AIR Modeller 65

MENGAIRMODELLERAPRIL/MAY2016 APRIL/MAY 2016 • £6.50 UK $15.99 65 FOXHOUND FAB B u i l d i n g A M K ’s N E W 1 : 4 8 M i G - 3...

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APRIL/MAY 2016 • £6.50 UK $15.99


APRIL / MAY 2016



B u i l d i n g A M K ’s N E W 1 : 4 8 M i G - 3 1 Fox h o u n d


Short Stirling Part Two Megas Tsonos continues his multipart 1:48 scratchbuilt project to build the British heavy bomber.


Prime-time MiG-31 Julien Hacoun gets to grips with the big MiG from AMK.


Mosquito PR.XVI Adrian Davies converts Tamiya’s seventy-second Mossie.


Mi-24A Hind Metodi Metodiev goes big on detail with Zvezda’s small-scale Hind.


Kittyhawk Paolo Portuesi’s P-40 from Hasegawa in 1:32.


Air Born New releases.


Me Bf109F2 Emmanuel Pernes shows us why Zvezda’s 1:48 109’s are such a big hit.

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art two of the Short Stirling Scratchbuild and with

work on the empennage already complete the

project picks up on the construction of the fuselage. This had been formed using fibreglass matting laid over a pre-shaped foamboard core and once the fibreglass had cured the foam core was cut out from inside the fuselage using the bom bay as a convenient entry point. Any remaining foam was disolved using Nitro thinners and taking care to avoid the noxious fumes this generated.


I carefully washed away the remaining foam core using Nitro thinner to disolve the foam, wearing a mask and doing everything outdoors.

The fuselage skin is now completed and it took less time to build than anticipated. This shows the large opening in the underside for the bomb bay.


I chose to model the Tamiya Avro Lancaster rear turret and install it on my Stirling model. Some reshaping of the rear fuselage was called for, as the turret had the same outer cupola; the rear turrets being essentially the same for Stirlings and Lancasters alike. A new rear fuselage was formed from fibreglass, which conformed to the Tamiya Lancaster turret, without altering the shape of the Stirling’s rear fuselage.


Prior to installation of the horizontal surfaces on the rear fuselage, I removed the excess plastic between the elevators. Only the plastic simulating the area between the spars was retained. This was done to allow for the detailing of the rear fuselage just ahead of the rear turret.

Above It was also a good chance to install the previously made tail surfaces on the new piece of rear fuselage. The resulting empennage could thus be made accurate enough so as to act as a jig for aligning the rest of the model, facilitating all subsequent checks. Right The horizontal stabilizers complete with elevators, were fed through the openings made in the rear fuselage and holes were drilled for the cementing of the vertical stabilizer, together with the rudder. I used small lengths of brass tube to make the pins needed for the attachment of the vertical stabilizer.

The vertical stabilizer is then secured to the fuselage.


With the aid of White Milliput I made the small fillets that existed between the tail surfaces and the rear fuselage;


More views of the fillets that blend the tail with the fuselage and showing the horzontal surfaces passing through the fuselage.

The rear end, now complete with the rear turret mounting, was measured and an equal length of the main fuselage was removed.

in the process I noticed an error in the position of the emergency exit hatch, revealed after the making of the fillets, so I recalculated the correct hatch position in relation to the starboard upper longeron, and reopened the hatch…

The rear part was pinned to the front with brass pins and cyanoacrylate glue. A minor shape correction was deemed necessary on the port sidewall...

5 ... and following the masking of the tail surfaces, the fuselage was sprayed with Mr. Surfacer 500.

I used a piece of copper sheet, to copy the interior shape of the rear fuselage, onto which I cemented a piece of thin plasticard.

The fuselage formers and stringers were drawn in pencil and simulated using Evergreen plastic strips.

...the area was painted and detailed according to drawings and contemporary photos. Only the area visible through the entrance door was actually detailed.


Following a spraying with Mr. Surfacer #1200…

Bomb Bay The construction now went ahead with the model’s “raison d’ etre”,

modeller, and the etched brass specialist behind the Stirling, the

the bomb bay structure. Being the main structural element of my Stirling model and a very complicated structure on the real

bomb bay drawings I made were turned into photo-etched parts ready to be assembled.

aeroplane, this was taken really seriously. Three longitudinal beams intersected by no less than twenty-nine lateral intercostals was the

I deviated a little from the real specifications, and made the bomb bay ceiling flat, as I calculated that the ‘kink’ would not be visible

least that could be done, for a decent appearance of this compartment. Also, the ceiling of the bomb bay (teh oppoaite side

from below after all work was done, being a mere 1/16in. deeper on the model. I retained this information though, to be used when I

of which forms the cabin floor) was not entirely flat as one might

modelled the cockpit floor. I deviated a little more, as I positioned

expect, but was angled upwards starting from the wing rear spar frame area towards the front spar frame, and then sloping

the intercostals equally along the bay although I knew that small differences in spacing do exist in any aircraft, let alone the Stirling.

downwards to meet the cockpit floor which was horizontal. In this way, the 3 degrees of wing incidence was achieved by Short Bros.,

I finished the bomb bay interior at a later stage in the build; I installed the bomb bay doors after painting and weathering the

as the wing structure was a carry-through-fuselage construction. All of this is well described in A.P. 1660A&B, Vol. 1, section 7,

model. Consequently, the how-to photos will appear after the flaps construction, towards the final installments of these articles.

chapter 1, figure 1, ‘Fuselage construction’, for the Short Stirling. With the help of Mr. Michael Skoularikos, friend and fellow

The top decking was dry fit to check the correct alignment.

Before soldering it in place, I cemented the reinforcing stringers (Evergreen 0.10x0.20 strips). The grid was assembled on a jig which offered right angles, so as to facilitate soldering. The intercostals were installed through the bottom and aligned at notches on the longitudinal beams, equally spaced.


The top decking of the bomb bay was soldered in place taking care to work fast enough to avoid any overheating which could perhaps melt and distort the plastic strips glued earlier.


The primary work came to an end with the addition of Evergreen 0.10x0.20 strips to the fuselage sidewalls and beams. These were allowed to slide in the photo-etched grooves provided for this reason, and through notches cut in the intercostals. In this way, precious time was saved to be used elsewhere in the construction.

The bomb bay primary structure was sprayed with Mr. Surfacer 1200 and was secured in its place on the fuselage with the use of CA glue. Only the rear half of the bomb bay was cemented to the fuselage as I had already planned to cut off the fuselage front section so as to install the cockpit, and of course to install the single piece wings in place when constructed. I used Milliput to sort out any discrepancies around the line of contact of the fuselage to the bomb bay. Finally, I glued two strips of thin plasticard on the outside of the sidewalls which later helped in the exterior detail scribing as the scribing of brass is unthinkable.

The fuselage was given a thorough washing with warm water and soap, and is seen hanging in the bath for drying! A little before this photo was taken, I sprayed the area affected by the installation of the bomb bay with Mr. Surfacer 500, sanded smooth and I proceeded to drilling out the windows. The window openings were made smaller at first, in order to fit properly between the frames which, in turn, corresponded exactly to the bomb bay intercostals in the case of the Stirling. When the scribing of the fuselage was done, the openings were finished to their correct size and location on the fuselage.

