Eduard Models has re-released their P-400 (actually P-39/P-400 family if you consider all the parts in the sprues) this time in the Profipack boxing, which includes several finishing options, photo-etch upgrades and pre-cut masks.
I've believe this model dates to the year 2000. Despite being 20-yr old at time of writing this review, the molds hold really well. There is no flash anywhere and the panel lines are sharp and well defined. Eduard knows how to keep its technology in such way that their products are consistent over time.
I had the opportunity to review this kit with the P-400 Look set (reviewed independently) so the interior that you will see is from that set.
This model (like most) starts with the interior. Given the "car door" design of the P-400, plus the "bubble canopy" it is a good idea to spend some time making sure you get things to look as nice as you can. Either using the Profipack PE or the Look set you will get a top notch interior.
Assembling the interior presents no challenges. The cockpit area attaches to the nose wheel well and using the fuselage as an alignment gig, everything goes together without a glitch.
Just make sure you add plenty of weight in the nose to prevent a tail sitter. I added a piece of styrene to the nose wheel well (creating a "roof") that helped me to install the lead sinker that worked as the nose weight.
Fit of the assembled interior to the fuselage is so good that I didn't need to glue the subassemblies in place. I just glued the fuselage sides and the subassembly stayed in place.
Next up was the wing. The design is a single lower part that sets the (minimal) dihedral of the wing and two upper parts. Remember to open a small hole in the wing leading edge for the wing guns. Again the fit is solid there. But to my surprise I ended up with a small gap on both wing-roots. I used some filler and sanded to shape. As of note is the trailing edge of the wing. It is thick for the scale. I decided to leave it as is. You can probably sand down the mating surfaces but you might have a step at the wingroot to deal with.
I also had to add a small piece of styrene to the port fuselage just in front of the cockpit as during test fits I noticed a small gap between the grey plastic and the clear part for the canopy.
Thanks to the solid engineering of this model (plus the pre-cut canopy masks) I was ready to move into painting in just a few hours of work.
I choose an airframe that was assembled from different airplanes, sporting both RAF and USAAF colors. I used Tru-Color paints (reviewed elsewhere in the website) to finish this model. On the paint front I would say that I am impressed by the quality of the paints, the ease of use and the easy of cleaning. Please read the paint review for a full description of them.
After the painting was done I sprayed a coat of Tru-Color Gloss, and again, I am very impressed by the quality of it. A single coat was enough to have a great glossy finish in preparation for the decals.
Decaling itself went without issues as well. The decals are printed by Eduard and have nothing to envy to the aftermarket decal makers. Great color definition, in registry and they can handle some gentle tugging as you move them around to be properly placed. I didn't even need to use a setting solution!
After letting the decals set I applied a Tamiya enamel panel line wash to bring up all that nice surface detail. There was no reaction between the enamel panel line wash and the Tru-Color Gloss coat. You can use them together without any concern.
I was in the home stretch, with just the propeller (made up of 3 independent blades, make sure all of them have the same pitch) and the landing gear left to work with. Painting the wheels was again very easy as masks are provided.
Assembly of the landing gear was straightforward, but attaching it to the airplane not so much. The locating pins are handed (good engineering there, to prevent mix-up of left and right gear) but the attachment is a bit on the weak side. You might want to consider adding a metal pin and a tiny bit amount of superglue for a stronger landing gear. Let me be clear, it is not a flimsy landing gear as designed. It is a delicate one. If you are careful with handling you will be fine.
The final step was a flat coat and to glue the doors and canopy in place. As the airplane operated out of Guadalcanal I simulated distress paint by a liberal application of pastel chalk, mainly light grey, yellows and tans.
In summary, this is a good model. It might be 20-year old but the plastic is as good as if new. The surface detail is appropriate and can compete with newer molds. I did have an issue with the wing roots. Not sure if it my mistake or the molds. Either way, it was not difficult to resolve. The landing gear is a bit on the delicate side. Consider using some pins to strength it.
I would summarize my experience as "I had fun with it and I would build another one".
Recommended with the noted issues.
I would like to thank Eduard Models and IPMS/USA for the review sample.
