AIR Modeller 68


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OCT/NOV 2016 • £6.50 UK $15.99





Tamiya Tomcat The Editor scrambles to build a pre-release of Tamiya’s brand new kit.


Short Sterling Part 5 Megas Tsonos continues to scratchbuild the heavy bomber in 1:48.


PE-2 Didier Goujon and Marc Guerrero join forces to build the beautiful Zvezda kit.


Super-detailed B-25 Luis Mira Gómez shares the story of his magnificent Mitchell bomber.


Air Born New releases.


Dornier Do 215B5 Paolo Portuesi paints it black.

Meng AIR Modeller is published Bimonthly by AFV Modeller ltd Old Stables East Moor Stannington Northumberland NE61 6ES Tel: 01670 823648 Fax: 01670 820274 email: [email protected] Editor and Designer: David Parker Deputy Editor: Mark Neville Sales Director: Keith Smith

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Meng AIR Modeller welcomes contributions from interested parties, but cannot accept any responsibility for unsolicited material. The contents of this publication including all articles, drawings and photographs originated by AFV Modeller ltd become the publishers copyright under copyright law. Reproduction in any form requires the written consent of the publisher. Whilst every care is taken to avoid mistakes AFV

ISSN 2059-5964

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Modelled by David Parker



When a plain white box arrived at the AIR Modeller office we were delighted to discover that it contained a pre-production sample of the latest addition to Tamiya’s range of 1:48 aircraft kits, the F-14a Tomcat. As an advanced sample it came with a photocopied instruction sheet with a few captions waiting to be added and a marking guide that will probably be printed in colour, but was black and white. The two decal sheets, one for the markings and one for the numerous stencils were supplied but had yet have a key-cut carrier film so each was one huge decal! The canopy masks that will be included were also just a photocopy at the moment. What was immediately evident was the high quality moulding of the plastic parts just as you would expect from Tamiya’s designers. The fuselage has been broken down into several sections with the nose, along with the cockpit, as a stand-alone assembly. The lower fuselage without the intakes is another individual part whereas the upper section is moulded in two parts split roughly along the line of the wing trailing edge. Clever splits are the essence of this kit but lets see how well they assemble!


Work begins with the cockpit, normally the sort of detailed area that has the modeller reaching for an aftermarket replacement but in this case the level of detail is really very good. The various consols with the myriad of switches are all moulded individually and they locate with absolute precision onto the cockpit tub, no need whatsoever for any filler. The side wall panels are also separate and these can be painted before they are fitted as their steep overhang would make this extremely difficult when in position. The kit directs you to assemble the pilots’ seats and optional crew figures towards the end of the build so I followed their direction. I painted the cockpit using acrylics and I applied the assorted scope screens supplied on the kit decal sheet, having to trim out each one to fit from the solid decal sheet. I applied a very light wash to imply some age without much dirt as befits a carrier-based aircraft. The cockpit tub locates onto the nose wheel bay with a couple of big chunky pins. This bay is reasonably detailed within the limits of what can be moulded but obsessive detailers will probably want to add more. Before fitting the cockpit nose bay assembly the optional open or closed refuelling probe has to be fitted into the nose. The precision fit makes this a simple procedure. There are then several pegs to align the cockpit correctly within the two halves of the nose.

Big pin fixings make for a simple and positive location for the assembled cockpit within the nose.

Just look at the exact fit of the refuelling probe cover in the fuselage. The probe can also be modelled in the deployed position if desired.


The two parts of the upper fuselage are connected with these small tabs. I found it necessary to adjust the fit of these tabs in order to improve the overall alignment of the parts which was a surprise given the excellent fit across the rest of the kit. The variable sweep wing mechanism is assembled using a number of screws to fix the mechanism and you can see the wing ‘tabs’ onto which the assembled wings slide which is another clever piece of design.

Assembly now moves on to the large rear section of the fuselage with its single piece lower half and two part upper half. Why the upper part is split is not clear and the joint area is extremely visible. Some adjustment was needed to obtain the invisible join that was required. Tamiya evidently has plans for other Tomcats as the modeller is required to cut away a small section of the fuselage to accommodate the engine exhausts. The pair of intakes are cleverly moulded so that is possible to assemble and paint the interior of the intakes prior to adding them to the fuselage. The precision of the design means that the intakes will then clip into position with hardly any visible gaps!

Once adjusted and glued some very slight sanding and engraving of the joint seam was needed to achive a fit that matched the rest of the upper fuselage.

Small fillets are trimmed away from top and bottom fuselage mouldings to accommodate the exhaust nozzles.

The lip of the jet intake is moulded separately and fits exactly!


The jet intakes interiors are sprayed white before they are masked and the exterior grey FS16440 is sprayed over the front sections.

The intakes fit so accurately that once clipped in position a minimal pass over the joints with Mr Cement S is all that is required!

It is the same story with the interconnection of the nose assembly and the rest of the fuselage. The nose has a substantial collar which slides into the fuselage, the two parts marrying up and aligning with such a satisfying precision that you will enjoy repeating it again and again and even showing your friends and family! It really is that good! A touch of Mr Cement S and drop in the remaining fuselage panels, which are again precision fits, and your fuselage is complete. A word about the wings now. All the control surfaces are moulded in place on the kit, a feature that has generated considerable angst from Across the kit part numbers are moulded in where it is helpful to differentiate identical parts, another thoughtful touch.

The Tomcat shows just how good a precision kit can be most especially with the intersection of the nose and fuselage. It is rare to assemble a kit where filler is not obligatory and such a pleasure!


those who want dropped flaps come what may. Whatever your opinion about this there is no denying the satisfaction of simply gluing the two part wings together and moving on!

The fit of the canopies is also very good, I primed mine with Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black.

The centreline moulding seam on the canopy has to be removed and it always feels wrong to introduce an abrasive to the beautiful moulding!

Base colours applied this shows the breakdown of the parts for the painting.

Fine abrasive sanding sponges restore the shine which is completed with Mr Hobby Fine polishing compound.

The Furrball Aero-Design decals were applied directly onto the gloss finish paint where the performed beautifully.

The design of the kit allows for the wings elevators and tail fins to be left separate which is a big help during painting. Before fitting the windscreen I had to apply the blue tint to the centre panel. This simple procedure proved to be anything but simple and I had to spray, clean and repeat about thirty times before I obtained a good clear tint inside the glazing, much to my frustration! With the canopies masked I could move on to the paint. I used Mr Hobby H315 ‘Gray’ FS16440. This was thinned with Mr Hobby Blue label thinners and dries with a gloss finish. I really dislike gloss finishes but this dried quickly and without any tackiness. Rather than using the kit decals which would need to be individually trimmed out I ordered Furball Aero-Design decals 48-021 which provides seven different Tomcat schemes and using the VF-111 ‘Sundowners’ scheme.

Above The precision panel lines really come into their own when an oil wash is applied to define them. The gloss finish paint is a great help in this procedure. Once the panel lines had been defined I began to add some subtle streaks and stains, again using oil paint to achieve this.

The high visibility scheme Tomcats seem to have been relatively clean although I did find a photo showing one in flight with quite a grubby underside, something I tried to replicate.


