News & Reviews
We received a parcel full of Stencils from Orlee from Switzerland. This Stencils are high quality ultra thin vinyl among other upcoming products to help you achieve fantastic effects on your projects. Stay tune for a full review here on our site and in www.modelkitreviews.com. You can also go a purchase directly at www.orlee.ch.
Euro Model Expo 2015 was last weekend (March 29-30) Here I share with you several links with pictures of the amazing kits in the competition, take a peeK!
Staff Positions Open
Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 03:31 PM GMT
By DARREN BAKER
Armorama and Model Shipwrights have some available staff positions open for those who feel they can meet the need.
If you wish to volunteer some time to Armorama or MSW we have positions available in the reviews and features areas on both sites, we also have a brand new position available to interested parties.
Features and Reviews
These areas requires staff to edit and converse with members who send in build features through to walk around’s of vehicles and reviews. The position will likely require 1 to 3 hours a week to perform and of course as you become accustomed to the role it gets easier and so quicker. For these roles you will need to be able to edit pictures to bring them up to a good standard. By good standard, we mean tasks such as balancing the light levels; this requirement is made easy for those members who have a version of Photoshop or similar. There is some very basic HTML code used in the editing process, and you will be sent a document with the HTML listed that we use and this should resolve any concerns you may have.
This is a new role and will involve monitoring the tracking documents for Armorama and MSW. Basically when a sample is sent out there is an expectation of when that item will be submitted; basically 1 month for in box reviews and 2 months for builds, there is of course the matter of blogs which also need to be tracked to ensure that they are started and progressed to completion within a reasonable time period. This role will require someone to monitor the tracking documents and then E-mail members for updates when the expected submission date is exceeded, and that is all there is to it.
We are not currently looking for news staff on the sites; however we would be interested in obtaining someone to cover the news from the Austral-Asia time zones.
Those members who decide that they can offer what we are looking for do get some rewards for their time.
You get unlimited photo storage space.
Staff members will get preferential consideration for review samples, but that does not in any way mean you will always get what you ask for.
Those interested in applying, please send an E-mail to
Bronco has joined the list of manufacturers that have released a kit of the venerable “Jeep”. I believe Heller was the first, then Italeri, then Tamiya (twice) and Dragon. This (by first looks alone) is the New Standard! Bronco of course calls it a, “U.S. GPW ¼ ton 4x4 Utility Truck” but it is a “Jeep”! The title was probably changed for fear of copyright infringement attorneys. The box art states this kit represents a 1942 Model and I have no idea of the differences between a 1942 version and other versions. However, the rear panel does have the “Ford” logo stamped on it and only about the first 1000 or so vehicles produced had this. At some point, the War Department had “Ford” and “Willys” remove the embossed trademark stamping. The same “Ford” logo is also stamped onto the tires. I have found out that the Ford version was called GPW, or "G-Government Vehicle, P-80 inch wheelbase, W-Willys Pattern". While this doesn’t mean the lawyers are off the hook, it is just another non de plume for a Jeep. Also, as a little piece of history, Ford designed the stamped front grill that became a visual identifier of the “Jeep”. However, Jeep applied for and received the copyright to use it!
The box art is nicely done with the passenger figure having a remarkable resemblance to “The Duke” (John Wayne for you younger folks), yet the figure inside does not do the box art painting justice. Inside the sturdy box is pure joy. There are six green sprues, one light gray sprue (figures), one clear sprue, a small PE set, decals (for two vehicles), and a page instruction booklet.
Options, options, options!!! This kit is loaded with them. Three different windscreen options, three different wheel facing options, three different bumper options as well as figure, weapons and personalized crew options! The one noticeable downside is the windshield. The wiper arms and motors are molded into place on the clear windshield. This means care will need to be taken during the painting stage or scratch your own. You can also canvas cover the windshield as well as the trailer. There is a provided tarp as well as PE hooks so you can actually secure your tarp!
I had originally been given permission to do this as an IDF vehicle but once again, there would have been too many things to fix or change and would not have been a bonafide review. So I am building it as a vehicle that I am not sure about as to the armament and options. You only get two decal options, both are for vehicles of the 82nd Airborne Division in France 1944 and neither use the things that I like in the kit. Mostly these include the folded down and tarped windshield and the wire cutter mounted on the front bumper. I will do what I like and explain as I move along.
