As you read those lines, the 201st issue of the IPMS Belgium magazine is about to be released. Its 56 pages are bringing yet again a very broad range of feature articles ranging from a rather sexy race car to braille scale armour, from autogiro to larger scale armour, from flight simulator to observation plane and of course to the midget sub that made the cover! Judge by yourself:
The ‘full build’ articles on the La Cierva C.30A Autogiro (MiniArt 1/35), Renard R.31 (Azur/Frrom 1/72) and Alpha Jet Flight Sim (scratchbuilt 1/72) in Belgian service, the Ukrainian T-72 MBT (Modellcollect 1/72) and US M4A2 Sherman (Zvezda 1/35), 1999 Le Mans Toyota GT-One (Tamiya 1/24), and the Kaiten Type 1 (Fine Molds 1/72) make up the largest part of the magazine.
A smaller number of ‘First Looks’ and ‘First Builds’ articles detail recent releases such as Zvezda’s 1/72 C-130H, and Eduard’s 1/48 SUU-20 bomb dispensers and Spitfire Mk.II .
The editorial, the Agenda and the IPMS News complete the magazine with info that is generally more aimed at the members of the association. Although not solely devoted to ‘Belgian’ subjects, KIT is highly regarded worldwide as a very good source of info for anything relating, in particular, to the Belgian army, air force and airlines. Back copies of most of the 200 earlier issues can be obtained from the association. The magazine is bilingual French/Dutch, and is comprehensively illustrated.
KIT is published quarterly and is sent free of charge to any IPMS Belgium member, whether they live in Belgium or not. Obviously, being member of the association requires a yearly but very reasonable membership fee. Details can be found on the IPMS Belgium website: www.ipms.be
For those of us loving the Rafale, it’s quite nice to see that a number of countries are at last showing some interest in this machine. Of course, Rafale is a weapon and we should probably not be so happy to see humankind spending so much money and energy on weapons, but that’s another story. But anyway, if looks only could kill, the Dassault Rafale would have been a hit a lot earlier!
SyHart is just about to release a number of new decal sheets that will please us, Rafale fans… Amongst those are 1/72 and 1/48 decal sheets for export Rafale, with an initial sheet dedicated to Indian, Egyptian and Qatari aircraft. Both references 48-918S and 72-918S come as very comprehensive products, including national markings, lots of choices in terms of tactical markings, ‘export-type’ Rafale stencils and masks; the ‘export’ stencils and masks are being released separately from the national and tactical markings too.
Also being released shortly are stencils for Rafale (and other French aircraft types) weapons and other equipment pods such as Areos, Mica, Exocet, AASM, Damocles,.. and a number of ‘GBU-type’ bombs. This sheet is also available in 1/48 and 1/72 (Ref. 48-916 and 72-916).
Last but no least is a decal sheet for the ‘White Tiger’ Rafale M as seen at the 2017 Tiger Meet. Simply beautiful, and also released in both 1/48 and 1/72.
All in all, some much welcome releases from the prolific French artisan, let’s hope some are in time released in 1/144 too!
The Shchuka- (or Sh-, or even Chrch-) class submarines were medium-sized soviet boats. 111 of them were built in seven different dockyards and were used in anger during WWII. ‘Shchuka’ means ‘Pike’ in Russian. Their numbering reflected their area of operation: the 100 Series operated within the Pacific Fleet, the 200 Series with the Black Sea Fleet, the 300 Series with the Baltic Fleet and the 400 Series with the Northern Fleet. First entering service in the early-1930s, all but two were delivered before the end of WWII. Many were lost at sea, except in the Pacific Fleet because of the lack of action on that theatre of operations. Those that survived WWII soldiered on until the mid-1950s, with two boats given to China.
This is a fine model that reaches us from Zvezda. Its length is 39.6cm and it is made up of 117 parts, of which 116 are the actual submarine while the 117th is the base, taking the shape of some undersea rocks. Pretty original! A decal sheet and a length of nylon thread completes the kit.
The largest sprue just holds the two largest parts, the two hull halves of course. A second sprue holds 6 parts, including the decking and kiosk; the third runner holds all the other parts, including propellers, MGs, internal bulkheads and name plaque.
No flash is to be seen anywhere. The parts are really well moulded, the details are fine (engraved and raised where required); not a single ejection ring will be visible once the kit is completed.
The b/w instruction sheet is clear and precise; options for two variants are offered in the kit, with or without the saw-toothed bow; the full colour painting/decaling instruction sheet offers 4 options: boat 402 first in 1937 with a grey and red hull, then in 1940 in a green and black scheme (a ship that was lost in September 1944); and boat 209 first in 1936 with a grey and green hull and then in 1940 in a green and black scheme.
For submarine lovers, this is a must have, but it could easily tempt and be completed by any other modeller.
Review by Daniel Clamot; pictures by Zvezda and Daniel Clamot.
We are very pleased to be able to share some pictures of the forthcoming Special Hobby 1/32 Westland Whirlwind! It is a much awaited release and will no doubt be sight to be seen on the club and competition tables once the shows start again later this year!
