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  2. Terrible Kids Stuff 75mm miniature I finished, called The Birth of Dracula. Thanks for looking.
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  4. René Leduc certainly loved his ramjets. Nice work! Goes to show, those Model Building 101 skills come in handy! Ralph
  5. Review Author: Paul R. Brown Mushroom Model Publications This is a new publication from Mushroom Models Publications. The book opens with a brief description of the operational use of the Mirage III/5 family of aircraft. Like the F-104 Starfighter, the F-4 Phantom and the MiG-21, the Mirage III/5 was widely exported to nations around the world ranging from Argentina to Zaire and has participated in many conflicts over the years, in some cases on both sides of the fight. There is also a note from the author about the profiles he included, which are intended to illustrate aircraft from the nations that flew Mirages. Most of the schemes are for operational aircraft with a few commemorative schemes and test aircraft included as well. Each page has a side profile of one aircraft with a brief description listing the unit it was assigned to, the date of the image, the colors and weapons depicted. The names of the colors are generic, so a modeler will need to do some more research to determine the exact colors. The profiles are strictly limited to paint schemes and markings, there are no drawings of any aircraft parts or details. One downside of the book is that there are no overhead views showing the full paint scheme for any of the aircraft, which I found disappointing as several of the schemes were new to me and I would like to have gotten a better feel for the full scheme, such as the Egyptian Air Force one with ID markings and the . However, the author's note makes it clear that his intent is to introduce the reader to quite a lot of paint schemes, not to provide full detail of them. As a result, this is not a book for someone looking for reference material to super-detail a Mirage III/5 or to provide the full color scheme, there are other books for that purpose. However, if you are looking to build a Mirage III/5 that is different from the standard French Air Force scheme, this book offers plenty of interesting options. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Mirage III/5 family and wants to get inspiration to paint something different. Thank you to Mushroom Model Publications for the review sample and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it. View the full article
  6. Review Author: Will Kuhrt Helion & Company The setting: On June 25, 1950, President Harry Truman was flying back to Washington, D.C. to deal with the outbreak of war in Korea. He thought, "In my generation, this was not the first occasion when the strong attacked the weak. I recalled some earlier instances: Manchuria, Ethiopia, and Austria. I remembered how each time that the democracies failed to act, it encouraged the aggressor to keep going ahead. Communism was acting in Korea just as Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese had acted, ten, fifteen, twenty years earlier . . . If this was allowed to go unchallenged it would mean a third world war." About the Author Dagmawi Abebe was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His father was a naval officer and his mother a nurse. He moved to the U.S. as a teenager and later earned a bachelor's degree in Criminology. He currently works as a criminal investigator and has experience in both private and public sectors. His interest in military history of the obscure nature ranges from the Barbary Wars to 20th Century Imperial Ethiopia. Table of Contents Preface Glossary Introduction Chapter 1 First Kagnew Battalion Chapter 2 Second Kagnew Battalion Chapter 3 Third Kagnew Battalion Chapter 4 Fourth Kagnew Battalion and Firth Kagnew Company Epilog Notes Acknowledgements About the Author This is a review I am especially pleased to write, not because this book is the most amazing one I have ever read, but rather because this book really challenged me to acknowledge and confront my biases. For that, I'm grateful to have read it. The Korean war was before my time, and I am largely not as knowledgeable of it as I am of World War II or contemporary wars. This book--based on a pretty esoteric topic---filled a big gap in my knowledge of history. The Introduction is not to be ignored. It provides a wealth of background knowledge about Ethiopia, the Italian occupation on October 3, 1935, battles between Ethiopian soldiers and Italian troops, and the re-capturing of Addis Ababa in 1945 by Emperor Haile Selassie. Chapter One begins with the start of the Korean War and the beginning involvement of the Ethiopians. On April 11, the Emperor inspected the Imperial Bodyguard Academy. One day later, the battalion assembled in front of Swedish instructors, diplomats and tens of thousands of spectators. Emperor Selassie presented the battalion with their unit colors and the designation "Kagnew Battalion." Kagnew was the name