Quarterscale Hind

Soviet Attack Helicopter Mi-24P

Zvezda 1/48, Ref. 4812

One of Zvezda’s latest release is a quarter-scale Mil Mi-24P, featuring the double 30mm gun ‘pack’ on the right side of the front fuselage.  This version has been around for some time, produced in large numbers between 1981 and 1989, and has been or is still used in many countries around the globe, opening up the number of possible schemes and decorations.

The kit comes in a large cardboard box (the kit has a ‘span’ of 44,7cm), with 326 parts spread over 7 light grey and one clear plastic sprues.  A little bit of flash is visible here and there but mostly only affects the runners, no big deal.  Details abound, with comprehensive furnishing of the two cockpits, cargo bay and engine deck.  Of course, extra details can be added if one feels like doing so, but the base kit is a very good starting point.  The instrument panels and other consoles’ details are provided as decals, something that may have been better reproduced in plastic, but no doubt, after-market detail sets can be soon purchased as substitutes.

The crew is included in the kit, as two four-part figures.  

The blades are ‘weighted down’, another good point.  Interestingly, this is the first kit of the Hind I’ve seen taking account of the asymmetric nature of the fuselage as can be seen from the shape of the cabin’s rear bulkhead.

A number of options are offered, including the use of sand filters or not, use of heat diffusers or simple exhausts, access doors and panels open or closed along with a fairly comprehensive array of gun pods, rocket pods, missile launchers,…

The clear parts (the canopy is a 5-part affair) are commendably transparent, another reason to improve on the kit’s cockpit details!

Two decal sheets provide markings and numerous stencils for 5 Hinds, including an East-German machine and a rather sleek-looking, post-communist era Hungarian one.  Of the three other options, two are for post-Soviet-era Russian helicopters. 

This looks like a neat kit that should be a very good base for some stunning hyper-detailed kits to be seen on competition tables over the next few years!

Review by Domi Jadoul; pictures by Zvezda and Domi Jadoul.

http://www.zvezda.org.ru

Sticky Subject!

Ciano Cleaner Gel Formula

Green Stuff World

We all have experienced some kind of disaster while using super-glue type of adhesives, be it ruining your favourite T-shirt, the dining table or even your latest ‘work in progress’ model…

Green Stuff World has come up with a gel that is meant to help repair some of this damage, and we tested it for you. 

First of all, sticky fingers.  The gel, applied directly onto the skin has a definite and rapid impact on the ‘joint’, loosening it and preventing skin bits to be torn in the process of un-sticking said fingers.  Excellent job!  Mind you, the instructions at the back of the label does recommend a good cleaning and calling the doctor in case of exposure to the skin…   In fact, no ‘after effects’ were felt and subsequent cleaning up with water and soap did seem to work for us, the doctor may wait a bit longer for the pleasure of our company.   

Added onto the super-glued joint between two plastic parts did help with a clean break up, with no plastic bits ton away to be seen, but some dried-up super-glue still left to remove, which led us to try removing those…

Having had issues with our favourite plastic softening after the use of super-glue activators, we were rather curious to see the effect, if any, of this gel onto said bare plastic…  Some super-glue was applied onto a bit of styrene, left to ‘take’ overnight and the gel was applied early in the morning and left to ‘act’ for a couple of minutes.  The cyano certainly softened up, but removing (with a rag) the cured glue was a long process requiring several applications of the gel and some rubbing down with the rag.  The gel definitely had an effect on the bare plastic, not a positive one, leaving a slight recess wherever the gel had been applied to.  The rubbing of the softened glue onto the softened plastic also made a bit of a mess (glue + fabric fibers + plastic), that would require eventual fixing with putty and/or sanding.  The use of a micro-brush would thus be better suited for any ‘rubbing down’. Tested on recently applied superglue, with immediate removal, the effect of the gel on the bare plastic was certainly lessened.  The best option, it would seem would be to act with small amounts of gel as quickly as possible, light rubbing down of the offending area with a micro-brush, followed by a little bit of sanding once the whole area has ‘dried up’. 