Once completed the wing slides onto the internal tab with the notch in the wing mating with a matching section of the tab. A dab of glue here is enough to lock them in place. The kit allows you model the wings fully open or fully swept and comes with two sets of the dark grey panels for each scenario. The sealing plates that overlap the wing (parts B23 & B24) have a block which locates them into the grey panels. I found it best to shave this off to obtain an easier fit of the sealing plates.


The exhaust nozzles were painted in a variety of Alclad colours over a primer coat of Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black. Colour variations and details were then added using Vallejo Metal Color. The grey metal areas were also given a

thin grey acrylic wash to tone down their metallic sheen creating a dull finish. Finally a dark oil wash was applied to pick out all the engraved line details.

With the weathering completed I sealed the aircraft with a satin varnish which I thought was a more suitable scale finish than the high gloss. The exhaust nozzles offer a choice of open or closed down nozzles and just like the rest of the kit the fit of these into the fuselage is so good that they can be painted separately and then fitted without the need for fillers. The undercarriage looks very effective straight from the box but the tires are unweighted so I added some very slight sanded flat spots to them. The unavoidable tedium of brush painting the red edges around all the undercarriage doors passed pleasingly trouble-free and both doors and undercarriage were given an oil wash to pick out their details.

The kit supplies Sidewinder, Sparrow and Phoenix missiles with a choice of three different loading configurations. All the missiles are multi-part but assemble very cleanly as this dry fitted panel on the Phoenix demonstrates. I

had to use the kit stencils to apply the markings to the missiles which was a less than happy experience simply because I had to trim out each individual marking with my scalpel.

In my only departure from the standard kit I modified the pose of the back seat radar intercept officer so that he is holding his favourite modelling magazine! The Pilot figures are really nicely sculpted and the Sundowners

visor covers add a welcome splash of colour into the cockpit. I used the Furrball decals on the crew seats in preference to the kit ones.


Building this kit in a rush is probably not the best way to savour all of its features but the very fact that it does assemble so smoothly was at the same time a great help in the process. Without doubt the level of surface detail is a match for the finest on the market and without the addition of resin parts it is hard to imagine that this could be improved upon. Fixed control surfaces were another aid in my frenzied build but I appreciate that many modellers would have preferred the added flexibility these would allow and no doubt time will see aftermarket conversions to permit this. That said I doubt many would deny that this builds into fine looking replica of the Tomcat. A kit that deserves to be savoured and one that will prove extremely popular.




In Part Five work continues around the wheelbays with detailing the wheel well bomb cells and adding the assorted complex control lines and pipework which runs along the front of the bomb cells. With this complete the focus moves to construction of the stand alone nose section with gun turret and fully detailed interior. This was followed by work on construction of the fully detailed flight deck and cockpit.


During the construction of the main undercarriage, the detailing of the wheel well and bomb cells interior was carried out. The main structure seen inside the bomb cells were the six hardpoints on which the bomb carriers were secured. Their shape was established from contemporary drawings and I deduced their dimensions by the number of stringers hidden by them and the maximum space a bomb needed (in 1:48) to be stowed plus the opening and closing of the doors of each cell. Some technical guesswork is always needed to get around small snags such as these! I made the drawings and Michael Skoularikos proceeded with the etched brass work. The hardpoints were folded and soldered then painted in black (very dark grey actually) as the rest of the compartment and installed with CA glue.

At a later point in the assembly of the model and along the construction of the hardpoints in the bomb bay, the bomb carrier hooks seen in this photo were modelled and installed in position on the wing cell hardpoints.


The entire engine controls as well as fuel lines and cabin hot air supply was located behind the front spar frame. I used copper wire to simulate the engine exactor hydraulic controls, six on each side, three per engine.

Finally, I stretched nylon thread immediately behind the spar frame, so as to indicate the control cables (seen within the green ovals) which run to the cowl flaps, carburetor heating, oil coolers etc.

In front of them, hydraulic and fuel lines, were simulated by lengths of metal tubing and soldering wire.

Situated immediately behind the front spar frame was the cabin air heating control system. In the cutaway drawn by J.H. Clark and appeared in The Aeroplane issue of February 27, 1942, the heating system was so clearly illustrated that I only had to add the paint! I used two pieces of styrene tube which I turned to insulation blankets and painted them in a yellow colour, dirty enough as expected to be in this area. The Gallay heat exchangers are two blocks of styrene, over which a box (photo-etched spare) was folded, and left unpainted. The rest of the hoses is soldering wire detailed to show the insulation (different this time) applied over the hot air hoses which lead to the fuselage.

Seen in installed condition on the finished model the interior looks extremely complicated as is the case with large aircraft.


Last but not least, the inwards opening bomb cell doors. The shape of the doors was dictated by the spar frames which were not parallel and were converging towards the wingtips. Thus, all twelve doors were of slightly different dimensions and of course, handed.

I made a drawing of the doors on a piece of sheet styrene, and numbered them after their specific position. Then I detailed them using thin styrene for the stiffeners and Edward photo-etched rivet strips. Using a brand new No.11 blade I removed

each door from the styrene sheet and painted them in matt scale black (actually black grey). I glued the doors in place along with the visible portions of an unbelievably complicated system of chains, sprockets and rods used to operate every

The Fuselage Front Section and Cockpit

for the making of correct sized door openings, bulkheads, tables

Once the fuselage was cut so as to enable the wings to be

and steps leading to lower or upper compartments. Having a 1:48

inserted in place as one piece, the opportunity arises for the front

figure on hand is helpful for measurements inside a cockpit; using

fuselage to be dealt with as a separate item. Having an empty

thin styrene for the bulkheads can save floor space. In this way I

shell at hand aided in determining exactly the dimensions of the

avoided the common trap most of us modellers usually fall in, not

floor, sidewalls, doors and steps as well as sizes of the interior

to mention the grossly oversized interior detail sets sometimes

details such as the navigator table, all seats, instrument panel etc.

seen in the market which, when

A thing one has to remember when dealing with interior spacing in

modelled allow just enough

large aircraft and bombers in particular is that no matter how

space for a scale monkey

crammed the fuselage could be with equipment installed, the

to move around!

crew had to move (and DID move) freely and quickly in spite of the bulky clothes aircrews wore on operations. Even by wartime standards, when a crew station was declared as “cramped”, this was always in relation to a more spacious interior in another plane. In most aeroplanes (exceptions notwithstanding) there was usually enough space for an average 20-year old crewman to work and the Stirling had ample space inside the front fuselage for a man of average size to stand upright under the cockpit canopy. With the above introduction, I stress the need for an interior to be detailed in such a way so as to look full of equipment and EMPTY at the same time. The easiest way to approach the matter is to make every 14

six of them simultaneously, via an actuator fitted on the inner sides of each wheel well. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to be able omit the chains and sprockets which were out of view.

interior detail a little smaller than 1:48, thus allowing


Although the Nash and Thomson Type FN5 turret was common equipment on Stirling, Wellington, Manchester and Lancaster bombers, and the turret mechanism and the chassis were the same, the aerodynamic transparencies were not. Slight differences existed, the most prominent as regards the Stirling being the absence of framing on the sides of the cupola. The fuselage nose section (or section ‘A’ of the real aeroplane) was removed from the front fuselage section and another was modelled to the exact shape for the Stirling. The new nose section as we will soon see, was made of styrene

around the front turret, which is the major component installed. The two options I had were to use either the Tamiya Lancaster turret or the Trumpeter Wellington one. The photo clearly illustrates how different the modelmakers approach was for a given shape ( the Nash and Thompson turret) and not an aircraft manufacturer’s design (Avro, Shorts or Vickers). I chose to work the Trumpeter transparency for one main reason. I could simply reduce it in size by sanding, whilst eliminating its grossly oversized framing, thus making it more transparent.

