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Preview: U-552 The Red Devil's boat - An operational documentation in pictures & text from Luftfahrtverlag-start
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Preview: SU-100 Self-propelled Gun - Red Machines Vol.2 from Canfora Publishing - at a discount for a short time...
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This set provides a pair of replacement seats for the pilot and co-pilot of a CH-53 or MH-53 Super Stallion/Sea Stallion and includes seatbelts/harnesses, the tubular frame the seat is mounted on and what appears to be add-on side armor plates for each seat.
The seats and mounting frames are cast in light grey resin. The castings are very detailed and delicate, a little too delicate as I will discuss below. The seats include a lot of details on the seat backs that could be visible if you leave the main cabin door open. I compared the seats and the mounting frames to photos I found online and ResKit did their homework as it looks accurate and in scale. The casting includes a very tiny slot at the top of the seat that the upper section of the shoulder harness passes through, but be very gentle as the resin around the slot is very thin and it is very easy to break off the headrest section - trust me!
The set includes photo-etched brass seat belts and harnesses for each seat. The brass is a bit thicker and stiffer than some other photo-etch brass I have worked with, so be sure to anneal it before trying to bend or fold it.
The side frames are easily removed from the casting block with a sharp razor saw. All four of side frames in my set had a bit of flash which closed up the triangular opening at the base of each side frame and as the attachment points between sections of the side frame are very fragile, the frame broke into its three separate pieces when I tried to remove the flash in this triangle with new Xacto blade. It may work better to chain drill out the flash and clean up the side frame with an exceptionally fine file. Unfortunately, it appears that a couple of the resin trees got lost in the mail at some point as I discovered I did not have the two cross braces needed to connect the two side frames together. Based on the online photos I found of CH-53 seats, the braces under the seat is round, but the one behind the seat appears to have a square or rectangular cross section, so while I think I can replicate the lower brace from stretched sprue, I may need to track down some square Evergreen styrene for the back brace.
The set also includes what appears to be a set of side armor panels for each seat, however, I was unable to find any photographs of the seats with these installed. My assumption is these are bolt on additions that can be added if deemed appropriate for the mission. I left them off the seats for now.
Looking at photos online, the seats appear to be either a very dark grey such as gunship grey or black with dark green or medium grey harnesses/belts. I opted for NATO Black seats with a dark greyish green for the harness and steel for the buckles.
This is a very nice set and is earmarked for installation on the MH-53J Pave Low III kit in my stash. Recommended.
Thank you to RESKIT for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.
This set provides a set of resin replacement main wheels for Special Hobby's recent Me 209 kit. As expected from CMK, the wheels are very nicely cast with good detail including the bolts on the wheel hubs. The tread pattern on the tires is also very sharp and distinct.
The tires are easily separated from the pour stubs and the pour stub and any flash are easily removed and cleaned up as show in the attached photos.
I painted the wheels Tamiya NATO Black and the hubs Tamiya Black as I do other Luftwaffe aircraft wheels, but I will need to do some drybrushing to bring out the hub details as they sort of disappear under the black paint.
This is a nice set and presumably the wheels are drop on replacements for the kit wheels (I still need to pick up a Me 209 kit to use them on!).
"Master Box Ltd. has a couple nice sets of plastic figures coming out. One of which is a pair of 1/24th scale modern infantry soldiers. Typical of Master Box, their figures are normally packaged in a setting. This one is called "Our route has been changed" and has two soldiers consulting a wrist mounted GPS/map pouch. One soldier is a female, which is nice to see for a modern look to the pair, and both are armed and wearing modern gear." Or, so says Mike Lamm from Austin Scale Modelers Society in Austin, Texas. (from the Austin club's newsletter, The Sprue Examiner). Not that he is wrong....
This release is the first in Master Box's Modern War Series and as mentioned depicts two modern U.S. soldiers in full battle regalia. Both soldiers (Corporal Jessica Johnson and Sergeant James Haberson) are equipped with the latest in U.S. Army issue with weapons, helmets, ammo pouches, radios, and even microphones molded as individual parts. There are some extra bits on the sprues that go unidentified, chief among them is an individual ballistic shield.
Master Box doesn't provide any material for the weapon straps or the view port on the shield but your spares box should have something suitable to the task. Maybe some foil from a wine bottle (straps) or a piece of clear acetate (view port) will do? The box art does have a facsimile of the gray toned pix elated camo uniform pattern for your use. Or you may consult your own resources for a pattern that suits.