Construction started by assembling the Jeep and trailer. This allowed me to keep the assembly going and finish (hopefully) in a quicker mode. While one was drying, I worked on the other. The first snag came at step 14 on the Jeep. Here you add part B30 and mine was in 4 different pieces. I have no idea if it arrived this way or I damaged it during the other assembly steps. Either way, it took a few extra hours to make this presentable. Of course, the repair will not be visible unless you leave the hood open. This is an option you get and it is available in step 18.
A couple points about the trailer. In step 23 they have you use stretched sprue for light cables on the rear of the trailer. However, there is no electrical power cable from the trailer to the rear of the Jeep. There is also no power connection on the rear of the Jeep to plug an electrical power cable into. Also, they have you attach two parts P12 to the front of the trailer A frame. These PE pieces are a straight bar with a hook. I am sure these are supposed to be the safety chains that attach to the sides of the towing pintle at the rear of the Jeep. I have seen no pictures that lead me to believe these were ever straight bars. Also PAY ATTENTION during assembly!!!! They have you assembling the majority of the trailer upside down and at some point I really messed up! I miss the days when you COULD NOT assemble parts wrong. I ended up switching the two side panels and did not even notice it until the decal and painting stage and by then it was too late to try and correct. Basically, the rear side reflectors are now mounted in the front!
If you are unaware of this fact I am definitely not a fan of PE parts! Don’t get me wrong, there is a specific place for them and it is few and far between for me. The Bronco kit has the Hood securement mounts molded in Styrene on the fenders. For some reason, instead of doing the same for the hood, they decided it would be more fun to have you use three pieces of ultra-tiny PE. In my opinion, they could have done the job just as beautifully as they did the fenders. The whole time I was cutting, filing, and sanding I was praying that they would not get lost as there are no included spares or replacements and as these items are VERY noticeable, would really ruin your build if they got lost. Weapons upload is another great option. They give you two .30 caliber machine guns and a .50 caliber gun. I opted for the two .30s because I don’t like the HB M2 on a Jeep. I think the air-cooled version looks better on the back of a Jeep.
Assembly was pretty straight forward and parts went together well. There are more than a few errors in parts numbering (including decal placement). Pay attention and you should not have much of a problem. The turnable wheels are a problem area. I am pretty sure there is either a parts numbering problem or a left/right turn problem. I wanted my front wheels turned left and removed the correct parts and these parts are for the turn right option. No problem as I could have easily fixed this by pulling and assembling the correct parts. This issue is just something the builder needs to be aware of.
After applying a Humbrol U.S. Olive Drab base coat, the model and trailer were given a Future coat for washing and decal application. The decals are incredible and I had no problem applying them. They are so great that you can actually still see the slight divot in the center of the hood where the Circled star is! The covered windshield, trailer tarp and seats were done in Humbrol Khaki drill. The lights are another, “I don’t understand where model manufacturers get their ideas from”. The front headlights are clear parts…..completely understandable. However, Bronco also included the two rear Jeep body marker lights with clear lenses as well, but not the rear marker lights or any of the trailer markers lights. Just the two rear sides! Also be extremely careful when handling. The PE bracket for the axe handle broke off numerous times while finishing. The last was while transporting it to get pictures taken. It was never found. I left the trailer detached because after attempting to force it unto the towing pintle I thought I was going to break it and did not want to do that.
Overall this is a great kit and the new "standard" for the Jeep. The down side is that this is a FORD Jeep but could easily be turned into a generic Jeep by some carful sanding. The number of options really makes this kit stand out. I think some of it was over engineered but most of the Jeep lovers will enjoy it. I think Bronco should have spent a little more time reviewing their directions and making sure the parts were numbered properly for the options they provide.
What’s in the box? The kit consists of close to 300 parts in olive-colored plastic (not all parts will be used), eight clear parts for periscopes and headlight lenses, one PE fret with 49 parts (again, not all will be used), one decal sheet for five different vehicles, and a twenty-page instruction book on glossy paper. All parts are very crisp with no flash or knock-out pin marks that will be visible in the end, just the usual mold lines and attachment points to clean up. I suggest that you be careful when removing the parts as many are tiny and may end up in the carpet monster. One standout feature is the one-piece idler wheels, truly a remarkable slide molding that captures all the detail.
