Monday, January 27, 2014

Flying Scale Models 02/2014

As we left things last time, virtually all the basic building was done and we had a model ready to cover and detail. On Darrin's original Dr.l model he went a little over the top with scale fittings and included quite a bit of metalwork that all conspired to push the weight up. Whilst nobody could deny the realism of the model here, he was a little more restrained with what went on and what didn't. The result is that this present model is over a pound lighter than his first attempt. As we all know, if you don't want a Fokker Triplane that has to fly at the scale speed of an F-16, keep it as light as you can. I think that Darrin has demonstrated most admirably that with careful selection of what detail you include, and how you go about producing it, saving weight doesn't have to mean sacrificing scale realism. I've seen full size replicas that look less like the real thing than Darrin's model does. The one place you won't need to save weight is at the front of the model. I've very seldom seen models of WW1 types that end up nose heavy, so extra weight here is no bad thing at all. By contrast, the metal mounted, sprung tailskid of Darrin's original model wasn't such a good idea and required quite a bit of dead weight adding to the front to counter it.

Flying Scale Models 01/2014

The Spitfire Mk IX is considered by many scale modellers as the definitive Spitfire, perhaps because its particular upgrades and modifications were forged in the heat of battle. The truth is that by mid-1942 the formidable Focke Wulf Fw 190 was gaining the upper hand in air superiority in the West, outclassing the Spitfire Mk.V. Something had to be done. The outcome was the Spitfire MK IX, employing the two-stage superchargers of the Spitfire Vb, plus a strengthened airframe specifically designed to benefit the introduction of the new Rolls Royce erlin 60 and 70 engines in a lengthened nose section. In fact, these airframe improvements proved so successful that they paved the way for the later Griffon engines variants. The Mk IX (Vickers Supermarine Type 361) proved to have a quantum leap in performance with its adoption of the Merlin 60, originally developed for the Wellington bomber, providing a top speed of 403 mph at 27/400 feet, and a climb to 30,000 feet in ten minutes. The RAF set up a High Altitude Right at RAF Northolt to capitalise on this impressive performance, especially to counter the threat of the four engine Junkers Ju86R, adapted from bomber to high altitude reconnaissance configuration used by the Luftwaffe.

Model Aircraft 02/2014

From December 1943 until the end of the war anti-submarine patrols were flown from Gibraltar by Ventura GR Mk Vs. The first of these were flown by crews from 500 (County of Kent) Squadron but from July 1944 they were replaced by 22 Squadron SAAF.The South Africans had flown their Venturas up from South Africa to take over the protection of this sole access point to the Mediterranean Sea, which allowed 500 (County of Kent) Squadron to take its own Ventura GR MkVs to La Senia, near Oran in Algeria where they soon converted onto the Martin Baltimore. Other Ventura squadrons were based throughout the Mediterranean area in the maritime role and these were quite nomadic, moving up and down the North African coastline as the situation at sea dictated. Another British Ventura GR Mk V unit to serve in the Mediterranean was 13 Squadron RAF, which operated the type between October and December 1943, and the Aussies of 459 Squadron RAAF replaced their old Hudsons with the same Ventura variant during December 1943, making good use of them until July 1944. In both cases the Venturas were eventually replaced by the Baltimore.

Scale Military Modeller International 02/2014

The Leopard 1/2 is a Main Battle Tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the early 1970s for the then West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and twelve other European countries, as well as several non-European nations. More than 3,480 Leopard 2s have been manufactured. The Leopard 2 first saw combat in Kosovo with the German Army and has also seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian contributions to ISAF. There are two main development batches of the tank, the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armour, and an improved batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer 2A6 versions, which have angled arrow-shaped appliqué armour together with other improvements. All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, fully stabilized main gun and coaxial machine gun and advanced night vision and sighting equipment.

