Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scale Military Modeller International 08/2014

Figure models and figure modelling is possibly the oldest facet of the hobby. Arguably aircraft Models hold the major percentage of sales yet figure models run all the way back in history to carved wooden miniatures and stone figures from Ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and Babylon, carved figures have been found on every continent as well as chess pieces of various guises. In the last two hundred or so years the popularity of toy soldiers became ever more apparent with lead figures and tinplates. In the past five decades figures have become ever more sophisticated from those wonderfully nostalgic Aurora monster figures that later glowed in the dark and such items as the 1:12 scale historical figures that Airfix released. For most of us in the past forty or so years the pioneers of armour modelling, including the now extremely dated Monogram kits and Tamiya Military Miniature series, allowed us to add a human element to the iron beasts that we were building. Over the years there have been those of us that have made various scales, normally 1:72 upwards, and often we include a figure whether it be a pilot or tank commander to a ship's captain or a 1:6 scale figure of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator stood next to a Harley Davidson. The materials that the figures have been cast in range from soft Polyurethane to plastic injection moulded figures and in more recent times white-metal, resin and vinyl.

Scale Aviation Modeller International 08/2014

I always felt that the Salmson 2A2 was an ugly bird! Some aircraft are so ugly they are beautiful, but I'm afraid the Salmson was not an aircraft that I would put in to this category. I think part of this is down to the short stubby undercarriage, which looks out of place supporting such a large fuselage. I would guess that I am not the only one with this opinion and certainly the Salmson has been relatively ignored up until recently, which considering the large number of aircraft built and the type's association with the US air service is a little surprising. I can only think of a short-run plastic kit by Pegasus, and the CMR resin kit (which I believe is still available), both of which are 1/72. And then, three years ago Gaspatch showed off test shots of a 1/48 kit at the UK Nationals. Wind forward to Scale ModelWorld 2013 and the kit finally arrived, only to be followed by the announcement of a 1/32 Salmson from Wingnut Wings, which arrived just over a month later. I purchased my Gaspatch kit at Telford and was lucky enough to be offered the Wingnut Wings kit for review shortly after. It seemed only fair to treat each kit equally and build them together. Both kits are equally impressive'in the box' and there are indeed many similarities between the two products. Both contain comprehensive decals sheets with options for five aircraft. Both contain a detailed and clear instruction booklet.

Model Airplane International 08/2014

Aircraft like the KC-135E look superb in the larger (1:72) scale but they're just not practical. This is where Minicraft has seen a niche in the market with a whole range of subjects covered in the smaller-scale range. The newest of these is the KC-135E in USAF service. Where the WC-130 I built a while back (See Issue No.105) was an updated kit with new parts, this is prominently marked on the box as being an 'all-new tooling'. On opening it you will find five sprues of pale grey-coloured plastic with another of clear containing one part, the cockpit glazing. The parts count on the grey-coloured sprues works out to fifty-eight. The instructions are of the usual booklet style covering the ten assembly stages with the last two pages covering the two markings options provided. Once again the decal sheet is by Cartogaf, so the quality is assured. The two options for schemes in the kit are both for USAF aircraft, the first of which is a standard squadron aircraft from the Kansas Air National Guard circa 2004. The second is the subject of the box artwork for a New Jersey ANG aircraft also from 2004 but with the addition of large tiger graphics on the forward fuselage. If you have read my earlier review of the Minicraft WC-130 you will see that it proved to be hard work due to the use of old and new parts and at times quite frustrating. Let's see if this new kit will be any better. After a quick wash the first job was to clip the main parts from the sprues and check them for fit. My first impressions were that this was a distinct improvement on the previous build but that I would still be reaching for the filler fairly soon. The first step in the instructions is the nose gear bay and undercarriage.