These 1/24th scale figures are divided into left and right legs, front and back torso, separate heads and arms. While the arms are separate parts there is a welcome exception. The arm(s) that hold the main weapon of each figure have an individual part for the fingers on that arm. This will help immensely with getting a realistic, proper grasp around said weapon.
There are three helmets on the sprues. One is an enhanced combat helmet (ECH) while the other two are the more common advance combat helmet (ACH). [Fun Fact: The ACH is being phased out in favor of the ECH.]
Individual weapons include a M4 carbine and a B&T APC 9 (compact sub-machine gun) and three types of sidearms: an M9 Beretta (holstered and unholstered), what looks like a Glock 19 ( holstered and unholstered), and an empty combat holster. The weapons suite seems to be lifted directly from Master Box Ltd. 'heist series'. http://www.mbltd.info/figures/1-24-scale.html
All of the plastic parts from Master Box exhibit lots of excellent, crisp detail. If you choose, you will need to source insignia and unit markings from the aftermarket crowd as there is nothing in the box that fulfills that need. [Shameless Plug # 97: Archer Fine Transfers or Authentic Decals may be of service?]
Assembly begins with the torso and legs, to which you attach the arms. Some figure modelers will paint the head of their figures separately before placing them on the body. My training (expert tutelage from Bob Bethea) has been different and everything gets attached to the figure. After dealing with any fit issues and mold seams the figure is primed and then the painting can begin.
I use acrylics to paint figures and there use almost requires that you securely attached the completed figure to a some sort of handle (working base). Otherwise the acrylics will just wear/rub off as you handle the figure during painting. I drill a hole in the foot of each figure, attached a metal, mounting pin and glue that pin into the working base. [Technical Note: working base is just a 2x2 piece of wood to which the figure is temporarily glued with a craft glue. I use Sobo.]
The legs on these modern military figures go together with barely a seam but the torso bits did present one that needed to be filled. Nothing major. I added the arms next and carefully glued the separate fingers to the right arms so that they gripped the individual weapons properly. With assembly completed all that is left to do is add some paint for the desired look. I did add an online image to the sergeants "Garmin" to fill in that void. I think that this pair only needs to ' turn left at Albuquerque' to get back on track. [Fun Fact: If you get that joke, give yourself an extra point.]
These modern soldiers look great and have lovely sculpting and rather easy assembly. Master Box Ltd.'s inclusion of a female war fighter is a welcome addition to the scale figure market place. If there is a complaint it would be that they are in 1/24th scale and not 1/35th but that is just a quibble.
My thanks to Master Box Ltd. And IPMS/USA for the review copy
When I heard of this book, I really wanted to get it as so little is available on this post war period of British tank development. The title is a little misleading as it really refers to the fact that there is very little remaining documentation or prototypes remaining from this period. As the author points out much of the development during this period has been lost as documents and other records have been lost, destroyed or stowed away out of sight.
I have always been intrigued by the time in British tank development as so little can be found . This book opens up a lot of this hidden history for us to read and enjoy. This is a fascinating read and I learnt a lot of from it.
The book covers Heavy armor, Light armor, Infantry armor and Rockets attached to armor. The author must have spent a long time amassing so much data to be able to compile this book. I found the chapter on project Prodigal to be the most interesting. Also some of the more unusual ideas and developments like the P35 and GSOR 3038 very great to see and think about scratch building them.
I was impressed at the amount of information and history found in the pages of this extremely enjoyable book. The pictures along are worth the cost of the book. I will find this book an indispensable part of my library of reference books.
I recommend this book to everyone with an interest in British armor and modeling armor. I very much look forward to other releases in this series.
Thanks go to Casemate Publishing for providing this book to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them
Hauler/Brengun was founded in 1999 and produces scale plastic kits, resin kits and accessories, photo-etched details for kits and other accessories. This kit of the Scheibel S-100 Camcopter is offered in three different scales: 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32.
The Schiebel Camcopter S-100 is an Austrian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a rotorcraft design. The S-100 is also produced in partnership with Boeing. Powered by a 55-hp Diamond engine, the S-100 can carry a wide variety of sensors such as electro-optics, infrared, moving target indication, and synthetic aperture radar. An alternate engine that can use JP-5, Jet A-1, or JP-8 fuels instead of gasoline is also available. The S-100 has a maximum speed of 130 kn and a ceiling of 18,000 feet. Orders to date exceed 200 units.
The Brengun 1/32 S-100 Camcopter consists of 12 pieces of gray resin and a photoetch fret with 19 pieces. There are several options, so not all parts will be used. A quick scan of the internet will display many more options that are available as it appears the basic platform is easy to modify. At first glance the resin looks well done and displays very nice detail, with only a few tiny bubbles on the belly of the airframe. There are decals for five Camcopters: Australian Navy; French Navy, Italian Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, and MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station that supports illegal aliens).