Tested on painted plastic (yes, we admit that tiny droplets of super-glue sometimes find their way onto our ALMOST completed model…  Aaaargh!), we found that the gel did soften up the paint too, adding to the earlier mentioned mess, to be, eventually, cleaned up the usual ways…

Fabric?  Cured super-glue certainly softened up but several applications of the gel still could not remove all the glue from the cotton fibers and the eventual rubbing and twisting of the fabric ended up tearing the fabric altogether…  Applied onto freshly stained clothing, the results were far better with the fabric retaining its ‘twistability’, but the garment still needed an immediate good wash to bring out the ‘stickiness’ that was still being felt.

Conclusion: try to be more careful while using super-glues..!  This product could indeed be useful to us all at some stage or another, worth keeping in sight, but it’s no miracle cure (no pun intended!).

Review and pictures by Domi Jadoul. http://www.greanstuffworld.com

Potez Galore, Part.1

Potez 25 Europe & America

Azur/Frrom 1/72, Ref. FROX04

Azur/Frrom have kindly sent us samples of their forthcoming decal releases, two 1/72 sheets destined to grace the lovely Potez 25 kits released during 2019, and later re-issued under the Special Hobby label.

Let’s have a look at sheet FROX04 Potez 25 Europe & America:

The first thing one notices on this offering is how tightly the various markings are crammed together on the A5-sized sheet.  There is barely any spare space anywhere.  Not a bad thing, really.  The number of options is high, but extreme care will be required when choosing any option as the Potez 25 was declined in a number of variants (mostly different engines, but not just that).  The ‘basic’ kits are indeed offering numerous alternative parts, and it must be said that great care must be taken while building the kit and following the instructions that are sometimes a bit confusing.  References will be needed and need to be carefully examined! 

We have not been provided with the instructions for the new decal sheets, so can not comment just yet on the info provided on those documents.

What is included on this FROX04 sheet is:

  • Aéropostale: markings for three complete aircraft (out of the four operated): F-AJDX, F-AJDY, F-AJDZ, F-AJZS. F-AJDX was the first Potez 25 to fly over the Andes with Mermoz and Daurat, F-AJDY was the second Potez 25 entering service with Aéropostale, F-AJDZ is the most famous of all, the plane flown by Guillaumet during his epic flight, crash and six day-long walk back to safety, F-AJZS was another Aéropostale Potez 25.  Note that the basic kit being ‘military’, some slight mods will be required to complete any Aeropostale aircraft (based on either the A2 or TOE variants);
  • Air France: the previously mentioned F-AJDY at a later time, with Air France titles having replaced the Compagnie Générale Aéropostale ones, and the Air France logo painted on the forward fuselage.
  • France: anchors and markings for an alternative Aeronavale aircraft (than the one provided in the Potez 25 ‘Lorraine’ boxing – French roundels from the kit required;
  • France: aircraft 2221 White 10, V489 flown during the Croisiére Noire raid (Potez 25 TOE) – French roundels from the kit required;
  • Greece: national markings for Epsilon 14 (or 1 or 4)-coded aircraft – Hispano-powered Potez 25;
  • Paraguay: national markings for a Lorraine-powered aircraft used during the Chaco war, featuring the extra fuel tanks;
  • Poland: badges for 34, 35 & 55 squadrons., LWS-built Lorraine-powered aircraft with codes 42-68 (White 4), 42-310 (White 7), 42-295 – national markings from the kit required;
  • Uruguay: national markings, Tero insignas (small and large), codes to represent one of the following aircraft: White 1 (Hispano-powered Potez 25 with a ‘Lorraine-like’ cowling and inverted roundel), White B1-2 (Lorraine), White B1-5 (TOE), White 5 and White 8 (TOE with small flag); White 1 is very unusual with the inverted rudder red  stripes; external tanks may be used on those airplanes too.

The decals are well printed (by Fantasy Printshop), with the white and colours that are intense that will adequately cover the camouflage colours.  The decal’s finish is satin to glossy and a coat of varnish may therefore be required to obtain a good ‘blend’ with the rest of the model.

All in all, an extensive and much welcome release from Azur/Frrom.

Review and pictures by Domi Jadoul.

http://www.frrom.com

Black Hawk Up-close

UH-60 Black Hawk The US Army Tactical Transport Helicopter

By Robert Burik, Trackpad Publishing Ref. Rotor Books RB001,

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was designed to replace the aging Bell UH-1 Huey during the 1970s.  It made its combat debut in 1983 during the invasion of Grenada. Black Hawks have participated in every major US Army campaign since. Upgrades have included the UH-60L, UH-60A+ and UH-60M, all detailed in this book.