I marked the vertical frames in pencil on the white surface, starting from the bomb bay towards the ends. Then the horizontal panel lines were marked in

Below Following the washing, the fuselage and tail surfaces were masked and I proceeded in spraying three coats of Mr White Surfacer 1000, in preparation for the exterior surface scribing and riveting.

the same manner. The benefits of the white finish are obvious when marking out the details.


the fuselage

I used an Olfa scriber and Dymo self-adheshive plastic tape that works miracles when scribing long straight lines.

Following the scribing of the main frames and horizontal lines, I went on with the riveting that simulated the stringers, each and every one of them to be reproduced twice as the stringers that were used in the Stirling’s construction were of the “U” type. There was NO compromise here, as my models’ very own exterior appearance that would later be revealed when the Stirling was weathered, depended a lot on the accuracy of these twin rivet lines.


Finally, the riveting of the fuselage was followed by scribing the vertical panel lines which reproduced the “brick wall” effect which characterized more than anything else the Stirling’s fuselage. In the process (as a keen eye will notice looking through the photos), the rear windows were found to be out of position, and blanked off with plasticard, to be repositioned later on. Needless to say, the whole procedure took more than twenty days to be completed. But the end justified the time that was spent on the task.

The exterior detailing was applied from the rear to the front. Every finished section was sprayed over with a final coat of Mr. Surfacer 1200.

the last section to be thus treated was the nose section.

The area where the wings joined the fuselage i.e. the root airfoil, was precisely located and marked with a pencil.

A vertical line of cut was marked and a careful cut was made where the airfoil was thickest…

…and the front section was separated as was the area of the wings just behind the cutting. The project continues in the next issue




community eagerly awaited it. Timely

but like many, seeing the pictures of test

known in NATO terminology, has

released pictures and videos of the parts

shots and parts and hearing the “very easy

long been neglected by the

and fabrication process created a buzz on

to build” promise, I remembered my teen

mainstream model manufacturers,

the ‘net and when the kit reached the first

years and the impression the real deal

probably due to the lack of available

lucky modellers – myself included – the first

made on me at Le Bourget when the

information. The rare attempts to produce

in-box reviews confirmed what the

Soviet Air Force brought one in 1991.

a kit of this impressive machine mostly

manufacturer promised on its Facebook

When AMK offered to send me an early

resulted in less than passable models.


sample it was a done deal and I started to

Enter AMK; once this young and dynamic

I have to admit that the Foxhound has

build it immediately.

company started its communication about

never been very high on my “gosh, we

a new kit in 1:48 scale, the modelling

really need a decent kit of this aircraft” list,

he Foxhound, as the MiG-31 is



The parts are cleverly organized on the sprues and can be painted quickly. Here the main parts composing the gear bays and air intakes are sprayed with Tamiya Silver Leaf all together.

out of the box I intended from the start to build this kit straight out of the box to show what the modeller gets for their money. I focused on the paint job and decided to go wild as we’ll see later. For the construction sequence I followed the instructions and found them well thought-out overall. An ageing modeller can’t help but take shortcuts or do it his own way (which I did!) Quick checks showed a very high degree of precision in engineering and moulding which enabled building this big kit in subassemblies. To begin with, I sprayed the parts for the gear bays and intakes with Tamiya ‘Silver Leaf’ from a spray can. A

The completed gear bays and intake trunks. In spite of a significant number of parts, fit is perfect and the details are at the highest level the ‘advanced’ modeller could expect. The main colour here is natural metal/aluminum but large areas are treated with Lemon Yellow Primer from MR Paint range : it's a perfect mach for the protective coating used on russian aircraft. All the details are enhanced with a dark wash.

quick and easy job thanks to the way parts are grouped on the sprues. While this was drying I assembled the wings to the upper fuselage to better appreciate the size of the model: it’s a big one indeed! I used clamps to do this just to make sure the parts wouldn’t move as I put the subassembly aside to dry. Strictly speaking clamps are not necessary at all to force the parts together: I just used them as a precaution. While working on the airframe, I added the gun fairing to the side of the lower body. The main body work covers building, painting and weathering of several highly detailed internal modules, namely the landing gear bays, intake ducts and engines. The level of detail and precision of assembly of the gear bays and intake ducts is simply outstanding. AMK clearly got first hand data and was able to put it to good use. Even though these modules are made of a significant number of parts, they fit perfectly and slide right into position within the lower fuselage half. As a precaution, I would advise checking twice their perfect alignment so as to avoid any fit problem down the road while mating the intakes to the fuselage. I left aside a number of their smaller details for final assembly so as to avoid breaking them during the painting process.


The nose gear well is painted on the sprue basically with aluminum and details in yellow primer or salmon pink to replicate the corrosion control touch ups. Other details are picked up in bright green and gun metal. A dark wash is a must to enhance all the details moulded on these parts.

so far, so good Two full engines are included with simple but nicely moulded details that lend themselves very well to careful painting. Unfortunately, unless you plan to leave one of the vertical tails unassembled, cut out a large access panel from the fuselage or simply display them on a scratchbuilt dolly, they will remain mostly invisible in the end – save for the exhaust pipes. I understand that AMK has planned a more elaborate version of The belly is packed with all the engine, intake and gear bay modules. Unfortunately, the engine won't be visible on this model in the end.

their kit to display inner details such as these. Crammed with all these items, the fuselage could then be closed. As I wanted to make an aircraft with extensive metal surfaces this implied a perfect surface finish and here again the excellent fit of the parts (most of them are broken down following real panel lines) required virtually no filling and very little sanding. Moving on with subassemblies, the tail and ventral fins were assembled, partly painted and kept aside to be mated to the fuselage at a later stage. The intakes were also built and painted as individual items. Likewise, the flaps, stabilators, rudders, wing upper fences and all the landing gear doors were painted and safely stored until final assembly. The strategy here was to build and paint as many items as possible and bring them together at the end of the construction sequence just before painting the rest of the airframe. The nose section is designed as another independent module. The cockpit is a very good compromise of a limited number of parts with a high level of accuracy. The only things I would have wished for are instrument faces as decals and seatbelts in PE.

The cockpit is well engineered and a very good representation of the real thing. It only lacks instrument faces and seat harnesses. For this model the instruments were engraved with a pin and enhanced with a very light wash. A steady hand and good lighting is the weapon of choice to paint and do justice to the delicate details moulded throughout. The seatbelt issue was bypassed by adding red and white warning signs. The MiG-31 cockpits appear to be well maintained and show rather little wear. A simple dark brown wash was applied to outline the details.

This would have made the cockpit even better and saved the modeller from sourcing them elsewhere. These are minor complaints though. To paint the ‘office’ I used the excellent MR Paint Russia Turquoise Cockpit color (MRP-1) which is spot-on. Advertised by the manufacturer as an “acrylic lacquer paint” it sprays beautifully and has an excellent coverage. More on that later. The cockpit details were brush painted with Vallejo acrylics after scribing the instrument dials according to various pictures available on the net. Several washes from MIG range were used to outline them and add depth to the finish. To hide the rather naked seat pads I added red and white warning placards related to the maintenance work to be done. Once finished, the whole cockpit tub could be inserted into the one-piece nose. The clever engineering here allows the modeller to paint and weather the whole nose section even before installing the cockpit and mating the whole assembly to the fuselage: definitely modeller friendly!


factory finish

The stabilators were used as testbeds for the paint scheme. A base coat of Tamiya Silver Leaf (spray can) followed by a light coat of satin varnish and then various applications of MR Paint Lemon Grey Primer and Tamiya yellow zinchromat oversprayed with a mist of yellow primer.