of General Ras Makonnen's war horse. General Makonnen fought in the First Italo-Ethiopian War and was Haile Selassie's father. This book is chockfull of interesting information. The photographs show images I've not seen elsewhere, and I especially appreciated the color plates showing Ethiopian military uniforms. This book serves two functions: it teaches the reader about the Korean War, but more importantly it tells the story of how a proud people and a proud nation rose to meet the call to protect democracy and joined the world in squelching the aggression of the North Koreans. I strongly recommend this book. It is worthy reading, and it will undoubtedly expand the reader's worldview. My knowledge of the Korean War mostly comes from having watched MASH, I hate to admit. But, because of this book, I have grown. This is perhaps, the best compliment I can give. Thank you to Helion for publishing such a fine book, thank you to Dagmawi Abebe for sharing your culture, thank you to IPMS for the opportunity to review it and to Casemate Publishers for providing it. Thank you Bill & Phil for all you do for the Reviewers! View the full article
  7. Review Author: Paul Mahoney Casemate Publishers This is the second of a 2-volume set covering, as the title suggests, the day-fighter aces of the Luftwaffe. Picking up where the first volume ends, this book covers the time period from the peak of Germany's victories through to its defeat in 1945. Casemate's typical high production values are present, including stiff glossy outer covers and glossy pages on heavy stock within. The book is organized by campaigns and theaters of war, going chronologically through each area. There is a good mixture of individual aces' stories interspersed among the historical narrative. Almost every page has good-sized, clear photos. There are plenty of color profiles of the aces' aircraft as well. In addition to the general text, there are few "In profile" pages that discuss an ace (or specific squadron) in detail. A brief glossary of terms and an index of all the aces mentioned concludes the 128 pages of the book. Easy to read, clear photos and nicely done profiles make this a good book to have on hand (if the subject is of interest). Many lesser known (or unknown) aces are mentioned, and that is information you might now be able to find elsewhere. Thanks to Casemate for the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it! View the full article
  8. Review Author: Mike Kellner Italeri In Part One, I alluded to some issues I had with the windows in the kit so I'll start with that. The portholes had acetate to represent the glass, which turned out to be larger than the flat spots they were intended to nestle into, so most had to be trimmed down. The same needed to be done for the ones that were in the deck. Although the deck is meant to be screwed down, I elected to glue it as well, and discovered a section on each side of the deck that had flash which I hadn't caught, and I paid for that by having to remove a glued-up deck just for that purpose, but in the end it turned out OK. Word to the wise: make sure that's cleaned up before putting the deck on. Most holes for items which attach to the deck needed to be opened up by the builder. I didn't particularly like having to drill my own and inadvertently missed a bunch, but with careful measuring---and a bright light---I could see thin spots where to locate and drill the holes. The photoetch was thicker than most kits' I've dealt with previously, but this is a larger scale so it makes sense. Those items worked well. Many parts needed to be sanded and trued where their 2 halves joined together, and there seemed to be a lot of "round things" on this boat that needed sanding. The forward torpedo tubes on the bow required clamping, and then the torpedo tubes didn't sit squarely on the deck so I needed to clamp them there too. Also, the torpedoes wouldn't fit into them, so I had to carefully go inside the tubes with the file and sandpaper and sand from the inside so I could insert the torpedoes into them. I like the kit's camouflaging, which made it look unique. I sprayed Future where the decals were to be located, but when I tried to flat coat them with a matte acrylic spray, they got a milky white look. To rectify this, I lightly sanded over them to touch them up, re-glossed them, and then re-flattened them with lacquer-based flattener this time (Dullcoat). Attaching the rigging to the yardarms on the mast, both sides ended up breaking. For purposes of getting the review completed, I decided to repair them, so cut sticks to hold them up in their glued position. It worked OK, but later I'll probably remove those and put a metal beam across the mast. The kit comes with seven very-nicely molded figures. I have never done a figure, so I'm sure I did not do them justice, but they look neat on the boat. This build took a little longer and a little more effort than I anticipated, but I liked it enough to get Italeri's Elko 80 foot torpedo boat to build as a companion piece. Like all my ships and submarines, I weight them, and they all get test floated. This is just a childhood habit that I've done since I first started building models in the first grade. I used mostly Tamiya paints with a few Gunze Sanygo colors which I had on hand. I would think anybody that has done a model or two should be able to handle this one. Most of the problems I had, I believe, were self-induced. Many thanks to Italeri, MRC Academy and IPMS for the opportunity to review this kit. View the full article
