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  1. Time to bite the bullet. Back in May I was asked by a friend of mine to build a Tonka for him. There was one on 56Sqn that he worked on regularly and that's the one he wants built, but could I actually do 2. 1 for him, 1 for someone else on the Sqn. "Not a problem" Said I. "What scale??" Errrrrrr. I'd like So big, Right, 1/48. Never having built that scale, this is going to be fun. I managed to track down 2 and was about to go extras shopping when the offer of the Eduard kit happened, so now, I have 3 - 1 for me! So, here we go! The last Revell I build was their 1/72 Lancaster, and I was mighty disappointed, but I had been advised that this was a good kit (and fell within budget) and looking through the boxes, I was nicely impressed with the detail and mould quality Starting with the seats, as you do. I was quite happy until I'd finished and looked into the Warpaint book (and the GR4 at Duxford) Great Reference -
  2. Special Hobby, Siebel Si 204D Part no. SH48170 History, The Si 204 was planned as a small all-metal passenger aircraft with two crew and eight passengers for German airline Lufthansa (DLH). Development was initiated in 1938. After the beginning of the war, the aircraft was redesigned as a trainer aircraft with a full "stepless" glass cockpit, as had been initiated with the which seemed to be better for Blind Flying in the Si 204's case. The first two prototypes only were delivered as passenger aircraft with the old cockpit. The maiden flight of the first prototype was before September 1940, possibly on 25 May 1940, that of the second prototype before February 1941. The third prototype was redesigned as a trainer aircraft for blind flying. As a result of this, the maiden flight was not earlier than the end of 1941 or the beginning of 1942. At that time, Siebel produced the JU88 under licence, so only 15 prototypes were able to be built in Halle. As a result, Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord in France produced the A-0 preseries A-1 production passenger aircraft between April 1942 and November 1943. Production of the D-3 was started in October 1944 by Aero Vodochody. The D-3 had wooden wings and a tail-plane made of wood and metal. French production of the D-1 was ended in August 1944 after the Liberation SNCAN produced a total of 168 units of the Si 204. BMM produced the aircraft until October 1944 and then changed to producing spare parts for the Si 204. The Aero company was scheduled to cease production of the D-1 in March 1945 after building 486 aircraft and then switch to D-3 only. The aircraft, however, was only built until January 1945 with 541 completed. Therefore, total production was 1,216 (until January 1945) including the prototypes; some production in other countries continued after the war ended. Operational history Scrapped Siebel Si 204 at Wunstorf, Germany, 1945 The Si 204D was used mainly in B- and C-Schools (advanced schools) and in FÜG 1 (delivery wing of the Luftwaffe), probably as a taxi aircraft for crews who had delivered other aircraft to fighting units. Its use in blind flying schools was sporadic; for radio schools, no evidence of use has been found. The Si 204A flew mainly with communications squadrons and flying services for senior officers, but also with schools. In July 1944, five Si 204 were destined to be converted to night-combat aircraft, but no further aircraft were allotted. They were probably intended for the pre-series Si 204 E-0. However, no evidence shows that these aircraft were ever used in combat situations. Luft Hansa received at least four Si 204s: The first prototype, D-AEFR, was evaluated from March to May 1941 by Luft Hansa Prague. From spring 1942 to spring 1943, the second prototype, D-ASGU, was used on regular routes as a freight carrier. An Si 204 was likely the last German aircraft shot down on the Western Front. At 8 pm on May 8, 1945, 2nd Lt. K. L. Smith of the 9th Air Force's 474th Fighter Group, flying a P-38 Lightning downed a Siebel. At the end of the war, one Si 204D remained in Berlin-Tempelhof (named "Rhein"). One flew to Enns in Austria, where it was captured by the Allies. Captured Si 204s flew in a variety of civil roles in the post-war USSR, serving with Aeroflot until 1949, being particularly successful in Tajikistan regional services. Soviet Polar Aviation flew seven Si 204s, equipped with skis, in Siberia. Major engine deficiencies in the extreme climate conditions, with four aircraft lost, caused local aircrew to nickname the Si 204 Giebel, Russian for disaster, before withdrawal from the region. The last Soviet Si 204, flying with the Agricultural Survey, was retired in 1951. The Kit, This one is a bit left field and I had no idea that this aircraft even existed until I saw that Special Hobby had released it. On speaking to Albert from special hobby he is rather proud of this one. I personally think that after some more mainstream aircraft like the Viggen and Hawker Tempest this is refreshing and great to see a company taking a risk on a less well known subject. The box art shows a nice picture of the aircraft and is quite evocative. I have to mention here that the last couple of Special Hobby kits I built the box was really tight I am pleased to say that the box is now a bit looser and that is a good thing. Inside the box are eight grey sprues 1 clear sprue, 1 resin piece and a decal sheet. Sprue A, On the sprue A there is the fuselage sides a bulkhead and a couple of other bits. The fuselage features some nice restrained panel lines and the interior has some rib and former detail inside, there are a few ejector pin marks which may need filling if you pose the fuselage doors open. There will be a couple of blanking plates to go over the wing attachment points so that they can’t show. Do bear in mind that the whole interior is painted RLM 66 so you may not see much in there. Sprues B and C, These sprues hold the wing parts and again these look good as well with great restrained panel lines as well as some nice fastener and maintenance hatch details. The ailerons have some nice fabric detail included both the wings and fuselage have locating pins on the inside faces also on these sprues are the undercarriage doors. The undercarriage doors have detail inside that will be picked out with a nice coat of paint as well as some highlighting. Sprue D, On Here are the Tail parts and engine cowling parts, the fin and rudders as well as the tailplane and elevator parts are moulded together so if you want to pose them dropped or offset you will need to do some cutting, the engine cowlings and intakes look great with panel line and vent detail with the front faces of the cowlings looking good also i did note that the small boss on the front face of the cowling needs removing and a hole drilling through. On sprue D also are the exhausts and