This is a review of a base which is made of finely molded piece of medium grey resin base. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this diorama base. Unlike many of the bases I have previously worked with, the Tiger Werke base is (a) reasonably priced, (b) lays flat on the table without having to be sanded or otherwise manipulated, (c) takes a variety of paints and or primers (I used an acrylic by Mission Models, though I also tested a small patch with both Alclad's Lacquer and their Aqua Clear Gloss--both of which worked very well), (d) finished up with a patch work mosaic pattern of what to my mind resembles a cobblestone pattern and (e) used a number of Vallejo Model colors to paint the individual tile pieces. I suspect there is a multitude of cobblestone designs or patterns available, all the way from what I tried to represent to dusty or very dirty street scenes (see color and pattern notes below).
Also, worth mentioning, I could not find any scale or size references for the Tiger Werke bases. I have displayed my base with a 1/35th scale Takom Panther Ausf. D. in what I see is a typical European street scene.
From my observations, this base is a bit unusual in that there are two features somewhat unusual: the raised curb stone area and the modern metal sewer manhole cover. Both are great additions to the surface detail though the later detail is clearly more modern than I witnessed in my several visits across Western Europe. What does this mean? In my opinion, this cobblestone street scene can be used to portray typical scenes from western Europe, the middle east, northern Africa, Disneyland, and any number of other foreign locations by merely changing the color of the stones, sidewalk or the man-hole cover.
This base comes with several 'Hints & Tips' including these caveats:
- All resin items should be washed with warm water and adding a few drops of detergent. Let air dry.
- When sanding, grinding, or drilling resin, wear a particle mask or a NIOSH respirator approved for dust. It is important not to inhale the resin dust, which could potentially cause an allergic reaction.
- Wear safety goggles. If you are wearing a dust mask or respirator, you need to be wearing goggles as well. They are also necessary if you are working with power tools and resin, such as when drilling, sanding or polishing.
- The use of a suitable primer is recommended for bonding purposes. CA glue or epoxies need to be used for resin items.
- Not suitable for children.
Because of the huge number of stonework patterns and the wide variety of colors for such cobblestone, I would suggest diving into the literally thousands of photo images available on the internet. I recommend that you begin your research with such sites as 'European cobblestone patterns' on Google.Overall Evaluation
I am impressed with this Tiger Werke cobblestone street base and recommend its use to enhance your dioramas. It can serve as the corner stone for a simple diorama base or with the addition of added vegetation, grass, sand or simple resin pieces and details I can imagine a more extensive diorama scene. I want to thank both Tiger Werke Resin and IPMS-USA for the opportunity to review this base.
Aircraft and history:
The Grumman E-2C Hawkeye is an airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft whose mission is similar to the USAF E-3 AWACS but it is much smaller in size and focuses on naval fleet defense. Compact in size, the Hawkeye is a twin engine (powered by the same engines used on the C-130), high wing aircraft that can operate from an aircraft carrier. Operated with a crew of five; pilot, copilot, radar officer, combat info officer, and aircraft control officer, the crew becomes the "eye" of the fleet.
The E-2 was developed in the late 1950's as a replacement for the Grumman E-1 Tracer. A first for the AEW aircraft, the E-2A was developed from the beginning for its role as opposed to an existing aircraft modified for AEW duties. The E-2 made its first flight on 21 October 1960 and introduced to service in January 1964. Early in the service life, the E-2A was plagued with issues mostly to do with overheating of the avionics. To resolve the issues, new computers and other avionics were replaced which created the E-2B for which most "A" models were upgraded to. The E-2B was an interim aircraft as more improvements were made creating the E-2C Hawkeye in 1971 with production aircraft becoming operational in 1973. Continuous improvements over the years upgraded the radar and avionics but the most notable upgrade came in 2004 when the four bladed propellers were replaced with Hamilton Standard eight bladed "scimitar" propellers. This new version created the Hawkeye 2000 and simplified maintenance and reduced vibrations on the airframe. The latest Hawkeye in the inventory is the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye which most of the upgrades are internal with avionics, radar and cockpit upgrades. E-2 Hawkeye is the longest production run of any carrier capable aircraft in the US Navy's history and production still continues on. In addition to use by the US Navy, six foreign counties and the US Coast guard operated the Hawkeye.