  9. Review Author: Phillip Cavender MMP Books Camera On 17 Sd. Kfz. 7 Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8T Vol. 2, is number 17 in the "Camera On" series published by MMPBooks/Stratus and is a follow up to volume 1. The author, Alan Ranger, has written several books in this series with subjects such as "German Horse Power", "The Einheits-Diesel WW2 German Trucks to "No 22 Krupp Proze Lorry". This A4 format paperback has 80 pages with 140 plus photographs from the author's personal collection. Most are previously unseen and taken by ordinary German soldiers. The book is comprised of an introduction, a short history of the Sd. Kfz.7 on two pages and the remainder of the book covering a few of the various sub-types. The author provides in his abridged history of the Sd. Kfz.7 several facts including the number of units produced, at what plants, and an excellent table with the different production variants. The images are clear, with a few a little grainy given the age, and as the author describes are no more than 25mm by 45mm in size. The author has included captions with each image giving the reader a detailed and, in some cases, rather lengthy description of what they are viewing. The book is divided into five sections with a couple sections only being one page. Sd. Kfz. 7 HLm11 Sd. Kfz.7 with 2cm Flakvierling 36 Sd. Kfz.7 with 3.7cm Flak 36 Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t (Sd. Kfz.7) mit gepanzertem Aufbau Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t (Sd. Kfz.7) mit Holzpritsche Sd. Kfz. 7 HLm11 The first section, "Sd. Kfz. 7 HLm11" is the largest covering pages 5-64. Numerous photos depict the Sd.Kfz towing anti-aircraft guns, in environments such as stalled in mud, deep fording water, and even images of burnt-out units. Most images show the German soldier in or around the vehicle. Turning to page 15 we see a photograph of a group of soldiers casually standing near the Sd. Kfz.7 towing a s.K 18 105 howitzer. The author draws the reader's attention to the two-tone paint scheme of the canvas top. Something this reader didn't notice until reading the image caption. Page 25 draws our attention to a winter scene in the top picture with the Sd. Kfz 7 having its wet weather covering. Notice the canvas top, the window panels, and door coverings. Another great idea for the modeler. As we read further in this chapter the author has included an image on page 28 depicting a group of soldiers training to be drivers in a Sd. Kfz.7. Also, note the author brings our attention to the folded down windshield with a canvas covering. Sd. Kfz.7 with 2cm Flakvierling 36 Moving onto the next chapter "Sd. Kfz.7 with 2cm Flakvierling 36" starting with page 65 showing a Sd. Kfz.7/1 anti-aircraft half-track with only two Flak 38 20mm cannons fitted to a Flakvierling 38 body. The author has included several images in this chapter of the Sd. Kfz.7 7/1 flatbed variant 20mm Quad some with ammunition trailers. Sd. Kfz.7 with 3.7cm Flak 36 Moving on to page 77 the next section, "Sd. Kfz.7 with 3.7cm Flak 36", being one page in length are two images of the Sd. Kfz.7/2 variant armed with a single 37mm Flak 36 anti-aircraft gun. The last two sections covering three pages deal with little known versions of the Sd.Kfz.7. Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t (Sd.Kfz.7) mit gepanzertem Aufbau (With Armoured Structure) - Google Translate Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t (Sd.Kfz.7) mit Holzpritsche (With Wooden Platform) - Google Translate Conclusion: If the author's goal in writing this book was to show the average German soldier in wartime settings, and to show images of the Sd. Kfz.7 vehicle, then I believe his goal was met. The author includes a caption with each image providing information, some with minute details often unseen by the untrained eye. This undoubtedly is a great resource for the historical buff as well as an excellent reference for the modeler, beginner or skilled. The author presents a plethora of inspiring ideas through images many unseen before. This book will make an excellent addition to any modeler or military historian's library. I highly recommend it. Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishers and MMPBooks/Stratus for this review sample. View the full article
  10. Stunning work, especially given that it is a Mach 2 kit! I've built a couple of those before: assemble everything, then carve and shape the model from the final block of plastic using a sawzall and belt sander! What a brilliant job you did here!