these look nice and they are inserted from behind the cowling panel. Sprue E, The majority of the undercarriage parts on this sprue and the parts look brilliant, I saw on social media a couple of years ago the Special Hobby Now own some High pressure moulding machines and this is really showing in the moulding of smaller parts. The undercarriage bay parts look as good as anything produced by any of the far eastern manufacturers. There are also prop spinners and half of the propellers the spinners which again look good. The wheels are also on this sprue which for injection moulded look brilliant. With moulded brake discs and the blanking plates for the wing spar. Sprue F, On here there are the other propeller parts and we have a two piece propellers. There is a crew door, this will require you to cut out the door from the fuselage if you want to pose it open the detail on this door is about as good as you are going to get without it being a resin door. There are also two parts for the Argus engines that sit inside the engine and will be visible through the front of the cowling. Sprue H, On this sprue there are the interior parts for the rear cabin of the aircraft and this is very well appointed and will make it worthwhile posing that door open with seats, radio and crew parts, this is a multi part assembly and will look great under a good paint job. The seats have really finely moulded seat rails and separate backs to them. Sprue I, The final sprue contains crew seats and more interior parts, again the detail is lovely. Responding to a coat of paint, my only worry is trying to get all of this inside the fuselage and closing it all up. Sprue K, The clear parts, these are well moulded and very clear to show off all of that lovely detail the cockpit detail the canopy is a two part affair with well defined framing, the fuselage windows insert from the inside. There are two astrodomes which again look great. There are some tiny parts on here for Nav lights which look great. The resin part. This is a DF loop for the swiss option which is nicely cast in resin Decals, There should be no issues here, CartoGraf Decals for three options nicely in perfect register, with decals for instruments and radio parts. Swastikas are on the sheet but in two halves. The three options are: W.Nr. 221313 Bourges France 1943 in RLM 70/71 over 65 with a yellow tailband DL+NT siezed by the swiss military 7th May 1945 with National markings painted out in RLM 70/71 over 65 Swiss Airforce Ex DL+NT 1945-55 RLM 70 over 65. Instructions, No surprises here printed on glossy paper in English and Czech and in colour. With colour callouts calling for both the colour and coded to the Gunze Mr.Colour/ Mr. Hobby Aqueous range. The instructions are beautifully printed and crystal clear. Conclusion, Well, what can i say this in the box looks like a great kit of a subject i have not come across before. The panel lines and surface detail look lovely, I have to say I’m struggling to find anything wrong with it apart from the amount of mould release on some of the parts but if thats all ive got to moan about things aren’t bad are they? Once I’ve cleared some stuff off the bench I can see this going on the bench quite quickly. Verdict, If Luftwaffe subjects are your thing (that's me, could you tell?) then I have to say it’s highly recommended. Our thanks to special Hobby for the review sample Theres more 3 bags of resin parts from special hobby for this kit were also included A set of spinners to replace the kit items which are good but not as sharp as these Everyone wants wheels these days And Pilots seats with a photo etch fret for the seatbelts
  3. I have taken this Eduard weekend edition kit as far as I wish. The purpose of the build was to try an idea I had to emulate the uneven surfaces seen on stressed skin aircraft, and chose this particular aircraft as I'd already built an Eduard Hellcat and knew how it went together, but this overall Glossy Sea Blue aircraft would particularly benefit from something to add visual appeal to an otherwise featureless finish. If interested in the experiment itself, here is the Work in Progress thread: The kit is close to being Out-Of-the-Box, but did receive Airscale cockpit instrument decals to improve the panel, and substantial improvements to the cockpit purely from adding an Ultracast resin seat with seatbelts, new wheels and Ultracast's much improved Hamilton Standard propeller. In addition, Master brass barrels were added. All paints are Colourcoats enamels, and the antenna is Infini Model 40 denier (0.068mm) lycra rigging line. The base is Eduard's injection moulded Essex class aircraft carrier deck section, although strictly speaking the aircraft was from USS Enterprise CV-6, a Yorktown class. If anyone made it this far and is remotely curious to see how ACUS34 - ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue compares to our parallel paints ACUS07 - ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue and ACUS33 - ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue, often all claiming to be matched simultaneously and/or referenced to FSx5042 which matches none of them, here's the GSB Hellcat and my earlier "by the book" tricolor F6F-3 together: Thanks for looking in!
  4. Something different for me, but nice simple kit Amazingly it starts with the cockpit Seems to have painted up quite nicely. Peter
  5. Having been given the encouragement by Richard to post some of my builds on here, this is one I built a few years ago. Apologies to those who have seen this before, but I’m a little short of new builds at the moment. Basically, this is a 1/48th build of a RMASG Centaur based on he excellent Tamiya Cromwell. When Tamiya first issued their 1/35th Cromwell, back in the 90’s, they followed it up with a Centaur, so I naturally assumed that when they did the same in 1/48th scale, they would do the Centaur also. Sadly, no. But that’s what modelling is all about, and if it’s not available as a kit, scratch build it. This build would need several items scratch building, most obvious of which are the road wheels and the 95mm howitzer. Also, the distinctive markings would need to be sourced from somewhere as none were available in this scale. But I’ll cover all of these items as I come to them. The vehicle that I wanted to depict was one of the earlier Centaurs, carrying the name of “Seawolf”. This meant that there would be more scratch building needed as the front track guards on Seawolf were different to the ones in the Tamiya kit. In Normandy there is a memorial with a Centaur on a plinth and it is named Seawolf, but it’s not the original. I believe that it is cobbled together from various vehicles, including a Centaur dozer. This one is the original. Okay, so I’ve laid down a marker, and with any luck I’ll start the WIP properly in the next couple of days. Thanks for looking. John.