I assembled the turret around the resin chassis base included in Pavla Models’ upgrading set for the Wellington Type FN5 nose turret. This gave the transparency the rigidity needed to withstand the sanding. Every exterior detail was sanded down and I went further on this knowing that the super thick Trumpeter transparency could be thus shaped to the correct shape of the Type FN5 cupola. I proceeded with the finer sanding using the Micromesh finishing set of fine abrasives. The procedure was finished with the application of Microgloss liquid abrasive, which brought the transparency to

its former clarity. The Pavla Models chassis base was removed and I started the detailing of the turret interior. The real turret gun mechanism and its associated machinery were located immediately under the cupola. To simulate this, I started the turret detailing from scratch, putting every detail as close to the transparency as possible. I made limited use of the Pavla detail set, as it was found to be somewhat under scaled, and not large enough to be attached immediately underneath the transparency.

One asset gained from the positioning of the details closest to the transparency was the limiting of the severe diffraction (caused by the bad moulding of the Trumpeter turret clear parts) to an acceptable level. The turret upper arch was fitted to the turret dome as well as the rest of details which are situated in the upper part of the turret. The turret seat, the controls and ammunition boxes were installed not on the turret but in the nose section as we shall soon see.

The section ‘A’ of the model was made in the same manner as the real one, and I only adapted the assembly so as to fit the nose turret circular base and height. The turret base circle was marked with pencil and dividers; the disk marked was later removed.


I included a brass rod in the interior to reinforce the nose section. This was later concealed as the nose turret main transverse beam which was there in the real thing.

The turret bowl was dry fit and discrepancies were corrected.

…whilst the interior was airbrushed with a 50/50 mix of Xtracolor X10 Matt Aircraft Interior Grey/Green and Humbrol 120.


Two slight bulges made of Milliput were modelled immediately aft of the turret on each side; the top fairing made at the same time was blended in, to give the nose section its final shape.

The nose section of the model was detailed with stringers made from Evergreen strips.

The turret was inserted and glued and the shape of the area below its base was sanded to conform.

Now it was time for the details of the nose turret to be added. The ammo boxes were installed as well as…

The exterior was sprayed with a coat of Hycote ‘high build’ primer filler spray putty…

In this photo, the painted interior as well as the windows framework of the bomb aimers’ compartment can be seen.

…the front gunner’s seat, and seatbelts.

The transparent panels were installed and…

…I modelled the numerous details which comprised the nose section interior i.e. flood lights, bomb selector panels, just to name a few. The jewel in the crown was the CSBS Mk.IX bombsight. Seen here unpainted, and measuring less than ½”, it was cemented in place…

…shortly before the bomb aimer’s main window.

The full complement of details can now be seen. The parachute stowage and Graviner fire extinguisher dominate the port side.


On the starboard side, the compartment heating hose and outlet as well as the bomb selector panel and the hydraulic system filter for the front turret are the major components.

With only the two side frames missing, which were only painted on later, the completed nose section…

It must be noted that the first production Stirlings (as is the model I constructed) differed a lot in equipment installed in relation to later production machines. One has to be extra cautious when interpreting contemporary images as there is always a danger of detailing something entirely different internally than the mark of model actually built.

… was sprayed with a last layer of Hycote, then all windows masked again

A layer of Milliput was applied over the frames to make them level with the section’s skin and eliminate as many blemishes as possible.


I turned my attention to the most intricate cockpit I ever constructed from scratch. I approached the subject with the thought that every part of the cockpit which was to be painted in interior green could be modelled in a single assembly and painted. Then it could be detailed to any extend I liked, with different components being painted separately before installation. The cockpit was made exclusively of thin sheet styrene sheet, with some photo-etched details here and there, just to stand out when drybrushing later.

The rack, on which the anti-icing glycol tank was bolted, was made of a perforated photo etched brass spare part and on the flight deck, the framework which supported the seats as well as the rudder pedals were included in the assembly.

Seen from above, the attention-getter is the Archer Fine Transfers rivet detailing. As the cockpit floor is the bomb bay compartment ceiling at the same time, the longitudinal beams clearly dictated the number of rivet lines I

should use, simply by looking at the figures of the Stirling manual (A.P.1660A&B, Vol. I, Section 7, Chapter 1, Fig. 2, ‘Fuselage Bomb Cell Doors).


Beneath the flight deck and below the second pilot are seen the dinghy stowage for the bomb aimer and the locations of the compressed air bottles for the wheel brakes.

On the port side below the pilot, the auto pilot servo motors locations can be seen, while under the flight deck floor, the rudder pedal rods and bellcranks, as well as the control columns lower parts can be discerned.

As in the case with the nose section, the cockpit assembly was painted with the same 50/50 mix of Xtracolor X10 aircraft interior grey-green and Humbrol 120, which is the same colour, only a shade lighter.


I weathered the flight deck outermost panels with a brown colour as they seemed to be made of wood, according to the research done on the subject. A gentle drybrushing with white artist’s oil highlighted the details all around the assembly. The same procedure was followed under the flight deck floor; small details were attended to at this point. Seen from above, the scuffing of the cockpit floor caused by the boots worn by the airmen added to the realism of the cockpit floor.

The time for the small details has arrived, the flare pistol being one of the smallest!

The R1155 receiver was sometimes duplicated over the navigator’s table, and here was a chance for me to include it in the cockpit detailing as the radio operator’s compartment was not visible in the model. The receiver front face came from the Flightpath photo-etched upgrade set for the Tamiya Lancaster; its detailing was enhanced by the three cables which connected the set to the

Type 3 DF loop, the T1154 transmitter, and the indicators on the navigator’s station. The finished receiver was painted black, installed in place and was NOT weathered as it was a very carefully handled piece of equipment. Above The finished navigator’s table complete with the obligatory plotter, the intercommunication plug and the oxygen supply hose. The cabin heating hose running along the starboard sidewall was included in the assembly to leave the fuselage free for the interior green painting. In the background, the compressed air bottles can be discerned. Two spare bombs were used as the basis for their construction.

Seen from the port quarter this photo reveals the autopilot servo motors below the pilot’s seat, in place. Thin stretched sprue simulated the electrical cable bundles; sprue is also used for the cables which connected the autopilot servo motors to the flight controls (seen painted in stainless steel colour).

The project continues in the next issue



Zvezda 1:48



The PE 2 was an elegant but also very effective aircraft. It was used throughout the whole Russian conflict, and it is fitting that Russian kit manufacturer Zvezda have released this superbly detailed new 1:48 scale kit model kit with 435 parts. We discovered that the model can be easily built despite the very detailed interior and high number of parts. The kit also offers the possibility of building the kit with one of the detailed Klimov engines exposed, something of a treat in this scale. The assembly begins with putting together the engine parts on their support. Then, the assembly of the wings with the engine nacelle follows. We have been really impressed by the quality of the injection moulded parts of the Klimov engine which stands comparison against a resin aftermarket example.


The kit provides the kind of detail usually expected only in bigger scales and certainly deserves careful assembly and painting.