The keel painted, satin coated and weathered. The small Lemon primer areas add interest to these parts.

A pin wash of Mig Deep grey Paneliner is diffused into the panel lines and riveting and immediately wiped off where necessary once dry. These ready to use products are easy and convienient to use.

With a mostly completed airframe it was time to turn to the “different” paint scheme I had in mind. Since this kit depicts a modernized variant of the Foxhound, I used this as a pretext to replicate a partly primed metal finish as can be seen on aircraft undergoing heavy maintenance / modernization work. This implies a lot of masking but

One minor modification made to the intakes was thinnning the rear lips for a more in-scale look.

this is a worthwhile and very rewarding exercise in the end.

Dealing with the composite paintjob requires mostly method and a good stock of masking tape. On the plus side it doesn't require advanced airbrushing skills. First a base coat of Silver Leaf or whatever metal coat finish is sprayed on.

After several hours of drying time selected panels are masked with Tamiya tape cut along the panel lines with a fresh scalpel blade.

MR Paint Yellow Lemon Primer is then sprayed and the masking tape removed where necessary. Tamiya metal paints in spray cans are a must for this kind of job : they have a very fine pigment and extra strong finish which stands masking very well.


First, a coat of Tamiya Silver leaf was

Nothing difficult here, it just requires

is a very good imitation of the real primer

sprayed on the whole surface to act as a

planning, care, and a fresh scalpel blade.

used by RSK MiG on its aircraft. Some

primer, or more precisely, a base coat for

The partly masked airframe was then

panels were painted with a brownish colour

the scheme. This paint is extremely strong

sprayed with various colours from the MR

and others with various shades of grey (US

and stands masking very well. I wouldn’t

Paint range. This relatively new brand has a

greys, I confess…). After unmasking,

do this with most other brands of metal

good and growing range of excellent paints

several areas such as rivet lines were

paints as they are usually more fragile.

which includes colours not commonly

sprayed freehand with the primer colours

Next, many panels were protected with

produced by other manufacturers. Beyond

while others got a mist of light grey or clear

Tamiya tape: the deep and sharp panel

the cockpit Turquoise green, the most

flat to break up the sheen of the metal

lines make the task of cutting the tape

interesting colour for this model was the


much easier than one would expect.

Lemon Grey primer color (MRP-90) which


The exhausts are painted Testor Metallizer Titanium on the inner face and dark exhaust on the outside.

They are then irregularly oversprayed with a highly thinned brownish black mix.

Scratches are then simulated with gun metal and applied with a sponge

Finally a light coat of clear flat is applied to break up the shine of these parts.

The only markings are the individual

to outline the panel lines and raised details.

the web, so I used pictures of other MiG

numbers ‘81’ (my kit sample was

Deep and medium brown washes were in

aircraft to make a plausible combination of

numbered 81) which I sourced from the

order to avoid the stark contrast a pure

colours on the model (and yes, primed

spare decal stock: the only infraction to the

black wash would have. Very light streaks

MiGs often have a bort number). Naturally,

OOTB rule I followed. Next came several

were also applied, mostly under the belly

less than three weeks after finishing, a

applications of Mig washes (how

and down the sides of the airframe to add

couple of pictures of a stripped MiG-31


a little more volume. Since the aircraft is

surfaced on Facebook showing a very

supposed to be being worked on, they

similar configuration but also a number of

were kept very faint.

differences with mine: close but no cigar.

When I painted the model, no picture of a

Oh well, I’ll live with it anyway...

MiG-31 in this condition could be found on

Painting is easier with russian missiles than with their western couter parts. The base colors is satin white, with bare-metal details on some models. The big AA-9 Amos were partially masked to spray a coat of Mig Gun Metal and was then treated with a medium grey wash as were the other two missiles. A flat coat is not necessary as these items are rather shiny in reality. Since these missiles are supposed to be dummies for loading test purpose, no stencils were applied. The pylons and rails are painted and weathered just like the rest of the airframe.



As usual, the final and somewhat time-

many aircraft they have a distinct yellow

consuming stage focused on all the

hue. Hand painting the pink filler window

details. The wheels and landing gear were

frames with a brush to make them look as

prepped and added at this point. Here too

irregular and sloppy as the real ones was

the level of details is remarkable and

somewhat disturbing, much like trying to

replicate very accurately the real gear. I

paint rough D-Day stripes on a Typhoon

chose to assemble them with no extra

without expecting nasty comments such

details to show what one gets straight out

as “too bad it’s so poorly painted”… But

of the box: very convincing items on their

that’s how they look on many MiG-31s.

own and a labour of love to clean, paint

The inner framing was painted Turquoise

and weather. Gunze H65 was used for the

green with bright green fabric padding. The

base colour of the gear legs while a Dark

only little complaint one could express

brown wash spiced up the details. The

here is the excessive thickness of this

wheels were quick and easy to build and

“inner shell” but this is a spoilt modeller

paint in comparison. The green hub was

talking here.

painted with Aeromaster Russian/USSR

Finally, the control surfaces were added

Green as it looks the most accurate to my

along with the pitot and refueling probes


while a number of surface details such as

Working on the canopy parts was rather

navigation lights, static dischargers and

involved with this kit, because they are

antennas were picked out with the

made of many parts to replicate all the

appropriate colour by brush.

inner and outer details, including the

One last word about the missiles: I chose

retractable periscope for the backseater

to put three of them for demonstration

which can be posed either folded or open.

purpose. They have one-piece bodies with

This means careful painting and

only a few added parts for the fins

weathering of many delicate parts.

depending on the model. They have a very

Thankfully they are perfectly moulded and

high level of detail but will require careful

the clear parts lend themselves well to

cleaning of the faint mould lines to do

masking with Tamiya tape. They were

them perfect justice. Although AMK

painted according to pictures of the real

provides a host of stencils, I didn’t use

ones. The glazing had a homemade coat

them because Russian captive carry/demo

of clear gloss and clear yellow since on

missiles are usually plain white.

The landing gears require a fair amount of work since they are very complicated pieces of machinery. AMK has managed to make them with a limited number of parts which nevertheless require some cleaning along the mold seam lines and careful painting.

In the end they are very impressive items that will have to be treated with care and respect given the weight of the finished model. A metal core may have been a good thing here, for once.

My MiG is complete After barely two and a half months of afterhours work, there it was: a BIG and colorful Foxhound for my collection. What should be said that hasn’t ben said already? I had never built an AMK kit before so I must say I am really impressed with this one. AMK has demonstrated a very high level of engineering and tooling on par with the best manufacturers on the market. They managed to produce a very accurate (the definitive?) model of a long overdue aircraft in 1:48 scale and the good news is they are on a roll. Earlier and “high grade” variants of this big MiG are planned and a whole family of new tool F-14 Tomcats are in the works. If the quality of this MiG is their standard, the Tomcat should be a killer. Bring it on!



Mosquito PR.XVI 680 Squadron, Foggia, Italy, 1944.

Adrian Davies converts Tamiya’s 1:72 kit


A lone Mosquito skimming the top of the Troposphere, photographing the war below, speed and altitude its only defence. For a long time I’ve wanted to model a PRU Mosquito, and with hope do it justice.