  6. So change of plan on what I'm building, I picked this up at a show on Sunday and as soon as I opened the box i just had to build it looking at the Sprues this is a work of art Now obligatory Sprue shots Now this surprised me 3 colours of plastic on the same sprue including a wookie. Now some pics of details I have to say I'm looking forward to this
  7. Deanflyer


    Hi all, When I was eight, my Dad came home from work with an Airfix Kittyhawk in a blister pack, which we built together that evening. It was bare plastic, decals stuck on any old how, but it was fun. It started me on the model making hobby, and ten years later I built the same kit, but this time painted to the best of my ability at the time just to see how much I'd improved. I still have both of those builds, and the second one is nowhere near as good as I thought it was at the time! 34 years later I decided to try again, in 1/48th scale this time, and here's the result. I did make one absolute howler during construction, which was only discovered when it was too late to do anything about it...I'll keep quiet about it unless anybody spots it. Azure Blue and Mid Stone paints were mixed from Tamiya acrylics, and weathering was achieved with a mixture of washes, pastels, post shading and actual chipping. The roundels and markings were toned down by masking around them and fading them with heavily thinned Deck Tan. It's quite heavily weathered in real life, but it doesn't show up too well in photos. So, here's Neville Duke's Kittyhawk sitting in the African sun after seeing quite a bit of action: Evolution...aged eight, eighteen and fifty two: Hope you like it, Dean
  8. Eduard's boxing of the Hasegawa Hawker Typhoon, with Resin 4 blade prop, and elevators. Painted with Tamiya acrylics throughout, weathered lightly with some oils and pastels. Lost one rocket, so it's being re-armed 🙂 Peter
  9. Thoroughly pissed off the with SE5a so started something different as a break. Started over the long weekend - the Eduard rebox or the Hasegawa Typhoon 1B with lots of etch Work commences with replacing most of the plastic cockpit with Etch 🙂 Peter
  10. Hello all, Like many of us of a certain age, I grew up watching Space 1999 in the 70's. Looking back at it now, it's pretty cheesy, but the classic design of the utilitarian Eagle Transporter endures. I was smitten as a kid, and had the Dinky Eagle, in lurid green paint, and restored one a couple of years ago. I also got hold of the old Airfix 1/72 kit a few years ago, but when the 1/48 scale MPC Eagle kit was announced, I just had to have one. I was saving it for my retirement, so now's the time! Here's the box: ..and for those interested, here's the sprues: That's what the sprues look like when you spend three consecutive evenings cutting off and cleaning up 308 parts, many of which are round rods with a mould seam up both sides. I'm not sure how visible those seams will be on the finished article, but better safe than sorry. I separated the parts into plastic containers so I wouldn't get them mixed up: Comparing the beak to the 9" long Dinky toy I restored gave me my first impression of how big it'll be - referring to it as the 22" Eagle is all very well, but it's only when you get the bits in your hands that you start to wonder where on earth (or moon) you're going to put it afterwards: I had a glueing frenzy last night, and many of the subassemblies are ready to have their seams dealt with...more when that happens... Cheers, Dean
  11. An eternity ago I built Hasegawa's 1/48 F-104C Starfighter straight from the box in a Puerto Rico ANG scheme. I soon discovered that the 1/48 decals by Eagle Strike (48-239, "Starfighters 1") weren't really scaled well. The Puerto Rico flag for the rudder was way too large, as were the U.S. insignia. So I opted to build it as 0-70929 as seen on this photo on Airliners.net: http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Air-Force/Lockheed-F-104C-Starfighter/170101 You can see that the ragged edge of the anti-dazzle panel on the nose is accurate and not because of a lack of masking capabilities! I did suffer from a lack of observation skills though, as the photo is of F-104C 57-929 and the decals for 56-929... The weathering was done rather heavy-handed as the real PRANG One-Oh-Fours didn't look too "concours-ready" either! One thing that no manufacturer of Starfighter models seems to get right is that the tip tanks of the F-104A, F-104B, F-104C and F-104D had small inboard fins, similar as the outboard fins. It was not until the F-104G that the inboard were enlarged... So aside from adding simple pieces of seatbelt from tape between the headrest and the moulded-in belts on the backrest, I scrounged the outboard fins from another pair of tiptanks to get this (in my eyes) quite visible detail right.
  12. Well I like to be a bit different with my builds, so here's something you don't see every day, a Polish SE5a. About 20 aircraft were supplied to the Poles to fight against the Soviets when war broke out in the East in February 1919. To link it back to WW1, most of the conflicts in Eastern Europe directly after 1918 were the result of WW1 and much of it was fought with captured WW1 equipment or as in this case, surplus war machines were supplied or bought directly from countries looking to offload equipment and make a few bucks. I'm on a bit of a stash queen build at the moment. I've had this kit a long time, maybe 20 or more years. It's pretty basic but will make into a decent model and it's a good thing to practice my rigging on.
  13. Grunhertz


    This is the Eduard Bf109 G6 that I've built for Sean at top notch. Half painted with his masks and the other half blank so that the masks can be applied showing how easy they are to use. It will be on the top notch table at Southern expo. The eduard kit is a peach and one of these days I'm just going to build one for the fun of it. The first one I did for the weekend in a weekend build and then this one.