Scale Aviation Modeller International 02/2014

In 1999 when Poland became a member of NATO, Polish Air Force transportation units were mainly equipped with the  obsolete An-26 and An-28. In 2001 Poland purchased twelve CASA 295M aircraft, which in time replaced the well-worn An-26s, but Poland's subsequent participation in overseas missions clearly demonstrated a need for a heavier lift capability. After many years of discussion and negotiations, the Polish National Defence Ministry signed a contract for five second-hand USAF C-130E Hercules. Work commenced on the overhaul and modernization of the chosen machines, and in Powidz air base, near Poznan, preparation commenced on all the necessary infrastructure for the maintenance and upkeep of the new larger aircraft. On 29 March 2009 the first of five C-130s, tactical number 1501, landed at Powidz and was officially handed over to the Polish Air Force. The arrival of a new type of aircraft in the Polish Air Force is always a temptation to every Polish modeller collecting aircraft adorned with the white/red checkerboard national insignia. For the purpose of this build I used the old Italeri kit, which features raised panel lines and a modest amount of interior details, to say the least. Taking this into consideration I acquired Eduard's Big Ed photo-etched set, which consists of six etched detail sets and one set of masks for painting the wheels and all glazing around the fuselage.

Military Modelling Vol.44 No.02

America's battle experience in North Africa and Italy with the M3 and M5 Stuart demonstrated the need for greater firepower against the Germans. From its inception, the Chaffee broke new ground in the use of leading edge technologies such as vertical stabilisers, ba ancing speed, profile, armour protection and armament. The 75mm M6 main gun in the M24 was a tank-mounted version of the 75mm M5 gun that was fitted in the nose of the B-25H Mitchell bomber. Capable of great range, the M24 featured decent optics and a maximum rate of fire of around 20 rounds per minute, but at that rate the light gun tube would not last very long. The Bronco kit is a fine example of what can be achieved with plastic, with fine cast numbers standing out amongst the crisp raised detail. As always though, there is plenty for the mode er to improve upon even further, in this instance with the Lion Roar upgrade set, which compliments the Bronco kit perfectly.

Flight International 28 January 2014

Testing will soon begin on the next-generation Block 4 software expected to provide a capability boost to Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. On 16 January, the US Navy announced - via a posting on the federal government's procurement website - that the F-35's joint programme office intends to award multiple contracts to Lockheed Martin to develop Block 4 software, with the first contract expected to be awarded in October 2014. The contracts will include "assessments and evaluations" to ensure Block 4-equipped aircraft meet "future operational requirements", it says. When completed, Block 4 software will provide the F-35 with improved radar, and allow the aircraft to carry additional weapons used by both the US military and other F-35 customers. A document posted on the website of the US Embassy in Norway - a customer for the conventional take-off and landing F-35A - provides more details, however. This says that aircraft with the Block 4 software package will be able to carry joint stand-off cruise missiles -including Kongsberg's joint Strike Missile - and Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder Block 11 air-to-air missiles. Additionally, the iterative de-velopment will add an automated ground collision avoidance system, better protection from hacking and improvements to power management, to avoid issues that have been raised over the JSF's integrated power package since at least 2007. These culminated in a grounding of the F-35 fleet in 2011.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Aeroplane Magazine 03/2014

Here at Aeroplane we have a very valuable resource - our huge archive of original glass-plate negatives. They are large format at 5in x 4in( so can be printed across two pages with little loss of quality due to film grain. They are stored in their original boxes which contain about 15 or more plates each, and while one or two in the box were at some point used in The Aeroplane, the rest may have never been published. Therefore our new Aeroplane Unseen Archives series has been launched to show some of these fascinating pictures. We began it in the previous issue with a view of air gunnery training, showing an aspect of this that many people may never have been aware of. This month's picture (on pages 102-103) shows a scene from a Bristol Blenheim production line. As a reader benefit we have decided to offer these images to be downloaded for free as computer desktop wallpapers via our website. The new feature will be a regular inclusion from now on, and while they are available initially as desktop wallpapers, we will also be looking at the possibility of making some of them available as high resolution downloads for personal use only in the future. The pictures available will be further populated with some of the best ones from our sister series such as Aeroplane Icons.

