Thursday, 4 January 2018

Fujimi RAF 'Silver Jubilee' RN F-4 Phantom FG.1 in 1:72

The 're-designed' and Rolls-Royce Spey-engined F-4s used by the RAF and the Royal Navy during the 1970s must count - at least as far as UK enthusiasts are concerned - as some of the most 'exotic' and 'charismatic' of all F-4 variants. The modifications necessary to fit the larger British engines imbued British Phantoms with an additional air of menace! Those cavernous intakes fed huge quantities of air into huge downwards-angled engines spewing tons of flame and thrust earthward during take-off. Difficult to believe now that we had some 150 F-4s, with one squadron of the Spey-engined aircraft flying off HMS Ark Royal for a number of years! Shame they had gone by 1982 - they'd have come in handy down in the South Atlantic!  As it was, post-Falklands, the F-4s moved south, opening a new phase of RAF F-4 operations when the powers-that-be realised we needed more of them - even if they were only second-hand Js. No wonder the Russians never gave us any grief! But that's another model. And the FGR. 2 soldiered on with 56 and 74 Squadrons until 1992 - but again, that's another model, probably a Hasegawa 48th scale F-4.

Although delayed, the new-tool Airfix  F-4 FG.1 is still eagerly awaited. Back in May I started a Fujimi FG.1 in 72nd ahead of the release of the Airfix  F-4 and this was as far as I managed to get before putting it to one side.

More of the build phase on this blog here.  I have now managed to complete it before the end of the year (well, not quite..) and prior to the release of the new Airfix kit. The 1977 'Silver Jubilee' scheme is also a markings option in the new kit  - as it was back in the 1980s when Fujimi released their model. See the link below for more on the differences between these various markings options.

Above; my completed model and, below, a few shots of the decals and undercarriage going on.

 Although nicely detailed the kit is really starting to show its age now - and despite what you can read elsewhere you have to work hard to get bits to fit - the intakes especially. The decals are pretty poor too and all the stencils silvered badly. The new Airfix kit promises to blow this one out of the water but I see there are already rumblings about 'missing' details - bleed air louvres above and below the intakes most notably, which Fujimi managed to incorporate into their kit all those years ago.

Below; some decent detail views for modellers of the new Airfix FG. 1 including a super view of the lower surfaces. XT 859 at Farnborough 1968 700 NAS with everything out for a low dirty pass. Note the underwing codes overlap the gear doors/flaps. Mark Taylor photo.

Above  FG. 1 XT 866 seen during 1977 sold for £56.55 here
Below; another neat view of FG. 1 XT 866 seen in August 1977 again recently sold for £56 on ebay here!

Phantom FG1 XT870 of 892 NAS at RNAS Culdrose in July,1976

Many more pics of RN Phantoms on this blog

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Eduard Fw 190 A-5 'heavy fighter' in 1:72nd

 I've just finished one of the (relatively) new Eduard Fw190 As and thought I'd share my impressions on the build and the model itself.

I started the Eduard Fw 190 A-5 'heavy fighter' back here

 First of all, the model looks wonderfully accurate - I'm not the sort of person that measures model kits or checks them against drawings etc, suffice to say that it looks and sits just how you'd like an Fw 190, so that will do for me.

 Next point is the detailing, it's easily the best 1/72 Fw 190 in terms of detailing. It's the only Fw 190 A out there with the front of the engine modelled (not that you can really see it!) and the exhausts are separately molded too and insert prior to the fuselage halves/gear bay going together so easy to forget them! It's also got the best molded wheel bay of any Fw190 A kit too.

Below; a few shots of the build process

The cockpit like the Hasegawa kit, is relatively simple, you have the option of flat instrument panels with the details provided by decals, or you can use the Colour Zoom Etch (which I did). The Colour Zoom etch parts, as you would expect include seatbelts, which if nothing else should be used, as you can see these easily, even when the canopy is closed. There's optional standard and blown canopies, which can be modelled open or closed. The kit is easily the most complicated Fw190 A kit to build as the wheel bay needs to be built up and as mentioned the engine front and exhausts are all separate parts, so it will need a bit more care and attention than say the Tamiya Fw 190 A-3 or Hasegawa Fw 190 A-8. For some reason there are no positive location points for the gear legs which makes setting up the undercarriage a tricky proposition.

That said the kit builds really well except for a couple of areas which need extra attention. First  the Fw190's instrument panel - using the Zoom etch parts in the kit the upper instrument panel will not fit in the pre cut slots in the inner fuselage halves, without modification. Presumably this is not an issue in the Weekend edition.