Packaged in a thick sturdy box, this release packaging is a little larger than previous releases. The box contains 14 sprues: 14 in gray and a clear sprue. Not indicated in the instructions, two sprues include the four bladed propellers which are not needed for this version. There is very minimal flash, if any, on the parts with panel lines fairly deep and wide but not unacceptable. Once paint gets in the panel lines, the deeper grooves really become an advantage. One thing to note, which is very common with most model companies, is the molding on of static wicks on the trailing edges. These survived most of the build but once a few broke off, they were all removed and replaced with wire. The main wheels are made as if there is weight on the wheels (bulged) which is a nice touch. One large sheet of decals is provided which the sheet is almost the same size as the box with zero off-register printing, very nice. The instructions clearly show placement of most items (this will be discussed later) and paint numbers for five manufacturers.
Starting off with the cockpit, the detail is very nice considering how much will be seen after it is built. The seats are basic and lack seat belts. Aftermarket seats are available as well as photo etch if greater detail is desired. One addition to the cockpit is a door covering the cockpit entrance. This serves two purposes, one is to hide the big void in the fuselage, the other is to hide the additional weights needed. With that being noted, the recommended 50 grams of weight may barely work, only if built with the wings extended. I put about 70 grams in and it seemed to work until I taped the wings in place to test it and it became a tail sitter. I ended up doubling the nose weight for a total of 100 grams which required weights behind the cockpit door I just covered up. Note for later in the build, you will need to drill holes right behind the cockpit as starter holes indicated for item H8 that will be discussed later in the build. The rest of the items to seal up the fuselage is to add the three aft crew windows and the crew entrance area. Kinetic came up with a genius idea that gives the appearance of an entry area but hiding internal detail. A shallow area with various ducting and items fill the area to give the impression of busy depth. My build was to be with the door closed so I did not paint that area and sealed it with the door.
One area that Kinetics needed a correction is the top fuselage to wing fairing. Dmold makes a nice and simple correction that with a few cuts, is a drop-in fix. The wing section that joins does need to be rounded to match the fairing which a sanding stick makes quick work of. Later in the build, the heat exchanger that covers part of the fairing will need material added to close the gap the Dmold fairing creates. On to assembling the center wing section which is where the part numbers for the wing fold parts are reversed. The flaps are shown in this step as well but no need to install them this early. Join the wing and fuselage and you will have a nice "core" section of your Hawkeye.
Next up are the engine/main landing gear assemblies. Please note the part numbers and test fit each since they look nearly identical, but they may be slightly different. The lower cowl flap is shown but there is no item number listed (item is H13). On the landing gear, I installed H33 into the housing and installed the remaining parts after the model was built and painted saving a lot of masking around extended gear. One area I jumped ahead and messed up on is installing the nacelle covers (two choices, reinforced and not reinforced) shown in step 4. I installed the doors before the front nacelle (H11) and I was left with recessed doors where the forward nacelle fits. If built per instructions, you may need to shim a little behind the doors. One more note on step 4 is item H40, I did not see it in any reference photos so I left that item off.
Before installing the nacelles, I added the belly portion, item B4, and finished filing seams to avoid working around the nacelles. Use your best judgment on the rest of the build order. Another area where items numbers are incorrect is with the outboard rudders so test fit the parts carefully. On step 9, I did not see item G5 in reference photos on the actual aircraft this build represents. Check your references here to see if that part is needed. If it is not needed, fill the locating hole for G5.
When installing the wing, Kinetic adds a nice splice to reinforce the wing if building your Hawkeye with wings extended. If you build yours with the wings folded, wait until later to attach the wings. Adding the antennas and rotodome, the upper antenna support is shown on step 19 but not listed in step 17 or 19. Also on these steps, item H8 (antenna or hand hold) is not shown or called out and should be installed where item G22 goes. Locate item G22 forward of G10 where a locating hole exists. Hopefully you drill out the locating holes as indicated earlier in this review. Item G15 is not shown in reference photo of my aircraft but is it seen on a few aircraft photos so check your references. Item H5, (tie down ring) is actually H6 on step 6 and step 17.