We are told the kit should be released towards the end of next week! It can be pre-ordered directly from the Special Hobby website or from selected distributors worldwide.
Snippet by Domi Jadoul; pictures by Special Hobby.
Following the release of the SU-85 in 2020, Zvezda is enlarging its range of SPGs with the earlier SU-122. This vehicle was designed during 1942 as an assault gun for infantry support, a type of weapon very successfully used by the German army with their StuG III.
Just over 600 were manufactured between December 1942 and mid-1943.
The new release is part of the growing series of ‘Snap Fit’ kits. Those are not particularly aimed at children nor newcomers in the hobby, but rather at wargamers.
The quality of the moulding and of the fit, however, makes them highly interesting to scale modellers, even those with little experience with small scale AFVs. The instructions only call for the use of glue for some of the smallest parts. All in all, the kit is still made up of 76 parts.
The ingenious design of the external fuel tanks, like that of all parts it must be said, reduces the prep work and, provided one works cleanly, dispenses with the use of any filler.
Each track is again provided as a single black hard plastic flat element that must be bent around idler and drive wheel. The central road wheels being ‘special’ in that they sandwich and hold tight a couple (top and bottom) of larger than normal guide horns that will be invisible once the outer wheel had been added.
Although I like the idea and the system, previous experience has shown that the bent track around the idler and drive wheel is weakened if left ‘as is’ or further weakened if any liquid glue is used to secure the assembly. My advice would be to bend the track as well as possible and use superglue to strengthen the bond with each wheel.
Zvezda indicates that the tracks should also be added before the upper hull is put into place, suggestion I of course not followed and that led to problems once I attempted to attach them onto the central inner road wheels.
Colour-scheme-wise, Zvezda offers two options, one Topside Green-overall with white patriotic slogans (decals) and one in a White-overall winter scheme with Red stars and numbers (decals). Colour references are given for Tamiya and Zvezda paints.
A stunning little kit of a decidedly ‘Soviet’-looking AFV.
Review by Domi Jadoul; pictures bt Domi Jadoul & Zvezda.
My mailman just dropped by to deliver the latest issue of Journal, one of the two publications of IPMS USA (the other being the quarterly… Quarterly, of course!).
Journal is published every two months, in the English language (of course!). Comparing to our own quarterly KIT magazine, theirs is a little longer with 72 pages.
This particular issue features articles about the following subjects:
The birth of the Quarterly magazine
Keeping track of your stash’s value
A model tribute to a A-37 pilot lost over Vietnam
The story of Zoukei-Mura
Pearl Harbour Aichi D3A1
Up-gunning a Super Pershing
’34 Ford Three-Window Coupe
HMS Wasp Martian Steamship
Matchbox’s Kaman SH-2F Seasprite
Italian Ju-87 over Malta
Added to that varied list, the magazine brings in a fairly comprehensive Member’s Gallery, kit and book reviews, along with an agenda (US shows only). Of interest too, I think, are a number of ads that highlights some products we are not always familiar with on this side of the Big Pond.
Sadly, a few pages are also dedicated to recently departed American modellers; whether old-age, ‘usual suspect’ illnesses or/and the current worldwide Covid-19 are to be blamed, or simply a reflection of the size of the USA, those tributes remind us that our hobby is nowadays mostly practiced by people of a ‘certain age’ and that we must do more in order to attract younger blood.
One thing comes out of Journal: our fellow US modellers do things… a little differently; the emphasis of the magazine is certainly not placed upon super-detailing, upon using as much aftermarket bits as possible, upon using the latest paints and products seen in the commercial scale modelling magazines and at shows, but maybe more on the human side of the hobby. All in all, this issue of Journal was a very refreshing and enjoyable read.
The S-400 Triumf, NATO-coded SA-21 Growler, is a medium to long-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon system that entered service in Russia during 2007. The system includes a command centre vehicle, radar-carrying vehicles that are linked to several launchers. It is the missile-launcher vehicle that Zvezda offers us here. The Growler has been exported, so far, to China, Turkey, Belarus and India. A number of other states, including the US (in order to by-pass some current legislation that prevent the sale of F-35 fighters to Turkey), are reported to be interested in the system..
The box contents are impressive, with no less than 283 parts for a 1/72 model that will be 18.6cm long once completed. In it, you will find four large sprues of light grey-coloured plastic, a small sprue of clear plastic, vinyl tires, decals, chrome stickers for the mirrors and a b/w instruction sheet.
Full colour illustrations adorn the sleeve that cover the basic but sturdy featureless cardboard box.
The decal sheet offers three options: a vehicle, green overall, that took part in the Victory Parade in Moscow in May 2017; and two others deployed to Crimea in 2019, one of which is in a two-tone green camouflage, the other being green overall with grey missile tubes.
This is an impressive kit, and a particularly impressive model if shown ‘ready for launch’.