Model Airplane International 02/2014

The Ki-30 was an early Japanese light bomber and was considered pretty much obsolete at the start of the war which may explain why it's never been popular with kit manufacturers. In kit form it has been available from Pavla and there have been some vacform versions, though this AZ Model version is somewhat better in detail than any previous offerings. The kit arrived in the usual AZ Model small end-opening box, the parts all contained in a single bag with a simple instruction sheet, very small decal sheet and colour guide on the back of the box. Several medium grey-coloured sprues contained some rather nice looking parts; finely engraved panel lines and restrained rivet detail were visible on the fuselage and wings. A separate bag contained a resin engine, wheels and two bombs. The engine and wheels were very nicely done though the bombs had some air bubble damage to the noses. The build began with the cockpit and though the instructions would have you assemble the interior as one part then glue it into the fuselage, experience has taught me the best way to tackle this type of kit is to build the interior directly into one side of the fuselage. This way, you can completely assemble the interior, check and adjust the fit of the other half of the fuselage then after completing the painting and detailing, it all fits together easily.

Aviation News 02/2014

The Saab JAS 39E Gripen NG has won Brazil's FX-2 fighter competition. The country's Defence Minister Celso Amorim and Brazilian Air Force Commander Brigadier Junito Saito announced the news at a press conference on December 18. The decision follows more than a decade of considering alternatives for the requirement, which latterly came down to three shortlisted contenders: the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Rafale. The Brazilian Air Force requires 36 aircraft, worth an estimated $4.5 billion and negotiations will now get under way to finalise a contract. It is expected to be signed in around 10-12 months with first delivery anticipated 48 months from contract signature. Initially, the first 12 Gripens will replace the FAB's ten Mirage F-2000Cs and two F-2000Ds, which were leased from France as an interim fighter but the last six Mirages were retired on December 31, 2013, as they are now out of flying hours. The Mirages had been flown by 1° Grupo de Defensa Aérea/1° Esquadräo 'Jaguares' at Anâpolis, which will become the first unit to re-equip with the new Gripens. As a further stopgap, Brazil will use its modernised F-5EMs to temporarily replace the Mirages until the Gripens enter service. Prior to delivery of the new aircraft, Brazil is considering leasing existing Gripen C/Ds from the Swedish Air Force, which could be supplied much earlier than the new production Gripens to act as interim Mirage replacements.

Air International 02/2014

A ceremony was held at NAS Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, on December 13, 2013, to mark the production of the 100th Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. A total of 42 F-35As for the US Air Force, 39 F-35Bs for the US Marine Corps/Navy, 14 F-35Cs for the US Navy, three F-35Bs for the United Kingdom and two F-35As for the Netherlands had been built by the time of the event. In all 36 were delivered in 2013, of which seven were handed over in the final two weeks of December. The milestone aircraft, F-35A 11-5030 (b/n AF-41), will be assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron 'Top Dogs' at Luke AFB, Arizona, part of the 56th Fighter Wing (FW). The squadron was reactivated on October 27, 2013, to conduct instructor pilot training on the aircraft. F-35A 11 -5030 is the first of 144 due to be delivered to Luke AFB for use by six squadrons assigned to the 56th FW. On December 3 the US Air Force announced that Hill AFB, Utah, would be the first operational base for the Lightning II, taking 72 F-35As from 2015. The initial Air National Guard F-35A base will be Bennington in Vermont, where the first of 18 will arrive in 2020. Meanwhile, the first F-35A sent to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB for structural modifications to strengthen the aircraft and extend its service life is due to return to service on February 7. The work took 131 days to complete.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Military History Monthly 02/2014

This year is the centenary not just of the outbreak of the First World War, but of the dawn of a new paradigm of war.  Previous wars had been limited in two senses. Many - like the Crimean or the Franco-Prussian Wars - had been carefully managed 'cabinet wars', limited in time and space by tightly defined objectives. Others - like the Napoleonic or the American Civil Wars -might have outgrown their origins and taken on a life of their own, but only ever involved a minority of society, mainly younger men enrolled in fighting forces. But 1914 broke the mould. It placed the productive power of the Industrial Revolution at the service of national, imperial, and economic rivalries. It mobilised destructive power unprecedented in history, and sucked entire societies into the vortex of war. It unleashed processes of violent change that none could control. This is our world - a world shaped and reshaped by a century of modern industrialised warfare. 1914 represents the true beginning of modernity. This month we begin our in-depth coverage of the First World War with an analysis of the only terrorist attack that matches 9/11 in historic significance: the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.