1:72nd B Mk.IV/PR Mk.IV, a solid foundation for any glass-nosed Mosquito project. The principal modification to convert this kit into a PR.XVI replica is to replace the singlestage Merlins with the beefed-up and more aggressive looking two-stage Merlins. I had a set of Paragon Models’ resin replacements but it boggles the mind that no one has released an injection moulded two-stage engine to today’s standards. From the start, I decided to attach the resin engine parts to their respective nacelle rears before attaching the whole assembly to the underside of the wing. As

I began with Tamiya’s commendable

the saying goes, I measured twice and cut once. I constantly checked the relationship between the top of the resin cowling and the top of the wing, conscious of the fact that one of the features of the two-stage cowling is that it is perfectly flat across the top when viewed in side elevation. This construction order allowed me to clean up the seam between the parts and re-scribe any lost detail with minimum difficulty. It also helped me gain easier access to the undercarriage bays to add detail. Thanks to the quality of the Paragon parts, and a little care, this was a stress-free exercise. The completed nacelles were then attached to their respective wings.

With that done, it was time to move onto the fuselage and in particular the cockpit. Here I added quite a bit of detail. I wanted to get across the cramped workspace of the Mosquito’s crew, so with styrene and a few pieces from an Eduard set designed for the Hasegawa Mosquito, I set to work. I added the prominent flares, flasks, fire-axe, wires and electrical boxes to the sides. I detailed the transmitter and receiver, and scratch-built a Gee receiver/Indicator and the crew entry door, all the time performing dry fits just to be sure that everything fitted. I painted the interior grey green and then, 21 after a wash and dry-brush, I painted details using Vallejo acrylics.

Moving along with the airframe assembly, I enjoyed Tamiya’s reputed fit and ease of construction. I filled any gaps (a fault of the modeller not the kit,) and primed it with a coat of Tamiya’s rattle can fine primer. A once-over with some fine wet and dry sandpaper and it was ready for a little more detailing. Another modification was the addition of two camera ports to the three already in the kit. I drilled these, referring to the excellent drawings provided in the Aero Detail volume on the Mosquito. The backs

of the bays were boxed in to prevent seethrough and painted black. I considered scratch building the cameras, but at this scale thought it would be a wasted effort. I’m pretty forgiving of most model companies and the errors in the kits they produce, and so I didn’t worry about the well-documented undersized tail. The law of diminishing returns would be applicable here. One omission, small as it was, did bother me - no indication of the rear spar. This is best shown as a slightly raised detail. Curiously, the kit’s designers show the front spar, but not the rear. How would I show this subtle detail? The solution came

Another detail shown in these drawings is

primer, without them looking like rows of

the lines of rivets. I am aware that the

potholes. I also added the fuel cooler

Mosquito was called the Wooden Wonder,

intake to the starboard fuselage, the rain

and the reason why. But despite its

guards to the vertical camera ports and

moniker aluminium was also used,

replaced the cockpit de-icing nozzle.

especially around the engines and radiators. These were detailed with rivets applied to the primer using an RB Productions riveting wheel, with just enough pressure to add a little texture to the


from my friend Barry Numerick, who demonstrated how to use thick decal film to show just such a detail, by using strips of decal from a sheet of Fantasy Printshop’s light grey trim film. The colour is not important, but I don’t think it would work with regular clear decal film, as this would be too thin to create the required relief. Using this technique, I also added the latches to the bomb bay doors and details around the oblique camera bay. References for these all came from Carmine Di Napoli’s drawings in Vol. 23 of the Aero Detail series.

A major part of the detailing was spent on the under carriage, an effort that I feel was warranted given how the filigree of the piping and door guards would contrast with the smooth lines of the aircraft. After removing a good portion of the kit's detail, I set about replacing it with my own

work, hoping that it would be finer and more in scale. The brake lines are from fine solder, the secondary structure of the under-carriage is from fine copper wire and a little styrene. The prominent mud guards are taken from the aforementioned Eduard etched metal set. For the door guards, I constructed a small jig that would allow me

to form four identical pieces of bent copper wire. These four pieces were then rolled around the handle of an Xacto to induce a slight curve, then applied to the kit legs. I added some secondary struts using 10 thou styrene rod. I did simplify the door guards, if only for sanity's sake, but I am pleased with the result.

From there I moved onto the painting and finishing of the model. Although it is a single colour paint scheme, a large part of this stage was taken up with masking and painting the stripes on the tail and fuselage Photos of the real aircraft and profiles show that the fuselage identification stripes were not parallel


so the stripes were masked accordingly. This looks like a mistake on the modellers' part but it is in fact accurate. Strangely all of the Mosquitoes in 680 Squadron are shown with the exact same pattern of stripes. I don’t know the reason for this. I painted in the white areas on the tail and rear fuselage. To make the white a little more harmonious I added a little Tamiya Buff. Carefully masking the tail and fuselage stripes with Nichiban tape, I sprayed a custom mix of RAF Roundel Red to the tail and flat black (again cut with a little Tamiya Buff to reduce the contrast) to the fuselage. The PRU Blue, like all my exterior colours, was a custom mix of Tamiya acrylics. To aid airbrushing, I like to mix the correct colour, add 20% Tamiya clear gloss, and then thin with Tamiya acrylic thinner to an airbrushable consistency. I feel that the 24

combination of gloss and the mild retarder in Tamiya's thinner make for a much smoother finish, and troublefree airbrushing. The final painting of the PRU blue involved painting not one but three shades of blue over the airframe, breaking up the flatness of the single colour, and adding some subtle weathering.After allowing time for the paint to dry, it was time for a gloss coat, done with an airbrushed coat of Future floor polish thinned with Tamiya Acrylic thinner. The decals came from three sources: the roundels from Xtradecals, the tail flashes and ID letter were constructed from pieces of Xtradecals' solid colour sheets. The serial number came from a sheet by Tally Ho. And finally the stencils from Barracudacals comprehensive Mosquito Stencil set, all set down nicely using Micro Sol. Once I was satisfied with the decals, the model was given a quick wipe down, and a coat of the Future/Tamiya thinner mix to seal the decals.

Once the varnish had cured, the model was given a matte coat using a mixture of Vallejo airbrush semi gloss and matte varnish, thinned with their own Airbrush cleaner. This gives a tough surface for the next stage, weathering.I started by using pin washes of various Humbrol enamels thinned with AK Interactive white spirits. I used a darker grey over the PRU Blue areas, and a medium grey over the roundels and any of the striped sections, being mindful of the contrast between the pinwashes and surrounding colours. After these coats dried, it was time for the application of dust and grime. Taking a cue from Alex Clarke, the 1:72 scale armour modeller. I used Humbrol enamels. These I applied very thinly over a surface moistened with white spirit. This has the effect of making the dust appear more organic, and also gives you a great deal of control. If you overdo an area, you can remove the excess using a clean brush

moistened with the white spirit. Foggia in late summer 1944 was a pretty dusty place, so a layer of dust was lain over all the horizontal surfaces, with a particular emphasis where the ground crew would have worked, around the engines and fuel tank filling caps. As well as the dust, some very limited paint chipping was done around the engine servicing panels, fluid leaks using AK effects, and exhaust stains using pastels. The cockpit canopy was a vac-form replacement from Paragon Models, and once trimmed to fit was a pretty straightforward affair. I dipped the canopy in Future a couple of times, and added some ten thou styrene rod to represent the roll bars under the two blown side panels. For the framing, I airbrushed some clear decal film with the interior colour and then the exterior. When dry this was sliced into very thin strips. I applied a couple of thin strips of the interior painted decal on the

inside face to show internal structure. The canopy was then carefully glued in place using white glue. When dry the exterior framing was replicated using strips of the blue painted decal film, a remarkably stress-free process which yields very sharp results. The nose glazing was modified from the kit part. As supplied, the kit nose is the early type, with a single frame running back from the top of the clear bomb aimer's panel to the front edge of the fuselage. Later Mosquitoes had this deleted, and so I sanded and polished it away. Again the glazing was dipped in Future, the frames masked with bare metal foil and painted in the exterior colour. Before attaching the glazing I added the three lines used by the navigator to frame any photos that he may be taking. For these I used heat stretched sprue, attached to the inside surface using Future.