  14. This is the old Monogram 1/48 MiG 15 from the 70's. Dad had this kit kicking around the house for at least 30 years and he finally gave it to me so I thought I'd build it. It's not too bad, but scales out to around 1/44, so any aftermarket bits you have in 1/48 will be way too small. The fit is decent but the canopy is fairly poor. I added some instrument decals to the cockpit to add a little detail. Markings are those of Maj I. P. Golshevskij who apparently flight night time interception missions over Korea. Decals from the spares box and I made the front FOD cover.
  15. Well here we go and this will be my entry when we open. Not sure when I'll be starting yet. I'll probably do option 2 and this will need careful planning I expect
  16. Deanflyer

    Zero Interest

    I've retired! :-) Lots of time free to indulge my hobbies, so I've started with this, the Hasegawa 1/48 kit built straight from the box apart from seatbelts and antenna wire. Cheers, Dean
  17. Grunhertz

    Mustang iii

    Got this one done too
  18. Stated this weds when I started clipping bits off the sprue, 8 needed something as an easy build. I didn't think it would be this easy. I make it 4 hours total to get here. If you want a kit to fight you all the way don't buy tamiya
  19. Tamiya's lovely P-47D 'Razorback' OOB. Painted with Gunze / Tamiya acrylics, weathered with Oils and Pigments. One of my Go-To kits, as it's so well engineered and is a pleasure to build, and you end up with a Jug - what's not to like. Not a huge fan of the Ammo Matt varnish though, it had a tendency to rub off when weathering, so probably only really works as a final coat WIP available here
  20. So I've decided to start this at last as some of you will remember I reviewed it here And I'm going to be adding a few of the extras the brassin pit and engine with nose guns. Nothing to see at the mo as I'm busy chopping resin and a bit of base coating at the moment. I'll be doing a JG 2 bird and using Sean from top notch masks for the camo and Balkankreuz.
  21. Special Hobby Model 239 Buffalo “Taivaan Helmi over Finland” No.48180 The Brewster F2A Buffalo was an American fighter aircraft which saw service early in WW2. Designed and built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, it was one of the first U.S. monoplanes with an arrester hook and other modifications for aircraft carriers. The Buffalo won a competition against the Grumman F4F Wildcat in 1939 to become the U.S. Navy's first monoplane fighter aircraft. Although superior to the Grumman F3F biplane it replaced and the early F4Fs, the Buffalo was largely obsolete when the United States entered the war, being unstable and overweight, especially when compared to the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Several nations, including Finland, Belgium, Britain and the Netherlands, ordered the Buffalo. The Finns were the most successful with their Buffalos, flying them in combat against early Soviet fighters with excellent results. During the Continuation War of 1941–1944, the B-239s (a de-navalised F2A-1) operated by the Finnish Air Force proved capable of engaging and destroying most types of Soviet fighter aircraft operating against Finland at that time and achieving in the first phase of that conflict 32 Soviet aircraft shot down for every B-239 lost, and producing 36 Buffalo "aces". In December 1941, Buffalos operated by both British Commonwealth (B-339E) and Dutch (B-339D) air forces in South East Asia suffered severe losses in combat against the Japanese Navy's Mitsubishi A6M Zero and the Japanese Army's Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar". The British attempted to lighten their Buffalos by removing ammunition and fuel and installing lighter guns to improve performance, but it made little difference. After the first few engagements, the Dutch halved the fuel and ammunition load in the wing, which allowed their Buffalos (and their Hurricanes) to stay with the Oscars in turns. The Buffalo was built in three variants for the U.S. Navy: the F2A-1, F2A-2 and F2A-3. (In foreign service, with lower horsepower engines, these types were designated B-239, B-339, and B-339-23 respectively.) The F2A-3 variant saw action with United States Marine Corps (USMC) squadrons at the Battle of Midway. Shown by the experience of Midway to be no match for the Zero, the F2A-3 was derided by USMC pilots as a "flying coffin." However, the F2A-3s performance was substantially inferior to the F2A-2 variant used by the Navy before the outbreak of the war despite detail improvements. Finland In April 1939, the Finnish government contacted the Roosevelt administration to acquire modern combat aircraft for its air force as quickly as possible. On 17 October 1939, the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC, received a telegram clearing the purchase of fighter aircraft. Prompt availability and compatibility with 87-octane fuel were the only requirements stipulated by the Finns. The U.S. Navy and State Department arranged to divert remaining F2A-1 fighter aircraft, in exchange for its order of F2A-2 Buffalos scheduled to be delivered later. Consequently, on 16 December, the Finns signed a contract to purchase 44 Model 239 fighters. The total agreed price was U.S. $3.4 million, and the deal included spare parts, ten replacement engines and 20 Hamilton Standard propellers. The Buffalos sent to Finland were de-navalised; all the naval equipment, such as tail hooks and life-raft containers were removed, resulting in a lighter aircraft. The Finnish F2A-1s also lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and cockpit armour. These F2A-1 Buffalos, given the export number Model B-239, were equipped with an export-approved Wright R-1820-G5 nine-cylinder radial engine of 950 hp (708 kW). After their delivery to Finland, the Finnish Air Force added armored backrests, metric flight instruments, the Finnish Väisälä T.h.m.40 gunsight, and four .