Vallejo have added a new range of acrylic colour washes to their product line-up and they make an interesting extra weapon in the modeller's arsenal of materials. Spirit-based colour-washes using enamel and oil paints are normally used by modellers, applied over the base layer of cured enamel or acrylic paint. But here we have heavily diluted, water-based acrylics for application over any base medium and knowing the tendency of acrylic paint to dry quickly, will they work? Most brands of this medium contain compounds to speed up their drying time as for most users, this is a desirable attribute, but Vallejo's acrylics are a little different in that they are more do not contain those additives and thus can be used in a similar (but still different) way to traditional enamel colour-washes. The products are very heavily diluted and some of the pigment had settled in our samples, so it's wise to unscrew the lid and give the contents a really good mix with an electric paint stirrer such as Trumpeter's. Once this had been done, the material shows great potential for many weathering effects and it's the tendency to stay put on the model's surface that separates them from spirit-based washes, allowing different weathering effects to be created.
Barely six weeks after their F-102 hit the market, Meng has released another all-new 1:72 scale kit, the Fiat G.91 R. Meng's 1:72 scale Gina comprises 84 parts in grey plastic and five parts in clear. Markings for three aircraft are included. The model may be built as either a Fiat G.91 R/l or R/3 thanks to separate gun panel inserts in the fuselage sides. Plastic parts are very well moulded with no imperfections in places that will be visible on the finished model. Even tricky areas such as the undercarriage doors and the backs of the one-piece wheels are free from ejector pin and sink marks. There is a raised circle on the pilot's seat but this appears to be a structural feature with additional detail. Panel lines are quite crisp and fine, especially the fuselage. The photos tend to overemphasise them due to the saturation of light, but they look very good on the surface of the plastic. For comparison, think of the type of surface detail on current Hasegawa kits. Details are also well done. The wheel wells and speed brake bays are nicely fitted out with raised structural detail.
Krupp developed the PaK43 in an attempt to produce an effective anti-tank gun, based on the hugely successful 88mm Flak 37 anti-aircraft gun. Their initial design used a purpose made cruciform mount that offered 360 degree rotation and was designated the PaK43. However manufacture was slow, so in an attempt to speed production, the gun was further developed to utilise existing artillery split trail carriages. The trailing arms were taken from the 105mm LeFH 18, while the wheels and brake assemblies were from the 150mm sFH 18. This new gun was designated Pak 43/41, with over 800 produced. The effectiveness of the 88mm weapon was beyond question, however with its weight of nearly 4.5 metric tons; the piece was challenging to handle in field conditions. The crews sarcastically used the unofficial title of "Barn Door" (Scheunentor in German) when referring to the gun. The problem of mobility was improved when the gun was mounted in the Nashorn/Hornise self-propelled tank hunter. Further development saw the Pak 43 also mounted in the Elephant and Jagdpanther.
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defences in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept Soviet bomber fleets. The F-102 was the first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter of the USAF. It used an internal weapons bay to carry both guided missiles and rockets. As originally designed, it could not achieve Mach 1 supersonic flight until redesigned with area ruling. The F-102 replaced subsonic types such as the F-89 Scorpion, and by the 1960s, it saw limited service in Vietnam in bomber escort and ground attack roles. It was supplemented by F-101 Voodoos and, later, by F-4 Phantom lis. Many F-l 02s were transferred to United States Air National Guard duty by the mid-to-late 1960s, and the type was retired from operational service in 1976. The follow-on replacement was the Mach 2 class F-l 06 Delta Dart, which was an extensive redesign of the F-102.
I have been modelling armour for nearly ten years now, and in that time I have been consistent in building large tanks; Tiger, Panthers, Abrams, you name it. I wanted to something different and was intrigued by the Grille which is based on the Czechoslovakian 38t chassis. This chassis would prove to be very reliable and adaptable for the Germans in WW2. There were two different versions of the Grille, the Ausf.M version was based on the Marder III M configuration with a mid-engine chassis, and rear fighting compartment. I decided to build the Ausf.H version because it had a larger fighting compartment, and an opportunity to stuff more details in a tiny space. One day I was perusing Griffon Model's website and saw pictures of their deluxe photo-etch set for the Grille and knew then I had to have this for my project. This set is insane, comprising of thirteen different frets of photo etch not to mention various wiring, tubing, decals, and ammunition holders. To take on such a big project you need good references, looking around I found an Osprey Modelling series book called Modelling the German 15cm slG33 Bison and Grille by Gary Edmundson. I also purchased, after a great debate, the Nuts and Bolts volume 26 book which covers the Grille in great extent.