Your first task will be to identify which version you want to make. Although the Red and White Canadian box-top variant featured on the box top was quite attractive, I selected the Australian Navy variant. Make sure that you bathe the resin parts in soap and water for at least 20 seconds to meet CDC standards. This effort will be important the make sure the resin is free of any mold-release (ask me how I know). I also would recommend carefully using some painter's poly-fiber scouring pads to clean up the photo-etch, especially the rotor blades. I used Scotch-Brite Light Duty Cleansing Pads (White) and they worked perfectly.
I used a fine tooth razor saw to separate the front and rear fuselage from their pour blocks. I then carefully sanded to obtain an optimum fit. Brengun did an excellent job here as the front and rear mated easily with a supportive lip. What you will need to correct is that the rear fuselage is deeper than the front fuselage. Judicious sanding with a Flexi-File tape brought it back into shape. The sanding revealed a few air bubbles, but they were easily solved with baking powder and super glue. Sanding again before the super glue hardened made these small bubbles disappear. I used a series of carbide drills to drill the exhaust a bit deeper.
Next up was inserting the main landing struts. If you place these in their respective slots, you will find that they stand out more than they should, so again some careful sanding got them to look just right. You want to sand and test fit often to make sure you get just the right fit. Once you have the landing struts properly aligned, superglue the horizontal stabilizer to the vertical tail. I used Lego blocks to assure that everything was square with the fuselage.
I deviated from the instruction and mounted part of the rotor assembly (R7) directly to the top of the fuselage. I then used several successive carbide drill bits to open up the center of R7 to allow easy fitting of the upper rotor head (R6) and blade assembly. Both the main rotor and tail rotor needed the opening for the photo-etched blades widened and here I used my trusty fine tooth razor saw until I could fully insert the rotor blades.
Assembling the intake photo-etch was up next. It is important to make sure that the sides of any of the horizontal photo-etch parts have no burrs on them as the fit is tight. I grabbed some Blu-Tack (see photo below) and aligned the two vertical photo-etch parts (PE13). I then carefully inserted the top and bottom horizontal parts (PE7 and PE12), made sure everything was square, and then added the remaining horizontal photo-etch parts. I test fitted the assembly into the main fuselage and it fit perfectly. Perhaps, to perfectly. I wasn't able to get it back out thinking I was going to damage it and so it stayed. In the future, I will paint it first and then insert it after I've painted the intake screen an aluminum color. I did assemble the intake shield (PE4) and secure it to the fuselage, but in the end, I just liked the kit without it and I did find photo evidence of a black airframe without it. I did find that this intake shield does fit well to the curve of the fuselage and is really not to difficult o fold properly.
You get a choice of two different sensors or a flat plate for no sensor. I selected part R11 to go with the Australian version. I used a razor saw to remove it from the resin sprue and then carefully sanded it down till the base was flat. It fit very well into the fuselage receptacle (I even thought about not gluing it in, but in the end I did). The final parts to add were all photoetch, the two pitot tubes (PE5), the dorsal tail antenna (PE2), and the three ventral antennas (PE3 and two PE14).
Painting & Decals
I primed the rotor blades while still on the photoetch fret with Tamiya Fine Surface Primer and set aside to dry. I primed the main airframe assembly with Tamiya Gloss Black. Even though the internet photographs depict the airframe as a shiny black, on the model, it just didn't look right. I tested a few different blacks and in the end, I went with a Vallejo Rubber Black. The rotor blades and tail antennae were painted Vallejo Off-White. The rotor hubs and pitot tubes, were painted various Vallejo Metal Colors to get different shades. I painted the sensor lenses Vallejo Metal Color White Aluminum and once dry with Vallejo Transparent Green. Once the Transparent Green was dry, I put several layers of Future on the lenses. I followed up with a series of Vallejo washes and Tamiya Panel Line Accent Colors. I used Tamiya's Light Gray accent color on the rotor blades and was quite pleased. I used some artistic license and washed the exhaust with Vallejo Game Wash 73-204, Flesh Wash. The real thing is still shiny black, but I think it looks better with a brownish tint.
Decaling was up next. I brushed on Future everywhere where decals were going to go and let dry for two days. I was impressed with the decal quality. You can easily read all of the stencil text and it's not miss-spelled. My only issue was putting on the Kangaroo decal on the starboard side. I used Solvaset too soon and the decal moved before I caught it. I used Vallejo Off-White to touch up the decal, but it's still rotated, which I left alone. It was then that the pitot tubes left the building. I had used superglue to secure them, but now that they are gone, I would suggest using the photo-etch sprue attachment point to enhance its attachment to the resin fuselage. One can easily drill a small hole to accept the sprue and probably lessen the pitot tubes from vanishing. Good thing I took pictures before they vanished for proof!