Building the propellers are fairly simple but you will need to drill out the back so the prop shar can be used. This is best done after the prop is glued together and using the hole on the spinner hub as a guide. The build is good but as with most kits, test fit first, study the instructions and check your references.
Painting and Decals:
The exterior is a simple paint scheme where most of the airframe is gloss gray saving a lot of masking. Since I left the cockpit side and upper windows off until this point, I dipped these parts in Future floor wax which acts as a clear primer, and tinted these from the inside with clear yellow. The biggest paint challenge is getting the correct green color for the tail. I tried to match the decal as close as possible and I could not find a correct color even though the instructions call out FS14187. Looking at my FS color deck, it looked closer to FS14193 but that was still off. I ended up using a mix of MSP Viper green (09228) with a touch of Vallejo Gold Yellow to lighten it up. All the areas in green on the tail were painted using that mix of green including the lower outboard rudder that is green. The upper part of the upper outboard rudder was painted gloss white. Deicing boots were painted black and overall gray for the remaining model. On the instructions, it does not indicate the option to cut away the lower green part with number 5812 and install just the number 5812. I went down the part of installing the outer rudder decal and realized it was a little small requiring touch up paint. That is when I noticed the extra numbers. I removed the lower section and added the numbers 5812. The size issue was a problem on the upper portion as well so I used Tamiya red and green to make up for the smaller decal.
Only two colors are listed for painting however there are numerous other areas that need different colors but are not indicated. The metal heat shield behind the right hand heat exchanger is shown shaded but no color indicated. Other areas missing color is the engine exhaust lip, inlet cowl and heat shield on the inboard flaps to protect from the exhaust heat. The deicing boots are also not indicated on color (black). Check your references on the upper and side heat exchanger inlet color. Some are the same as the fuselage and some are black. The tail hook color is not listed and should be white with a metallic hook portion.
Another item on the decal sheet that is not listed on the instructions is the tail hook stripes, which is decal number 72. The walkways are nice but the colors may be off compared to your references. I have seen photos of walkways that are hardly visible since they match the main color to almost black walkways. Reference photos of the aircraft depicted have shown different shades of gray. After installing the decals and letting them dry for a day, I masked around the decal perimeter and painted a very light "dusting" of the fuselage base color to blend in the color and tone down the contrast in color. Again, check your references in this area. Another item missing with the walkways are where the "walkway" decals go. You can see a few of them shown but not indicated on the instructions. I did not see where the "no step" decals called out or where they should be located.
The print resolution of the painting & decal portion of the instructions is fairly low making reading the decal numbers difficult. It would be nice if this portion could be printed in color on glossy paper and higher print resolution. Another option would be an online PDF or photo that the modeler can download.
Overall this a very nice kit to build but as with most models, test fitting and studying references help. The assembly and fit was excellent with minimal areas that need gaps filled. The engine nacelles are where the majority of gap filling and fit issues were experienced. The biggest challenges to the modeler will be with the instructions due to numerous mislabeling and omissions. The Kinetic E-2C Hawkeye is the best Hawkeye in any scale and was a joy to build.
Many thanks to Kinetic Model kits for providing this kit to IPMS for review.
Kit Made For: Suitable for WWII to Vietnam eras
"Resin accessories for the scale modeling enthusiast". That is the tag line from Tiger Werke's website. Tiger Werke is a 'new to me' manufacturer of resin accessories primarily geared toward the armor modeler in all of us. Although I should mention that Tiger Werke has been around since 2014 and has recently been acquired by Phil Cavender
With apologies to Phil (et al), I stole this next bit from their website. Under this new ownership, they have the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute Tiger Werke's complete line of 1/35th scale resin items. Included in Tiger Werke's line are paved and cobblestone street sections, building fronts, roadside shrines, fountains, and AFV Wedgies.
Additional items also include the manufacturer of various stowage and accessory sets for Allied, German and British vehicles. With the purchase of Tiger Werke, several items not previously distributed will be made available.
Tiger Werke's desire is to compliment the line of resin products already in existence for the scale modeling community by adding new and exciting products for the military armor and aircraft modeling enthusiast.