Construction starts with the lower hull, steps 1-4, which is a single slide-molded piece with nice detail on all sides. Inside that, you add a sparse interior with a PE basket on the left side. You should fill in some holes on each side that will be visible from the outside. You get a transmission that gets some PE parts but will not be visible once done. In fact, if you plan on buttoning up, don’t worry about its interior at all.
Step 5 has you adding the idler wheels, return rollers, and the two-piece drive sprockets. In this step, the kit has small pins to keep the rollers and sprockets movable. The best thing to do is just glue the rollers on. As for the sprockets, I drilled a hole in the back, being careful not to drill through. I then added a piece of rod. I enlarged the hole in the housing and made it so it would slide all the way into the hull. You need to keep the sprockets free so you can add the tracks.
Step 6 has you building the 14-piece bogie units. Care is needed to keep everything in alignment. These four units are highly detailed when finished. The road wheels have small pins to keep them free, but cement them in place as the tracks will not be movable in the end. I also made a small jig to keep everything in alignment.
In step 7, you add the bogies to the hull and detail the rear of the hull. I used my jig to keep the wheels and idlers aligned. Again, use care and all will end well.
Steps 8-10 take us to the tracks. On each side you have a lower flat run and an upper run with the sag built in. Connecting these, you have seven individual pieces for the sprocket and a small flat run to connect to the lower run. In the rear there are thirteen links around the idler to the lower run. First, add the top run with the sag, as all of the fit depends on this. Then fit the sprocket to that. You may need to bend the front link on the top run down to get the proper fit. That is why the sprocket should be left free, to line it up properly. In the rear, you add the thirteen links around the idle wheel and attach it to the lower run. I also had to bend the end link on the lower run to line it up. By the way, do not lose a link, as you get just enough to complete the runs, no extras!
In step 11, the fenders are added to the lower hull and detailed with PE and tools. You have a choice of fenders, either flat or curved with sand shields. I chose the flat, which seemed more common to the US version. I left off the tools until everything was completed and painted. If you open your hatches, you’ll need to paint the upper fender with the interior color, as this will show. I did not glue the fenders at this point; I waited until I was ready to join the upper and lower sections together to get a more controlled fit.
Step 12 involves detailing the inside of the upper hull, mainly the instrument panel, turret rotation, and driver’s hatch handles. The tail lights and underside of the back deck are also added.
In step 13, the instructions say to add the engine deck hatches and a PE screen that fits over the louvers. I left this part off, since on all photos that I’ve seen this was never used. But recognizing that one could now see through to the bottom, I added a piece of plastic card to block it off. The fire extinguisher handle is added, along with a PE shield. You’ll also build the driver’s hatch, which consists of nine parts plus two PE parts, if you open the louver (which I did not). Lots of small parts here, so be careful. A bit over-engineered if you ask me, but beautiful detail in the end.
Step 14 is when I brought together the upper and lower hull with the fenders, after I had the interior all painted. The headlights and siren are also added, along with some tiny plastic and PE parts on inside fenders near the front. Not sure what these were, but they added nice detail.
In step 15, the brush guards and other detail hull parts and tools are added. The brush guards are easy enough to bend and I again left off the tools till the final painting. Step 16 added the exhaust system, along with some more hull details. This is where the fun really began. The muffler is supported by several PE parts that are bent in several directions. This part is a real challenge and all I can say is that I experimented until it looked right. Nothing like saving the best till last! This concludes the assembly of the hull.
Steps 17 and 18 start on the turret. Here is added all the external details, hatches, and periscopes. You have some more PE brackets to add, but these were simple enough. I left off the hatches, periscopes, and covers until final painting was complete. Also, the four tiny tie downs are added to the rear.
In step s 19 and 20, the main gun is built and added to the inside of the turret. Assembly was easy enough, but I had a hard time getting the gun to sit in the turret, probably because I had pre-painted everything. I finally ended up gluing the mantlet in place, then sliding the gun in. Make sure you have the mantlet in the right position to set the elevation of the gun. With a little test-fitting, I was good to go.
