something they drew criticism for, with them being likened to Matchbox kits (without the garish colours!). Underneath the plastic lies another sleeve containing the decal sheet, masks, instruction manual and an amendment sheet that is specific to this H-0 release. SPRUE A Notice this is an H-1 sprue, but one that has been reworked and we see it for the first time on this kit. Comparing against my original H-1 kit, the only real refinement I can see here are the main wheel hubs and their brake line. The reworked parts look far better than the originals. If there are no other reworked parts here, then that is just fine as the parts here are already refined, and look far more than they did under the original silver plastic that seemed to make things look soft. Essentially, this sprue concerns itself with the engine and undercarriage. Engine detail is great, and this kit contains a fully featured Jumo 213E that is composed of main left, right engine block, crank case cover, coolant vapour reserve, ignition lead wiring loom and junction box, starter motor, generator, supercharger, oil cooler etc. There are over 20 parts to this and I know from experience of building the original kit for the Concept Note book, just how good the engine looks when painted and weathered. I think the engine firewall could benefit with a little wiring to the engine area, but that’s it. To cap the engine off, literally, a two-part spinner is included. I know the shape of spinners can be contentious, but this looks great to me, and includes a fine ‘panel’ line around the circumference. A forward radiator block and annular radiator parts are included. The latter has fine cooling fin detail on both the interior or exterior faces. Undercarriage struts are superbly detailed, and separate brake lines are included. Oleo scissors are also more than acceptable, and the multipart rear tail strut is no exception. The main part of this anchors high up in the vertical tail fin. SPRUE B Another H-1 sprue, and again re-tooled. Here you will find various engine components such as the supercharger, propeller, guns, fuselage fuel tanks (the H-0 carried wing tanks also), exhausts, and various other engine parts. The propeller is certainly more refined looking than the original, and the exhausts have marginally different detail. One thing I’m disappointed in that ZM didn’t rework are the tires. These would have looked better with a little weighting added. The opportunity was there to sort this, so if you want them to look a little flatter on the bottom, you can always get out a sanding stick. Another inclusion here are the engine bearers. One thing I found with the original release was that fitting the engine and bearers into the fuselage, proved a little problematic. To counter this, I snipped off the lower locating pips and aligned the engine with the upper pins only. The wing root cannon look a little simplistic too, but with some extra work and electrical wiring, they won’t look too bad. If you want to use any aftermarket for these, then look at the MDC resin gun replacements. There has been minimal slide mould use for the barrels on these guns, as also on the MK108 too. SPRUE C With Sprue C, we start to see cockpit parts, starting with the cockpit floor and integral rearmost bulkhead that encapsulates the battery/stowage compartment. Another rear cockpit bulkhead that incorporates the seat location and forward turtle deck is included. ZM’s attention to detail with this release still grabs me in the same way as it did 5 whole years ago, and the levels of detail more than hold up to current eyes, expectations and scrutiny. A new instrument panel, specifically for the H-0, is also included here. The details of the bezels look perhaps a little exaggerated, but they will make for ideal painting and detailing conditions, and a punched decal instrument should sit perfectly inside. A drop of Klear or Micro Crystal Clear will finish these nicely. Decals are provided for the instruments, but I think the definition/detail is poor. My choice, as always, are the excellent Airscale decals. This new part also has rear instrument detail, allowing you to add some wiring. Two seats are supplied. One of these is a standard part that allows you to place your own seatbelt set, and the other has moulded belt detail. I’m absolutely convinced that the moulded belt detail has been improved, and looks akin to the quality I saw on my recent Ho 229 build. Personally, I have no hesitation in using the seats with the moulded belts. They really do look superb! The cockpit contains separate consoles and a throttle lever that connects to a socket on the underlying floor. Rudder pedals are attached to rods that pass under the consoles. Yes, all the detail you want is here, even if you may never see it! You will find other