By the time the aircraft was glazed and painted there was very little assembly to do. The first order was to install the undercarriage units and doors, and get it on its wheels. Then the entry door and a scratch built ladder. I fabricated the camera windows from disks of thin clear acetate. On the topside I added an aerial mast from


flattened brass tube and an aerial from Caenis thread. The propellers slipped on using the kit-supplied poly tubes. With that it was done.

On the whole, a most enjoyable project, and one for which I received a great deal of help and encouragement. Thanks to everyone who inspired, and advised me, especially my good friends Roy Sutherland, Dario Giuliano, Marian Holly, and the regulars on the 72nd Aircraft forum.



il Mi-24 “Hind” is a renowned attack helicopter used in many international air forces and has seen action in many

conflicts. While the ‘A’ is the first in the family of Mi-24s it’s little known and not very often seen in the world of scale modelling.

Zvezda's recent line of 1:72nd Mi-24s offer quite a lot of detail in this scale. The quality of the moulding is very good with little flash or other blemishes. The only downside to the kits, in my opinion, are the decals which show significant yellowing and do not behave well under softening solutions.




The cockpit has the basic layout well captured. Unfortunately, instruments, knobs and other controls are provided only as decals. Therefore I opted to scratch build some details.

For the instrument panel I used thin aluminium sheet sourced from infant formula milk can-top sealing. I traced the outlines of the plastic part on masking tape and then taped it to the aluminium sheet. With small drill bits I drilled where the instrument faces are supposed to be using reference photographs. When this was completed I carefully cut the outlines and put it on a cocktail-stick for painting. Next I added detail to the pilot’s side console. First I scribed some panel lines on the kit part. From the thin aluminium sheet I cut some panels, then with pin I made recesses in those panels. This way when I turned them upside down I got small button-like raised features. Other knobs and switches were created from stretched sprue ‘slices’. To replicate the map holder (with map in position) I laminated plastic sheet from a food container with some graphics on it and some clear acetate sheet. This was masked with masking tape leaving a ‘frame’ to be painted. Punched discs were added to other places of the cockpit to replicate instruments suggested by reference photos. Moving back into the rear right compartment of the cockpit there are located some sort of switch/circuit breaker panel. Here I scribed a panel line and drilled three rows of 0.2 mm holes above it. Then I inserted toothbrush bristles dabbed in CA glue. Below the panel line I glued a square from plastic card to simulate the first aid box. For the seats I made simple belts from masking tape and on the front seat back cushion I scribed some padding detail which was missing. Above the pilot’s head there are some instruments but due to the lack of visibility after assembly I decided just to paint them on adding engine shut down levers from bent copper wire. The cargo / passenger area is located behind the cockpit and is used to carry secondary armament kit or troops. For me the detail inside is sufficient so I only added lap belts made from masking tape to the seats. There were some injector pin holes which I filled although only small portions of them are visible once the fuselage halves and interior are assembled. When I started this build I decided to have all hatches and doors on the right side of the helicopter closed which determined where I added most of the interior detail. 30

I started interior painting with overall ‘Light

some brown I applied shadows in the

pictures. After a gloss clear coat, a black

Ghost Grey’ from Lifecolor. Edges and

recesses. Highlighting was made with

wash was applied followed by overall satin

raised detail were highlighted with mixture

lighter shade of the base colour.


of the base colour and white. To simulate

The inside of the canopy was masked and

To enhance the UB-32 S-5 rocket pods I

wear and chips I used both darker and

painted as well as the outside.

drilled the most forward tubes and added anti-sway braces. The 9M17 “Phalanga”

lighter grey tones. Finally to obtain dusty appearance on specific areas I gave the

Sitting on top of the cabin are the engines

rocket launchers received additional wiring

lower surfaces a rub with powdered dry

and the reduction gearbox. This

and moulded in recesses were drilled

pastel in earth colour with stiff brush.

compartment is well detailed by Zvezda.

following photographs.

In the cockpit I painted certain areas like

Here I assembled everything from the box

the instrument panel with my own mixture

and at later stage I added some wiring to

The rotors are nicely detailed and have

of emerald green with panels on the side

the left engine. The reduction gearbox

moulded-in ‘droop’, the hub has many

console painted black and drybrushed

was painted in light blue with lighter shade

small parts making a fiddly unit. I decided

with gray. To simulate the instrument

highlights. The left engine’s front part was

that the cables running from the hub to

faces I painted gloss white followed by

painted with aluminium and the rear and

the blades was enough detail to add.

semi-flat black. Then with a needle tip I

exhaust of both engines with flat black.I

Blades were painted with AK 135 "Olive

scratched through the black to reveal the

dry brushed the exhaust’s exterior with

drab light base" and faded and streaked

white suggesting markings.

Humbrol’s buffable ‘polished steel’. The

with AK 136 "Olive drab highlights”. The

In the cargo area for the ceiling padding

floor and bulkheads were painted ‘Light

rotor hub was painted in “Light ghost

and seat fabric colour I used Vallejo 70847

Ghost Grey’ and smaller details were

grey” with dark washes finally sealed with

‘Dark sand’ base coat, then mixed with

brush painted as seen in my reference

satin clear.

Outside Generally the fit is excellent with a lot of alignment and fixing points well designed by Zvezda. Nevertheless, given that the fuselage is split into four parts and the huge amount of stuff going inside extra care is needed. My advice is to dry fit and adjust until the fuselage halves close without resistance. In my case I got some minor gaps between the front and rear parts but I filled them with CA glue and after sanding all was OK. Wings are divided into lower and upper parts and the side plate separated in two halves. Assembling the wings is simple enough but alignment of the side plate to the wing is a bit tricky because the locating tabs are vague and do not help at all. The wings fit tightly into slots in the fuselage which makes their alignment much easier. After closing the fuselage I persuaded the greenhouse canopy into place. I had to remove some material from it in order to slide it under the engine intakes. Regardless of my careful work a crack in the front right side appeared when I was halfway through cementing the canopy in place. It didn’t seem to compromise the integrity so I left it as it is. The little wings on the tail have really nice semicircular locating tabs which position the wings in an angled position. For me it was too much so I straightened the position a little.


Prime time

After assembly the model was degreased alcohol and was ready for primer. For priming I used AK Interactive 177 - White primer. For this product make sure you have cleaned your model well, otherwise some beading may occur. The primer went on fine with smooth finish, important in this small scale. After allowing the primer to cure for about a day I started the riveting process. I used Trumpeter’s riveting tool for the job. When riveting, the underlying material is pushed out and upward resulting ridge around the recess. One of the advantages of riveting over primer is that this ridge is from the primer. Using rubber eraser I smoothed everything down. Some areas where in need of panel lines re-scribing and sanding. I tried to wet sand but that literally wiped the primer away, so bear this in mind.