The next area for concern is the gear bay - the wing armament inserts prior to putting the wings together, so very fiddly. The wing cannon on my kit didn't fit very well either. The last 'issue' is the gap when the front cowling ring is fitted, there should be a little gap (as on the real thing) but the gap on the model just looks a bit too big, so a touch of filler makes it look better. Apart from the issues mentioned the kit went together really well, I only need to use filler on the front cowling ring gap, it has the best wing/fuselage parts I've seen on a 72nd scale model. The decals also are quite nice, they behaved quite well for me, going on easily, not sticking too fast, giving you the chance to adjust the positioning. They have also dried on well, conforming to the surfaces and panel lines without silvering. Apart from a few minor niggles fitting some parts (as mentioned) the kit is excellent and I would highly recommend that anyone who likes the Fw 190 should get a few!

A note about the Profipack edition via Mike Mx. It can only really be built as a standard A-8. I found this out as I wanted to do Priller's 'Black 13'. From pictures it can be seen that this aircraft had no outer 20mm cannons in the wings and as a result, no bulges behind the cannons on the upper wing. On the Eduard kit the bulges are moulded on the wings, so to make anything else, you need to file these off and there really isn't a point in doing this as I will explain. According to Eduard, if I understand correctly, in the Royal Class boxing will give you the parts and decals to do 2 standard Fw190 A-8's, an A nightfighter and a A-8/R2 Sturmbock (which is the correct designation - the  R8 was a factory designation  that didn't appear when the variant was actually introduced). One of the standard A-8's will be Priller's A-8 and for this you will get a set of wings without the bulges on top. With the wings without the bulges, it will also allow you to make an F-8 and possibly be correct for an A-5 to A-7 (new fuselage halves with be needed). It's also interesting to note that you get the larger fatter bladed prop from the A-9/F-9, inner landing gear doors for the A-5/A-6, the upper nose decking for the A-5/A-6, any number of wheel/tyre options so not surprisingly Eduard have wasted no time in issuing a similar number of boxings.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

new-tool 32nd scale Revell P-51 D (early) has arrived - first look in the box

While many would undoubtedly have liked to see a new tooled B model Revell's latest release is an early (no tail filet) P-51 D. Since building their 32nd scale Spitfire IX earlier this year I've been rather taken with this series of kits from Revell -unbeatable value and nicely detailed too. And while I have the Trumpeter 32nd scale 'B' in the stash there are a lot of issues with it. Anyway that's for another time. Meanwhile this latest Revell kit looks the biz! For a start from what I have seen of the test shots and builds for the release of this kit it does have the wheel wells going back to the rear spar which most manufacturers get wrong on the P-51. The wheel wells are correctly depicted with the straight rear "wall" (i.e., the front of the forward wing spar) as well as separate parts for the ribs and structural details. NICE! For around £30 instead of £130 for Tamiya's P-51 in this scale, this should be a huge hit for Revell. I got mine from Model Hobbies inc of postage for under £30 although I believe RRP is around £36. First thing that struck me is that there are an awful lot of build stages to complete before you get anywhere near to putting the fuselage halves together - lots of detail! Revell really appear to be pulling out the stops on this 32nd range - good luck to 'em!

Below; note upper and lower wings in just two parts - no issues with dihedral or 'droop'. Separate rear fuselage/tail for the later versions. Loads of cockpit detail parts and a huge decal sheet for 'Desert Rat' of the 357th FG or 'Lou IV' of the 361st.

Monday, 4 December 2017

another Airfix A-6 in 72nd -Fw 190 night-fighter of 2./JG 2

Putting the finishing touches to another Fw 190 ... this one is a night-fighting A-6 from the elderly old-tool Airfix kit in 72nd scale, reworked with a few spares from the Eduard and Zvezda kits, including wheels and canopy, a new flat cowl gun cover and a rebuilt cockpit. Reference photos for 'black 14' as yet unpublished. The overall hell-blau-grau 76 finish is roughly over-sprayed over the standard grau scheme. This was done when 2./JG 2 retrained as night-fighters during the summer of 1943 - the scheme extended to the spinner and the cooler fan blades which are also in RLM 76. Balkenkreuze are the simple black outline type. Rudder and lower engine cowl in yellow. As mentioned decals for 2./JG 2 Fw 190s are available from OWL - note the Staffel had a complement of fourteen Fw 190s numbered 1 through 14. Gun barrels and pitot from Master.

Also on this blog;
Airfix new-tool Fw 190 A (72nd) as Klaus Bretschneider's 6./JG 300 FuG 217 night-fighting 'porcupine'

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

IPMS Scale Model World Telford 2017 - photo gallery by John Frackleton

A small selection from IPMS SMW Telford 2017, featuring some models you may not have seen on other Telford galleries out there courtesy John Frackleton (see link below for much more).

Silver medal winner Peter Buckingham from our club - East Kent Scale Modellers - with his almost entirely scratch-built Manx Norton..

 Much more posted by John Frackleton on the East Kent Scale Modellers FB page here