To that end they have released several new resin display bases. The subject of which is a 1/35th scale Marsden Matting artillery base. This display base is designed for an artillery piece but there is no reason why one couldn't use it for something else, say a hardstand/revetment/staging area for an aircraft model. Or even, as the basis of a diorama or vignette for figures. [Fun Fact: Marsden Matting (perforated metal planking) is a nickname derived from Marston, North Carolina where the material was first used.] I choose to use my 'artillery base' as a hardstand located somewhere in the Pacific.
Assemble is pretty straight forward. Once your remove the light gray resin base from the sturdy, top opening box assemble is complete. (My kind of kit!) Casting is first rate. Not a single casting bubble and only one small slight casting glitch on my copy. But that was on the black surround of the base and easily disguised with some paint. As can be seen from the accompanying image,s this base represents a section of Marsden Matting embedded in the surrounding county side. All that's left to do is paint the matting and surrounding area with the colors of your choice.
For that chore, I painted exclusively with Folk Art acrylics. The 'sand' is a super secret mixture of Pueblo and White, highlighted with Pueblo. The matting was painted with another uber secret combination of Pure Black and Gunmetal Gray. The accents on the matting are all done with artists pencils and a #2 Dixon Ticonderoga(r) pencil. The accessory items (table, stool, and and barrel) are from a shop kit by Mini Art. The 'palm fronds' are dried bits from some fern that didn't survey my rigorous watering regime schedule. The Corsair ( a Tiger Model cute plane) is a late war prototype whose focused was on pilot visibility issues.
Most, if not all, scale models will benefit from proper presentation. Besides providing context for your project a display base has the added benefit of keeping 'unclean' hands off your models. This resin display base from Tiger Werke will provide that proper presentation and context for your next model with a minimum of tussle.
Due to the broad range of resin accessories ( an extensive list) available, I encourage you to visit Tiger Werke's website and peruse their line of resin accessories. I'm confident you'll find more than one item that you'll like to have available for your next project.
My thanks to Tiger Werke and IPMS/USA for the review copy.
Support Your Local Hobby Shop.
Aviation Collectables Company is a multi-faceted company that produces aviation related books, prints and novelties. The C-130J Super Hercules book, many of their publications, covers nearly every detail from overall photos, open panels, interior photos and notes for scale modelers. The publication is in full color high resolution photographs as well as artist renderings. This subject covers the C-130J Super Hercules that is operated by the Italian Air Force. The book is split into two languages with typically half the page in Italian and the other half English.
The book begins discussing development of the C-130J covering the L-382J (longer -30 version) and the traditional length Hercules. Details of development and missions the C-130J performs is detailed with illustrations, photos and text. Operational use with the Italian Air Force is covered showing deployment photos, behind the scene photos including maintenance and full flight simulators in their training center.
The last few pages cover model kits and a review of the Italeri 1/72 C-130J model kit. Tips and comments are listed for the scale modeler along with paint colors, reference photos to help modelers build an accurate C-130J in Italian service. The last page are full technical of the C-130J and C-130J Super Hercules.
I would like to thank Casemates and IPMS/USA for this book to review. I highly recommend this book when tackling your C-130J build in Italian or any other livery.
This edition of MMP's "Single" covers the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2, and anyone familiar with this series will know the format. For those who are not, these are very "to the point" booklets, homing in on a particular variant of an aircraft.
Upon opening the narrow, softcover book, one is immediately presented with several pages of scale plans (in 1/72 and 1/48). No introductory history or anything like that, just right into the plans. This is followed by about 15 pages of photos that are a mix of wartime snapshots and modern museum aircraft, interspersed with snippets from the original aircraft manual. While there is no body of text, each photo has a pretty generous caption. The wartime pictures focus primarily on Finnish-used Bf109s, but there are a few other shots of German and Romanian aircraft. The museum photos, as well as the manual drawings, offer up a good mix of external and internal details. At the end of this section there are a few pages of color photos of museum aircraft. Next is a beautifully done color rendering of the instrument panel, with a smaller photo of the same panel from the technical manual. To wrap things up, there are 3 pages of color profiles. These profiles are all the same aircraft, a Finnish Bf109 circa 1943. There are left/right views, a full-view topside, and scrap views of the wingtip undersides. (including just the pilot's 'pod' without the view-blocking ending nacelle) and a full view of the topside.
