A MiniArt Masterpiece

Are you ready for the ultimate, Cold-War armour kit?

 

MiniArt look to be releasing an absolutely astonishing kit of the T-54B. Comprising over 1000 parts(!), this new offering from them will be a real tour de force in both kit construction and painting. Featuring a fully detailed interior, as well as working suspension, articulated tracks and superbly detailed hull and turret, those of you with aspirations to build the ultimate model of this famous vehicle, may just have found the means.

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Because it’s Tamiya, that’s why!

Tamiya have for as long as I can remember, been my favourite company, so almost anything that has those two stars on the box tends to bring a smile to my face

How a Quarter-Scale F-14 caused the sky to fall in. Almost.

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You would think that the release of any new kit would be cause for celebration, but when that kit is joining the range of perhaps the greatest model making company on the planet, we should not only celebrate, but shout it from the roof tops.

Yes..?

No..?

Okay, maybe it’s just me that thinks the news that Tamiya are to release a brand-new F-14A Tomcat is cause for an outpouring of pleasure. Tamiya have for as long as I can remember, been my favourite company, so almost anything that has those two stars on the box tends to bring a smile to my face (alright, not entirely everything, I still don’t get those little carpet racers, but that’s about it!). So when the news broke this week, I was happy that a) I didn’t need to keep it secret any longer, b) that it looked so good in the pictures and c) that I could finally build a Tomcat and not have to wrestle with an ill-fitting kit, or one that featured twenty-five hundred parts – if you see what I mean. Continue reading

LÉ Róisín – A New Project begins…

RB Productions 1:350 Irish Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessel

This is one of the new generation of resin kits that combine computer design with very high quality 3D printing to create the patters that are cast in resin and the results are superb

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LÉ Róisín (P51) is the lead ship of her class of offshore patrol vessel in the Irish Naval Service. The ship’s primary mission is fisheries protection, search and rescue, and maritime protection operations, including vessel boardings. Róisín or Róisín Dúbh, is often used as an allegory for Ireland. However the original Róisín Dúbh was a daughter of Red Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone in the late 16th Century. Continue reading

Downsized Delfin

AvanteGarde Model Kits make a welcome entry into the world of 1:72 modelling…

Upon opening the box the modeller is greeted by a fairly straightforward model kit that exhibits high levels of detail and finish

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Over the last couple of years, AvanteGarde Model kits (or AMK as they will from hereon in, be more pithily know…) have ploughed a quality furrow within the field of 1:48 jet aircraft. Though the list of releases is far from long, the quality of each subsequent release has built upon the last in terms of quality, engineering and complexity. They have to many, shown what is possible from a range of kits – the fact that that has been done this from the ground up, makes this an altogether more impressive feat. Continue reading

THE SAGA OF EDUARD’S MESSERSCHMITT

When your best is simply not good enough…

The modelling world is littered with kit releases that are rubbish and those products simply hit the model shop shelves and stay there, never to be corrected

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You may well recall a while back that Eduard had decided to add to their range of 1:48 kits with the release of a sparkling new Messerschmitt Me109G-6. This kit was announced to a fanfare of “this will be the greatest kit ever of this aircraft” and “you’ll never have seen detail quite like it” – you get the picture. The rhetoric was a little overblown, but it was certainly nothing we haven’t heard from other companies. When you have great faith in your work, you trumpet that as much as possible – and trumpet it, they did.  Well, the kit was released. Those that just like nice kits looked at it, admired the detail, cooed over surface features and then surfed Online, to discover the extraordinary number of additional parts available from Eduard to further enhance the basics. We were bowled over.

And then, as someone pointed out that the model was not actually 1:48, the sky fell in…

Eduard — honestly, I believe — had used what now appears to be an inaccurate set of plans to create their kit, meaning that the model not only exhibited some — shall we say — odd shapes, they also resulted in wings that were too wide in span and a model that was just, well, too big! Closer to 1:45/46, the results were nothing short of a disaster for Eduard. As time went by, it seemed as though there was nothing in the kit that was completely accurate; from the size and shape of the airframe to the smaller details that adorned it, everything started to unravel. With each passing day there was another mistake, another modeller keen to light the funeral pyre. It was a horrible mess.

The Online community were of course up in arms about all of this, slating the powers that be for their oversight and asking how in this day and age, such things could happen. Eduard made a fatal mistake: they had bragged about this new kit to an audience who knew what was what and who didn’t like such outward shows of arrogance and now, those to whom such things were particularly irksome, vented their anger. Eduard had been hoisted by their own petard.

I was more circumspect. Accidents and mistakes happen. Eduard had not gone out of their way to create an inaccurate model – why would they? These things cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce and the damage to their reputation from such a mistake can and did, cost them dearly. It was an honest mistake, but it was a mistake that they decided to rectify and rectify it they have.

Several weeks ago, Eduard released their ‘new’ Messerschmitt Me109G-6. And when I say ‘new’, I mean, new. This is no simple reworking of the original moulds, a wash and brush up that is designed to pacify the detractors, no, this is an all-new product that in my opinion does exactly what they set out to do with the previous release: it closes the book on this aircraft in this scale. It is, to all intents and purposes, magnificent. From the accuracy of the model’s shapes, through it’s surface detail that has to be seen to believed and on to the smaller features that are so important to the look and feel of a replica, it is simply spell-binding. But more than that, it’s a fun project that’s easy to build and looks great once complete. I spent a week on mine and I’m already considering another – it really is that good.