Model Aircraft 08/2014

While growing up as a young aviation enthusiast in the north west of England during the 1970s, the only Digby that I had ever heard of was "Digby-The Worlds Largest Dog' as seen in books, films and cartoons, but as I became more serious about aeroplanes I discovered that this name also applied to an airfield in Lincolnshire (with strong Canadian ties) plus a variant of the twin-engined Douglas B-18 Bolo, which had been acquired by the Royal Canadian Air Force during 1940 as a stop gap bomber and maritime patrol aircraft. The Douglas B-18 began as a 1934 request by the United States Army Air Corps for a bomber that could carry double the bomb load of the Martin B-10, which was just entering USAAC service. The Douglas Aircraft Company used its successful DC-2 airliner as the basis of this design, which was given the company designation DB-1 and it incorporated the wings of the DC-2 plus the tail of the DC-3 along with a new deeper fuselage containing a bomb bay capable of housing 4.400lb of bombs and gun positions in the nose, mid-upper and ventral positions. The DB-1 was in direct competition for a USAAC contract against the Boeing Model 299, which eventually became the B-17 Flying Fortress, and the cash strapped USAAC obviously had an eye on the coffers because the twin-engined Douglas bomber, which cost $58,500 was chosen against the four-engined Boeing -a hefty $99,620 in comparison. Another thing in Douglas's favour was the fact that their DB-1 design could go into production almost straight away because the Douglas transports which formed much of the structure were already in production in comparatively large numbers.

AIR International 08/2014

RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire has hosted B-2 Spirit and B-52H Stratofortress (colloquially known as the Buff) bombers in the past but not at the same time. In June five Air Force Global Strike Command bombers (three B-52Hs and two B-2s) were based at the sprawling airfield for a major training exercise. RAF Fairford is the only declared forward deployment base for US long-range bombers within the US European Command theatre.  Three B-52H aircraft arrived on June 4. Aircrew were drawn from the 20th Bomb Squadron (BS) 'Buccaneers' and the 96th BS 'Red Devils', based at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana and the 69th BS 'Bomber Barons', based at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Three days later two B-2 Spirits 82-1069 Spirit of Indiana and the 93-1088 Spirit of Louisiana (the last of 21 B-2 aircraft built) arrived from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri: home of the 509th Bomb Wing. Spirit aircrew were drawn from the 13th BS 'Grim Reapers' and 393rd BS 'Tigers'. The timing of the exercise might be considered significant given the continuing tension in the Middle East and Putin's intervention in Ukraine. The bomber deployment enabled the US to send a very powerful message to allies and potential adversaries of its preparedness and capability to forward deploy long-range bombers quickly and efficiently.

Britain At War 08/2014

FOR A seemingly interminable time, the centenary of the start of the First World War has been heralded and now, almost suddenly, it is upon us. Around the UK and the rest of the world, the centenary will be marked by an incalculable number of organisations and groups, and, of course, individuals. My generation has never witnessed such a momentous event as the beginning of the First World War. I can just about recall the Argentine invasion of South Georgia and Prime Minister Thatcher's decision to recapture the Falklands. The mood was one of considerable tension, but there was also an element of great excitement and national pride - just as it was in August 1914. It is something of that tension and excitement 100 years ago that we have tried to portray in this edition of Britain at War Magazine. We have a Cabinet insider's account of the immense burden of responsibility that lay on the shoulders of ministers faced with the most important decision of their lives. There is also the remarkable story, told by a Foreign Office official, of the terrible mistake that was made when, in the anxious moments of the evening of 4 August 1914, the German Ambassador was handed a premature declaration of war. The young official, one of the most junior members of staff in the Foreign Office, was given the job of quickly retrieving the letter before its contents had been read!

Aeroplane Magazine Autumn/2014

In a workshop at Bembridge Harbour, on the Isle of Wight, the Britten-Norman Aircraft Preservation Society's (BNAPS) restoration team is making excellent progress with the restoration of the world's oldest surviving BN-2 Islander, the first production machine, G-AVCN. Work is on target to have the aeroplane ready to go on show by June 13 2015, the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the prototype Islander, G-ATCT, from Bembridge Airport. Work is currently underway to complete the doors and refit them, after which the windscreen panels will be re-installed. The flexible window mount mouldings are being sought for the side windows, which will then allow the windows to be refitted. The fuselage will then be sprayed with a white base coat, and three coats of Aurigny Airlines yellow, before being moved from the workshop into temporary storage to enable work on the wing to proceed. Reconstruction of the wing is due to be completed early in 2015. Meanwhile, work to prepare seats, upholstery, internal trim and detail fitting out of items will proceed in parallel ready for completion of the fuselage Other activities underway during the period will be preparation of fibreglass cowlings and fairings and assembly of the nose and main landing gear. The team has been very fortunate with the recent donation and purchase of wanted parts, with a previously elusive tail bumper and a throttle box cover arriving at the workshop.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tamiya Model Magazine International 08/2014