This is, by design, a very succinct, almost abrupt book to look through. But there is still a lot of useful information to a modeler within these pages. It is certainly much more of a dedicated airframe reference and much less of a historical treatise. A good one-stop reference on the G-2 version of the Bf109, especially in Finnish hands. Not much history (really none!), but a lot of great modeling detail references. A reasonable price for a good addition to your library.
Thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it!
Read on... »
THE LAND ROVER IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S best known off-road vehicles, and is found in every country. But considering this widespread popularity, kits of the original Land Rover to 1:24/25 scale have been few and far between. In the military scales of 1:35 and 1:72/76, yes, but to the standard car scale, no.
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This book provides a complete history of the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the U.S. Navy's most successful fighter plane of World War II. The prototypes were developed during 1941 and 1942, and after extensive testing,finally entered service with Navy carrier-based units during 1943. Hellcat pilots were credited with more enemy aircraft destroyed than any other Navy aircraft, and at the end of the war, the type was phased out of front-line service because of the appearance of its successor, the F8F Bearcat, the F4U Corsair, and later by jet fighters. Hellcats were used by reserve units until the early fifties, and were also used as drones and drone control aircraft, resulting is some of the most colorful aircraft in the Navy. The F6F, unlike many other World War II aircraft, did not have a civilian career, except for a few flying today as warbirds. I only photographed a few F6F's in civilian markings in the fifties and sixties, and these were mainly warbirds or museum displays. Most were, unfortunately, scrapped after the war.
The authors review the development of the prototype aircraft, the service entry, subsequent technological improvements, service record, foreign service, interior details, color schemes and markings, and reviews of plastic models in 1/144, 1/72. 1/48, 1/32, and 1/24 scale.
This is the third edition of the book, and one of the outstanding parts of the book is the publication of a personal interview with Capt. David McCampbell, the Navy's leading ace of World War II with 34 kills to his credit. One of his outstanding achievements was on 24 October 1944 when, flying off of the USS Essex, he was credited with the destruction of 5 Zekes, 2 Hamps, and 2 Oscars, an impressive total of 9 Japanese aircraft in one mission. The interview alone makes the book worth getting.
The book was written by modelers, and therefore, is aimed at the serious scale modeler. It contains a historical account, photos of every variant of the aircraft, some color photos, color profile drawings, a good set of 1/72 scale three view drawings, and a set of in-depth review of every plastic kit of the F6F available in various scales.
This book provides just about everything a modeler would need to build a display of all of the variants of the Hellcat. The photos are excellently reproduced, and the drawings are truly artistic. Not only do the authors cover the wartime service of the F6F, but they also go into considerable detail describing the postwar service in reserve units and as drones. In short, if you only had one reference book on the F6F, this would be the one to have.
The authors begin by describing some of the very early kits of the F6F. They get into 1/72 scale, and cover Airfix, Frog Penguin, Frog, Fujimi, Lindberg, and Matchbox. Following these, they cover the larger scales, including Aurora, Sanwa, Fujimi, Lindberg, Monogram, and Marusan. They then move to more recent kits, most of which are currently available, describing the AHM, Platz/Eduard and Revell kits in 1/144 scale; the Academy, Dragon/Cyberhobby, Eduard, Hasegawa, Heller, Hobby boss, and Italeri kits in 1/72 scale; the Eduard, Hasegawa, Hobby Boss, and Otaki kits in 1/48 scale; the Hasegawa and Trumpeter kits in 1/32 scale, and the Airfix 1/24 scale kit. These are very complete critical reviews, and point out the assets and liabilities of each of the kits. These guys have apparently built them all, and their reviews show it.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION
This book is specifically designed for persons with an intense interest in aviation history and also with an interest in modeling. I have seen some of their other publications, the SBD and F4F in particular. This one follows the trend in providing very complete information as well as a personal interview with a pilot who flew the airplane and succeeded beyond all expectations in exploiting the advantages of the aircraft.
If you could only have one book on the Hellcat in your library, this one would be the one to have. Highly recommended.
Thanks to IPMS and Detail & Scale for the review copy.