Even at under 5" in length, this is a nice multi-media kit. I would recommend that one be sure to have the appropriate tools on hand. This would include a razor saw and small tweezers. I'm planning on buying this kit out of my own pocket to do it again, in Canadian markings. While this may not be a kit for the novice due to the small photoetch parts, it would be fine for those with any experience under the belt. I mentioned earlier that this kit is also available in 1/72 and 1/48 if you need, but 1/32 seems to be just about right, size-wise. I've included a 54mm (~1/32) "Zombie Hunter" figure to give you an idea of the size of this kit.
My thanks to Hauler-Brengun and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great kit.
Highly Recommended !
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
In this second installment of John Claringbould's accounts of aerial combat between Japanese and Allied air forces, here he presents Japanese Naval Air Force operations in the Solomons and New Guinea from 1942 to 1944 (Vol. 1 covers Imperial Japanese Army Air Force engagements in New Guinea during the same period). The author takes a unique approach in presenting these accounts, providing insight for individual encounters through the eyes of each protagonist based on thorough research of each side's official records, eyewitness testimony, personal narratives and diaries, and on some occasions evidence obtained from wreckage discovered years after the events depicted.
Instead of being an overview of the Solomons and New Guinea campaigns, each of the 15 chapters covers a particular engagement where good documentary evidence is available from both sides. While some of the stories cover well known events, such as the heavy 5th Air Force raid on Rabaul on November 2, 1943, many of the stories describe lesser known engagements, such as the first nighttime interception of RAAF Catalinas over Rabaul by Claudes and Zeros in February, 1942, or an unusual combat four months later between two reconnaissance aircraft - an RAAF Hudson and a Japanese four engine Mavis flying boat. His research often debunks the overzealous "kill" claims of each side by comparing the official mission records of each participating unit. Several of the stories provide follow up information highlighting the participants postwar lives, shed light on cases of disappeared aircraft or airmen, or efforts to retrieve and return remains to families.
Each chapter is accompanied by several profile illustrations of the aircraft involved. Altogether nearly 50 individual aircraft are shown, most with a single left side view, but several with three views (front/top/side). The book is lavishly illustrated with period photos, some in color, as well as several from more recent expeditions to find and/or recover aircraft relics in the swamps and jungles of the New Guinea and the Solomon Island battlefields. Also included are a number of illustrations depicting the events described in the narrative.
Michael Claringbould is a well known Australian writer and historian, having grown up in Papua New Guinea near Port Moresby. He has assisted MIA recovery teams from the US and Japan, and has provided research assistance and accompanied aircraft wreck discovery teams in New Guinea and the Solomons. He is also an exceptionally competent digital illustrator, providing all the illustrations and profiles in this book.
This small volume provides an excellent cross section of visual and written information describing combat between the Japanese Naval Air Force and Australian and American Navy and Army Air Force units in the South Seas area during the first two years of the Pacific War. Thanks to Casemate Publishing and IPMS for the opportunity to review this excellent book.
This book is the second in a series on jet fighter development. Their first book dealt with jet fighter development in the U.S., Britain, Germany, and Italy through the end of World War II. The text explained the backgrounds and conditions resulting in the emerging of the various designs, and the subsequent postwar developments of these aircraft.
This second volume deals with the aircraft not covered in depth in Volume 1, including Germany, the Soviet Union, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, and Japan. Of course, much of the jet development in Eastern Europe came about as a result of German engineering progress, while many German designers left Germany after the war to work in other countries, including the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Argentina. It is interesting to note that the French designer Dewoitine, due to his work with German controlled firms in France during the war, had to escape to South America where he continued in aviation long after the end of the war. Kurt Tank also worked in Argentina.
Before I started reading this book, I thought I knew a lot about wartime and early postwar jet fighters. Wrong! The author not only describes and discusses the better known production models, but all of the prototypes developed by various companies either for production aircraft or aerodynamic research vehicles, and provides good pictures of them. Another factor is the coverage of European types that used British jet engines, especially the Russians, who started out using German engines but wound up buying engines from the British, probably due to kinship felt between the British Socialist Labour (sic) Party, which was then in control after VE Day, and the Russian Communists. Of course, the British later woke up, and allied themselves with NATO against the Russians. But that is another story.