Tamiya launched the newly-tooled 1:24 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR 'Jägermeister' last year to much acclaim and enthusiasm; it was great to see a newly-tooled 1:24 kit of this amazing machine. Already we have a second edition of the model, using the same moulded parts, depicting the 1976 Group 4 GT car of the Vaillant team. The main sponsor (a German boiler/heating system manufacturer) used a very eye-catching livery on its competition cars, with a turquoise background and purple, red and orange stripes which contrasted beautifully with the blue-green overall shade. In Tamiya's new kit, the bodyshell and chassis plate (plus some other smaller parts) are moulded in a good replica of this colour, and while most modellers will wish to paint their Porsche kit, for those who prefer to leave the bodyshell in its bare plastic (youngsters and beginners) the colour makes a useful starting point. The kit is what could be described as 'curbside' which means no full engine, just the lower portions. The doors, bonnet and boot are moulded shut which preserves the scale-like lines of the body and greatly eases assembly. This rationalisation doesn't mean the kit is simplified in detail; the chassis is very well rendered with rear swing arms, anti-roll bar, shock absorbers, steerable front wheels and nicely moulded disc brakes and callipers.

Military Illustrated Modeller 08/2014

Tamiya's big news this year was the announcement of a new 1:35 kit of the First World War British Mk.IV 'Male' tank, the very first vehicle from this conflict to be kitted by Tamiya and quite a big leap for the company. When initially announced, the model caused some controversy in being motorised, something that some modellers seem to think will make the kit toy-like even though it's still a scale model, just with a small motor. We think it's rather cool and brings the model to life, and when the novelty of the motorisation has worn off, the kit will make a superb static display model with sharp detail and impeccable fit of parts Turn to pages 58/59 this issue for more details. To accompany the Mk.IV, Tamiya has created a set of five British WW1 infantry figures, three with Lee-Enfield rifles, an officer with a Webley revolver and a machine gunner firing a Lewis gun; outside of Japan, the tank kit will come with the figure set as standard. Also new from Tamiya is a 1:48 MIO IIC Achilles tank destroyer with 17pdr gun in its open-topped turret and a revised edition of Italeri's German one-ton Demag 1-ton Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack. The latter will come with some new parts to refine the base kit, open or closed canvas roof, new tools and three figures. Also shown at this year's SHS were Tamiya's 1:35 German 7.62cm Pak 36(r) North Africa Scenery Set (ICM kit) and the 1:35 US Medium Tank M4A3E8 Sherman 'Easy Eight', the Tasca (now Asuka) kit, issued in limited-edition form. In this photo-report, you can see some interesting new releases from various manufacturers were also on show. So, please enjoy the new product photos on the following pages, more info soon!

Boeing - The Next Generation

Even before the main UK television channels - BBC1 and ITV - had introduced colour pictures the first Boeing 747s were starting to roll off the manufacturer's Everett production line. Now, 46 years later, more than 1,480 have been produced, making the type the most successful widebody airliner programme to date (although the 777 is catching up fast). However, things could have been very different. What has become one of the most iconic aircraft in commercial aviation history might not have flown at all had it not been for the vision and perseverance of the company's then president, Bill Allen. The decision to launch the programme was a major gamble, had it backfired it would almost certainly have resulted in Boeing's collapse. Thankfully, for the manufacturer, the decision paid off and the 747 became the airliner of choice for many carriers wishing to move large numbers of passengers at a time. The inaugural passenger service from Washington/ Dulles to London/Heathrow was by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) on January 22,1970. Since then the type has gone from strength to strength, with Boeing rolling out improved versions on a regular basis (for a full history of the type see Boeing 747 - Queen of the Skies, Airliner World January 2009). The 'Jumbo Jet' - as it became known - ruled the skies for more than three decades. However, the introduction of the Airbus A380 in October 2007, and the evolution of twin-engined widebody aircraft like the 777 and the A330/A350, have dramatically cut airline interest in the once mighty 747 and sales have since dwindled.