Military Illustrated Modeller 02/2014

About a month or so before the 201 3 US IPMS Nationals, I was taking inventory of all of my 'half started' projects. Looking at the various degrees of completion on several of my projects, I wanted to assess what the 'low hanging fruit' would be if I was to try to complete something new to take to the contest. Among the partially started projects, I came across the 1:48 M1A2 by Gaso.Line. I bought this kit from Wanamaker Hobbies a couple of years earlier and had quickly cleaned up all of the casting blocks and then put it back in the box. Although I had not made much (I mean any) progress on the construction to that point, I thought it could be an easy and fun build and most importantly, it could be finished in time for the show! The kit has a whopping fifty-two parts in resin as well as nice little decal sheet. The instructions consist of two 8.5" x 11" colour copies that have brief history, a parts list (in French), photos of the parts with there part numbers called out, eight photos of a built model with the part numbers and arrows pointing to the appropriate spot on the image and finally, three colour photos of the tank in Iraq as well as a colour profile. Construction started with the lower hull and running gear.

Tamiya Model Magazine International 02/2014

I was quite happy when the Editor asked me to build Re veil's 1:32 Bfl09G-6. When it finally arrived I opened the box immediately and was amazed by the amount of plastic present. And the first impressions were very favourable, although some minor cons caught my eye almost immediately. I will address the most important ones as we go along but one thing has to be said from the start; given the price of the kit - it retails around €20 here in The Netherlands - Revell's efforts have to be recommended. This is possibly one of the nicest G6's around in this scale and it has huge potential for superdetailing. The G-6 is an impressive flying machine. It's easy to see that it is family of the earlier E-series which were swarming the skies over Europe only three years earlier. But the G series hasn't got the fragile looks of the E-series: this '109 was a battle hardened and menacing machine. It was made operational in mid 1942 and soon it became clear that it did have an Achilles heel; the G-series had to perform many different missions and its weight increased substantially. The petite dancer of the earlier days had become a heavy footed giant. Her firing power increased considerably. The G-6 is recognizable because of the two bulges in front of the canopy which give room to MG131 machine guns. Some 12,500 G-6s were built by the end of the war. That bulkiness was something I always wanted to portrait and the Revell kit offered me the opportunity to give my first G-6 a go.

Airforces Monthly 02/2014

THE MAIDEN flight of the new Textron AirLand Scorpion light attack aircraft prototype, N531TA (c/n 721001), took place on December 12 at McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kansas. Designed as a low-cost strike/ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, the aircraft got airborne at 1030hrs Central Time and stayed aloft for approximately 1.4 hours. The flight was completed according to plan, with the crew conducting a range of handling manoeuvres during the sortie. The prototype was built in secrecy by Cessna Aircraft in Wichita and is designated the Cessna Model E530 by the company. Textron AirLand noted that the flight marked one of the fastest developments of a US-built tactical jet, progressing from initial design to first flight in less than 24 months. Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said: "When the design phase began less than two years ago, we were confident that we would deliver a uniquely affordable, versatile tactical aircraft by taking advantage of commercial aviation technologies and best practices. Today's flight met all expectations, and keeps us on track towards certification and production."

Classic Military Vehicle 02/2014

Beyond the specialised M27 and M27B1 bomb service trucks discussed last month, the US Army Air Corps, renamed the US Army Air Forces on 20 June 1941 and finally the US Air Force on 18 September 1947, used various aviation-specific variants of GMC's CCKW. Among these were high-lift and airfield service trucks. Each of these was engineered to meet the specific needs of the using branch, and both types were developed and produced during WW2, although only the airfield service trucks saw widespread use before hostilities ceased. All variants, however, did see extensive use after WW2, including during the Korea War. The development or adoption of a new weapon or item of military hardware often brings with it the requirement for new support equipment. The Douglas DC-4E, developed in 1938 and adopted by the US Army Air Forces in February 1942 as the C-54 Skymaster, was one such case. The C-54 rested on tricycle landing gear, unlike the tail-dragging C-46 and C-47 that preceded it. While this configuration resulted in a level load bay which made the handling of freight much easier than it had been, it presented a new problem in that the cargo door was considerably higher above runway level.