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The top speed of the Finnish B-239s, as modified, was 297 mph (478 km/h) at 15,675 ft (4,750 m), and their loaded weight was 5,820 lb (2,640 kg). Built and shipped in four batches, the Finnish B-239s were shipped to Bergen, in Norway, in January and February 1940 from New York city. The crated fighters were then sent by railway to Sweden and assembled by Saab at Trollhättan, northeast of Gothenberg. In February 1940, Finnish Air Force pilot Lieutenant Jorma Karhunen flight tested the first B-239. Unfamiliar with the aircraft, he burned out the engine while flying very low at high speed; crashing on a snow-covered field, damaging the propeller and some belly panels. Initially unimpressed, the Finns later witnessed a demonstration by a Brewster test pilot, who was able to stay on the tail of a Finnish Fiat G50 Freccia fighter from Italy; although the Fiat fighter was faster in level flight, the Brewster could out-turn it. Of the six Buffalo B-239 fighters delivered to Finland before the end of the Winter War of 1939–1940, five of them became combat-ready, but they did not enter combat before the war ended. The Brewster B-239E fighter aircraft was never referred to as the "Buffalo" in Finland; it was known simply as the "Brewster" or sometimes by the nicknames Taivaan helmi ("Sky Pearl") or Pohjoisten taivaiden helmi ("Pearl of the Northern Skies"). Other nicknames were Pylly-Valtteri, Amerikanrauta ("Butt-Walter" and "American hardware" or "American car", respectively) and Lentävä kaljapullo ("flying beer-bottle"). The 44 Buffalo Model B-239 (export) fighters used by the FAF received serial numbers BW-351 to BW-394. In Finnish Air Force service, the B-239s were regarded as being easy to fly, a "gentleman's travelling plane." The Buffalo was also popular within the FAF because of its relatively long range and also because of a good maintenance record. This was in part due to the efforts of the Finnish mechanics, who solved a problem that plagued the Wright Cyclone engine by inverting one of the piston rings in each cylinder, which had a positive effect on reliability. The cooler weather of Finland also helped, because the engine was prone to overheating as noted in tropical Pacific use. The Brewster Buffalo earned a reputation in Finnish Air Force service as one of their more successful fighter aircraft, with the Fiat G.50, that scored an unprecedented kill/loss ratio of 33/1.In service from 1941 to 1945, Buffalos of (Fighter Squadron 24) claimed 477 Soviet Air Force warplanes destroyed, with the combat loss of Lentolaivue 24 just 19 Buffalos, an outstanding victory ratio of 26:1. During the Continuation War, Lentolaivue 24 (Fighter Squadron 24) was equipped with the B-239s until May 1944, when the Buffalos were transferred toHävittäjälentolaivue 26 (Fighter Squadron 26). Most of the pilots of Lentolaivue 24 were Winter War combat veterans. This squadron claimed a total of 459 Soviet aircraft with B-239s, while losing 15 Buffalos in combat.The Brewsters had their baptism by fire in Finland on 25 June 1941, when a pair of Buffalos from 2/LLv24 intercepted 27 SovietTupolev SBs from 201st SBAP over Turku Five SBs were claimed as downed. Subsequent attacks were repelled by LLv24 pilots who, by dusk, had flown 77 missions. Many Finnish pilots racked up enormous scores by using basic tactics against Soviet aircraft. The default tactic was the four-plane "parvi" (swarm), with a pair flying lower as bait, and a higher pair to dive on enemy interceptors. The Soviet Air Force was never able to counteract this tactic. The top-scoring B-239 pilot was Hans Wind with 39 kills. Lt Hans Wind, with six other Buffalos of LeLv 24, intercepted some 60 Soviet aircraft near Kronstad. Two Soviet Pe-2 bombers, one Soviet Hawker Hurricane fighter, and 12 I-16’s were claimed for the loss of just one B-239 (BW-378). After evaluation of claims against actual Soviet losses, aircraft BW-364 was found to have been used to achieve 42½ kills in total by all pilots operating it, possibly making it the highest-scoring fighter airframe in the history of air warfare. The top scoring Finnish ace, Ilmari Juutilainen, scored 34 of his 94½ kills in B-239s, including 28 in BW-364. During the Continuation War, a lack of replacements led the Finns to develop a copy of the Buffalo built from non-strategic materials such as plywood, however the Humu, as they called it, was already obsolete and only a single prototype was built. By late 1943, the lack of spares, wear-and-tear, and better Soviet fighters and training greatly reduced the effectiveness of Finnish B-239s, though LeLv 26 pilots would still claim some 35 victories against Soviet aircraft in mid-1944. The last victory by a Buffalo against Soviet aircraft was claimed over the Karelian Isthmuson 17 June 1944. From 1943, Finland's air force received Messerschmitt Bf 109Gs from Germany, and this much-superior fighter re-equipped most Finnish Air Force fighter squadrons. After Finland signed an armistice with the Soviet Union in September, 1944, they had to drive Finland's former ally Nazi Germany out of the country during the Lapland War. The only clash with the Luftwaffe took place on 3 October 1944 when HLeLV 26 intercepted Junkers Ju87’s claiming two, the last victories to be made by Brewster pilots in World War II. By the end of the war in Lapland, only eight B-239s were left. Five B-239s continued to fly until 1948, with last flights of Brewsters by the Finnish Air Force on 14 September 1948, when they were stored until scrapped in 1953. The Kit. Well where to start? A quick search on Scalemates produced a timeline for this kit and I found that this is a rebox of a Classic Airframes kit. Dating back to 2005 with new parts being introduced later and a quick google search shows that this is one of their better kits, not without its problems but better than some, (why do some people shun these kits because with work they usually turn out to be nice models just check out Peter Marshall’s Blenheim on this very forum here). Inside we have three medium grey plastic sprues, a separate bag with one clear sprue in a separate bag with four resin components, a decal sheet containing markings for three separate schemes all for the Finnish Airforce, an unpainted Photo Etch fret and a film sheet for the instrument panel. Sprue A This sprue contains the parts for the fuselage, propeller, aerials, cowl ring and seat. There is a small amount of flash evident but sink marks are not evident. Typically of Classic Airframes kits the sprue gates are quite thick and will require cleaning up, some rib and sidewall detail is evident and will benefit from careful painting to bring out the interior detail. Exterior detail is by way of reasonably fine recessed panel lines with a small amount of rib detail