One particularly important feature of this book is the large number of good photographs included in the book. At least one, and usually two or more, good photos are provided for each aircraft, most of which would be useful for anyone wishing to build a model of any of these aircraft. There is no color included, but the black and white photos are very impressive. Even the photos of the Russian planes are reproduced well, even though the author quotes one historian as stating that, according to the photos, the Russians only built "blurry" airplanes.
The author goes into a lot of detail showing the development of the various nations' fighter development, devoting no less than 48 pages to Soviet aircraft and 31 pages to French types. Even neutral countries, like Sweden and Switzerland, are covered in detail.
Probably the most impressive thing about this book is the coverage of the large number of prototypes and "also rans" which are not included in most aviation history books. When I received this book, I immediately began reading it, and couldn't put it down until I was finished. It was great and informative reading, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in early jet fighter development. Don't miss out on this one.
Thanks to Pen and sword and the IPMS gang for the review copy.
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Aviation Collectables Company is an Italian publishers specializing in Italian aviation titles. Titles include Il Thunderjet in Italia, G/80/G/82, Tornado IDS/ECR, SB2C-5 Helldiver, C-130J Super Hercules, T-33A/RT-33A Shooting Star, G.222, F-86K Sabre Jet, and AMX Ghibli. This volume, Cent'anni di Aviazione Navale, was produced for the Centenary Celebration of the Italian Navy in cooperation with the Command of the Air Forces of the Navy.
Unlike Aviation Collectables other monograph titles, this volume celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Italian Naval Aviation. This is a square back soft cover that includes 128 gloss paper pages. The text is in two columns, one in Italian and one in English. All picture captions are also bi-lingual. I counted 165 color pictures and 23 black and white photographs. You will also find 169 color patches and insignia. There are also ten aviation color side profiles by Mauro Cini.
Stefano Reduzzi kicks this history off with early pioneer Mario Calderara who became Italy's first licensed pilot. Mario Calderara built the first Italian Naval aircraft, achieving flight on June 8, 1912. Admiral Thaon Revel officially instituted the Royal Navy Aviation Service Regia Marina on August 25, 1913. Subsequent chapters lead the reader from World War I all the way up to the 2013. This includes a preview of the future (as of 2013) inclusion of the Lockheed F-35B Lightning II. The bulk of this volume is focused on the Italian Navy's rotary wing aircraft and their unit histories and there is nice healthy section on their current fixed with component of Harriers. The Navy's goal is to replace the aging AV-8B+ Harrier II but political battles between the Italian Air Force and the Italian Navy are ongoing. The two Appendixes cover the 2013 Italian Naval aircraft and ship specifications in service. The sections include:
One Hundred Years of Naval Aviation: The Origins [Page 9]
The Postwar Years
The Rotary Wing
The Fixed Wing
Recent Years: The COMFORAER
The Future [Page 29]
Structure and Central Organization The 6th Aircraft Division (AER) of Navy's HQ
Tasks and Current Organization
CINCAV's Air Forces Comand (COMFORAER)
Tasks and Current Structure
Operational Information Bureau
Peripheral Organization and Structure
Luni Naval Air Station
1st Helicopters Groups [Page 53]
5th Helicopters Groups
Catania Naval Air Station
Deployable Operating Base (D.O.B.) Pantelleria
2nd Helicopters Groups [Page 71]
3rd Helicopters Groups
Grottaglie Naval Air Station
4th Helicopters Groups
4th Helicopters Groups Heli-Assault Department
Carrier Aircraft Group [Page 103]
Air Section P.180
Aircraft Operational Task Summary [Table]
Appendix 1 - Aircrafts
Appendix 2 - Ships
I found many sections of this story very interesting, but one stood out. This section was on Air Section P.180 as the Italian Navy acquired three twin turboprop Piaggio P.180 Avantis for reconnaissance, maritime patrol, ambulance, cargo, and VIP support. The three aircraft have been set up to be able to change missions as quickly as two hours.
I was able to read this book over several nights, with a lot of time studying the photographs. Both the contemporary and modern color photographs are clear and well printed and support the text well. This volume certainly gives the reader a good perspective of the first one hundred years Italian Navy Aviation. Models are available for most of the fixed wing aircraft covered from the Macchi M.5 seaplane, to the Curiss SB2C Helldiver, up to the AV-8V+ / TAV-8B Harrier II. Rotor-Heads are also able to participate with Augusta-Bell AB.212s, Augusta -Westland EH-101s, and Sikorsky SH-3 Sea Kings. Caracal Models, CTA Models, and Tauro Model decals are available for Italian Navy markings.
My thanks to Aviation Collectables Company, Casemate Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035