Air Modeller Issue 52

There was a time when British design was looked at in envy by the rest of the World, was the E-Type Jaguar not proclaimed as the World's most beautiful car by Enzo Ferrari? Not bad for an (almost!) affordable super-car designed in the Midlands by stout gentlemen in brown overalls, smoking pipes. I've often thought of the Gloster Meteor along these lines, such a pure design from the drawing board with it's simple sweeping lines seemingly unspoiled in it's development into the Allies first operational jet powered fighter. I'm afraid though that this is the extent of my knowledge about the subject, basically I just like the shape of it, but because of that thread of interest I found myself volunteering to build the pre-release test-shot kindly sent to us by HK Models. You spend more than ten minutes looking at a kit in the AIR office and the un-written rule is you have to build itl The F.4 may not be everyones most favourite Meteor mark as it's a little restrictive on finishing options, but anyone who is a fan of the aircraft would surely welcome any version as a newly tooled 1:32 injection moulded kit. Our huge sample sprues, three in total, arrived in a plain outer carton with no instructions but we did have decals, nose weight and a clear sprue which made up our minds to do a very out-of-the-box build to give a true impression of the kit which should be widely available as you read this issue.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Military Machines International 02/2014

The exhibits of the Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster include almost all major German WW2 tank and armoured fighting vehicle designs. Among them are some pretty rare vehicles, including a Sturmtiger assault mortar, one of only two still in existence, and an example of the Tiger II, but from the day the Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster opened its doors to the public in September 1983 one vehicle was missing from its collection, the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I Ausführung E Sd.Kfz. 181. Worldwide the Tiger I is probably the best known tank ever built in Germany and therefore the Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster considered the lack of a Tiger I quite a gap in its collection. Since April 2013 a privately owned Tiger I has been on loan to the museum, a loan that will see the Tiger displayed until at least 2016, thus closing the gap in the collection for the time being. Previously experts had agreed that only six out of the total of 1,355 Tiger I's built between 1942 and 1944 had survived. One is on display at the Bovington Tank Museum, having been captured by British forces in Tunisia in April 1943, another Tiger I captured by Allied forces is on display at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia in the USA, two survivors can be found in Russia, one of them at Kubinka, the other at the Military Historical Museum in Lenino-Snegiri, and finally two Tiger I are located in France, one at the Musée des Blindés in Saumur, while the other serves as a monument in the outskirts of Vimoutiers in Normandy.

Airfix Model World 02/2014

As I write this I am still looking through my Telford stash - yes, honestly - and looking over notes I took following conversations we had with visitors to the Key stand. Of course, there are always a few who don't like anything the kit manufacturers make or plan to release. I heard comments like, 'Why aren't Airfix making this?' or 'What's the point in another one of those...?' I'm sure some of the other kit companies heard the same range of comments, too. I heartily agree that recent prices from some of the Japanese companies are enough to make you flinch - even though, in my world, you can never have enough F-4EJs in special markings. But at the end of the day it's all down to personal choice and how you want to spend your money, isn't it? And Telford is about having a good time with friends and colleagues - and stocking up on kits. This year represents some significant anniversaries, such as the beginning of World War One and D-Day. I hope that many of you will not only build something from these events, but also take time to read about both of these battles. A little initial knowledge and reading can become a lifelong interest, which can take one who knows where?

The Armourer Magazine 01/02 2014

New Year's Eve 1918. After four long years of war servicemen from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides were on their way home, some for the first time .since 1914. Many English soldiers had been granted leave that Christmas but for the Scots, Hogmanay was the time when thoughts turned to home most strongly. When war broke out the islanders had done their duty, every second man from Lewis joining the Army, Royal Navy or Merchant Marine. And they had paid a heavy price. Since 1914 more than 800 had given their lives at various battlefronts on land and sea. Now these survivors were nearing the end of their long journey as they arrived at the railhead at the Kyle of Lochalsh ready to board ships for the last leg - the sailing to Stornoway. But there was a problem; so many men could not be accommodated on the usual transport, the mail boat SS Sheila, so HMY Maire, the yacht belonging to the naval base HMS Maire on Stornoway, was sent to carry the remainder. Its captain, Commander Mason, had a problem getting into the harbour and what was later described as {a bit of blundering', resulted in the yacht striking the pier. Apparently the Iolaire was not an easy ship to turn.