Classic Military Vehicle 08/2014

You could be forgiven for thinking that, beyond the obvious military connection, the M561 Gama Goat, Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer, and Volvo Laplander have little in common. But, amongst others, all three were considered for the role eventually allocated to the Land Rover 1-tonne forward control... Land Rover's first 100% purpose-designed military vehicle production until the Wolf appeared in the early nineties. Work on this project had started back in the sixties when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) identified what it described as a 'serious gap in the future vehicle range between the Land Rover, with a capacity of 0.5 to 0.75 ton, and the 4-ton Bedford MK/ MJ trucks.' Most pressing was a specific and immediate need for a heli-portable artillery tractor and ammunition limber for the new L118 105mm light gun, which was too heavy to be towed by existing Land Rovers. It was also believed that a vehicle that could satisfy this particular role would also be suitable for a range of other needs for which 'existing smaller vehicles were inadequate [but for which] larger ones were either too expensive or tactically unacceptable.'

Aviation News 08/2014

RAF Fairford burst into life in June when it became the temporary base of operations for two USAF Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirits and three Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers. This marked the first time both types had flown sorties from the base simultaneously. The first to arrive were the three B-52Hs on Wednesday, June 4 consisting of two aircraft from the 96th Bomb Squadron (BS)/2nd Bomb Wing (BW) at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana and a sole example from the 69th BS/5th BW at Minot AFB, North Dakota. On Sunday, June 8, the two B-2 Spirits from the 393rd BS/509th BW arrived. Initially, it was thought the B-52Hs would participate in two exercises, Saber Strike a US Army-led event in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) - a maritime exercise in the Baltic Sea. Prior to the deployment a patch designed to mark the Stratofort re ss crews involvement in both exercises appeared on the Internet. It showed the exercise names, silhouettes of B-52s, the squadrons taking part and the words 'RAF Fairford.' However, during a media event at Fairford on June 10 USAF personnel said the B-52Hs were not involved in the exercises and the B-2s had never planned to take part. While deployed, the bombers came under the 2nd Air Expeditionary Group (AEG) and subordinate to that was the B-52 unit, the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS) and the 393rd EBS for the B-2s. In total 381 personnel deployed to the Gloucestershire base.

Airforces Monthly 08/2014

WITH UNITED States Navy F-18 fighters now flying over the northern part of Iraq from the USS George H W Bush and US Army AH-64D Apaches and US drones sent to the Baghdad area to protect American interests, it appears inevitable that American airpower is yet again going to be used to try and create a stable situation in Iraq. Iraq has also turned to Russia and Iran for ground attack aircraft (See Middle East News page 22). But will their efforts succeed? Given the history of military interventions in the Middle East the temptation might be to draw a negative conclusion and presume the chances of a successful outcome are close to zero. But analysis of conflicts where air power is being applied with some success suggests otherwise. In ongoing battles against similar insurgents in Yemen, Egypt and Pakistan, air power has denied them freedom to manoeuvre. Without intervention from the air the security situation in each country would be materially worse. Perhaps the question to ask is what lessons can be learned from recent application of airpower to shape its use and reduce unforeseen outcomes? The rapid advance of the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - otherwise known as ISIS - across vast tracts of Iraq has surprised many political leaders.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tanks of the World

The birth of today's modern battle tank stemmed from the darkest days of World War One when the shell torn battlefields of France were literally bogged down in a stalemate situation, with opposing forces confined to miserable conditions in dank trenches and the occasional bout of needless slaughter taking place as commanders sought to gain an advantage over each other. This standoff needed something special to break the deadlock, something that could cross the battlefield, break through the miles and miles of deadly barbed wire and cross the trenches protecting the enemy and all while taking fire from the enemy. The search for something to break the deadlock was so great that a number of unorthodox weapons were tested during the war, but ultimately it would be one machine that would take to the battlefields of France that would eventually make a difference. 1916 saw a new vehicle taking to the battlefield for the first time, a steel monster the likes of which had never been seen before and that vehicle would become one of the most feared weapons in land warfare in the decades that followed. That weapon was the 'Tank' and few weapons, let alone military vehicles have captured the imagination of the general public like the tank since.