We built and painted the large number of parts that make up the cockpit, rear deck, radio, and turret, which is extremely time-consuming. Concerning the colours used inside the fuselage, we followed the really clear colour guide provided in the Zvezda instructions. The bomb bay is perfectly reproduced and can be loaded up with a set of four finely detailed bombs. Two beautiful crew figures are also provided in the kit if you want to crew the bomber. With the interior painted we can easily close both parts of the fuselage taking great care not to damage the beautiful rivets that cover all the external surfaces of the model. You will have to pay attention to the join of 24

lower surfaces where there is very minimal room for adjustment.

The crew seats are introduced along with seatbelts and fitted into the fusleage. The plug in bomb bay features integral wing spars making for a good solid assembly.


With the fuselage joined the rest of the aircraft quickly comes together. The excellent surface detail can be clearly seen here.


Work starts on the camouflage with the base colours applied.

Panel lines and rivets are shaded using the airbrush in preparation for weathering the camouflage colours.

Another thin coat of the base colours over the shading produces this effect.

Grains of salt are then laid over the upper surfaces as the camouflage tones are lightened slightly to give the mottled effect on the left wing when the salt is removed.

The panel lines are very finely moulded, which is good but means

We chose one of the kit markings: “The 34th Guards Red Banner

that you have to take extreme care when sanding down the joint

Regiment, 276 Bomb Group”, and decided to also take the

seams in order no to damage or erase them completely.

challenge of adding a temporary Winter white wash camouflage.

We glued the stabiliser in place and put the elevators dropped

The base camouflage colours were applied traditionally according

down. The material used by Zvezda to mould the clear parts of

to the kit instructions. We started with a pre-shade in dark blue

the kit is more flexible and less brittle than most clear parts, but

Tamiya XF 17. Then we painted the underside in overall XF23 that

the benefitted from being polished to improve their clarity and

we improved by varying the colour tones in order to make the

they were dipped in Kleer as well.

model more realistic. For the top surfaces, we used brown, XF52

The kit decals with the large fuselage slogan are applied.

A coat of hairspray is applied over the upper surfaces and paper masks are cut in preparation for the Winter camouflage.

White Tamiya acrylic paint is applied over the masks and warm water is then used to soften the white paint and scrub it away creating a worn finish to the white camouflage.

and XF59, the green XF58, and green XF58 with a little bit of grey XF24. Grains of salt were used to temporarily mask the upper camouflage while the camouflage colour tones were lightened to give a mottled finish to the camouflage colours. A Tamiya varnish was applied over the camouflage to seal it. To create the winter distemper, we sprayed a coat of hair spray all over the camouflage. After drying, we put a thin coating in white TAMIYA XF2. After 10 minutes,


Engine vents are picked out with a fine brush and the exhaust stains are applied across the wings using a mix of tones.

we soaked small areas with water. We ‘tapped’ with a little brush and a hard bristle paintbrush on which we had shortened the bristles so that we could remove small areas of white paint. These are easily removed because of the hair spray beneath which dissolves with warm water. We then treated bigger areas depending on the desired finish. Our scene represents a PE-2 in maintenance towards the end of Winter. We used a diorama base in resin by Must-have-models in order to represent a hardstanding made with planks on a ground that is thawing. The piece in resin is glued on a wooden base. It is painted in beige XF59 as base colour. We applied several filters in different colours to make the wooden shades show various tones. We spread static grass around for the meadow and transparent resin is used to create wet puddles. Two pine trees by Busch are placed in the background to create the impression of a forest edge. For a look of late winter, we spread a little Scenic Snow on several spots to finish the scene. 28






•Italeri Kit •Vector Engines •AIRES Cockpit 4097 •Verlinden Detail 1574 •Verlinden Detail 1580 •RB Productions 48AB01 •True Wheels details 48019 •Eduard EX134 mask •Eduard Photoetch 48325


BACK TO THE BONES The kit used is the B-25D from Italeri in

Nationals (Scale Model World 2012) in the

a smooth finish using filler where

1:48 (it is the same tooling as the Accurate

category of ‘superdetailed 1:48 and larger.’

necessary. Once I’d decided on the outer skin panels I

Miniatures vintage kit) The kit is typical of


it’s age, sparse interior detail but good for

Within the library of reference collected I

wanted to remove they were outlined in

the overall proportions and shape. The

found images of aircraft maintenance

pencil and edged with masking tape to

engine cowls are the main issue which I’ll

where panels were replaced due to

protect the surrounding areas from

come to later. As my planned project was

combat damage. I decided from the outset

damage. The panels were very carefully

to be as super-detailed as possible much

to try and replicate this feature which

cut with a Dremel motor tool and fine

of my time was spent gathering accurate

would of course require some major

cutting wheel and the edges finished by

and clear reference. These photos and

surgery to the kit.

filing and fine sanding.

drawings would give the final touches of

The first step was to completely remove

realism to the finished display. The model

the kit’s internal fuselage relief detail.

was awarded a Gold Medal and the

Starting with 400 grade sanding sheet I

Bomber Command trophy at the UK IPMS

worked progressively through the grades to

The edges of the panels had to represent a

bay with evergreen the task of creating all

scale thickness making this an arduous

of the internal framework began starting

task. The final sanding with 800 grade

with the transverse spars which required

paper (used wet) was finished by brushing

much measuring and dry-fits to ensure they

the plastic with Tamiya Extra Fine Cement

matched perfectly once the fuselage was

(green cap). All of the panels I removed

closed. As you can see, there are hundreds

were replicated in foil sheet to be placed

of separate pieces of Evergreen strip

on the base as part of my final display.

resulting in many hours of work!

After reconstructing the walls of the bomb

All of the components of the fuselage laid bare. Remember there are no wing, tail, landing gear or engine parts here!




Now the detailing of the various

area I vac-formed thin acetate using the

green for shadows and yellow added for

components could start. Working from my

original kit parts as a former with very

the highlights. Highlights were picked-out

references, the usual Evergreen profiles,

worthwhile results.

with the ancient technique of dry brushing

rods and sheet were utilised with clear

I nice detail to focus on in the completed

which, to my taste, although not the

acetate and many Verlinden parts such as

display is the life raft, the bright yellow

fashion at the moment, the results are very

the machine guns, ammo boxes, bomb

adding a touch of colour. This detail was

pleasing and enhance the detail well in the

viewer and parts of the access tunnel. In

again scratch built.

cramped interior. All details are painted

the area behind the tunnel I placed some

Next I went back to the bomb bay to add

with Vallejo acrylic by brush and given

counterweights with steel nails avoiding the

all of the detail to the bare walls I’d made

some oil paint washes around shadowed

dreaded ‘tail sitter’ on completion .

from plastic card. Parts from the kit and


The cockpit area is detailed with Aires resin

Eduard photoetch were used.

