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Kawasaki Ki-10-11 Japan Army Fighter-Biplane

9 Apr

Kawasaki Ki-10-11 Japan Army Fighter-Biplane ,helicopter models

Kit: Kawasaki Ki-10-11 Japan Army Fighter-Biplane Scale: 1:72

Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (two) an aircraft flown by Capt. Tateo Kato, 64 Sen-tai and another of 77 Sen-tai, both in China, 1938

UK price: £7.99 

This is the first Japanese aircraft of this period I have built. Luckily there are plenty of easily available references, and keen builders of such machines are likely to have most of these already. This is a typically well-crafted limited-run Eastern European kit. Construction is quite straightforward. The fuselage is split vertically, enclosing the cockpit detail. This consists of a floor with moulded seat base, a seat backrest, control column, rudder pedals and instrument panel. To enable the fuselage halves to be joined a certain amount of trimming is required to the inside of the fuselage around the instrument panel area. After joining the fuselage halves the upper cowling was cemented in place, followed by the nose. The horizontal tail surfaces are butt jointed, as is the rudder. These all fitted, and the next task was to add the lower wing. This is a complete moulding, which includes part of the fuselage underside. When this was fitted the whole assembly was checked for blemishes and to see if any filler was required.

Kawasaki Ki-10-11 Japan Army Fighter-Biplane ,scale models aircraft

As this aircraft had a uniform overall colour scheme it was possible to add the upper wing before painting. It is here that the trouble started. The inter-plane ‘Z’ struts are a single moulding. These needed trimming to remove a certain amount of flash. I also found that the moulded locating pins did not correspond with the holes in the wings. The easiest way to solve this problem was to file the pins off and use the locating holes as a positional guide. Unfortunately there is still more work to do. These struts lean out from the vertical, but the bottoms of the struts do not conform to this angle; a process of filing is necessary before gluing them in position. Having addressed the wings, there is just the undercarriage to add, but leaving off the wheels. Painting could now begin. Both schemes have a red stripe on the fuselage, and this is supplied as a decal. Unfortunately this decal was not designed to conform to the fuselage.

Consequently the stripes have been produced as parallel strips when they should be curved, so that when applied to the curved fuselage they become ‘straight’. Because of this I needed to spray part of the fuselage red, then mask it off before spaying the aircraft overall light grey. After painting the exhaust area I then added the pre-painted wheels. Following a coat of Johnson’s Klear, I applied the decals, and these present no problems, adhering well to the surface. It was now time for the rigging. As with most biplanes of this period some of the bracing wires are quite thick, so stretched sprue was used. I then spayed the model with matt varnish (I always do this after the rigging is complete because it makes any slight smears of PVA glue used on the sprue disappear). After adding the propeller and windscreen transparency the model was finished.This kit will give the average modeller little trouble and it makes a refreshing change from more familiar subjects.

Eurofighter Typhoon single-seater

Kawasaki Ki-10-11 Japan Army Fighter-Biplane ,diecast model airplanes uk

Kit: Eurofighter Typhoon single-seater

Scale: 1:48

Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (seven) ZJ918/Q0-L, No. 3 Sqn, ZJ915/BY, No. 29(R) Sqn and ZJ917/AE, No. 17(R) Sqn, all at RAF Coningsby, 2005/06; 30+09,JG 73 ‘Steinhoff’, Luftwaffe, Laage-Rostock, 2005; 7L-WA, Austrian air force, 2006; M. M.7235/4-6, 4° Stormo, 9° Gruppo, Italian air force, Grosseto, 2005; and C.16-23/11-03, Grupo 11, 113 Escuadron, Spanish air force, Moron, 2006 UK price: £14.99 

This is Revell’s new-tool single-seat Eurofighter, although it won’t come as any surprise to note that the mould appears to be ready for an easy shift to two-seater production. The moulding as a whole is very impressive and nicely engraved, although not totally consistent on my example and with some (to my mind) ambitious fit ideas. However, what really stands out on first opening the box is how full it is. This is largely due to two full sprues of weapons and stores supplying just about everything you could wish for, and including Pave way Ills, Storm Shadows, Taurus, AMRAAMs, IRIS-T, ASRAAM and Meteors.

The decal sheet covers all European operator nations to date, the first three RAF squadrons, all the weapons, and all the stencilling, including national variations! It’s a very comprehensive sheet and, with the weapon sprues, makes this kit look excellent value for money. But how does it go together?