F-35 Lightning II

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is already dominating investment in future airpower throughout the world, even before it has entered full-rate production. By mid-2013, the total US investment in the programme was close to $400 billion, with a requirement to procure 2,457 aircraft through 2037. The total life-cycle cost of the F-35 to the US Government is estimated to be in the range of $850 billion to $1.1 trillion, far greater than any other military aircraft in history. Internationa partners are looking at future force structures in which the F-35 will constitute much or a of their combat aircraft strength. Most of the air arms that will invest in F-35s have a broad range of combat experience and diverse operational needs, none of which cou d develop a fifth-generation fighter a one. The F-35 was intended from its inception to be an international programme, designed to enable the US armed services and a !y nations to carry out a range of tactical missions - primarily air-to-surface but a so air-to-air - in the face of high-performance threats, particularly surface-to-air missiles, that are likely to proliferate in the coming decades. The programme was a so aimed at addressing the continued viability of manned combat aircraft which has been threatened by rising procurement, operational and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Flypast 08/2014

Benjaminsen in HP858 found a Junkers Ju 52 off Bergen on the 18th. The tri-motor, belonging to Fliegerführer Norwegen, flying from Stavanger to Vaernes, was promptly shot down. Four days later, Finn Eriksrud and Pty Off Erling Johansen in HP860 despatched Ju 88D 'D7+BH' south of Stavanger; Uffz Magnus Mannel and his crew were killed. The CO WTO te on their return: ''It was a determined and well performed attack which led to a complete destruction of the German aircraft." On December 18 Eriksrud downed an Fw 58 near Bonilo for his third victory. His Mosquito, HP861, as hit by debris and Eriksrud was forced to ditch, he and his navigator being captured. Sub Lt Harald Jensen and Sub Lt "Iorkildsen in HP862 shot down another Ju 88D in mid-December - the first of his three victories. Wyller and Benjaminsen were successful again on December 16 during a fight with Fw 190As of 12/JG 5, shooting down Uffz Willi Surr h off Moide. Sadly this promising crew was killed near their homeland on February 23, 1944. Having shot down a Ju 88D of Westa 1 they fell victim to an Fw 190 of JG 5. Although 333 Squadron's 'B' Flight gained some successes against the Luftwaffe, its main role was anti-shipping strikes. From the spring of 1944, the unit was increasingly involved in dangerous tussles with surfaced U-boats, to which end the Mosquitos often carried depth charges.

Military Modelling Vol.44 No.8

This 120mm figure is among a number of figures sculpted by the very talented John Rosengrant and based on a selection of photos of grenadiers and panzer crew that were fighting on the Eastern Front, in Kharkov in the winter of 1943. The German army had a wide range of clothing at this time and along with sheepskin coats, winter parkas were the most commonly worn type in Kharkov, as can be seen in the accompanying reference photos on which John's figures are based. The Third Battle of Kharkov was a series of battles on the Eastern Front during World War Two, fought by German Army Group South against the Red Army, around the city of Kharkov between 19th February and 15th March 1943. The Germans knew this as the 'Donets Campaign', whereas the Soviets knew it as the 'Donbas' and 'Kharkov' operations. The German counter attack led to the destruction of around 52 Soviet divisions and the recapture of the cities of Kharkov and Belgorod. While the German Sixth Army was encircled in Stalingrad, the Red Army undertook a number of attacks against the rest of Army Group South. These reached a climax on 2nd January 1943 when the Soviets launched Operation Star and Operation Gallop, which between January and early February broke the German defences leading to the Soviet recapture of Kharkov, Belgorod, Kursk, Voroshilovgrad and Izium. However, the Russian victories caused the rest of the Soviet units involved to overstretch themselves.

Military Machines International 08/2014

As Editor of Military Machines International I sometimes have to make some really tough decisions, and a few months ago I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my long tenure as Editor of MMI. As I sit here today writing this Editorial piece it is the 6th June, a date that for millions has gone down in history as marking the D-Day Landings back in 1944, the largest amphibious and airborne assault of all time, and as we all know, 2014 marks the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, which we of course marked with our 100-Page D-Day Special last month. I would have dearly loved to be in Normandy soaking up the atmosphere of this very special commemoration, in fact up until a few months ago I was pretty much set on going, but my duty to produce the magazine had to come first because sadly print deadlines don't move for anyone and the deadline for this issue fell right in the middle of these celebrations, which when combined with a second 100-Page Tank Special I am also working on, meant I couldn't spare the time to go. It was a tough decision to make and I considered various contingencies to try and justify a visit to Normandy, but in the end the work load was suchthat I couldn't attend without risking MMI not getting out this month, and despite a belief that magazines can be printed late it is in fact a simple case of us having an allocated slot at the printers and if we miss that slot we miss that month! In the fourteen years I've been Editor of MMI that's never happened, despite computer malfunctions, illness, and severe weather, and I wasn't about to break that run, however, as an alternative we dispatched Simon Thomson, one of a fantastic team of contributors here at MMI and Simon was at the event to represent MMI and spread the word about the worlds' first monthly, all-colour military magazine.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 08/2014