The B-25 obviously had interior lighting for

resin and photo-etched parts. To show all

Both the ventral and dorsal machine gun

the crew, as I’d done so much work on the

of this to full effect I decided to open the

areas were detailed with diamond pattern

interior I’d planned my own LED versions to

sliding window on the left, scratchbuilt with

fire-proof sheeting replicated by scribing

be incorporated allowing the viewer a

acetate sheet. The door to the cockpit is

foil sheet. The radio equipment, the axe,

better chance of appreciating all of my

made completely from styrene sheet,

fire extinguisher, bulkhead detail, container

efforts! The ‘bulbs’ are very small indeed

again, working closely with my reference to

boxes, floor, entry hatch, toilet and other

and the wiring fine enough to be hidden


interior accessories are all made from

from view, it exits through the main landing

Behind the cockpit is the Navigator’s post

scratch. Along with some added resin

gear leg and through the wheel and into

which again, started with the Aires resin

parts they provide a fairly complete and

the base. This is in turn attached to a

parts to which I added many scratchbuilt

realistic interior.

toggle switch on the display base and

parts to give greater realism (compass

Painting of the entire interior is with

provides a novel touch to the model when

star, lamps, radios, compass, maps etc.)

American Interior Green with light and

displayed at shows.

For a better replica of the windows in this

shadow airbrushed by adding black to the


FULL BODY MASSAGE A final major piece of work on the fuselage

time to close the fuselage, as I expected

was the nose glazing which required some

there was a little filling to do. Lechler

dry-fits and filling before riveting the frame,

At the bottom of the right wing I decided to

automotive filler is my chosen putty; it has

re-adjusting and a full polish with the

open the bay where a fuel tank is housed, I

good properties for modelling with plastic

Dremel motor tool.

reproduced the entire interior, lid, reservoir,

being quick drying and very easily sanded

Various lamps were punched from

belts and pipes, all from scratch.

to a super-smooth finish. Any filling on an

aluminium sheet and painted with

On the top surface of one of the wings I

airframe of course results in some re-

transparent green and red. These were

added a little more interest by constructing

scribing of panel lines, scriber of RB

installed and masked before painting.

open fuel fillers. More work was required around the oil

Productions is my weapon of choice for


which powers the LEDs inside the fuselage.

With the internal work finally finished it was

this task.

Detailing the wings was the next stage with

cooler inlets and where the flaps meet the

After filling I apply Tamiya spray primer for

more intense study of my reference

wings, more reference and Evergreen!

showing any imperfections before

images to faithfully reproduce the details.

subsequent painting. This primer was

I marked out the areas to remove from the

Landing lights are poorly represented and

sanded with fine grade 1500 paper with

kit parts allowing the resin control surfaces

were re-worked with metal foil reflectors

water and leaves a completely smooth

to meet perfectly (a case of measuring

and reshaped kit lenses. These were finally


twice and cutting once!) approaching the

polished back to crystal clear with

The next step is riveting. Working from

edges I took extra care with the motor tool

automotive cutting polish.

plans the lines were drawn on the airframe

to leave clean and precise cuts. As with

On the left wing’s leading edge I detailed

with pencil which is easy to follow and

the removal of the fuselage panels, a lot of

an area not often modelled; the air intake

remove later. The riveting tool that I use is

filing and sanding is required to obtain a

ducting into the fuselage. I think it gives an

always the Mini RB Productions which is

fine feathered edge, finished again with

original touch to the model. The covers

comfortable to use and great quality.

Tamiya green cap cement.

were again formed with aluminim foil to

Further modifications were required at this

Detail inside the wheel wells was created

display on the base.

stage to couple the resin Verlinden rudders

with Evergreen sheet and profiles. In turn, I

and flaps of the bomb-bay from the Eduard

also detailed the landing gears themselves

Now the wings were primed and any lost

photoetch. Leaving the flaps ‘down’ did

with photoetched parts and brass rod.

scribing or rivetting was re-done in

result in a fair amount of extra work where

Resin wheels are a common upgrade, as

preparation for paint.

the kit wings meet the fuselage; this area

mentioned earlier, a wheel was drilled to

needs rebuilding.

accept the wiring to connect to the battery

One of the main challenges when building a bomber? All of that glazing of course!


REBUILT ROTORY A major focus of the finished display was

correct position when the instalation is

As I wanted to display the complete engine

always going to be the engine with the


exposed it was necessary to make the

cowling removed.

Next was the detailing of the Vector

gearbox unit completely from scratch

I had no choice but to scratchbuild the

engines, these are very good but can be

along with all of the surrounding pipe-work

majority of this area with the exception of

improved as I hope you’ll agree. Hollow

and wiring; very complexed work and

the resin engine from Vector (which also

brass rod of 0.5mm from Allbion formed

some good, clear reference images helped

received a lot of detailing)

the connectors of the ignition leads, cables

greatly here. The bare engine is a major

One of the most difficult pieces to

themselves are 0.3mm wire, clamps on the

focal point of the finished display.

construct was the actuator ring with the

cables themselves are made of flattened

The engine and housing were all painted

cowl flaps, since it is the centrepiece of the

lead wire.

with the usual oil washes and pigment

assembly I invested many hours to ensure

With study of my reference images I

weathering to give a suitably used

it all looks as realistic as possible. Apart

noticed the B-25 had heat-sink panels

appearance, later in the weathering

from detailed inner bearing in the rear and

between the cowling and exhausts which

process the stained wing would tell the

it is the own drive system petals of these

were replicated with styrene sheet and rod.

story that this engine needs some work!

flaps. All of the petal mechanisms are

The exhausts themselves consist of

replicated along with the air induction

fourteen tailpipes. It took a long time to

system, including the filter.

form them identically working with hollow brass rod worked with various tweezers.


All of the oil header tank is scratchbuilt as

Positioning the exhausts was very difficult,

is the engine’s cradle from hollow brass

each exit point must match-up with the

rod from Albion Alloys. Many dry runs and

actual position on the cowling and be

tweaks ensured the engine sits in the

correctly spaced.




As usual, the painting process can only

for brown I used H72 Gunze mixed with

stripes, torture spending all of that time to

begin when everything is masked, always a

Tamiya XF-57 and matt varnish. The green

get back to where you were!

major task with a bomber.

is Gunze H73. Both these colours were

The leading edges were the next masking

I find the best method for a multi-coloured

tinted darker for shading and some lighter

task with a coating of matt black, and

subject as this is to start with the lightest

tones were airbrushed to highlight panels

thankfully no more problems.

first. Pure white mixed with a few drops of

and shapes avoiding a lifeless finish.

Once all the paint had hardened I used

gray to tone it down a little was used for

The next colour was the grey belly, Tamiya

superfine (3000) abrasive cloth over the

the area of the invasion stripes. To allow

XF-20 tinted with white and as with the

whole model which I find harmonises the

me to mask the whole area before the

upper surfaces, various changes in tone in

colours and shows the riveting to a degree

camo and grey underside, I masked and

and around different panels gives a more

I’m happy with.

airbrushed the black stripes. Any interior

realistic and interesting finish.

green areas were painted and all masked-

The markings are of a reasonable size so I

The next step is to give a couple of filters

up again ready for the main colours.

created my own masks with a few

using oil colours, very heavily diluted with

One final step prior to the main painting

aftermarket ones I had spare.