Military Modelling Vol.44 No.01

The Broneavtomobil 20(BA-20) was a 2.5-ton light armoured car developed in the Soviet Union in 1934 and was produced until 1942. The BA-20 was armed with a 7.62mm DT machine gun and had a top road speed of 53mph. Over 4,500 of these vehicles were produced in the 8-year period. The armoured car was designed primarily for reconnaissance and scouting purposes. By 1938, the upgraded BA-20M communication version was introduced which was essentially same vehicle but with a whip-style antenna instead of the external frame antenna. The BA-20 was conceived using the chassis from the civilian GAZ-M1, which in turn, was a modified version of a Ford design. While the chassis was made by the Nizhny Novgorod factory, the body was built at the Vyksinskiy plant where the final assembly of the BA-20 occurred. An interesting feature of the BA-20 and BA-20M was the design of the tyres that were filled with cork so that it was impervious to bullets and shrapnel. Another later modification was the BA-20ZhD which was designed to travel on railway tracks by replacing the wheels with metal rail-type wheels. The BA-20 first saw combat during the Spanish Civil War serving with the Republican Army. They were also pushed into Russian combat service against Japan in 1939 during the Battle of Khalkin Gol. In 1939, the Red Army used large numbers of BA-20s in the invasion of Poland and also during the winter war against Finland circa 1939-40. Many BA-20s were captured by the Finns and pushed into service against the Red Army.

Electric Flight 02/2014

Finishing a model airplane is usually thought of as the last two or three steps needed to be done before your model is ready to fly. In reality, no amount of "finishing" work during J the last few steps can make up for a poor building job. A proper finish should be your ultimate goal throughout the entire building process, not just an afterthought thrown in at the end. The finishing process can often take longer than the initial framing out. My most recent project was a Hall Bulldog and it required a high-gloss finish, so most of the work was done in preparing the various model surfaces for paint. Building the Bulldog was almost a side show. Generally, matte finishes are more forgiving when it comes to surface imperfections. They may be seen under certain lighting conditions, but glossy finishes show everything and are very unforgiving. I built the Bulldog using so-called conventional construction methods — balsa sheeting for metal areas and fabric covering over open framework plywood and balsa. No matter how hard you try. balsa sheeting will eventually show grain due to expansion and contraction if it is filled and finished without first being stabilized. While there are other methods, I use fiberglass cloth and resin to stabilize balsa surfaces. Although I have used both epoxy and polyester resin systems to affix fiberglass, such methods can get heavy in a hurry. For my smaller and mid-size models. I have settled on using water-based varnish (satin Minwax Polycrylic) to apply the fiberglass. This system does not yield as hard of a surface as with a two-part resin, but it is close, and it's a lot lighter. The steps I employ after the glass treatment firm up the surfaces even more.

Model Airplane International 01/2014

The box artwork is OK, but this undersells the contents of the decent sized box, brim full with individually bagged sprues, foam protecting delicate parts and separate boxings for the fuselage etc., superb. Also supplied is a full complement of weapons and full length engines that have (on the most part) redundant exterior detail. The wings have separate slats and flaps, and there are three decal sheets. Photo-etched parts are employed for the radar, which isnt a major selling point of the kit, unlike the seat harnesses, canopy rails and mirrors, which are. These add that extra level of detail often missing in such a release. The sixteen-page book style instructions are well illustrated and give an encouraging reassurance to the build process (being quite involved - spread over 23 steps) to complete the model with its high parts count. First impressions? Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls Of Fire..., it's time to press play on that' soundtrack! But there are some blemishes to attend to. There is a slight seam line down the centre of the clear canopy (as well as the raised moulded detonation chord) and the tyres are vinyl! One more point to highlight is the abundance of rivet detail on the wings - which is going to be down to personal preference how you deal with them, or not.