  11. Last week
  12. I was working on the Airfix Buffalo kit with the jeep 'passenger', but I wanted to do the Buffalo as an ambulance vehicle, so I needed to figure out what to do with the jeep, if anything. Then it hit me, why not a Jeep ambulance? A quick internet search produced a score of possible variations on this theme, so I chose one and had at it. The stretcher support frames are plastic rod stock with the exception of the curved one in the front, which is from brass wire. I sistered in a dash panel from another kit as the Airfix one is blank, a different steering wheel and column, brake, clutch and accelerator pedals, gear shift levers and used a different seat as the kit one was pretty plain looking. The stretchers are rod stock wrapped in masking tape with tape straps. The flag was printed from the internet onto regular paper and cut to fit the thin rod stock pole. The extra stowage was from the spares box. The decals were translucent, so I cut out circles of white decal that I applied first, which brightened them up. For an afterthought of a project, I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
  13. Review Author: Ben Morton AMMO by Mig Jimenez The Weathering Magazine is one of three magazine series published by the AMMO/ Mig Jimenez Company. This division of Mig Jimenez's modeling products empire also publishes two other magazines are: Weathering Magazine: Aircraft and Special Editions. Special Editions are primarily focused on one, specific subject. The Weathering Magazine: Abandoned. Is the thirtieth edition in this series and encompasses six, specific How-To articles on a variety of subjects. Those subjects are : Beast in the River: an abandoned T-55 in a river Radioactive Rust: an abandoned firetruck at Chernobyl Highway of Death: an abandoned Iragi T-54 Derelict: an abandoned aircraft on a gunnery range MSN-04 Sazabi: an abandoned Gundam Chieftain: A Sweet Retirement: an outdoor armor museum Chieftain This issue of The Weathering Magazine also has a lovely tribute to Elizabeth Weise, dear friend, muse, and co-founder of AMMO and founder of the AMMO for Life project. Additionally there is a photo essay of the 2nd Spanish Marine Infantry Corp Model Contest. Ammo for Life: [https://www.migjimenez.com/en/module/csblog/detailpost/24-5-ammo-for-life.html ] Each article is written and the subject modeled by premier scale modelers. The subjects, as you can see from the list, are diverse and there is plenty here for any scale modeler. And when I say How-To articles I mean just that. Each installment in this issue of The Modeling Magazine: Abandoned has blow by blow accounts that illustrate each authors process in achieving their visions. This step-by step approach also highlights the proper use of the myriad of finishing products available in the market place. The reader is presented with a wealth of information with concrete examples of how best to use chipping fluids, filters, oil weathering, and modeling pigments, to name a few. Those visions are often spurred on from a photograph or online image experienced by each individual author/modeler. The beginning of each project is thoughtfully included as part of the articles. That genesis for each project is most welcome. It is always nice to know where the idea for a diorama or modeling project began and the progress from idea to fruition. All of these articles are beautifully illustrated with multiple images that document not only the construction of each model but the layers of weathering that go into achieving the desired effect for each project. Several of the articles involve dioramas and the authors provided all the detailed steps they undertook to create the proper setting for their 'abandoned' vehicle. As you go through this edition of The Weathering Magazine, I'm sure you will find any number of tips and tricks to use on your next project. Or rethink how you might display a modeling project. Case in point is the 'Derelict' article. This article outlines the use of an aircraft model as an electronic target on a gunnery range. Possibly a great way to rethink how to display a shelf queen that might otherwise be missing a critical part(s). This issue of The Weathering Magazine: Abandoned is an excellent read. The number (six) of articles highlight the plethora of finishing products available to the modern scale modeler. Which should be of immeasurable use for those that may be unfamiliar with them. This magazine should also be useful to those that have already been experimenting with them in order to move your skill set to another level. While all of these step-by-step articles are built and written by superb modelers there is no reason why anyone (myself included) couldn't copy their techniques to achieve similar results. This issue of The Weathering Magazine contains modeling and finishing techniques that you will be referencing again and again. My thanks to AMMO/Mig and IPMS/USA for the review copy. Support Your Local Hobby Shop. View the full article