I decided to go for the "Afgan" bird. For the belly I mixed some blue-ish grey and sprayed it on and post faded with lighter shade. To protect it from further over spray I wrapped it in Tristar masking tape. Hatches and doors that I was to eventually pose open were held in place in closed position with masking fluid to make them easily removed later. I mapped-out the camo scheme on the model with pencil. The first layer of camo was with Vallejo 70847 "Dark sand" as a base colour. Then I faded inbetween rivet lines with a lighter shade of the base colour. I masked the first camo colour with combination of Blu Tac and paper masks. The second camo colour was Vallejo 71038 "Camouflage Medium Brown" as base colour with the same process of fading applied.

I was not happy with the result after taking the masks off; edges were irregular and jagged. Instead of trying to mask again I went for freehand-airbrush feathering of the edges. It took me several passes with both colours until a satisfactory result was achieved. Lower parts of the fuselage were streaked and given a dusty appearance using powdered dry pastel. Various hatches and openings were highlighted and chipping was added with gray acrylic and fine brush. All paintwork was airbrushed with Mr. Color GX100 "Super clear III" cut with Mr. Hobby Self levelling thinner. Using AK Interaktive 2032 "Shaft grease" I washed the panel lines and added exhaust staining with mix of satin clear and black paint. Everything was sealed with MIG/AMMO "Satin clear"


Decals As mentioned earlier, the decals aren’t good so I used only the left and right insignia. I weathered them using the base colours applied by sponge.

Final assembly After I was sure that there was no more handling, masking and unmasking going on, I started attaching the various sub-assemblies. Landing gear, doors, hatches, lights, ordinance and rotors went on in their places without trouble. For antennae I Used 0.12mm fishing line glued in pre-drilled 0.2mm holes in the tail boom stabilizers and scratch built masts on the fuselage rear.

Conclusion Building this kit was a pleasure and I am happy with the final result. Now the workbench is clear for the next project… 34




he Curtiss P-40 was an American single-seat ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a development of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk. The P-40 Warhawk was used by most of the Allied powers during World War II and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter after the P-51 and P-47. The British Commonwealth and Soviet Air forces used the name ‘Tomahawk’ for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name ‘Kittyhawk’ for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.

modelled by Paolo Portuesi 38


The Hasegawa kit is as we’d expect; very well detailed with a logical assembly providing a pleasurable build helped by the clear instructions which is the usual from the Japanese manufacturer. For the wing machine guns I used the set

from Master Model (MAST-48025). This metal set represents the M2 brownings beautifully and are a worthwhile addition in this scale. Those provided by Hasegawa are softly detailed with solid muzzles so would really require a little work.

Hasegawa’s airframe detail is crisp and subtle but working from reliable reference I found for this ‘E’ version a few corrections were required with some simple filling and sanding.

The cockpit is well represented, but I preferred to use the aires set (4268) and eduard photoetched set dedicated to this kit giving much higher levels of detail. For the seat I decided to use the superb offering from Ultracast (48257) provided with British harnesses. All that was needed was careful painting starting with interior green, Gunze H 58, as was the whole cockpit. The instrument panel (Eduard Fe314) was finished in black Semi-gloss.

I replaced the exhausts with the excellent QuickBoost set (QB48041) which are moulded with hollow outlets.

Starting with a primer coat, the base colour was builtup gradually with some panel shading.

As we’d expect from a large scale kit, separate control surfaces are provided.


I decided to represent a Kittyhawk based in western desert, 450 squadron RAAF, 1942. The camouflage is standard for desert aircraft of the period, green (H73) and middle stone (H71) for upper surfaces and Azure blue for the undersides. I used Gunze acrylic colours throughout starting with the lighter colour and applying a hard edged mask with Blu Tac for the dark shade. Note the variation of tones to break-up the monotone effect which is important in this scale. Further contrast and emphasis of the detail was achieved with some dark oil paint washes with heavily diluted Black and Burnt Sienna.

Hasegawa’s canopy parts are cleanly moulded providing a crisp edge to mask to. After airbrushing the colour a black wash enhances the sharp appearance.


Generally, I do not like to use decals in 1:32 and when I can I like to paint the larger codes and markings. In this case I used the Montex set (K48155) dedicated to Kittyhawk. It is not difficult to paint the insignia and codes with these ready-cut film masks but the colour dilution and air pressure is fundamental and great care must be taken not to let the colour ‘creep’ under the masks. The strength of colour is best built very gradually in thin passes. I used Tamiya acrylics Royal blue X-3 and Red X-7 with a touch of black to tone the brightness slightly.


The advantage of painting the larger markings is that subtle variations in the tones can be applied and the panel detail remains sharp and takes a wash as the rest of the paintwork. Further weathering by airbrushing with very diluted dark brown helped blend the markings further, concentrating around panel lines and creating streaking in the direction of air-flow.

main wheels are good but not as nice as the resin parts from Ultracast I’ve used here. Some hydraulic lines were also added to the main-gear legs.

These effects are more prevalent on the pale blue undersides with particular attention payed to the MGs and engine cowl staining. The wheel wells were given some heavy dark washes which lifts the nice detail provided in the kit. The kit’s

When I was happy with the markings and weathering the final stage was to harmonize and seal the surfaces with a mix of Gunze Gloss Clear and Flat Clear in equal parts which was ‘dusted’ on in a couple of very thin coats.

The resin exhausts are finished in dark brown tones with touches of rust coloured pigments and a buff with some soft pencil graphite. The exhaust staining is airbrushed with heavily diluted black.

Some subtle paint scuffing due to crew access was added with silver pencil along the wing roots.

The oil colour washes lift the panel line and rivet detail. Exhaust staining is built-up gradually to avoid a completely opaque and unrealistic black.

The azure blue undersides lend themselves well to weathering and detail washes.


In conclusion I can only say that this is another great Hasegawa kit. The only issues I felt that needed correction were some of the panel lines, not a great amount of work by any means. The addition of the aftermarket parts was down to my personal preference, certainly improvements but not essential, this kit will build very nicely out-of-the-box.



new releases

Meng 1:72 Convair F-106A


Its been a while since we have seen any new aircraft subjects from Meng Models but this new F-106A certainly shows that they have lost none of their touch and in fact seem to have stepped up to even more impressive levels of surface detail. Fine panel line detail and ultra-crisp mouldings are shown to good advantage across all the wing access panels and the unexpected detailed avionics bays moulded into the fuselage. The cockpit is really well detailed considering the scale and the kit offers the option of early or standard instrument panels with photoetched inserts as well as two designs of ejection seat. Wheel well details have also been cleverly moulded onto the underside of the upper wings and the lower section comes with a detailed open bomb bay and a choice of open or closed doors. Missile pylons are also included to fit out the bomb bay along with a load of AIM 4-F missiles or AIR-2 nuclear rockets. The bomb bay also includes a superbly detailed

gun pod and comes with cases for the AIM-4 missiles and a trailer to carry the AIR-2 rockets. Control surfaces are moulded separately and there is also the option to model the airbrakes open or closed, not features you would normally expect in this scale. Two types of underwing drop tanks are included and there is a choice of two different canopy designs. Separate avionics bay covers can be modelled open or closed and there is also a detail radar provided should you wish to open the nose cone. Another nice touch is the inclusion of a set of crew steps on the small photoetched fret. The Cartograf decal sheet provides a choice of markings for three different aircraft with colour profiles included in the instruction booklet. This is a remarkably well detailed kit for 1:72 and the high quality of the moulding makes it one of those kits that you just want to assemble. A stunning return to the world of aircraft kits by Meng.