What Eduard did, was completely rip up the original files and start again. Every part in their G-6 is new, from the airframe, through to the smaller details, it’s a testament to what Eduard can and do achieve on a regular basis. The engineering, levels of detail and precise fit have to be seen to be believed. Having now built this new kit I can honestly say that it is every bit the equal of their much vaunted Spitfire range – it might even be better.

What I applaud Eduard for though is not loosing sight of their initial vision. They wanted to create the ultimate ‘109 and they fluffed their lines, to produce anything but. Their first attempt was a dog’s dinner that generated what can only be described as a storm of protest. They went away, tail between their legs and started again. How many other companies would do the same? Hardly any. The modelling world is littered with kit releases that are rubbish (not too strong a word, as I am sure you can imagine…) and those products simply hit the model shop shelves and stay there, never to be corrected, never to be addressed, always to be sold to modellers who deserve better for the money that they spend.

Eduard’s ‘109G-6 is a fantastic kit that bears testament to their ability to replicate aircraft such as this in miniature. But more than that, it’s an example of how a company can admit a mistake and then take the time and money to rectify it. When their best was simply not good enough, Eduard went back to the drawing board and started over and that’s the real story of what will be seen by many, as one of this year’s best aircraft kit releases.

GLOSTER METEOR – THE BEST YET FROM AIRFIX?

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 19.06.14Meteor F.8 – Excellence in miniature from Airfix

I first saw this kit several months ago and was blown away by how Airfix had gone about replicating the Meteor. What stood out were the subtle details, not only within the cockpit, gun bays and engines, but over the airframe, delicate panel lines and rivets, holding hands with rippled skin panels to create a finish that was utterly in keeping with the original. I was bowled over. Today, now having to the kit to hand, I feel even more impressed.
This is a very complex kit – or rather, this is a straightforward kit that creates a very complex model, if you see what I mean. The chance to replicate a complete cockpit, two open engine bays and two complete engines, is something of a first for Airfix and shows exactly what their designers are capable of. The fact that all of that is packed with a kit that looks to be simple to build, makes it all the more attractive.

This is a very fine kit from Airfix, perhaps their best, ever. Certainly in 1:48, I can’t think of another product from this company that matches what they have achieved her

Construction begins with the cockpit, nose-mounted undercarriage and also, gun bays that can be shown open, under the canopy rail. Detail within all of these areas is top notch. I particularly liked the ejector seat with its choice of plain cushion, or one with seat belts moulded in situ, the complex cockpit side walls and the guns and their separate ammo feeds. For the painters amongst you there’s plenty of detail to bring out. As almost all of the internal sections are either black or aluminium, you’ll be able to build large sections seat then paint and weather them all at the same time – great for those like me who don’t like to mess aroundwith multiple painting sessions! What it will face you to do is work out how best to paint, weather and detail the internals. The cockpit for instance is black, but that detail will need a lighter shade to allow the detail to pop, dark grey being perhaps a better starting point.
With the nose done the engines can be looked at. The kit offers a full set of internal bearers to go within the wings, onto which you can mount the two jet engines. These can be built and painted and then slotted into place during final assembly – or, thanks to a neat little trolley that’s supplied, shown on display beside the aircraft. The engine detail is excellent, only a few wires here and there being needed

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to produce two highly detailed replicas. That said, I am sure the aftermarket guys are licking their lips at the chance to add detail to this model, Eduard’s new parts seen this month, being just the start…
As with the Defiant seen this month, all of the control surfaces are separate parts and that allows a degree of flexibility when it comes to set-up and display. I was amazed to find that the control surfaces actually feature raised rivets over their surfaces. This is really welcome as it adds to the look of the completed model, no end. Add to that the depiction of rippled skin on some of the fuselage panels and you get an idea of the lengths that the designers have gone to to create a perfect replica.
Along with the plastic parts, the kits supplies a comprehensive decal sheet that allows the replication of two different aircraft, one in overall sprayed aluminium paint, the other in standard RAF camouflage, Dark Green, Dark Sea Grey and aluminium. The choices are as follows:

Gloster Meteor F.8 – No. 111 Squadron, Royal Air Force North Weald, Essex, England, 1954.
Gloster Meteor F.8 – No. 85 Squadron, Royal Air Force Binbrook, Lincolnshire, England, 1968.

FINAL VERDICT
This is a very fine kit from Airfix, perhaps their best, ever. Certainly in 1:48, I can’t think of another product from this company that matches what they have achieved here. Detail, surface textures and features are all absolutely top-drawer and the match of almost anything that you will find elsewhere. As you imagine, we are looking at the kit in far more detail, the results of which we will bring you in a future edition of this magazine.

SHOOTING STAR

Great Wall Hobby reveal details of their next 1:48 kit – the delightful T-33

The Hyperscale website has just revealed details of GWH’s next 1:48, offering shots of the made-up kit and the options offered on the decal sheet. As you can see from this link, the model looks great once built up and the options of the decal sheet will certain provide the basis for a wonderfully colour addition to the display cabinet.

As you might imagine, we have no further information on this kit, but when do do, we’ll be sure to pass it. This is one that we are looking forward to…

http://www.hyperscale.com/2015/reviews/kits/gwht33a48previewjh_1.htm