on the fin, there is a small blemish on the fin that looks like it may be a result of a small amount of mould damage that will sand off successfully. It should by now go without saying that there isn’t anything by way of locating pins anywhere but so long as you make sure the mating surfaces are square this is no problem. Sprue B On here we have the wings, wheels and a couple more cockpit parts, wheels and a different tailcone that isn’t used. The wing detail is nice with raised panels where needed and recessed lines where needed very nice however they do appear to fade a little towards the leading edge. , A single piece lower part of the wing with wheelbays and two part upper wing surface with locating tabs to ensure a good fit of wings to fuselage and a guaranteed correct dihedral. Tail surfaces have mounting tabs again sprue gates are quite thick. And some flash is evident flying surfaces are moulded in situ with quite fine rib detail. Sprue D On here we have the small parts and we have a large amount of parts that aren’t used so check the instructions. There are no part numbers on the sprues but there are in the sprue map so you will need to go back to the instructions to check you have the right parts. flash on this sprue is non-existent, the detail is quite soft on things like undercarriage legs but then when you get to the engine this is as good as anything I’ve seen from Eduard, Hasegawa or Tamiya the ignition ring is moulded in place, as are the plugs all its going to need is some wire and careful painting you will have a truly lovely engine. Full engine mounts and bulkheads are supplied and this looks nicely detailed. I would go so far to say that this sprue has been reworked at some time a quick check on Scalemates has confirmed new parts a couple of years later. Sprue F Clear parts these look good nice and thin with three pieces for the canopy with different windscreens and sliding sections (some not used) a glazed bottom panel is supplied too but not fitted. Sprue gates are thinner on here and the parts are crystal clear Resin Resin parts are supplied for wheel bays which will be rib detail that can be seen from the undercarriage bay, nice and crisp as well as simple the back of the engine is also supplied in resin and again this looks great with really great detail there is also a nice crisp gunsight, they will need removing from the casting blocks, and a word of health and safety warning here be very careful how you remove the resin from the blocks without creating too much dust and a mask will be a good idea here try to carve rather than sand. But these are the things on limited run kits that really bring things out. Photo Etch This unpainted with cockpit parts, and seat belts they will need painting and in some places folding or rolling. This is what will bring out the detail in the cockpit so take your time with painting and folding, be careful. The instrument panel looks great and sandwiches a film section in between both PE sections a bit of white paint on the reverse will make the instrument panel really pop out and look great. It is testament to Classic Airframes and Special Hobby that when you put the PE in to what can look like a bland cockpit gets a real makeover and then looks great. Decals At this point the kit really comes to life the Finnish aircraft really are colourful with lots of yellows, greens yellows, whites and blues. The decals are printed by Cartograf in perfect register and nice and glossy, annoyingly the Finnish swastikas are two part (I was under the impression that only black swastikas were embargoed in Europe, you live and learn) this does mean you are going to have to take your time lining things up. Cartograf decals respond really well to Micro Sol and Set. All Schemes are black and olive green over light grey with yellow cowls, theatre bands and under wingtips. The schemes are: · BW 393 of 1/LLv 24. April 1943 this is black and Olive green over grey with a white overspray with a blue rudder. · BW 393 of 1/LLv 24. November 1942 this is black and Olive green over grey with a blue rudder. · BW 378 of 4/LLv 24. Late 1941 this is Black and Olive green over grey with a white rudder. Instructions The instructions are printed in colour on a 12 page A5 sheet with the first page being given over to a brief history of the type; the second page has a sprue map and a breakdown of the colours to be used. Call outs are in Gunze paint. Construction pages start unusually with the wings and then the engine bulkhead, with colours called out throughout the build sequence. From there the cockpit floor goes in and the engine is painted and installed. Only at step 11 do we get to the fuselage and the cockpit proper; this is a strange sequence that has you join the starboard fuselage half to the wings then assemble the cockpit before glueing the port fuselage side in place, (warning check the fit!). Next up the tailplane and cowl ring goes on with undercarriage canopy and prop to bring up the rear. Conclusion, If you were to look at this kit against a Tamiya or Hasegawa kit you would be somewhat perplexed as this is not going to be a “shake and bake” kit. The flash and the slight damage to the mould had me going “really?” but then I remembered that this is a limited run kit in the true sense of the word. It is a kit that rewards some hard work being put into it and that is what will make it a rewarding build. It is going to need thought putting into it as well as time and patience. With all that said it is definitely the best example of the type from a detail point of view in the scale. And the Finnish colours are going to give you a nice colourful and unusual model for the shelf. It’s good to see this back. My verdict if you want a buffalo in 1/48 it’s the best in the scale and I can recommend it to experienced modellers looking for a challenge. My thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample.
  22. This one comes from my imagination, made from the older Revell/Monogram Bf 109G-10. It's not a terrible kit, but it does show its age, lacking a lot of detail but I enhanced the kit a bit using Hasegawa 109 parts; Canopy with amour, main wheels and tail wheel. I also used some RATO packs from the Tamiya Me 262, as I figured this baby might need some help hauling that torpedo into the air. The torpedo and the center line mount come out of the old Trimaster Fw 190D-9 kit.