Starting with the cockpit, the seat is made up of six parts and looks pretty good. The cockpit detail is a bit soft, and decals are provided for both the side consoles and main panel, the latter having no less than 10! I painted the side consoles, but probably should have gone with the decals. However, the end result of the cockpit built ‘out of the box’ is not bad. Now it’s time to join the fuselage halves with the cockpit in place (and nose weight, clearly labelled). It’s here that a couple of important issues arise. The moulding and engineering on this kit is clever; the fit of the vent (part 28A), its depth, and the way the other parts fit around it make for a very convincing effect. However, the instructions make life a little difficult, here and elsewhere. They suggest the option of drilling some holes for the later fitting of the IR sensor, marking it as an option, but not indicating which aircraft actually have it fitted. Certainly the RAF aircraft I modelled didn’t have it – at least, not when my reference photographs were taken. Also at this point the instructions suggest fitting the canards, using a plug on the inside to make them mobile. I decided that they wouldn’t survive the build and left them off for now.

The nicely detailed main gear bay is next, convincingly deep, and with scope for some more detailing if required. This was followed by the intake trunking. Again, this is a very ambitious assembly, and it would be nice if it was a little deeper or had a representation of the engine front at the end. The final result has a noticeable ‘v’-shaped gap down each side if you look inside, but is otherwise not bad. The instructions indicate which holes to open in the lower wing for the pylons, but they miss a couple out. They also suggest opening the two wholes in the centre fuselage, but never mention the drop tank that’s supposed to go there (although three drop tanks are supplied, only two are indicated and provided with decals). The instructions omit the innermost wing pylon mounting holes, as pylons are not provided for this position.

Kawasaki Ki-10-11 Japan Army Fighter-Biplane ,model airplanes radio controlled

The mounting pins on the pylons are really large, so the holes need to match. With subassemblies mated to the lower wing, the lower wing to the fuselage, and the upper wing to the lower wing, it’s finally looking like a Typhoon. The wing-to-fuselage fit is very good (despite a few problems with the way the upper wing joined the lower wing at the trailing edge). The lower wing is another very ambitious part, involving some interesting curves and needing to fit well to work, which it does, mostly. Indeed, fit overall is very good, and I only used a tiny amount of filler, some of it around the rear fuselage/lower wing join. With the main airframe now together, from here on the instructions mainly cover more intricate items including the wingtip pods, undercarriage, gear doors, fuselage spine and fuselage details (I really like the neat way a couple of scoops/exhausts are represented). I didn’t fit all the smaller parts at this stage, leaving off items such as the undercarriage, lights and exhausts to make the painting easier.

If you try to configure the airbrake in the closed position it sits proud, and some sanding is required to get it to fit down. There is some detail inside if you choose to mount it in the open position. The instructions offer an option in relation to the DASS part that protrudes from the rear fuselage, again without making clear which aircraft it is applicable to. It seems to be present on RAF machines, so I fitted it. I fitted three of the four air data probes under the nose, the fourth disappearing from my tweezers, never to be seen again. I made another, fitted it, but it broke off after painting and required another replacement. Care is certainly needed in this area.

With all the pylons and fuselage details fitted, and with the canopy, wheel wells and intakes (previously painted white) and exhaust areas (painted several metallic shades) masked, it was time to start the main painting. Here I have another gripe regarding the instructions, in that they don’t indicate which single colours to use. I’m definitely not going to try and find three Revell paints and mix them in 25%/74%/l% proportions, and I can’t understand why Revell are still doing this. I understand the main colour is Camouflage Grey (formerly Barley Grey) so I opted for Xtracolor X17 (the end result looked a little darker than I would have liked). Certain areas of the airframe require a slightly different colour, including some leading edges and the radome. The instructions seem to suggest that these areas are lighter, but looking at photographs is confusing. In some images these areas look darker (including on the RAF example for which I have reference), but on others they look lighter. I would advise caution and trying to find reference of the particular aircraft or nationality y
ou’re modelling. I went with a slightly darker shade. This was initially not dark enough, the two areas being almost indistinguishable, so I did another quick mask job and repainted the darker area. With the painting complete it was time for the decals.