  14. Review Author: Brian R. Baker Osprey Publishing History: This book is part of a series of excellent Osprey Publications dealing with the history of World War II in the air. This volume deals with the conflicts between the Japanese Army, who were attempting to dominate New Guinea early in World War II, and the United States Army, who were attempting to remove the Japanese and send them back where they belonged. Several JAAF units were involved, using primarily the Nakajima Ki-43-II "Oscar" fighter, opposed by the U.S. 5th Air Force P-47D units. This story has not been told before. The Book: The book deals with the campaigns in New Guinea, and explains the development of fighter aircraft of both services. The Japanese developed lightly armed and low powered fighters which excelled in maneuverability and rate of climb. This had been the emphasis of Japanese designers for many years, and this tradition was carried out in the Nakajima Ki-43. Lightly armed and with no armor protection, the Ki-43's performed well against older enemy fighters, but they could not compare to the heavier, higher powered American fighters, especially the Republic P-47D "Thunderbolt". The Japanese Ki-27 "Nate" fighters did very well in China, but their descendants, the Ki-43's, were at a disadvantage against more modern fighters. The Japanese occupied New Guinea in late 1942 and established air bases along the North Coast from which to operate against American positions on the Eastern side of the island. However, some of the major Japanese efforts were against Rabaul and Guadalcanal, and the efforts in New Guinea were fairly low key. Originally equipped with Curtiss P-40's, in mid 1942, Republic P-47D's arrived in Australia, and these were moved up to oppose the Japanese attempts to complete the occupation of New Guinea. Later in the year, combats between the Japanese Ki-43's and American P-47D's became more common, and Japanese losses became a serious problem. One factor in the American effectiveness was their basic formation strategy. American flew in groups of four fighters, with leader and wing man operating as a paired unit, while the Japanese operated in formations of three aircraft, a tactic that had long gone out of style in Europe. The Japanese suffered serious losses, and replaced units with new ones, sometimes made up of pilots fresh out of flight school. Besides air-to-air combat, much of the American action consisted of strafing attacks against airfields and military installations, and eventually, the Japanese base at Wewak was attacked heavily by P-47's, causing the Japanese to retreat. The term "Wewak" eventually became synonymous with utter devastation. Features: The book gives a fascinating account of the events that resulted in the American dominance of the area. The design and development of the P-47 is described in detail, and this is compared with the origins of the Ki-43. Each aircraft featured a totally different design philosophy, with the P-47 featuring very high power, heavy armament, and an extremely strong structure. The Japanese Ki-43 was light and maneuverable, but its two 12.7 mm machine guns could not compare with the eight .50 caliber machine guns on the P-47D. Of course, the fact that the P-47D was about 100 mph. faster than the Ki-43 was another factor. Japanese pilots were at a distinct disadvantage. Organization: The book begins with a chronology of the events. Following this is a description of the technological development of both aircraft, and a discussion of the technical specifications of each aircraft. The author then describes the strategic situation in the New Guinea campaign, and the number and quality of the units committed to combat. Several maps are provided for the reader to visualize the geographical factors involved. Later, the author explains the statistical analysis of the campaign, explaining why the Ki-43's were destroyed in such numbers, one factor being that many of them were strafed on the ground. Pilots on both sides tended to over count their victories, but the fact that the Japanese employed mainly fighters, while the Americans also operated heavy bombers and other fighter types tended to make the totals a little confusing. Many accounts incorrectly identified aircraft types, and claims were often totally inaccurate. So exact numbers and specifics are sometimes hard to obtain, and much description of the action is speculative. Recommendations: Although dealing with a lot of inaccurate information, the author still manages to answer the questions "what happened?" and "Why did it happen?" The reader of this book should come away with a good understanding of the campaign, and why the P-47D was so important to American success. Don't miss out on this one. Highly recommended. Thanks to Osprey Publications for the review copy. View the full article