  23. After what seems like months (it probably is!) the brand new Great Wall Hobby 1/48 Su-35S Flanker E has arrived in stock at BlackMike Models. I have only had a brief glimpse in the box so far but it looks like a fantastically detailed kit. The batch I have are from the first issue so have the optional tinted canopy parts which is a bonus I wasn't expecting. I will get some photos of the sprues etc taken and post them up as soon as I can. In the meantime you can head over to the BlackMike Models website and get your hands on one now with free postage within the UK. https://www.blackmikemodels.co.uk/products/great-wall-hobby-l4820-1-48-sukhoi-su-35s-flanker-e Duncan B
  24. Loved building this Painted with tamiya acrylics rigged with AK rigging thread
  25. Focke Wulf FW190A-5 light Fighter Profipack History, When it comes to the European and Eastern front aircraft there are eight really well known fighters: The Spitfire, Hurricane, P47, P51, Yak series LaGG series, BF109 and last but by no means least the FW190. When you look at all of the above fighters they went through numerous development stages throughout the war and as such modellers love them. The FW190 started life in 1938 as a result of a technical requirement of the RLM and that is nearly where the story ends, the new fighter had a lot of flaws and was nearly cancelled there and then. The RLM decided to pursue an aircraft that they saw promise in particularly as it wasn’t to use the DB603 engine being used on the BF109 and was to use the BMW 801 series radial engine. By June 1941 most of the problems had been ironed out and the FW190A-1 was released for squadron use to say the aircraft was a shock when it appeared over the channel front and was superior to the Spitfire VB in service with the RAF at the time. The type went through various modifications were put in place culminating in the A-4 series as the most versatile of the first series of airframes. This type was used as a fighter and fighter bomber as well as a bomber interceptor. One of the problems with the first series of airframes that was never really solved was cooling for the engine, this was solved when the design team looked at the versatility of the type and decided to move the centre of gravity back slightly to improve the balance when using drop tanks and bombs this gave a visible change of a longer nose section which also improved the cooling no end. After that the type went from the A-5 to the A-9 with various changes to armament and wing configuration as well as more powerful engines and armoured panels for attacking the US bomber streams. The kit we are looking at now is the A-5 the first of the longer aircraft also an aircraft that only had 2 cannon and two machine guns unlike the other dedicated fighters that had 4 cannon and two machine guns. So what have Eduard done this time? Lets have a look The Kit This is the second Profipack boxing of the 190A since the new tool came out late last year to rave reviews (I have the A4 boxing on the bench at the moment with shed loads of resin and PE). There is a Royal class boxing is available containing the A2, 3, and 4. And there is an A3 boxing on the way in the Profipack and no doubt there will be others too looking at the sprues. The original boxing’s of the 190 A and D series were fine kits but were complicated with a full engine to be displayed as well as nose guns and wing gun panels open. This led to a complicated, some say tricky build and having built 6 of them I can testify that they took some practice and test fitting and I eventually got the hang of them and enjoyed building them. Eduard however listened to comments about the early kits and produced a somewhat different kit this time. Gone are the open engine and gun bays (don’t fret these are still available in resin) and the slightly thick fin of the previous kit, in its place we have an easier to build kit which does not sacrifice the detail. On first look you would be forgiven for thinking that some sprues have been reused from the earlier kit (I certainly thought so) but no this is all new tool. The box Eduard’s standard top, opening box is nice and sturdy and holds the contents well for the kit, on top with a picture of “Pipps” Priller carving through a formation of B17’s and Spitfires. On the sides are the various decal options in side view. Inside the box we have an A4 colour instruction sheet, four Grey and one clear sprues of plastic parts, the sprues are packed in separate bags one for the common sprues to all of the FW190’s and a separate for the unique to the A5 sprues. The clear sprue is again in a separate bag to prevent it getting scratched, a photoetched sheet containing about 40 parts, a set of masks for the canopy and tailwheel and finally two decal sheets. Rather than go through sprue A, B etc. I will take the sprues in a more logical order starting with…… Sprue R The fuselage and what has to be said here is full marks to Eduard rather than using inserts in their parts they will use different sprues for different variants and the difference here between this and the earlier kit is the lengthened nose section fitted from the A5 onwards and we have a fuselage with very little in mating parts; basically behind the cockpit up the fin and behind the wing underneath the plus of this is very little in the way of seams to clean up (god I hate cleaning seams). Panel lines are restrained as is the rivet detail which is probably as close as you will get to perfect in the scale. Cooling fins behind the exhausts are moulded shut. On the inside there are a couple of ejector pin marks that are hidden perfectly there is some cockpit framing moulded on the inside with locations in place for the canopy crank handle. Being Eduard the tooling is designed to accommodate the Brassin resin parts with the radio hatch as well as the engine cowlings being recessed on the inside to make cutting out a breeze. Sprue G The wings and again these are a different tooling to the 190 A4 wings due to the fact that this kit only has the inboard cannon. From the A6 onwards there was a different wing which was stronger to accommodate different heavier field modifications (rustatz). Again rivet and panel line detail is sublime, no sink marks or flash is evident moulded in here as well there are the lower cowlings. The lower wing is a completely different layout to the A4 tooling because of the nose extension. Again the flaps on the lower wing are recessed in case you want to fit aftermarket flaps and on some versions you will need to remove the centre section where the inner undercarriage doors fit. The inner gun bay doors are moulded onto the wings with cut outs for the doors in the fuselage. Sprue A This is the first of the common to all sprues in