Humbrol enamel thinners. These subtle

was to airbrush areas of metallic silver

Nothing beats the look of painted markings

tints of colour help tie all of the tones

where there would be areas of high wear

but the multiple masking layers can cause

together and give gentle shifts of light

on the aircraft (leading edges, crew access

problems; I had to redo the right badge

across the surfaces.

areas etc) On with the camouflage colours;

along with invasion

STRESSED OUT The effect of the stressed panels on an

remover sponges) and the surfaces given a

hours. The next step was to apply matt

aircraft model can really add a touch of

final dusting over with a sponge. All very

varnish and a thin layer XF-57 airbrushed

realism. A technique I use relies on colour

time consuming but effective.

and very diluted with alcohol, practically

rather than attacking the plastic. Working

The stripped engine and surrounding wing

‘dirty thinners’. This provided oil and fuel

with black and white pastel chalks (or

were heavily stained, something I’d noticed


pigment powder) a shadow and highlight is

which seemed common on B-25s in the

To finish, the exhaust staining was created

created on each panel using a fine brush

photographs I’d been studying. To achieve

with black and white pigments in various

and paper masks. The powder is blended

this effect I first applied burnt umber oil

tones and the paintwork all sealed with matt

using a household “Magic Eraser” (the stain

colour heavily diluted, leaving it dry for 24

clear varnish.


With the Mitchell securely fastened to the base all of the panels and components were arranged to complete the final display. A simple framed ‘box’ elevates the model to a more comfortable viewing height. A project like this takes up so much of your spare time and sometimes needs help and encouragement so I’d like to dedicate this article to my wife Leti, my son Hugo and my friends at ‘Model 34’ especially Dani, Victor, Allen and Dora. 42

B-25 43

new releases

Arma Hobby


New to us are these kits and accessories from Poland under the brands of Arma Hobby and Attack Squadron. Starting with Attack Squadron are a selection of full kits in 1:72, each kit is very cleanly cast in resin with photo etched parts, vac-formed clear canopies and quality decals. Excellent instructions are also included (as good as most main-stream injection moulded kits). The kits are aimed at the more experienced modeller with high levels of detail and finesse which you would expect from resin parts and of course, more specialised niche subjects. Some of the kits are 'Pro Sets' with extra parts (fuselage interior detail for example with the PR Spitfire in the shape of the cameras) and half a dozen decal options. Our seventy-second samples are an F2 F-1 U.S. Navy fighter, a PZL P.11/I and Spitfire PR MkXI available as both 'Pro Set' and 'EZ' version. If 1:48 is more your thing there's a Grumman F2 F-1 available in the range, again, the design and casting is excellent with obvious attention payed to ease of assembly. Also in the Attack Squadron range are various upgrades in resin and photoetch of the highest quality, our samples include engine

nozzles, engine nacelles and propellers (a beautiful set for the Italleri C-130 E/H), wheels and ordnance in both 1:72 and 1:48. Arma Hobby also offer a injection moulded kit which is a bit of a treat for Polish aviation fans in the form of a TS-11 Iskra Bis DF in 1:72. Available in three 'stages' of kit from the basic sprues and decals, a version with photoetch and marking options boxed as 'Expert' version and the 'Deluxe' version which includes two full kits, photoetch, resin extras and wheels with six colourful marking options. The sprues are very nicely moulded and compare well to most contemporary new toolings with some very crisp detail and the decals and photoetch produced to an equally high standard. All of the photoetch and resin is available separately in four sets so you can mix and match to suit your needs. If you decide to go all-out with the TS-11 the crowning glory would be the full engine set in resin and photoetch, very finely detailed indeed. Head over to for the full ranges on offer and secure shopping. Our thanks to Arma Hobby for the introduction to their products.

Barracuda The 'stateside guys at Barracuda are always busy and have a batch of new releases to bring a smile to the face of any Messerschmitt modeller. BR32223 is an accurate replacement seat pan and bulkhead for the latest Revell kits 109-G2 to 10 in 1:32, without seat belts. BR32224 is the same but with integrally moulded seat belts. BR32168 is a really nice set of 20mm cannon pods complete with a set of barrels by Master, these could be used with the Revell or Hasegawa 'G's. More 109 goodness with decal sets to suit G-6 and G-14 (part 1) including seven schemes accompanied by some excellent descriptive text and lovely colour profiles and painting notes. The decals are printed by Cartograf so the ultimate quality is assured. Some nicely detailed stencilling is also included with well researched notes. The set is available in 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32. Not leaving fans of Allied aircraft out, BC72227 is a 1:72 set of five markings for the Spitfire Mk.VIII including a USAAF option and two SEAC aircraft in Burma, again, Cartograf print is as good as it gets. Get over to for full details of all of their upgrades and accessories.


72129 48312

48313 32109

48308 48311


Scale Aircraft Conversions


New additions to SAC’s white metal landing gear upgrades starting with 1:72, 72129 is for the Italeri / Testors C-130 Hercules. In 1:48 is 48308 for the Hobby Boss SAAB J-29, 48309 for the Airfix Gloster Meteor, 48310 is designed for the Kinetic Hornets, 48311 is for Airfix’s Defiant and a couple of sets for Kinetic’s F-16 with 48312 for the block 1-20 early versions and 48313 ‘Heavy’ for Block 25 and later (SAC state to check specific


aircraft reference as some were retro-fitted). 35002 is in the ‘AFV’ scale of 1:35 to suit Bronco’s Horsa Glider and finally in 1:32 is 32108 for Hasegawa’s A6M5 Zero and 32109 for Wingnut Wings Roland C.II. As always, full details of the range are over at www.scaleaircraftconversions


AK Interactive MiG-21 PFM After AKI's first 'kit' releases it's no surprise that this second generation Fishbed in quarter-scale is in fact the beautiful Eduard kit which modellers of Soviet machines just can't get enough of. So what have AKI done differently here to tempt us? The inviting packaging is a good start featuring one of the subject colour schemes of a very tired looking museum piece, perfect for AK's hard-core weathering ethic! The instruction book is rather lavish including great reference images of said aircraft and comprehensive colour guides for two other versions also, both in bare metal finishes (Czech and East German). As you'd expect, colours quoted are all from AK's range. The decal sheet is excellent with a great attempt at the faded and worn-away

markings, Cartograf are the printers so we're assured of the highest quality. Back to the plastic though, and although a few years old the moulding and finesse of detail are still simply superb. The sprue layout is typical of Eduard with parts being very spread out with lots of space, there's also a lot of spares (mainly ordnance and clear parts). Some nice pre-coloured Eduard photoetched is included for the seat belts and a bonus if you choose to model the derelict version is a set of resin wheels with flat tyres. Although excellent from the box, Eduard produce a resin cockpit and nozzle in their Brassin upgrade range if you really want to go to town. A worthy re-box of a very highly regarded kit which is very nicely presented.

Italeri 1:72 F/A-18 Swiss Air Force


With the colourful '100 JAHRE' Swiss special markings is another boxing of Italeri's vintage Hornet which is looking a little tired now with it's raised panel-lines and basic details. With much of the stores destined for the spares box there’s a little over fifty parts to assemble and not a lot to get excited about. The box does include all you need to produce a two seater including the

canopy (maybe unique in 1:72 ?) The new decal sheet offers plenty of detailed stencils and the Swiss markings are a good strong red although appear a touch thick. A bit of a dull re-box unless you want to model the particular special livery offered.