  15. Review Author: Brian R. Baker Osprey Publishing History: This book is part of an excellent series on the course of World War II in the air, and although it is a little more inclusive than the title implies, it covers the action between the 3rd Kokutai and the Tainan Kokutai, Japanese Navy units equipped with Mitsubishi A6M-2 Zero Sens, Mitsubishi G4M-2's, and Nakajima C5M2 reconnaissance types and based in the former Netherlands East Indies, and the U.S. Army 49th Pursuit Group, (Later 49th Fighter Group), armed primarily with Curtiss P-40E "Warhawk" fighters, and base in Northern Australia around Darwin. The Japanese were attempting to destroy Allied installations in Northern Australia, while the Americans were attempting to defend them. In general, the Japanese were probably better trained and more experienced than the Americans, but given the conditions of combat, the outcomes were fairly even. Although a few Japanese attacks were carried out with carrier based aircraft, most of their raids were from land bases north of Australia, well out of range of American aircraft. The Book: The book begins with a chronology of events, beginning in 1941, and ending in late 1942. Each major raid or mission is described. Following is a chapter dealing with the design and development of the Curtiss P-40E and the Mitsubishi A6M-2, explaining the factors that affected the design of these aircraft. Features: The book includes a large selection of black and white photos of the aircraft and people involved, color drawings, maps and other visuals which serve to explain the sequence of events. The technical specifications of each aircraft are presented in detail, and one chapter thoroughly explains the strategic situation that faced the combatants. One area I thought was especially good was the section on individual combat using each aircraft, and the comparison between the low powered and lightly loaded and constructed Japanese fighter and the heavier and better protected American P-40. American pilots developed tactics which usually overcame the superior maneuverability of the Japanese planes, and individual American commanders were allowed to engage the enemy using whatever tactics they thought would be most successful. Kit information: There is quite a bit of information included in the book that would be useful to model builders, including photos and line drawings of the aircraft used by either side. Personal Information: One particularly useful part of this book is the discussion of the personal lives and qualities of some of the outstanding pilots of both sides, outlining their strengths and weaknesses, and describing their subsequent careers. Many survived, but quite a few did not. Conclusions and Recommendations: The author includes an excellent section on the statistical analysis of the various engagements between the two forces, discussing the differences between the claimed victories of either side and the actual records, when these are available. Both sides tended to over-claim, but they usually admitted their own losses. The Americans used mainly the P-40E, and nearly all losses were of that type, whereas the Japanese lost not only Mitsubishi A6M's, but also Betty bombers and C5M reconnaissance types, and this makes the totals a little confusing at times. All in all, this is an excellent little book, useful as a historical reference and also as a source of information for modelers. It is certainly worth getting a copy if you have an interest in this part of our history. Highly recommended. Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy. View the full article
  16. Review Author: Dick Montgomery Pen and Sword Books Ltd The story put forward by author Annette Carson, took place over 100 year ago. It is the story of a young man named D'Urban.V. Armstrong. DVA, as he is called throughout the book, was one of many airmen who served during the Great War. Unlike many of the pilots who became famous for their exploits during World War I, DVA survived the conflict, (spoiler alert!!!) only to meet his end two days after the Cease-Fire while flying an aircraft (Sopwith Camel) which he had gained fame having mastered. Ms. Carson writes about the reputation of the Camel being less than positive, and how DVA learned how to control the aircraft, and then instructed others how to control the Camel, significantly reducing accidents during training, (350 men died in Camel-related air accidents during training) and leading to the Camel having a very positive reputation among today's historians. Ms. Carson has a well-established record of interest not only in famous pilots, but also in aerobatics. A review of an Annette Carson publication by Gordon Penner states, "Annette Carson is becoming quite the historian concerning the history and development of aerobatics. Three of her nine books are on aerobatics." The path that led me to this excellent publication began with the receipt of a calendar for 2021. I received the 2021 calendar from "Cross and Cockade International", and it was an item that I was requested to review for "IPMS/USA". That calendar can be viewed and purchased by visiting the C&CI website at https://www.crossandcockade.com/store/Product.asp?cat=3&id=882 The review of the calendar can be viewed on the IPMS/USA website at https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/cross-cockade-2021-calendar And just a word about C&CI taken from