This is a welcome departure for Trackpad Publishing who have accustomed us with some truly excellent titles in the past, but all aimed at the AFV modeller.

This is the most thorough in-depth photo-study of this successful helicopter to be published to date, with 126 pages packed with over 400 detail colour pictures. This is a must for any helicopter modeller!

Snippet by Domi Jadoul; pictures by Trackpad Publishing.

www.trackpadpublishing.com

Bigger, better Uhu

The Heinkel He 219-A Detailed Guide to The Luftwaffe’s Ultimate Nightfighter

Richard A. Franks, Airframe Album No 1 (Second Edition);

Valiant Wings Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-912932-18-4

Valiant Wings Publishing’s next title, to be published at the end of June 2021, returns to where the Airframe Album range started back in 2012 with a second, much expanded edition of our very first title in the series, The Heinkel He 219 – ADetailed Guide to The Luftwaffe’s Ultimate Nightfighter by Richard A. Franks

The Uhu is a popular aircraft modelling subject, as can be confirmed by the fact Valiant Wings Publishing had to reprint our first edition twice after our first run sold out in under two months. Much has changed regarding available knowledge and references concerning the type so it seemed right to re-introduce this title in expanded and revised format.

The modelling map of the He 219 has also changed considerably over the past nine years so this title will be a new book partly-rewritten, and expanded from the first edition to contain at least 128 pages packed with vital information that no active scale modeller and Luftwaffe enthusiast should be without.

It will contain:

40+ pages of technical information

20+ pages of walk-around images and technical diagrams

10+ pages of camouflage and markings

25+ pages of model builds and updated modelling information

150+ photographs including wartime images

Colour side views and four-views by Richard J. Caruana

3D isometric views of all variants by Jacek Jackiewicz & Juraj Jankovic

Specially commissioned extensive full kit builds by Libor Jekl & Steve A. Evans

New specially commissioned front cover artwork by Jerry Boucher

Snippet by Domi Jadoul; pictures by Valiant Wings Publishing.

http://www.valiant-wings.co.uk

Paper Panzer IV

German Medium Tank Pz. IV Ausf. L 9./B.W. development

OKB Grigorov 1/72, Ref. 72092

This recent OKB Grigorov offering deals with a Wehrmacht plan to introduce, at the very end of 1942, a new Krupp-designed Pz.Kpfw. IV hull with a sloped glacis.  Beside a 50mm-thick sloped glacis, an 80mm-thick hull front, a 20mm-thick forward belly plate and the use of wider tracks would have greatly increased the weight of the vehicle.  This weight issue the high demand for ‘standard’ Pz.Kpfw IVs, it was decided to cancel the introduction of this 9./B.W. new hull and consequently it never was put into production.

The kit contains 111 finely cast parts, plus 2 metal plates with 50 photoetched parts, and a turned-metal barrel.  The quality is typical of this artisan with in particular a very nice and well detailed hull as seen here:

The trickiest part of the build will certainly be the bending of the (very neatly detailed) tracks around the drive sprockets and idlers.

The instruction sheet is quite clear and useful, in particular for the placement of the PE parts. 

It should be pointed out that on the instruction sheet, 4 types of turrets are proposed by OKB Grigorov to be fitted onto the 9./B.W. hull; those are references 72075, 79, 91, 92,  respectively the ones of the Kugelblitz, the late Pz.Kpfw. IV’s turret, the Krupp’s proposal modified Pz.Kpfw. IV’s turret (planed to be mounted on a Pz.Kpfw 38t chassis) and the Panther schmalturm.  Only the latter is included in this kit, and it is of corse the small turret with the 7.5 cm KwK L/70 gun that should have been fitted to the Panther Ausf. F but that was also offered by Krupp, in November 1944, for the Pz.Kpfw. IV chassis.  This was never carried out as it would have probably overloaded the Pz.Kpfw. IV chassis while the long barrel of the 7.5 cm KwK L/70 gun would have hindered movement of the tank.  Nevertheless, OKB Grigorov’s turret is a pure beauty and is provided with a metal barrel as well as a clear resin cupola.  

Bibliography:

– Panzer Tracts N° 20-1 Paper Panzers. Panzerkampfwagen, Sturmgeschuetz, and Jagdpanzer. Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle. Panzer Tracts 2001;

– The Spielberger German armor & military vehicles series. Vol. IV : Panzer IV & its variants. Walter J. Spielberger 1993.