Review by Daniel Clamot; pictures by Daniel Clamot & Zvezda.
This product was designed to create weathering effects like powdered pigments, but you do not need to worry about losing them, or fixing them.
They are best applied on a painted surface, a light spray of gloss varnish will improve the capillarity effect. The product dries very fast and gives off a matt finish; you can use them with both brush and airbrush.
I used them on the Unicorn Models’ Calvaire Normand and I was very happy with the result of the Verdigris and Turqouise Oxide which give a certain “patina” to the model, it immediately makes your model look decades older.
Those are non-toxic waterbased paints, non-flammable and they contain no latex.
This set contains 6 Liquid Pigments in 17ml bottles:
1x Orange Rust 1x Light Rust 1x Medium Rust 1x Dark Rust 1x Verdigris 1x Turquoise Oxide
Review by Erwin Heylens; pictures by Erwin Heylens and Green Stuff World.
Turret for Pz VI Tiger I (H) and (P) initial « low » turret
OKB Grigorov 1/72, Ref. B72018
During 1939, Dr Porsche was tasked with the development of a 25 to 30 tons Schwere Panzer armed with the 7.5 cm Kw. K. L/24 gun; this requirement was later changed to the 8.8 cm Kw. K. L/56 mounted on a Krupp-designed turret. The turret was built in a horse-shoe shape, in an asymmetric way (with the right side being 110 mm shorter than the left side), protected by a cast gun mantlet. The first eight turrets featured a low profile and a flat roof with, in the middle, a raised section that allowed the gun to be depressed further. Armour thickness was 80 mm for the turret and 25 mm for the turret roof. This turret is the subject of this OKB Grigorov release.
In 1941, Krupp was ready to complete six turrets that were meant for the Typ 100 armor hull (note that the designation ‘Typ 100’ evolved in time to ‘VK 30.01 (P)’ – OKB Grigorov reference 72080 -, then to ‘Pz. Kpfw. VI (Porsche)’, ‘Pz. Kpfw.Typ 100’, and finally ‘Pz.Kpfw. Leopard’). However, it seems that only a single Porsche Typ 100 was ever completed with a wooden mockup of Krupp’s turret before the program was stopped with the introduction of the Typ 101 hull. Similarly and just for the fun, the designation ‘Typ 101’ also changed over time: ‘VK 45.01 (P) Tiger’, ‘Pz.Kpfw. VI VK 45.01 (P)’, ‘Typ 101’ and finally ‘Pz Kpfw. VI P (Sd. Kfz.181)’ (see the bibliographical reference).
Nevertheless, in April 1942, the first Pz.Kpfw. VI VK 45.01 (P) was mated with the Krupp’s turret Nr. 1 equipped with a 8.8 cm KW.K. L/56 placed forward on the hull chassis. A particularity of this first horse-shoe shaped turret was an opened cupola hatch lid lying flat on a short support while later turrets had the cupola lid held by a rest lock at an angle (as on the future turret of the Tiger I (H)). In 1942, a Pz.Kpfw IV storage box (or Gepaeckkasten) was mounted on the rear of the turret rear of the first vehicle. This is not present in this OKB Grigorov reference but can easily be found in the spare parts box or other kits. In May 1942, a new higher profile turret was introduced (from Nr 9 & 10) but wasn’t mated to the Pz.Kpfw. VI VK 45.01 (P) chassis until August 1942. Those turrets were finally mated to the VK 45.01 (H), the future Tiger I (H) following the official end of the Pzkpfw VI P programme in November 1942.
Taking into account of all these information, the turret provided in this set is that of the initial series of eight Krupp turrets with low roof, a raised section in the middle and meant for the Pz.Kpfw. VI VK 45.01 (P) chassis. I found no indication that these turrets were fitted on the VK 45.01 (H) or on the subsequent Henschel Tiger I hulls. No indication either that these turrets were meant for the initial design of the VK 30.01 (P) hull, but who knows? The Pz.Kpfw. VI VK 45.01 (P) chassis from the Dragon kit 7209 – SdKfz. 181 Pz. VI (P) will be a good choice for an adequate hull.
Anyway, this OKB Grigorov new release is made up of 11 resin parts and 9 metal parts, all of a high quality and showing a great deal of details, along with the fineness that OKB Grigorov have accustomed us with.
The two pictures below show the neat details of the cupola, the lid cupola and the two parts of the loader’s hatch.
As can be seen here, a nice metal barrel is also provided:
However, there are no instructions provided and this would be my only grippe with this offering as some location points of some of the smallest PE parts are difficult to guess. In this I was helped with the instructions included in the OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK. 3001 (P) – reference 72080 -.
This turret is certainly of great interest as it provides the opportunity to build the original models that were produced in very small numbers. Great drawings and photos of various Pz.Kpfw. VI VK 45.01 (P) can be found in the following reference book: Panzerkampfwagen VI P (Sd.Kfz.181).The history of the Porsche Typ 100 and 101 also known as the Leopard and Tiger (P). (Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle; Panzer Tracts).