their website; "Proceeds go towards ongoing maintenance of the British Air Services Memorial at St Omer, which was erected by the society in 2004 to commemorate the 8,000 airmen who gave their lives in France and Flanders during WW1." The review of the calendar was very positive, so if you are in need of a 2021 calendar then it is recommended that you purchase the calendar from C&CI, thus helping to maintain the British Air Services Memorial at St. Omer. During my review of the calendar I was extremely impressed by the excellent aviation artwork and was featured on each "month page" of the calendar. I was particularly impressed with the artwork on the February page (a jpg of that page accompanies this review). The artwork features a Sopwith Camel flown by DVA, conducting aerobatics at a very low level. During the course of working on the calendar review, I had an email conversation with the artist, Lynn Williams, and it was Mr. Williams that led me to Annette Carson's excellent book. Table of Contents Introduction Ch 1: South Africa: Family, Home & Military Service 1 Ch 2: Royal Flying Corps: Early Days 22 Ch 3: 60 Squadron, The Battle of the Somme 43 Ch 4: Part 1: Bloody April 76 Part 2: Ferrying & Flight Testing 83 Ch 5: Home Defence, Forming Up With 39 Squadron 97 Ch 6: 44 Squadron: Armstrong Meets Camel! 106 Ch 7: 78 Squadron: By Day and By Night 137 Ch 8: 151 Squadron & 3rd AIC: Master of the Night Flying 163 Ch 9: In Retrospect 197 Appendix I: Crash Analysis 210 Appendix II: DFC Citation 216 Appendix III: Posthumous Tributes 218 Acknowledgements 229 Bibliography 233 Notes 236 Index 243 Ms. Carson sets the stage with chapters 1 and 2. As with all of the chapters in the book, Ms. Carson relies on documentation and historical records, where available, to describe DVA's upbringing and early years. In fact, Carson's research techniques and "time spent" ascertaining "fact" from "fiction" is one of the most significant factors contributing to the excellent and reliable quality of the information in the book. My thanks to Casemate Publishers for the chance to review this great book. View the full article
  17. Review Author: Tim Wilding Meng Model The Jadgpanther was a Heer (German Army) tank destroyer based on the Panzer Mark V Panther tank chassis. They had an 8.8cm anti-tank gun installed in a fixed superstructure that replaced the Panther's turret and 7.5cm gun. This Meng Model's Jadgpanther is the last production run made from November 1944 to May 1945. Meng packages this kit in a large, sturdy box with very nice box art and an AK-Interactive paint chart of the required colors to finish this kit. Inside this box are 10 tan colored sprues of plastic, one clear plastic sprue, one photo-etched sheet, one metal side skirt sheet, a sprue of poly caps, a small decal sheet, metal tow cable and a small length of chain for the boom. A bonus for this first edition run is a metal barrel. The instructions are a 26-page booklet with all color printing. There are 38 building steps. I like how Meng has the parts you need to add in each step a tan color and the unfinished kit in a grey. This makes it easier not to miss parts. The history of the vehicle in on three aged tan card stock sheets that are three holed punched on top, like they go on a hanging clipboard. There are over 1000 parts with about 650 being the tracks. You have to decide what version (A, B or C) you are building before you start since there are different steps for some. Three full color painting schemes are at the end of the booklet. Construction starts on the road wheels and lower hull, like most other armor kits. I did go ahead and drill the 20 holes in many different hull parts. I just looked ahead in the instructions and drilled them all while I had my pin vise out. The road wheels have poly caps in them, so they can be removed easily. The lower hull is built from flat pieces, but has internal supports, so everything lines up well. I did have a very small gap under the front plate, but a little pressure helped seal that. There are details on the bottom of the hull too. The suspension arms have some play in them, and I left them unglued. This helped line the wheels up later and them I glued in place. The upper hull is a sub-frame that the armor plates and engine deck glues to. This has guide pins that line up with holes in the lower hull that almost snap in place. But this caused gap problems with the rear plate and the upper hull. Also, the front joint between upper and lower hull had a small gap. I used lots of glue to soften the plastic and pressed parts together hard to fill these gaps. This was a big sloppy and I wish these parts fit better. The next construction step is the tracks. Be prepared to spend about 10 hours on these. Each track link has three sprue attachment points that need to be cleaned. The problem is that the sprue gates are the concaved parts of the tracks. I had to uses a knife to carve away the cut nubs, then use a rounded metal file to get it all out of these concaved areas or the tracks will not fit together. Then there is flash on the