Tarangus 1:48 Bulldog T.1 Sweden's Tarangus are producers of niche subject, usually Swedish, short-run injection moulded kits moulded to the highest standards as demonstrated by this Scottish Aviation Bulldog RAF trainer. The single sprue is simplicity in itself with a good standard of moulding and some nice detail. The cockpit has all of the basics and would be worth spending time adding some finer details as all will be visible on the finished model. If you fancy a change (and most probably a bit of a challenge!) with the paintwork there's four schemes, all with a gloss finish, two being

RAF with one Kenyan and one of the Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta. The decals are sharply printed with a suitable gloss finish. The large bubble canopy is very well done and will require some careful masking, indeed, the painting will take far longer than the build of this simple little kit especially as we're into the drying times of gloss before we dare go near anything with the masking tape! The kit is also available boxed as a Swedish Air Force version with appropriate decals.

Italeri 1:72 Wellington MkIC Not a new Wellington we're afraid, another outing for MPM's kit (which the most recent Airfix release seems to be based on too) and being one of their early releases has a few reported fit and profile problems with some quirky touches like assembling the Bristol Pegasus radials from individual cylinders (in 1:72!) and the geodesic airframe pattern although very nicely done, maybe a little pronounced in 1:72 (easily knocked back with a little fine sanding, better than trying to build it up!). The moulding quality is

very good with the tooling standing the test of time and minimal flash present throughout. The kit is quite basic with fixed control surfaces and suggestion of an interior, all regular stuff for seventy-second scale. Italeri always spice things up with a nice new decal sheet, four RAF 'night' schemes, one Coastal Command (304 Polish Bomber Squadron) and a captured German marked aircraft of the Rechlin Test Centre all all presented on a quality water-slide sheet.


new releases

Kinetic 1:48 Super Étendard / Super Étendard Modernisé


For an aircraft with such extensive use by both France and also in combat by Argentina (Falklands War) and Iraq (when at war with Iran) a new kit has been long overdue to replace the ageing Airfix/Heller offering. Well, the wait is over and Kinetic have stepped up to the mark with this great looking SuE from completely new tooling. The light grey sprues show some excellent moulding and detail comparable with some of the best manufacturers on the market, probably a kit for the more experienced builder with over 250 parts we're guaranteed a very detailed model straight from the box. A few options are called out through the instruction booklet should you wish to produce the SuE or updated SeM and the usual 'in flight' or on the ground (or carrier in this case) with some very nice features such as open air-brakes, fully detailed and poseable

control surfaces (including some photoetched parts) and an excellent comprehensive selection of armament and fuel tanks. All of the surface detail has a delicate and restrained feel to it and the cockpit is as good as you could expect without resorting to aftermarket resin parts. The cockpit can be shown off with an open canopy option, all of the clear parts have a nice crystal appearance and the clear sprue includes various optics and lenses. The Cartograf decal sheet is big and busy providing five options; three French Aéronavale (from the 1980s to 2011), one Argentine and one Iraqi along with a plethora of tiny stencils to test your skills. This looks like an all-round excellent kit straight from the box. If it builds as good as it looks Kinetic have a real winner.

Kinetic 1:48 F/A-18C A long time coming, but Kinetic's Hornet is now available and boy was it worth the wait! We really are in a Golden Age when it comes to new kits with Kinetic showing they can compete with the best in the business. The first impression of the contents of this big box is the number of parts, with over 300 this is not a kit for the novice but the 'newbie' end of the market isn't where Kinetic pitch themselves. The moulding quality is superb with some stunning attention to detail throughout. The fuselage is split horizontally and features sublime surface detail and options to pose all of the flaps as you wish including optional folded outer wings with beautiful hinge detail. We also have full intake ducting through to the compressor face and on the exhaust side, full depth afterburner cans and closed nozzles. Wheel wells are again, first rate with even a photoetched wiring harness for the nose bay and great detail to the (heavy / carrier) gear legs. Kinetic's usual tyre 'sandwich' looks like it will give good definition. Undoubtedly the cockpit is always a big focal point and with almost thirty parts it should leave no need for resin replacements, even an 'etched

parachute harness is included and we're assured of a two-seater at some point with the tub part housed on the sprues. There's a good few of the sprues dedicated to stores including AIM 7M, AIM 120B, AIM 9L, GBU 87, GBU 12, AGM 88, AAQ 28 and more; three external 'tanks are also provided, extensive to say the least with the weapons coming with their own decal sheet. The main decal sheet covers no less than seven options including a Swiss and Finnish scheme with some more adventurous colours for the U.S. Navy with the 'Sukoi Blue' and 'Russian Splendor' camos from 2009. More conventional Navy schemes are also included with 'Fists of the Fleet' aboard USS Carl Vinson and 'Golden Warriors' aboard USS George Bush in 2013. Decals are designed by Fightertown and printed by Cartograf. One final thing to say about this excellent kit; if Hornets are your thing best pick a couple up, at the retail prices we've seen quoted I don't think they'll sit on the shelves for long. Our thanks to Kinetic for the sample kits.


Italeri 1:48 F-7F 3 Tigercat An unashamed re-release of the vintage Tigercat from AMT / Ertl, while it would be nice to have a modern tooling of this handsome aircraft, it's not such a bad thing as the kit still holds it's own. Unusually for it's time of original release we've recessed panel lines which look decent as does the rest of the moulding with only tiny amounts of flash which is to be expected. The kit overall is 'no-frills' and basic in it's construction, fixed flaps and tail rudder but decent cockpit basics and good landing gear. Drop-tanks, missiles and bombs are all included and a good rendition of the

The Chopper Boys By Al J. Venter Published by Hellion and Co Softback format, 192 pages ISBN 9781 909982680 52

R2800 radials for what can be viewed through the closed cowlings. New decals offer six U.S.M.C. schemes from 1946 through to the Korean War, all in the Sea Blue finish. Decal colours are strong but may result in them being a little thick (maybe to compensate for the dark colour they're applied to?). This kit must still rate as the best choice to model a Tigercat and in 1:48 makes for a nice display with aftermarket upgrades available should you feel the need.

This new expanded edition contains six new chapters documenting helicopter warfare in Africa covering the last twenty five years (and the original contents going back to the 1950s - 1980s wars) including French involvement in Mali, and gunships fighting in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. As a prolific writer of African conflict history the book is very informative on the strategy and political entanglement of these vicious civil and guerrilla wars. For modellers of helicopters there's an excellent selection of images to inspire some more unusual camo schemes and markings with a huge range of aircraft covered from Sikorskys in the 1950s to Chinooks and modern gunships. Detailed diagrams are also included to explain combat tactics and weapons. Recommended to anyone with an interest in modern African conflicts in general, but especially good reading and reference for chopper modellers with the wealth of images throughout.

Italeri 1:48 F-15 C 'Eagle' Gulf War 25th Anniversary Now it seems that most manufacturers over the years have had, or have, a quarter-scale F-15 in their catalogue but unfortunately the Italeri offering usually nestles near the bottom of any 'best F15 kit' list. The moulding and finish of the parts in the box actually don't look bad at all, in fact very sharp in places and unless you're a real aficionado of the F-15, this kit will have the overall look of a 'C' once assembled. It seems the main problems lie with the

assembly with reported poor fit throughout the build. So with not the best reputation is there any positives to this 'Gulf War' boxing? Well, the decals are superb, three U.S. Markings, one Royal Saudi Air Force and an excellent selection of stencilling printed by the masters at Cartograf. Another positive is the price, cheap enough to make it worthwhile picking one up for the decals alone if you have one of the more respected kits in your stash.

