Friday, 27 November 2015

Fonderie Miniature 1/48 Breguet 693

Fonderie Miniature do not have the greatest reputation for producing buildable kits. Unfortunately I have to report that it is not improved with this one. This is possibly one of the toughest builds I have subjected myself to in a long while. A mix of (very soft) plastic, resin and etched parts normally indicates some attention to detail, but when none of it fits together in a recognisable way you know you have a problem.

But I like a challenge, and this is certainly one of those. It fought me every step of the way, but I managed to finally emerge victorious albeit battered and bruised. However there is something satisfying about finishing with a reasonable model after such a journey. The glass is half full.

You can see photos of the build process here.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Roden 1/72 Fairchild C-123B Provider

Something a little outside of the middle of the road from Roden, purveyors of surprisingly good kits. If you are not familiar with this aircraft, you've probably seen it many times in the movies, where they seem to like it because it looks a bit like a Hercules but is a lot cheaper to crash... Think "Con Air", "Air America" et al... In "Die Hard 2" they actually stuck extra dummy engines on one to complete the effect.

Anyhow, the kit. Let's get the bad points out of the way briefly - overly heavy panel lines, terrible fitting fuselage transparencies and the internal floor makes the fuselage impossible to fit together properly. However, it is otherwise an excellent kit. The fit is (other than the above) exemplary and the details fine and accurate. I did add the NH Detail cockpit set which is a nice touch but otherwise this is out of the box, other than decals from Caracal Models to create the particular machine my customer was looking for.

You can see the build progress photos here.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Trumpeter 1/48 Douglas C-47 Skytrain

I've finally got around to building one of my all time favourite aircraft, and this excellent offering from Trumpeter in 1/48 builds into an impressive and imposing model.

As a kit, it is beautifully moulded with fine details and only suffers from three significant flaws. Firstly it is peppered with overstated sunken rivet holes. This is not strictly accurate, the C-47 had raised rivets and so I've chosen not to apply my usual dark wash to the model to keep them toned down. Secondly the engine cowlings are completely the wrong shape, and I have replaced these with corrected ones from Quickboost. Finally, the C-47 rudder is fabric covered and the kit depicts it covered in rivets. Quickboost again have come to the rescue with a more accurate replacement rudder.

Otherwise, this kit is actually great fun to build, and I particularly enjoyed putting together the interior details, even though much of this cannot be seen in the final model. Enjoy!

You can see the build progress photos via the FaceBook page here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Fly Models 1/32 Arado AR-234 B-2

Fly Models have started producing some interesting kits, and this is one of them. As far as I know, this is the only game in town for an AR-234 in 1/32 and its a pretty good effort.

Despite being officially a bomber, the AR-234 is a single seater and not a particularly large aircraft, being roughly the same overall dimensions as a modern fighter jet and the 1/32 scale suits it very well.

It has a wiff of the limited run about it - no location lugs, soft beige plastic, slightly thick (but still clear) transparent parts and hastily put together instructions that in places do not represent the parts very well nor give precise locations. Another annoying factor is that despite it being represented on the artwork, there is no bomb included.

However there are a large number of nicely cast resin parts (mainly for the cockpit) and a photo etch sheet, and well printed decals offering a good variety of options. The cockpit in particular builds up spectacularly, which is just as well given how visible it is under the glass nose. This model was built from the box with the exception of the addition of metal undercarriage parts from SAC and a small number of wiring and plumbing additions.

You can see the build progress photos via the FaceBook page here.