Review and pictures by Jean-Paul Oudinet.

shop.okbgrigorov.com

Amazing First!

Panther A + 16t Strabokan Crane

Suyata 1/48, Ref. 001

402 plastic parts for the Panther, a further 253 for the crane, 15 PE parts, nylon string, metal cable, two decal sheets (including a textured one for the zimmerit coating) and a 24.5 x 21.5cm base makes this kit a really stunning release from a relative newcomer in the hobby, whose previous releases have been scale modelling tools and highly acclaimed chibi aircraft and SF/F subjects.

The level of detail is very high, the Panther in particular having a full interior provided.   Critics may say that more PE parts should have been provided, that the crane can ‘only’ be modelled ‘in action’, that the track horns are not hollowed out,..  Frankly, given the scale, the price, the quality of the mouldings, this is quite an amazing kit. 

The instruction booklet is clear and precise, includes MIG/AMMO colour references; four camo options are offered for the Panther, two for the crane.

The crane has not been offered in this scale yet, but the Panther has of course, particularly by Tamiya and comparison between the two kits appear to favour Suyata’s…  This is certainly a manufacturer that needs to have an eye kept on.  This Panther boxing is the first of a series of 1/48 AFV kits, with a double kit T-90A & GAZ-233014 being released next, and to be followed by (and perhaps less surprisingly) a Tiger.

Review and pictures by Fabrice Weindorf.

Facebook.com/Suyata-100327871750094/

Belgian Flak in Detail

Belgium’s Gepard -Anti-aircraft Leopard

Patrick Winnepenninckx, Trackpad Publishing, Foto Focus Series

Just about to hit us is the latest title from Trackpad publishing dealing with modern Belgian armour, Belgium’s Gepard.  This is a much welcome addition to this series of books that can truly be qualified as ‘by modellers, for modellers’.

This is also the final book dealing with the Belgian Leopard and its variants.  Previously released were volumes about the Bergepanzer 2 and Bergepanzer 2000, the Pionierpanzer, the Leguan and of course the two variants of the MBT (including the Driver Trainer). 

This new book, 104 page-long, A4 landscape format, is, like its predecessors, the ultimate ‘Walkaround’ reference for scale modellers, with 350 close-up pictures of the internal and external features and details. It’s all there!

The book should also be useful to those interested in the German Gepard, as the differences are few.

The previous release in this series is still rather warm from the press, and we wanted to remind our readers of its availability, with a few ‘insights’:

Review by Dominique Jadoul, pictures by Trackpad Publishing.

http://www.trackpadpublishing.com

Good to be Belgian…

WWI Belgian Infantry (tbc)

ICM 1/35, Ref. 35680

It’s probably never been so good to model Belgian subjects, particularly in the larger scales.  CSM’s 1/35 Minerva armoured car and ICM’s still very recent and well thought of 1/32 Gloster Gladiator and Fiat CR.42 come to mind… 

Things are going to get better with ICM’s forthcoming release of early WWI Belgian Infantry.  Who, just a few years back would have thought this possible, and coming in injected plastic on top of that!

Now as depicted on those pictures, there are still a number of approximations and missing details (weapons, hats,..) that, we understand, are being corrected (with the help of Belgian modellers and historians), and we certainly look forward to seeing and reviewing the final, corrected figures at some stage.  Well done, ICM, great choice of subjects!

Snippet by Domi Jadoul; photos by ICM.

http://www.icm.com.ua

Tank-busting Bible

The Henschel Hs 129 – A Detailed Guide to the Luftwaffe’s Panzerjäger.

Richard A. Franks, Valiant Wings Publishing, Airframe Album No. 17

978-1-912932-16-0

The 17th title in the Airframe Album series will no doubt be a great asset to anyone tackling the 1/32 Zoukei-Mura Henschel Hs-129, or any other kit in any scale for that matter! 

The 162 pages are filled with flight manual and parts catalogue excerpts and other period illustrations and pictures, colour profiles, painting and marking notes, 3D isometric views of all variants, list of all available kits, accessories and decals and a detailed build of the afore-mentioned 1/32 kit (Hs 129B-3?R3 to be precise). 

A must-have for anyone interested in the Luftwaffe!

Snippet by Domi Jadoul; pictures by Valiant Wings Publishing.

http://www.valiant-wings.co.uk

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