Sparmax Arism VIZ compressor If you’re in the market for a budget, quiet and compact compressor for your workstation, The Airbrush Company may well have the answer with this new Sparmax unit. Measuring at only 20cm in length it would suit even the tightest of desks and is very quiet (handy if you do any airbrushing in a shared, open space!) The air flow is 16-18 lpm (0.57 -0.64 cfm) and a pre-set maximum pressure of 3.4 bar (50 psi) so suitable for most regular modelling applications. Along with the power supply and air hose there are a couple of innovative features included the first being an auto-stop airbrush holder which basically cuts the power when the ‘brush is placed in the housing. Another item which attaches to the airbrush

itself is the ‘Silver Bullet Plus’ which acts as a moisture filter and pressure bleed valve (usually built into more expensive compressors) the pressure chosen can be viewed on the compressor’s built-in guage. The Editor has given this compact machine a good run-out and performace all-round has been very good from spraying high-volume base coats to finer line work. With the range of Sparmax airbrushes available you can set yourself up with brand new airbrusing equipment for the price of a few kits. The Airbrush Company’s confidence in Sparmax products extends to a one year warranty, go to for details. Excellent quality and value.


R e v e l l ’s o n e - f o r t y - e i g h t h D o r n i e r D o 215 B - 5 N i g h t F i g h t e r

Modelled by Paolo Portuesi

the dark knight 56


he Dornier Do 215 was a light twin-

in the roles of reconnaissance, and later as

referred to due to the very narrow fuselage.

engine high-wing bomber produced

a night fighter.

The planned exports were disrupted to the

between December 1939 and

Developed from the previous Do 17 as an

outbreak of WWII and a little over one

January 1941 by the German company

export version for the foreign market, and

hundred units were produced by 1941, the

Dornier Werke GmbH and mainly used by

dubbed in turn ‘Fliegender Bleistift’ (the

last seeing service in 1944.

the Luftwaffe during the Second World War

flying pencil) to which it is commonly


Revell Without a Kauz The version I chose to represent is the B-5

manufacturers’ tooling but this ICM kit

With the simple interior work complete I

night fighter named ‘Kauz III’. Twenty

dates from only a couple of years ago and

could join the fuselage halves and fit the

aircraft were converted from versions of the

holds it’s own on the modern market.

wings. I found the fit to be very good

B-1 and B-4 with the nose of the Do 17 Z-

Usually a bonus with Revell’s releases are

without the need for any filler.

10 "Kauz II" equipped with infrared sensors

some new decal options of high quality.

For the tail planes and tailwheel, I used the kit parts but if you yearn for the ultimate in

for the detection system ‘Infrared Spanner’. The Do 215 B-5s were armed with four

The cockpit interior is well represented and

accuracy go for the aftermarket resin

7.92 mm machine guns grouped around

very well detailed from the box. I used the

‘Vector’ parts (VDS 48-082) which are more

the infrared sensors and two 20 mm MG

kit parts with the only addition being some

correct in shape and finesse.

FFs in the lower part of the nose. The

parts from Eduard’s Zoom photoetch (FE

Spanner System proved ineffective, and by

745), for the instrument and radio panels

I decided to leave the starboard engine on

the middle of 1942 Lichtenstein 202 B / C

along with the seatbelts.

show to add some interest to the monotone black of the finished model. ICM

radar were installed on the dome of the Dorniers, becoming the first night fighters

I airbrushed the entire cockpit area in RLM

made a good attempt at the engine detail

to use it.

O2 (Gunze H70) with various details picked

which I only enhanced with some simple

out by brush in acrylics according to my

plumbing and wiring working from

The kit that I chose for my project is the

reference and Revell’s instructions.

reference images.

new 1:48 B-5 night fighter version boxed

Burnt Umber artists’ oils were used to

by Revell. This is the ICM kit but with the

create a colour wash which I allowed to

More good news with the landing gear, very

addition of various new parts, namely the

flow around the detail adding depth. The

good proportions and well detailed features

exhaust flame-dampers, under fuselage

dark brown tone worked well on all of the

which carry through to the wheels, although

cannon gondola and an all new clear sprue.

colours, not only adding contrast but an

some modellers may wish to add a

Revell re-box many older kits from other

aged appearance.

‘weighted’ effect to the tyre as I have.

Eduard’s pre-coloured photoetch looks sharp! Hard to replicate by brush and paint no matter how steady your hand!


Enough detail is present should you wish to

Panel lines are a touch heavy but not a

leave the ‘bay open for display.

problem with a black finish thankfully.

The sleek lines of ‘The Flying Pencil’ are shown to good effect with the kit, especially around the nose without the complex antennae yet to be fitted here.

A couple of features I just couldn’t live with were the propeller blades and exhausts. Quick Boost sets came to the rescue (QB-48622 and QB 48-620) both easily added to the kit and greatly improving the level of detail. Another detail enhancement I chose was the replacement of the gun barrels with brass versions from Master of Poland, beautiful quality which always add that level of finesse and sharpness unobtainable in plastic and rarely in resin. 48-012 and 48-013 are the Master catalogue references. The Do 215 B-5 was the first night fighter to be equipped with the FuG 202 Lichtenstein B/C navigation device as already mentioned. These aircraft saw action from January 1941 to May 1944 with I. and IV./NJG 1 and II./NJG 2. The kit's radar antennas are too thick and those provided by Eduard are too flat with the obvious restriction of photoetch. I preferred scratch-built versions from plastic rod which admittedly tried my patience at times!


Paint it Black The aircraft I chose to represent is a Dornier 215 B5 of NjG2, Giltze-Rijen in 1941 completely painted in flat black, probably the most simple aircraft paint scheme a modeller could attempt. With the canopy masked with Eduards pre-cut film (EX434) and the wheel-wells and engine protected from overspray, I used Gunze H 12 with various shades of dark grey worked around the panels and shapes of the Dornier with gradual and fine airbrushing until the monotone finish took on a more dimensional and scale appearance. Enhancing the panel lines and weathering a matt black finish are also challenging aspects which were achieved by oil paints which were eventually sealed with clear varnish once the decals were in place. I found the decals a little thick (perhaps to hold their colour on the black base-coat?) and some perseverance with softening solution was the order of the day.

Some simple wiring added to the engine lifts the level of detail. Quick Boost ‘blades have the correct shape and scale thickness, the exhausts have open exits and sharper detail than the kit parts.

Eduard masks are a good time saver and fit the kit very well.


The NjG2 markings add a welcome dash of colour to the front section of the

With the gun barrels in the nose being in such

fuselage. It’s difficult to enhance panel lines on a matt black aircraft!

a prominent position I thought it a good investment to go for Master’s superb replacements.

Revell’s rebox is a fun and inexpensive project, even with the addition of a few choice aftermarket upgrades. I’m very fond of this sleek aircraft and the kit represents it’s essence very well indeed. Without a huge amount of work we have another finished piece worthy of display in the what’s next to take the precious space on the workbench? Enjoy your modelling- Ciao!




h c t a els P d s o Ga m

Henschel Hen nschel 123 “Angelito” “Angelito”

Scale 1/48 ce + 35 P 188 pieces PE E

Highly Detailed Engine

Highly Detailed tailed Cockpit

Upcoming NEW Molds Henschel 123 e ens

Different wings for Differen each ea type

Separated Dive Flaps



Separated control surfaces

Full spatted, semi spatted and unspatted wheels

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