Steps 21 to 23 finish the job. It has a nice turret basket and floor. I added the PE screen and supports, then pre-painted it all before adding it to the lower half. Then it is dropped in and assembly is done. You do not have the normal key slots for the turret, so when it is finished, you need to cement the turret in its final position.
I painted mine with all Tamiya paints and used Mig pigments on the running gear. I also left the tracks off until final painting was complete. Each track run was done in two parts. I do it that way so that painting can be more precise. I also added streaking using oil paints, and used chalks for some highlighting and a fine-point marker for subtle chipping.
Some final thoughts… at the end of the instruction sheet it states, “This is a precision-molded plastic kit with exceptionally fine detail. It will require a little more care during assembly, but you feel the end result is well worth the effort.” Well stated and very true! This is not one for beginners, but with patience and test fitting it will indeed be worth the effort. All of the parts fit perfectly with no punch-out marks to deal with. There are many small parts that will require care when handling, but when finished you have a gem of a model. The hardest part for me – as well as others – was the PE for the muffler. It was a bit testy, to say the least, but there is no other way to do it.
Object 279 was a Soviet prototype tank designed in 1959 to be capable of operating on a nuclear-biological-chemical battlefield and even survive the blast wave from a nuclear weapon (from a distance, anyway). The tank had a bowl-shaped body to channel blast energy around itself. The vehicle carried a 130mm main gun capable of firing discarding sabot shells that could penetrate over 400mm of armor. The tank’s own armor was up to 319mm thick. The tank had four tracks to assist it in going over exceedingly rough terrain. In spite of its advantages, the tank was never put into production due to gearbox reliability issues and its inability to cross some bridges and move in swampy areas, due to its weight.
The kit comes with four parts trees, three parts trees for the individual track links, the upper and lower hull sections, a PE fret, a small length of copper wire for the tow cables, and the instruction booklet. Also, there is a print of the box art photo.
Construction starts with the four running gear assemblies and the individual tracks. On the drive sprockets, the aligning pins need to be cut off as they do not line up. There are several mistakes in the instruction throughout the booklet with either mismarked parts numbers or missing parts in the instructions altogether – for example, the tow cable assembly/placement on the model is not shown until the final assembly section 15, where it magically appears on the model.
With the completion of the four individual link track sections, I found this assembly to be one of the real joys after thinking it was going to be a real bear. I used my homemade track jig (a piece of plywood with horizontal and vertical straight edges) to glue the track runs. 82 links will give just the right amount of track sag for each run.
Construction moves on to the rest of the hull and the turret. The 130mm gun comes in two halves and there is some filling and sanding work to be done here, so be careful not to remove any detail. The hatches can be assembled open or closed, but there is no interior with this kit, so I choose to model the vehicle with all hatches closed.
I primed the model with Tamiya spray can grey primer. Then I painted it with Tamiya paints. The tracks were painted on the model with AK Interactive paints. Weathering was done light-handed as this was the only vehicle built and it was only used for testing, so there was no battle damage or long-term exposure to the weather. Some light rust streaks and rain marks along with some light dusting and dirt were added.
I found this kit to go together rather well and would recommend it to any modeler.
Kinetic’s second release of their S-2 Tracker series is the "A" version. This was a redesignation of the S2F-1, occurring in 1961. The early Trackers also had some differences in the horizontal stabs and the nacelles. This kit has all that on eight nicely made gray sprues with a clear sprue and a large decals sheet.
The first note I want to make is follow the directions and watch your part numbers. There are multiple noses, nacelles, and other parts. You also have the options to fold the wings, which I did to save shelf space. There are also a couple areas to address. The cockpit is very bland and although you can see a lot, it could use a little love. Also, the very prominent spotlight on the wing is not there at all, and you can purchase an aftermarket set or scratchbuild one, but it needs to be addressed.
The cockpit was built first and I added seat belts. There is also a console between the seats and it was added from spare parts. The overhead control panel is flat and has no levers or instruments. These were added from spares and the levers from strip. The rest was OOB.
Were to buy?