bulkhead details here, and parts for what was the forward weapon bay on the earlier 190 series. Ammunition boxes for the wing root guns are to be found here, as are various oxygen and compressed gas bottles that fit within the tail section. One feature of the Ta 152 series was a nitrous oxide tank that could be used to temporarily boost engine performance. This was located in the rear fuselage. Also here are various other rear fuse internals, such as radio sets. Lastly, a wing spar is included that perfectly pre-aligns the wings for you, and provides some stability to this crucial area. Some wheel bay detail is provided here, and you will also fit the guns into the provisional wing root areas before installing to the fuselage. SPRUE D Here we see a new sprue, designated as H-0, and looking very similar to its counterpart in the previous release. However, things appear to be more refined here. Looking at the surface detail rendering, the new parts have better riveting and panel line detail. Originally, the general rivet lines were exaggerated, but now they appear to be represented far more realistically. Detail on the inside of the parts consists of the same frame lines etc, and remains unchanged. I have no problem with this though. A port is supplied separately on the rear fuse, allowing the modeller to pose this open and display the internals. That refinement of detail extends to the tail where the stabiliser fairing is now fitted with correctly raised line of fasteners, instead of sunken rivet detail. Again, the access panel on the fin is separate, so it may be posed open if you decide to detail the area within a little more. Engine cowl detail is also slightly different around the forward exhaust area, and a new part is included on this sprue, for the upper louvered vent that sits just behind the cowling ring flaps. SPRUE E I can’t see any difference between this sprue and my original H-1 release kit, and indeed it is still designated as H-1 on the ID tab. ZM’s unusual fuselage breakdown means that the lower belly section is separate, and moulded here, complete with internal rib structure detail. The single piece forward upper cowl that incorporates the ex-gun bay and engine cowl, is moulded as a single piece with some internal detail. Unfortunately, ZM didn’t see fit to remove the ejector pin marks from in here, so you will need to eradicate them yourself if you wish to display this part removed. The forward nose cowl is separate to the cowl flaps, and the latter are provided as open and closed options. Tail surfaces have some superb external detail, and control surfaces have a taped effect finish. I’m not absolutely convinced by this, but some photos do seem to look quite similar to the ZM approach, if maybe not quite as raised and obvious. Still, the finish is very attractive. The modular wing approach sees the forward belly section moulded here, as well as the main gear doors and other small parts. Note that there is the H-1 upper louvred panel included here, and this is NOT for use on this kit!! SPRUE F & G These are wing sprues and are essentially mirror equivalents of each other. Now you get an idea of the sheer span of this sleek fighter aircraft. As these are H-0 specific sprues, they are indeed newly-tooled. Due to the difference in airframe wing tank locations, you will see a difference in engraved surface detail that is applicable to this machine only. It is noted that as with the fuselage parts, the riveting on the wings is also more subtle. Only key rivet lines are included too, leaving the way open for you to add the remainder yourself, if this is what appeals. The wheel well bumps are also more organic looking too and far more realistic. Some detail is moulded within the wheel bay roof, and this is more than adequate. Trailing edge flap bay detail is also moulded, but there are ejection pin marks you will need to remove. As with the H-1, the wing leading edges are moulded separately. I’ve heard some say they struggled to make these fit properly, but for me, I had no such issue. Just take your time and be methodical with your approach. Note that the wing roots still remain as single parts on this release. I wasn’t too happy with the protrusion of these from the fuselage when installed, so I thinned the joint face a little on mine before installation. Refinement of detail extends to the gun bay covers for the wing root. Engraving is shallower generally, and these are a big improvement over the earlier release. SPRUE H ZM decided to revisit this sprue and re-tooled it to make it more accurate. As well as a clear instrument panel and a few small parts for wingtip lights and gun sight etc. the main players here are of course the windshield and the familiar blown hood. Noticeably, the windshield looks more refined and the shapes have