We are surrounded by items produced in China. The title is such a popular expression in our everyday life that sometimes it is surprising to see any different label. We may call it Signum temporis - the sign of times. Our wonderful hobby is no exception to this worldwide tendency - more and more frequently we can buy model kits or extras designed and produced by Chinese manufacturers. The expansive policy of Hobbyboss made it omnipresent in modelling world. The models they offer are well made and present interesting topics; I always look for subjects which are original and draw attention. What is important to me is the fact that the vehicle I work on is not another ordinary green tank which is a part of any modeller's collection. An eye-catching machine in a unique camo scheme is what I am interested in and any additional possibilities of modification are undoubtedly the decisive element in choosing the model. The Chinese producer fulfils my expectations perfectly. This is why the moment I saw ZBD-05's replica announcement I knew it will be in my workshop.
The Royal Navy will be attending Scale Model World this year with a fully operational Lynx Helicopter over the show weekend of 10-11th November. The Lynx will be flying into Telford International Centre and landing in the car park on Friday, 9th November before being wheeled inside where it will be on display all weekend, with the crew on hand to answer questions. For those of you with the new Airfix kit, you are unlikely to have a better chance to check it against the real thing! The attendance of the Lynx has been made possible by Airfix, who negotiated with the Royal Navy and are sponsoring the helicopter's attendance at the show. IPMS UK would like to thank Airfix and Marketing Manager Darrell Bürge in particular for their continuing support for the world's premier model show. Airfix has invited all IPMS members who have a completed model of the Lynx to bring it to the show and exhibit it on the special Airfix Lynx display in front of the actual aircraft.
Trumpeter's 1:32 Vought F-8E Crusader is a delight to build due to its excellent engineering and the fit of the parts. This kit has a very complex engine fit including a complete series of etched metal compressor and turbine blade. This is totally unnecessary as the kit provides the intake trunk that ends in a solid wall way past the visible area which, from my walk around series, is fairly correct. You would actually need to stick your head in the intake to see the engine compressor face. I built the engine completely per the instructions and was amazed when a solid rendition of the turbine and afterburner ring was fitted behind the etched turbine wheel. Also, there is no provision to break the fuselage and display the engine. So for what purpose are we provided with all of this detail and construction work? When I build my F-100 Super Sabre I will not be adding all of the engine construction work - only the bare minimum required for display.
The model club I belong invited the famous modeller Miguel Jimenez to a meeting in order to teach us his new technique 'weathering in one day' using the new AK Interactive products. We all spent the whole Sunday weathering from start to finish without stopping; this model is the result. Hobbyboss's kit of the M706 armoured patrol car was ideal for the purpose. I initially considered detailing-up the model using photo-etched parts but I decided against this option for an out of box build. Some parts needed to be replaced, such as the wheels, which were substituted with a resin aftermarket set and I also added the door handles plus some nuts from plastic card. After painting and weathering the interior I started painting the model. The main goal of this build was to try to incorporate different techniques for weathering in order to obtain a realistic finish, but in a short time. The first and very important step is to prime the model for proper paint adhesion and coverage, so I sprayed a coat of Vallejo primer.
Before I hand over to Tim for the construction of this particular model, perhaps you might be interested in how it came about. Years ago I spotted, on line, a rubber power plan for the Martin MO-1 and downloaded it to my computer - where the plan sat forgotten for some time. A few years ago I was asked for some more designs to suit the little GWS IPS motor units and, checking the size of the Martin's nose, it looked very promising. The fact that it also looked quick and easy to draw up clinched the deal and the plans were prepared. While drawing it, I'd really become rather fond of its ungainly charm and actually decided to build the model myself. Once completed, and at the flying field, I was very pleased that I had. It looks as if it ought to be one of those models that chugs around the sky, but actually turned out to be far more nimble than I had expected.
The Westland Wyvern is a very distinctive British military aircraft. Depending on your viewpoint, it is either an ugly duckling, or an overlooked design, brimming with character. I admit, I tend towards the latter. In service, the Wyvern was a disappointing and at times controversial aircraft. A child of the 1950s, it served in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm during the Suez Crisis, but pilots always had their reservations, and there were doubts as to her structural integrity. However, there is no doubt that the Westland Wyvern was an unusual British carrier-based aircraft, prototypes of which were built with both piston and turbo-prop power plants. During front line service, there were 68 accidents, 39 aircraft were lost, and there were 13 fatalities. Initially, the Wyvern was also prone to fuel starvation on catapult launch, the high g-forces proving too much for the original fuel delivery system. One particularly lucky Wyvern pilot suffered a flame-out during a steam catapult launch at sea. The aircraft fell over the bow of the carrier, HMS Albion, and was chopped in two. The pilot, Lt. B.D. Macfarlane, successfully ejected underwater and lived to tell the tale!
Time was, when spark ignition engines available to aeromodellers were converted lawnmower engines and the like, in sizes that suited only really big model aircraft. It's all come a long way since then and the latest from Horizon Hobby will be particularly welcome because it is a true model aircraft engine in the style with which we are familiar. The EVOLUTION 10GX is a 10cc (0.60 cu.in) displacement unit that provides spark ignition performance for a typical 'club-field' size model aircraft which, or course, includes scale models. It features a capacitive discharge electronic ignition system that automatically controls the timing advance, to ensure that the spark arrives as just the right time throughout the rev. range. The engine features a front mounted pump carburettor that ensures a constant fuel feed with minimal risk engine 'flame-out', which supplied factory-set for ease of starting and reliability.