Meng 1:48 Messerschmitt Me 410 B-2/U2/R4 Meng first released the Me 410 back in 2012 and now they have followed up with this B-2/U2/R4 version of the attractive looking twin engine fighter bomber. The majority of the kit has been carried over from the original release as you might expect but there is a new sprue providing the additional underbelly gun pods and new belly doors in place of those for the bomber version. For anyone unfamiliar with the original kit it comes with a beautifully detailed cockpit with separately moulded side consuls and photoetched seat belts. Also noteworthy is the moulding of the radio rack in the rear cockpit, just superb! The weapons bay beneath the cockpit is also detailed with the MG 151 cannons and the separately moulded door panels mean that this can be modelled open or closed. The complex canopy design of the 410

is always a challenge for kit designers but Meng have cleverly designed these parts so that the hatch sections can be posed open or closed. The kit also comes with a pair of detailed engines and the provision to leave the cowlings off to show them off if you choose or to go to town with all the additional wiring and plumbing detail. The impressive underwing WGR rockets are included as an optional weapons load and of course all the control surfaces in the kit are moulded separately. The Cartograf printed decal sheet offers a choice of three different schemes all in two tone mottled grey with splashes of colour provided by the tail bands and code letters. The decal sheet provides tail bands, spinner spirals and 49 tail fin hakenkreuz. Four years after its first release the new 410 remains an extremely impressive and attractive kit.

new releases

Tiger Model 'Cute Planes' How about a break from rivet counting with these very cute little cartoon fighters? Beautifully packaged they click together in around half an hour being very well suited to young modellers desperate to 'help' you at the workbench. You just can't help but want to assemble and paint one of these, the detail and moulding quality is equal to modern tooling of 'serious' kits with each kit moulded in a couple of suitable colours with clear canopy parts. There's an option of self adhesive markings or traditional waterslide decals depending on the modeller's skill level. has more details on this range which has really tickled us!

Dragon 1:72 DH Vampire FB.5


Dragon / Cyberhobby have their Vampire re-listed, a kit from only a couple of years back there's some very impressive tooling and moulding as you'd expect from DML. The tricky assembly of the tail booms associated with all previous Vampire kits is almost overcome with clever slide-moulded tails which plug into the nacelles. More thoughtful design is shown by the upper and lower wings incorporating the fuselage (the upper rear section being a separate panel suggesting other versions to come?), that said, a

dry fit shows some misalignment of panel lines. The panel lines could be finer and appear spurious in places compared to images of the actual aircraft. More dubious research is obvious in the cockpit, not particularly visible but if you're looking for accuracy a resin replacement is on the cards. No less than eleven marking options are included from the mid-fifties rounding off a simple little kit which would make a nice little weekend project if you could live with the inaccuracies.

Italeri 1:72 MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon I Italeri's vintage Hercules gets another outing with some new parts to build the AFSOC special mission version. The new sprue is very nicely done with a surprising number of parts giving three different versions (called out in the instructions as A,B and C) including the uprated avionics and defence systems. While the new sprue is obviously new, the rest of the kit is really showing it's thirty-odd years of service with a typically 'old-school' appearance with raised panel lines and crude finesse in places. Some surgery is

required to the original fuselage with some tricky cutting to let the new nose into place. Cockpit and interior are pretty basic but plenty of aftermarket is available to bring things up to modern standards. Decals are new with the three versions mentioned covered, all the markings are very low-key and some great looking camo patterns offered. I'm sure a brand new tooling of the C-130 family would be most welcome by 1:72 modellers, but until then we'll have to make-do.

Musthave Models A great couple of updates here designed to improve the details on the recent 1:32 Italeri Mirage IIIC with a replacement Martin Baker Mk4 ejector seat which comes with all the seat harnesses in place so that you simply need to slap on some paint for a stunning looking cockpit. Needless to say the level of detail here is vastly superior to the kit parts making this an essential upgrade. In the same way we also have a set of replacement wheels with corrected bolt head detail on the mainwheel hubs and tire tread patterns added which are missing from the kit parts. We understand that a cockpit upgarde for the Mirage is also in the pipeline and details can be found at:

Airscale Cockpit decal sets More handy cockpit accessories from Airscale with two decal sets which are released in both 1:48 and 1:32 scales. The first set provides modern cockpit instruments with both modern dials and multi-function display panels, both illuminated and ‘dormant’ versions. The second set is devoted to modern cockpit dataplates and warning decals and also provides an assortment of hazzard striping in different sizes and colours. Obviously both sets are immensly useful for anyone wanting to upgrade a kit 51 cockpit with elements like these often overlooked and both sets come with an illustrated guide.

Luftwaffe Im Focus No.25 Published by Luftfahrtverlag Start Softback format, 49 pages, German / English text ISBN 978 3941 437272

If you’re a Luftwaffe enthusiast and haven’t come across this series you’re missing a treat. With chapters having focus on particular aircraft, personal emblems and markings, documents and technology one common theme of the series is the rare unpublished images that the authors have discovered. There’s always a stunning collection of period colour photographs and some beautiful colour profiles guaranteed to excite modellers with some in-depth research to inspire that next project. The quality of the presentation and the subjects covered make these a must for Luftwaffe modellers and historians. Excellent.

Revell 1:48 Bell AH-1W Super Cobra


A long time back-bone of the U.S. Marines attack helicopter fleet, the Super Cobra makes for a great modelling subject with some very fetching schemes and markings which is probably the reason for this Revell re-release. Originally a kit produced by Italeri in the early 1990s it's showing it's age a little now, although the moulding is still pretty crisp with only minimal flash the detail isn't as comprehensive as we'd expect from a modern tooling. The Super Cobra is certainly tooled-up and the kit provides TOW missiles,

AIM-9 Sidewinders, rocket pods and Hellfires not to mention the prominent triple barrelled 20mm cannon mounted in the chin. With only two sprues this is a pretty basic kit but certainly a solid basis for some detailing work and the bonus of some new decals offering three Marines markings from the late 1980s and early '90s. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit

Revell 1:72 Avro Shackleton AEW.2 When Revell produce something brand new they often do it in style, the case here with their new Shackleton. In their stylish new packaging it's obvious that this moulding is from the latest state-ofthe-art tooling with some beautifully fine surface detail showing fine panel lines and delicate rivets. A traditional approach is taken to the assembly starting with the interior sections, nothing too lavish but with the minimal glazing the detail should be adequate in this scale for what will be seen. A solid floor section has internal detail should you wish to display the belly doors open, a sturdy wing spar runs through the fuselage which has a separate nose section (probably for future releases of other versions) with sizeable locating tabs, good design features for alignment. After the fuselage is buttoned-up the control surfaces and tails are assembled with more lovely surface detail and all posable. The large radome is also nicely moulded as are the landing gears and

wheels, the wheel wells have some internal detail which will be adequate for most modellers and the nacelles are nicely done although minus any engine detail internally. Revell have also made a nice job of the clear glazing avoiding a heavy, over scale thickness especially with the pointed tail section. So far so good then, the decals also keep the quality theme going offering two RAF versions based at Lossiemouth. There's plenty of fine lines and stencilling to apply so care will need to be taken to avoid silvering on the dark grey finish. No doubt there will be the compare and contrast with Airfix's MR.2 version of the Shackleton but on it's own merit Revell have produced a very nice kit here indeed which has a great presence as a finished display piece as we saw at Scale Model World back in November, and as always with Revell new kits; great value. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit


new releases

Tanmodel 1:48 RF-84F Thunderflash Tanmodel have realy gone all-out to give the modeller something special with their first release in 1:48. The Turkish manufacturer have utilised the latest technology in tooling and moulding with first impressions being very favourable with some impressive detail across the grey sprues with delicate rivet detail and crisp panel lines. The clear parts are well done also with an open canopy option. With around three hundred parts this kit offers lots of options for open panels revealing avionics and photographic equipment, a nicely detailed cockpit with raised instrument detail (although no seat belts are provided), poseable ailerons, rudders flaps and air-brakes with open ducting to the turbine face- all very nicely done. The instruction booklet is very nicely produced as CAD diagrams in a clear, large format and a separate booklet in 54 full colour detailing all of the nine marking schemes on offer. A nice little surprize is included in the form of a display base of a

textured concrete stand (similar to a flexable mouse-mat material) giving us the impression that these guys are very passionate modellers themselves eager to please fellow enthusiasts. Landing gear and wheel-wells continue the quality with the tyres unusually provided as separate parts. Being a photo-recon aircraft, underwing stores are limited to a choice of rather large fuel tanks. With the wide choice of markings on offer the decal sheet is close to A4 size (along with a small sheet of corrections which is good to see) unfortunately our sample on close inspection suffers from some slight miss-register which affects a few of the versions. This shouldn’t distract from what is an all-round excellent kit with great presentation and quality, have a look on-line at to see what is in the pipe-line from Tanmodel, some exciting subjects!




48295 48298

48299 48297

Scale Aircraft Conversions SAC continue to expand their range of detailed landing gear cast in white metal to give support to the most weighty of models and the benefit of being able to tweak the position. In 1:72 is 72122 for Academy’s F-4 Phantom and 72123 for Airfix’s F4F Wildcat. Up to 1:48 we have 48295 for Kitty Hawk’s XF5U-, 48296 for Trumpeter’s Su-11 Fishpot, 48297 for AMK’s MiG-31 (as featured in this issue), 48298 is designed for Pilot Replica’s J 29F Tunnan and for Zoukei-Mura’s Ho 229 is set 48299. Only one release in 1:32 will be a nice upgrade if you’ve picked up Italeri’s Mirage IIIC, set 32102 will provide some sure footing for that big kit.


Fine Scale Model World Better known to Railway modellers, FMW produce their own range of painting and finishing products which offer good value. A sanding and finishing ‘prep-set’ offers a handy compilation of four of each 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500 grade wet and dry paper (140x58mm) and two grades of ‘Scotch’ pad, two pieces of each. Water-based primer is designed to be thinned to suit your requirements, straight from the 300ml tub this can be used as a primer/filler. Also water-based and in large 300ml tubs are a clear matt and clear gloss for brush or airbrush application. Finally some inexpensive mixing pots made from HDPE with 25ml volume, ten per pack. All available via FMW’s web site

Model Design Construction One of those products that make you wonder how we ever did without them are foam sanders. MDC do a great range of 180mm ‘sticks’ with sanding surface on both sides, the single grade ones in bright colours for easy grabbing at the workbench. ‘Mini-foamies’ are an easy to hold little pad ideal for finishing those longer joints, again with sanding surface to each side. To see MDC’s extensive range of grades (and of course their superb aftermarket upgrades) head over to


Me Bf109F-2


Emmanuel Pernes proves that Zvezda have produced a ‘109 that’s hard to beat


The cockpit is very detailled and only a few wires were added to enhance it.

A cushion is made with putty to hide an ejector pin mark. Harnesses are made with lead foil and the photo etched rudder pedals come from an Eduard set. All the elements are painted with Prince August acrylics. Some paint chipping is made with a piece of foam and a dark grey on the seat and sidewalls. Some aluminium highlights are applied to high contact areas. Some white lettering was added with a very fine brush to give life to this dark interior. The cockpit is matt varnished when complete.

The inside colour is RLM 66 (Gunze H 416). A thin coat of gloss varnish is aribrushed to aid with the washes.

Seeing this picture, the optimistic modeller would think “Great, there’s excellent detail and there are chances we'll see a BF 109 G or K too”. The pessimistic would think: “Help, this looks impossible to build”!


The upper wings have no panel lines which was disappointing. I've

The wheels are superb, so is the landing gear legs. These were

engraved some according to plans. I've riveted the kit with my

enhanced with lead wire and heated / stretched cotton bud

trusty ‘Rosie’ using masking tape to guide the round shape of the

handles to simulate the sleeves.

wheel wells.

The engine provided by Zvezda is more than nicely detailed. I've

Once painted and weathered you’d think the engine was an

only enhanced the left side of the firewall and engine because I

expensive aftermarket resin set!

wanted to only open that side of the cowling.

The assembly and fit of the parts is excellent but take time and care with the engine cowlings however you choose to display them.

The exhaust pipes come from a vector set. They're painted in black and drybrushed with various shades of rust pigments. The end of the pipes are drybrushed with dust pigments. This is what used exhausts look like, not orange!


The wheel wells are again superb, even the canvas liners in the

The rear part of the canopy exceeds the fuselage too much (even

wells are represented.

if it was the case slightly on the real ‘109). A careful sanding is necessary in this area to reduce this overhang to an acceptable level.

Then the two shades of grey are applied. A lot of subtle airbrushing is done to tone up or down the shades and give them life by adding some sand or dark grey. The RLM 02 spots are airbrushed at this point. They may be too small but can be The painting can begin. RLM 76 is applied before some panels are

enlarged after drawing the dark grey ‘squiggle’ lines.

painted with various shades of blue. At the end, a diluted coat of RLM 76 is airbrushed to reduce the contrasts.

This is why I feel it’s worth riveting a model. When you micromesh the surfaces, the riveting reappears, simulating a subtle wear and


The dark grey ‘lizzard’ lines are the main challenge with this

tear. Micromeshing allows to fade our lizard lines in the same way.

scheme, the dilution of the paint is critical as the dark colour

Some chipping is made with a piece of foam dipped in RLM 76

needs to show in one pass of the airbrush.

where the pilot would climb into his cockpit.

The markings I chose are from a ‘Lifelike’ decals sheet. It's a F2

The underside of a ‘109 was often very dirty. The oil streaks are

flown by the oberleutnant Hans Philip, staffel Kapitan du IV/JG 54

drawn with an airbrushed black-brown mix. Then, some thin

based in Staraja, Russia in october 1941.

streaks are painted with a thin brush and sepia ink.

A technique often used by armour modellers is to apply tiny dots of various coloured oil paints and subsequently blend them with a soft brush creating very subtle shifts of colour tones across the surfaces.

This technique works especially well over the decals, harmonising them with the paintwork. The exhaust stains were airbrushed with a highly diluted mix of black and brown. The wear and dirt along the wing roots are simulated with dust and earth pigments. Now I was at the satisfying point of removing the masking from the cockpit and engine bay ready for the final fitting of the cowl, spinner and landing gear.


So Zvezda’s Bf109 is hard to fault. With a highly detailed cockpit and engine the kit produces a beautiful replica from the box at very little cost, what more could you want?




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