changed somewhat. Clarity is excellent, and the canopy parts have superb frame definition that will aid accurate placement of the vinyl masks. Plastic Summary I found a new level of plastic moulding quality with the Ho 229, and it continues here. Parts are generally flash free, and seam lines are minimal. There are a couple of sink marks here and there, but nothing too major. You could almost excuse them for metal ‘canning’ from the stressed metal of the real aircraft!! Masks A small sheet of vinyl masks is included for the canopy. My experience of these is that they adhere well, fit perfectly, and adhere well to the plastic. If you ever need to tweak a mask, then the flexibility of the vinyl will allow for that. Decals For me, ZM’s decals are possibly the weakest element of their kits, BUT they do adhere well and conform to surface detail with the help of a little decal setting solution. I don’t know who prints them, but they tend to be a little thicker than I’m used to, but in fairness, they are well printed with good, solid colour and minimal carrier film. Registration is also perfect. As well as markings that are designed to be generic and allow the modeller to make their own decisions, a full set of stencils is also included. I’m not too enamoured with the instrument decals. They lack vibrancy and definition. Swastikas are supplied in two parts, so as not to offend the sensibilities of particular countries that get all offended by them on model kits! Instructions The first thing you’ll notice is that the rather swish looking manual (designed to look like a 1940’s technical document) is actually the same one that was supplied with the H-1 kit back in 2010. However, a supplement is included with the correct H-0 nomenclature, and this includes the amendments and changes to this particular release. The first thing I would do is to mark these changes within the main manual so that you don’t fit the incorrect parts for this version. Illustrations are excellent, with CAD-style detail and shaded drawings. SWS kits have advanced a little since the manual was first printed, and as a result, this one doesn’t have all the fancy technical details of the real aircraft, as was seen in the Ho 229 manual. Still, ZM’s instructions are better than most within the industry. Paint references are Mr Colour and Vallejo. Conclusion I admit that I was a little too hasty to write this release off, due to the relatively small number of external differences between this and the original H-1 release. However, the inclusion of all of those refined and reworked sprues, along with the new-tool parts, serves to make this a worthwhile release. With the original H-1 kit now being currently OOP, the H-0 is the only real game in town for this stunning fighter aircraft, with the exception of the Pacific Coast kit that some claim to be difficult to build or hard to obtain. As far as price too, then this kit is well-pitched, being cheaper in some respects than the PCM kit, and also a more highly detailed kit. If you’ve never had the opportunity to build a ZM Ta 152, then I really, really can recommend it! HIGHLY recommended. Review sample courtesy of my wallet. To buy directly from Volks Japan, click THIS link. To buy directly from Volks USA, click THIS link.
  6. Just finished this up this morning, after lack of Mojo for 9 months... Used AK Interactive WW1 British Tank Colours, Washes and pigments. Really fun build!
  7. Here's my entry to the build. Its the same one I was going to do for the Junkers GB but ran out of time. Revells 88A-1 AM bits for it New AM bits just added! CMK exterior set (I want to show the dinghy to break up the black) Profimodeller's ladder and pitot Revells boxing of the ICM kit (same model half the price!) Vulcans Motorcycle and sidecar And finally Tanks figure which is pretty close to the pose in the pics! I started last weekend and will post up the progress pics where I'm up to later on Aaron
  8. I'm Daniel, 14 years old and this is my 2nd large tank model. This is my Churchill VII The AA battery is to show size. Mum and Dad brought it back for me when they want away for the weekend.
  9. I plan, at least, two builds for the GWGB, with a third being entered, providing I cope with the first two entries. My second entry is the 1:35 Emhar kit of the Mk.V 'Hermaphrodite' Heavy Battle Tank. I also plan to do it in captured German colours I've also bought the tracks and barrels upgrade set from Panzer Shop too, so I'm serious about this one.
  10. So here is my first entrie to the WW1 GB... Emhar's 1/35 Mk.IV Male Tank... Its the only game intown... its not to bad of a kit, but it does have some issues with a couple of things, mainly the tracks... To address that problem, I have got Panzershops upgrade set....
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