The Griffon engine F Mk.22 delivered a top speed of 450mph and to my eye was the sportiest looking of all the Spitfire variants. Considered by many the ultimate spitfire, airframe changes introduced to cope with this increase in performance marked the end of its remarkable wartime evolution, finally giving way to the developments in jet technology. Increased tail and wing areas, shorter fuselage, bulges around the exhaust area and a bubble canopy gave the aircraft a distinctive appearance, as did the business-like five-bladed propeller, which required a lengthened undercarriage. Moulded in the now customary grey plastic, the quality of the parts is very good. The spark eroding process does leave a very slightly rough surface on the parts but a gentle rubbing with a Scotchbright cloth or an equivalent fine abrasive will smooth the parts before painting. The finesse of the engraved panel lines has always been something of a weakness with Airfix and whilst they are still not quite up to the same level of quality of some of its competitors, they are perfectly acceptable and as fine as I've ever seen in a kit from this company. Details such as the rivets around the engine panels are evident and the wing surfaces are well rendered.
During the Second World War, the US tank forces were divided on how best to tackle the problem of dealing with enemy tanks. Many thought that a purpose-built tank destroyer was the way forward. Others felt that tanks were, in fact, the best way to deal with other tanks. After many stop-gap designs came and went, the Tank Destroyer Command decided on the T70 prototype, built using a whole new. open-turreted hull design, coupled with a modified version of the M24 Chaffee light tank suspension. The resulting design was the fastest tracked vehicle fielded during the war, by any nation. However, the quick road speed of almost 60 mph was often negated by the rough terrain in which it was forced to operate. From a tactical viewpoint, the M18 'Hellcat' was a failure, since by the time it came into widespread service in mid-1944, its 76 mm gun was no better than the 76 mm gun appearing on the latest versions of the Sherman tank, and the Sherman was better protected, with heavier armour.
Welcome to The Official Royal Air Force Annual Review 2013. The Royal Air Force enjoyed an exceptionally busy and successful year in 2012. Our primary focus has, as ever, remained the continued support of operations, across Afghanistan, as well as our standing commitments. We have also played key roles in Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and in the success of the London 2012 Olympics. Following our extremely successful contribution to NATO's Operation Unified Protector over Libya, which unequivocally demonstrated the capability and value of Air Power, the Royal Air Force has continued to develop its tactics and operational ability, building on our core capabilities and acting upon lessons identified. Our Combat Air capability, embodied by the Tornado and Typhoon Forces, continues to expand and is ably complemented by our exceptional Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance suite of capabilities that, once again, proved critical to facilitating combat-winning decisions.
The term circus, as used to describe spectacular entertainment, can be dated back to the Roman Empire when such events were established where the public could go to watch recreated battle scenarios and other action-packed displays. Moving on more than 2000 years the annual War & Peace Show which this year was held over the five-day period of Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th July at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood in Kent has replaced the ancient Roman circus, but it still retains all the excitement to hold the attention of the crowds. The W&P Show has something for all interests, especially modellers. Indeed, the organisers recognise this fact and have established a dedicated modellers' marquee where clubs, societies and traders can exhibit displays.
The Mk.ll tanks were modernised with B, C and D series; there is some variation in the models that were produced and some of the original series tanks are still in IDF inventory for training and reserve forces. The model I've built depicts one of original Mk.ll tanks serving as a reserve vehicle. The only plastic kit option to build a Merkava Mk.ll is Academy's (rather old) kit. Although it received the kit of the year award when it was initially released, you need some aftermarket items to build a comprehensively detailed and accurate Mk.ll model. I definitely recommend replacing the rather low quality vinyl tracks; for the record I used Friul's ATL-66 metal track set. In addition, I also acquired Legend's resin Mk.ll turret (LF1058). The resin turret has some differences compared to the plastic one and the smoke launchers are also included in this sharply moulded and detailed set. Another advantage of this resin turret set is that it includes the metal ball and chains that are not included in the Academy kit and which in turn, significantly improve the looks of any Merkava.
One of the many things that annoys me on a regular basis is an untidy house and so I spend plenty of time ensuring that it is kept as tidy as possible, for as long as possible. It is therefore something of a contradiction that my workshop is (or rather was...) such an unbelievable pigsty! Not only is it a place in which I build models, I also store my library in there along with review samples and the like - in fact, I have so much material in there that what should be a twelve foot by eight foot workshop, has been whittled down to one that has a working space of no more that five by two! Something definitely had to give... A recent windfall has given me the opportunity to rethink and rebuild my workshop and turn it from a glorified shed, to a more economically designed home office more suited to my work on MIS. When we moved into our house, the shed was already in place. Well lined out with insulated walls and a large workbench running its length, the previous owner had used it as a woodworking shop and I simply moved in, planted some bookshelves and storage and hoped for the best.
Anyone who has followed the development of the hobby over the last few years cannot fail to have noticed that 1/32 has gained an incredible foothold, with a huge number of kits being released. At a time of enforced austerity, the appearance of so many large and very expensive kits seems anathema, but there they are for all to see and hopefully build. Of course, much of this is down to Trumpeter who have seen a gap in the market and then tried to fill it with as many kits as possible, often releasing kit of aircraft already available elsewhere. Though this strategy has resulted in some poor offerings, there have also been some great models too, enabling modellers to build some standout replicas. They haven't been alone of course - no sirree! Hasegawa, Hobby Boss and Revell have also released very fine kits in this scale, many featuring simplified construction that is often absent from Trumpeter's complex, highly detailed offerings. And then came Tamiya, who also wanted a piece of the pie - and then some...