other side of the track links that need to be removed or the links will not join properly. I used a small square metal file for that. There are two hollow guide horns that need to be glued to each link. The sprue gates are on the bottom of these horns, but still need to be filed down or they will not fit correctly on the links. You have to do 87 links per side - 174 total, plus 12 more for the extra tracks on the side storage area. That is 372 guide horns that need to be added. There are also extra cleats that can be added to every other track link. After I spent a week and about 12 hours doing about 120 track links, I decided to take a shortcut. Since I was using the side skirts, I skipped making the upper run of links. I made the links just long enough to wrap around the sprocket and rear idler. Building the tracks was very tedious and it almost killed my motivation to work on this kit. Luckily, I went on a weeklong vacation to the beach after finishing the tracks. Meng does offer a working track and running gear option you can buy. This might be a better option then the kit supplied tracks. The rest of the build went well. The front plate needs a lot of pressure to get it to fit in place correctly. This plate needs to line up perfectly or the side armor will not fit well. The exhaust system and engine deck builds nicely. The instructions do have the round photo-etched screens marked incorrectly. Screen 27 is the smaller one and needs to go where 26 is shown going. Screen 26 then goes where 27 is supposed. There is a lot of photo-etched parts on the rear deck and side skirt brackets. I like how Meng has clear tape on both sides of the photo-etched sheet. I could cut pieces off and not sorry about them flying off into the unknown. There are some long, half-rounded plastic left over from the push pin molding process. These will interfere with the interior construction, so they need to be removed. There is just a little interior detail. The gun breach is included and inside of hatches are detailed. The two top hatches and rear superstructure hatch can be opened and closed. I included these details so I can add figures later. The antenna mount has just a nub for an antenna, so I cut this off and replaced with wire. The crane was easier to build on the vehicle unlike the instructions would have you built it off. To get the angles of the supports correct, it needs to be on the vehicle. I did not glue in on, so I could remove it of painting. There is a metal chain for the boom and a photo-etched chain for the block and tackle. This photo-etched chain was a pain to get wrapped around both blocks correctly. Then I used burnishing fluid to darken it so paint would stick to it. After a couple application, the chain started falling apart. I replaced it with black sewing thread. The tread was so much easier to work with. I left the road wheels, tracks and side skirts off for paint. I found it worked best to paint the wheels, lower hull and tracks, then install them. I installed the side skirts next and masked off the lower hull. You can not add the road wheels or tracks after installing the side skirts, since they block the top part of the wheels. I only decals supplied are the crosses, so I added some numbers from my spares. The kit decals are very nice and thin. Overall, this kit was enjoyable to built, but the tracks really will try your patience. I would like to thank Meng Models and IPMS for the opportunity to build this new kit. View the full article
  18. Stunning NMF! Way to whip that into shape! Gil
  19. This is a MACH 2 Plastic kit from 1992. It really shows its age as a challenge.Throw glue in ,shake around, glue comes back out crying like a baby.🤕 I will say my Photography has carried the day. No Photoshop other than correcting exposure issues. Lots of scratch built detail in the Clear cockpit that you can barely make out. Pilot sat in the center of the intake..What could go wrong ???? Thanks for Looking Comments Welcome Bill
  20. Very cool.....you chose the right OLD A-10....since that cockpit only came with decals you won't need to sand off any kit detailing to add the pe upgrade! Looking forward to more of this! Gil
  21. Well, I sent mine. I doubt they will be able to be published, but at least I'm "attending" the San Marcos Nationals anyway! LOL!
  22. Review Author: Allan Murrell MMP Books This is a thin book but very large format, and the images are of a very high quality of the various 4 Wheeled German armoured cars of WWII. The book covers the Kfz.13, Kfz. 14, Sd.Kfz. 221, 222, 223, 247, 260 and 261. The most widely used 221, 223 and 223 take up most of the book. The photos and descriptions are great and very detailed. I found this book fascinating and will be using some of the Photos as inspiration for a few kits in my stash. This this a fantastic reference for all armour modelers. I highly recommend this book. Thanks to MMP Books and Casemate Publishers for providing this book for review and to IPMS USA for allowing me to review it. View the full article
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