the box and there is a lot of similar parts here so check the instructions thoroughly there are no less than 3 different cooling fans, 3 different bomb racks 2 propellers and 2 cockpit tubs, 3 wing inserts and 2 different undercarriage legs so be careful. The detail here is sublime and has the part that was the source of so much trouble on the old kit; the main spar. The engine here will make you think is that it? It’s a flat panel with half a row of cylinders and crankcase but, by time you have the fan and propeller on you really can’t see much under there. And if you want more engine there is a resin replacement available. There is a bulkhead to go behind the engine and this really holds everything in place perfectly and builds a remarkably rigid structure for the fuselage. There is a 2 piece cowling ring with the annular oil cooler and armour ring both separate this allows for the A8 variants that have different thicknesses of armour. Finally there is a seat with separate seat pad (some had them some didn’t so check any references you may have). Sprue B Like Sprue A, lots of bits on here aren’t used; drop tanks, rudders control surfaces cowling parts and gun covers. Certainly Eduard have an A7,8,9 planned as well as an A3. Whatever parts you use you can be sure that they are superbly moulded and detailed (I have the etched undercarriage doors and to be honest I’m not sure whether I’d use them as the moulded ones are that good). Sprue C Lots of parts here that allow you to decide whether to use the etched parts or if you really aren’t bothered by etch moulded detail in the cockpit. Also on here there are various wheels exhausts, cockpit parts, wing internals and guns as far as the not used parts, there are nightfighter antenna and late model head armour. The moulded instrument panels are as sharp as injection moulding will allow but not to the same standard as resin parts but still more that good enough and in my mind probably better than using decals in this scale. Clear parts Eduard have repeated what they did with the previous tooling and to my mind are unique in the respect that they have separate canopies for open and closed with the open canopy being pinched in as it slid back on its rails. Again this sprue points towards lots of other variants with both blown canopies, different gunsights and two different windscreens and armoured panels for and A8/R2 Sturmbock version. Clarity is excellent and the parts are flawless. A nice touch on the clear parts is the heaver gauge plastic bag for the clear parts as well. Photo etch At first glance I would have said that this was nickel plated brass but now I’m certain that this is the steel they use for the steel belts they produce. The steel material I prefer to brass it has less spring to it and forms to shape easier. What’s more here the paint seems to stick to this material better as well there are seat belts on here as well as instrument panels, rudder pedals and a morane antenna. I certainly couldn’t paint as well as that and usually end up buying at lease a Zoom set just for the Instrument panels and seatbelts. Masks Masks are supplied for the canopy as well as the tail wheel (mainwheels can be painted before the tires are fitted) the masks are made from Kabuki tape and will require the use of a liquid mask like Maskol or small pieces of tape. Just make sure you burnish the edges down with a toothpick or cotton bud Decals 2 sheets, one with markings and on this I have to say that for some time Eduard have been producing their own decal sheets having been using Cartograf, I don’t know if this was a price decision or other decision but they get no complaints from me, not too thick or thin they respond well to Microsol and are always in register with great colour density. Whats more a european company that supply whole Swastikas! Added to this there is a separate sheet for the stencils which have 2 copies of the smaller stencils because you just know you are going to get one wrong. Check your references for colours however as some had red walkway lines and some had black. Decal options are: 1. Black 13 Major Josef Priller JG26 Lille, France May 1943 2. White 4 Oblt. Walter Nowotny JG54 Orel, Russia Summer 1943 3. <o Oblt. Rolf Strohal JG1 Deelen, Holland April 1943 4. Major Hermann Graff JGr. Ost Toulouse, France April 1943 5. Red L 6/Schl.G1 Deblin – Irena, Poland January 1943 Instructions Standard Eduard Fare here nice clear drawings starting with a sprue map then going onto paints, cll outs are Gunze but also call out the appropriate colour in the instruction sequence and then the construction phases. Starting typically with the cockpit using all of the lovely PE bits with options for bomb controls either fitted or not fitted. Then the fuselage goes together trapping the cockpit tub and engine in place. From experience here (and I’m building the A4 as I type) glue the back edge of the fuselage together, and the upper instrument panel in place then slot the tub for the cockpit in then the front bulkhead then the engine and hey presto it all lines up without needing 10 pairs of hands to get everything lined up. The the wings and flying surfaces go in next followed by the landing gear. With the landing gear we have proof that Eduard listen to people; when the A4 was released photographs appeared everywhere showing the inner landing gear doors shut while the aircraft was on the ground while Eduard told you to leave them open. So a few things came up here firstly, if a bomb rack was fitted the doors were removed, otherwise the doors cycled so on the ground, unless the system was being worked on, the inner doors were shut on the ground. Eduard’s instructions give you the choice or gear doors raised or lowered, do bear in mind from the A6 onwards the cycle mechanism was removed and they just raised or lowered with the gear. Finally there are mask placement diagrams Conclusion Well the internet (particularly Facebook) has been full of the A4 and I haven’t seen a bad one yet and reports are Particularly from James on here that it is a shake and bake kit. And from my experiences even with putting a resin cockpit in they have certainly addressed the difficulties of assembly with the previous kits and the choices for markings are so varied that I can see loads of these being built (I now have 3 of the new tool kits) you don’t need loads of the aftermarket to produce a fantastic replica of a Butcher bird and I would suggest that this and other A series kits will be hard to beat Now how about a the full D series and TA152 H series to go with them? Verdict Very highly recommended and my thanks go to My long suffering bank manager and Duncan at BlackMike models for the review sample
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