And there are a lot of them. Here, however, I encountered another problem concerning the instructions. When placing decals I position them relative to panel lines. The problem here is that quite a few of the panel lines on the decal positioning diagram bear little resemblance to the kit. Indeed, the side views don’t match the top views. Worst of all, the airbrake is drawn noticeably short and the darker grey dielectric panel behind it is shown in completely the wrong place (the kit position is correct, as far as I can tell). If you study enough photographs you will find that the locations shown don’t always quite match the real aircraft. The positions I have in references for ZJ924 don’t quite match the kit positions for ZJ918, but I suppose it’s possible that there are variations between individual aircraft.

Some of the decals silvered a little and some didn’t, so I’ll blame myself for not providing a glossy enough surface and/or using the wrong type or quantity of setting solution. While I was intending to complete the kit ‘out of the box’, I couldn’t bring myself to use the kit’s ‘slime lights’. These are far too yellow, so I hunted through my decal stash and finally found enough odds and ends to do a reasonable job of replacing them. With a coat of matt varnish and the masking off it seemed as if the build was finally nearing its conclusion.

The main gear was a bit of a tight fit, but with some pushing it went in and looks to be at about the correct angle. The nose gear was fine, although the nose wheel itself was a bit of a poor fit. Meanwhile, the outer main gear doors don’t seem to have any sort of attachment method and foul on the flare fairing. The doors can be fixed in approximately the right position, but the end result is a bit odd, especially as the other doors are really rather nice, with positive location and actuating pistons. I sometimes leave my kits ‘clean’, but with all the stores provided in this box this was never going to be an option. I really wanted to have both Storm Shadow and the Paveway Ills, but I couldn’t justify putting the Paveways on one of the outer pylons. However, while searching the web I came across some sample loadouts, one of which looked just like I wanted: Paveways on inboard pylons (which, as mentioned earlier, are not provided in this kit), Storm Shadow next, then Alarm, and finally ASRAAM on the outermost pylons. I had some Alarms from a previous Tornado build and then just had to furnish a couple of pylons. The spares box provided some F-15 Eagle pylons, which were modified to approximately the correct shape and fitted. The kit weapons and the spares-box Alarms were then made up. (I’ve probably used inappropriate mounts, but they were all I had, and one photograph from the web didn’t give me enough detail to do too much.) The weapons were then painted, the many decals applied and the stores fitted under the wings. The drop tank was attached and two Meteors fitted in the forward recesses. If you build the Meteors as per the instructions, fitting all the fins as shown, the missiles won’t fit in the recesses, as there are no cut-outs for them. This also means there are no positive locations for the missiles, and you will need to examine photographs to see just how far forward they sit.

Finally the lights were fitted, the main canopy added, and the canards attached in their customary nose-down attitude (as I pushed them into place I didn’t think that they canted in enough at the bottom, so some careful forcing was needed to replicate the correct angle, while trying not to break the pegs). I am not convinced that the canopy actuator as provided fits the space or gives the right lift or angle. I looked at some of my references, cut bits off the part and superglued the very back of the canopy to the spine. The result is acceptable, but it seems odd that it doesn’t fit as provided in the kit.

The problems I have highlighted are really just small matters that stop this being a truly wonderful kit. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the instructions, I would say this was a truly wonderful kit, with a great decal sheet and a superb variety of weapons. The problems with the fit of the airbrake and the canopy are largely as a result of providing options, and ultimately I’m grateful for those options. A nice resin cockpit wouldn’t go amiss, but the kit cockpit is still very good ‘out of the box’. In conclusion, this kit is highly recommended.

North American F-86H Sabre Hog ‘In USAF Service’

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Kit: North American F-86H Sabre Hog ‘In USAF Service’ Scale: 1:72

Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (three) 34th FDS, George AFB, California, 1955; 429th FBS, Clovis AFB; 50th FBW Toul-Rosieres, France, 1956 UK price: £11.99 Website: www. mpmkits. com

The F-86 is for me the classic 1950s jet fighter; starting with the application of German research into swept wings to the FJ-1, it developed along increasingly diverse strands, culminating in the Orenda-powered Canadair Sabre Mk 6, the Commonwealth Avon-Sabre and the naval FJ-4. Meanwhile, the ultimate land-based variant from North American was the F-86H, itself up-engined with a J73 replacing the J47 and, like the Australian variant, needing a bigger intake. I don’t recall this subtype being produced as a 1:72 injection-moulded kit before, and this recent release from Special Hobby is therefore very welcome.