Sukhoi's T-50 fighter program suffered a setback when the fifth flying prototype. Bort '055 Blue', suffered heavy damage at the M. M. Gromov Flight Research Institute airfield at Zhukovsky near Moscow on June 10. According to Sukhoi. smoke was seen above the starboard air intake on landing, before a local fire broke out. This was quickly extinguished and the manufacturer has said that the aircraft will be repaired. Sukhoi also states that the incident will not affect the timing of the T-50 test program. However, conflicting reports suggest that the prototype was actually damaged beyond repair. In one account, the T-50 was flying a demonstration for an Indian delegation before losing contact with the ground. After an engine failure warning, the pilot shut down the appropriate starboard engine, but. without communication, was forced to waggle his wings in a pass over the runway to alert the emergency services. After landing on one engine, he turned on to the nearest taxi way, and shut down the port engine. At this point the pilot noticed smoke pouring from the starboard engine, and a pool of fuel beneath the aircraft. He managed to escape unhurt. T-50-5 first flew at at Komsomolsk-on-Amur on October 27. 2013 and was delivered to Zhukovsky in November 2013. Dedicated to testing the mission avionics suite and initial weapons separation trials, it features numerous modifications to the airframe (including the moving leading-edge design) and on-board equipment. It was the first to be fitted with side-looking radar antennas and has a differently configured electro-optical suite.

Model Military International 08/2014

With the defeat of France in June 1940, production of tanks and other armoured vehicles for the French army stopped. Some vehicles were produced for use by the Germans, but in the main, French factories were used largely for maintenance and conversion of French vehicles for the German Wehrmacht. Emulating what Germany had done after the First World War, French engineers worked on technical improvements by hiding them in seemingly innocent approved projects as disparate as a trolleybus, a desert tractor for use in Africa and a tracked snow blower intended for use in Norway by the Kriegsmarine. With the liberation of much of France, including Paris, by August 1944, the French government wanted to return to its pre-war importance and felt that only by contributing to the industrial war effort directly could France regain her position as an important world power. The French wanted to re-start tank production, but ran into the problem of obsolescence - virtually all pre-war French tanks were obsolete and not suitable for use against later German designs. Looking for an area to exploit, the French decided that a heavy tank project would be the most useful with their limited capabilities, since the Allies had little that compared with the late war German tanks like the Panther and Tiger II. It was also important to keep the tank designers busy to maintain the capability to design tanks, since engineers would leave if there was no new design work.

Airfix Model World 08/2014

Now an annual fixture on the circuit, IPMS Barnet and Harrow's show at the RAF Museum, North London, continues to attract visitors in large numbers; nearly 2,000 passed through the doors this year, which is most encouraging. And there was plenty to look at, with 50 clubs and Special Interest Groups displaying stunning models, under the wings of and alongside the museum's real exhibits. As with its sister facility at Cosford, Hendon provides an atmospheric venue in which to hold a show and the variety was as eclectic as ever, with science-fiction and Gerry Anderson fans well catered for, as well as sea-going vessels and armour also bring prominent. Around 50 traders offered plenty to lighten one's bank balance - the number of show-goers who departed with bulging bags indicated a reasonably successful day in stash-enlargement exercises. Unlike a show held in one hall, Hendon is spread around so some fitness might not be a bad idea if one is to see everything; there are three halls across a corner of what was, at one time, one of London's foremost RAF airfields. The runways are long gone, now covered in housing, but this part of the former station still retains two original hangers plus a newer hall in which the Battle of Britain exhibits are housed, and its only when getting reasonably close to a real one does one realise just how big even early aircraft were, the Short Sunderland being a case point. So, that latest build project can be enhanced with up-close-and-personal references, from 'stringbag' biplanes almost up to the present day, then a visit to a friendly trader to get the extras one needs, and some equally friendly advice from any of the modellers...all of whom are always willing to chat about their, and your, project. If one hasn't been to this show before, mark it in the diary for next year.