This kit is fully injection-moulded, including the canopy, and while there are no resin parts there is an etched-metal fret. This supplies many details for the cockpit, including the instrument panel – for which there is also a film – tops for the side consoles, rudder pedals, seat harness and foot rests. There is a plain plastic instrument panel (A14), but the metal/film combination is a different shape at the top, and I trimmed the latter a little to make it appear to fit better. In retrospect I should probably have fitted it so that the ‘shoulders’ of the panel protruded above the cockpit coaming.

Two of the three aircraft for which markings are provided have ribbed trailing edges (like the A-4 rudder) on the tailplane and the rudder; for the horizontal tails alternative parts are provided, but for the rudder there is a replacement only for the trailing edge. With hindsight – the reviewer’s prerogative – I would have done better to remove the ‘plain’ trailing edge before joining the fuselage halves, and adding the replacement part A17 afterwards. There are very small vortex generators in etched metal to mount underneath the tailplanes at the leading-edge root, and a pair of wing fences is provided in the same material.

The three subjects for which decals are offered are all very colourful, and I picked that on the box top; the green trim around the canopy needs painting and I found that Humbrol 131 was the nearest match to the vivid green of the decals. If I was doing it again I’d paint the wingtips white and cut the green striping from its white background, but on the whole the fit of the decals was good, with the nose band wrapping round accurately, and the tail trim settling over the ribs with a touch of solvent. The overall finish was with my New Best Friend, Xtracolor’s High Speed Silver X39, which gives the proper tone of a painted silver rather than a metallic finish. I hope a decal manufacturer or two picks this up as a subject; they, and you, are recommended to consult Air Force Legend 212 in Steve Ginter’s excellent series, with its selection of detail illustrations and finishes, even though the colour shots are limited to the book’s covers. There has, as far as I know, never been a ‘fly-off’ between an F-86H, an Avon-Sabre, a late-model Fury and a Sabre Mk 6; which was the best Sabre will probably always remain a subject of speculation, and I rather doubt whether even the application of serious money could raise the field. However, I have this plan for a small new shelf…

Arado Ar 65

%title%,model bi plane

Kit: Arado Ar 65 Scale: 1:72

Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (two) Bulgarian air force machine, Bozuriste, 1938; Luftkriegsschule 3 aircraft, Borgheide, Germany, 1941 UK price: £11.60

This company has issued two Ar 65 kits. Both are similar, the difference being the markings. One scheme in each depicts an aircraft with underwing fuel tanks, but I chose to produce an example from kit No. 9218 (without tanks). This machine is extremely colourful and it will need a certain amount of tricky masking to produce. The kit is basically plastic with some detail parts in resin and etched brass. Construction starts with the cockpit area, with a floor, seat, seat belts, control column and rudder pedals – all in etched brass. Before fixing this to the fuselage you will need to cement some etched-brass sidewall structure in place. Then there is just the instrument panel to fit before closing the fuselage. The panel itself is etched brass with an acetate sheet to be cemented behind. The fuselage could be closed without any adjustment to the interior. Having done this, the upper front cowling was added, followed by the tailplane. All of these components are single mouldings. The lower wings, again single mouldings, are butt jointed to the fuselage. It’s here where the fun starts. The Bulgarian aircraft had a red nose and a tapered stripe along the fuselage. This area needs spraying red and masking off before any further assembly. The rudder stripes were also painted at this stage and the rudder masked off. The rest of the machine is a single colour, which means that the rest of the parts can be fitted. I started with the upper wing. The main interplane struts are single mouldings, their location marked by a fine etched square. As an extra guide I put pencil lines chord-wise on both wings; even so, it was quite a challenge. Rigging is straightforward on this aircraft apart from the fact that the rigging diagram on the instructions does not coincide with the box-top drawing. On checking photographs I decided that the box top was correct. The bracing wires were quite sturdy, so I used stretched sprue, which allowed me to produce material of varying thickness. No drilling was required and I could complete the model and rig as the last job. After the upper wing was fixed in place the fuselage struts could be added, plus the undercarriage, minus wheels. Further detail includes a resin radiator, a tailskid, and tailplane support struts. The whole aircraft was given a coat of RLM 02 and the fuselage masking removed. The pre-painted wheels were added, the model was given a coat of Johnson’s Klear and the decals were applied. After rigging, the whole model was given a coat of matt varnish. All that was needed now was to fit the propeller and windscreen. For the most part this was a straightforward kit to construct and it is certainly a striking addition to my collection.

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