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Topics - Domi

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Aircraft Modeling / Eduard 1/144 Junkers Ju-52 'Tante Ju'
« on: March 21, 2013, 12:08:57 PM »
Eduard released a number of 1/144 Ju-52s a while back, possibly their first 1/144 effort (or was that their Ju-87??) in that scale.  The kits became instant hits but they subsequently disappeared for several years...  Lately, along with a number of brand new 1/144 kits, such as the MiG-21s and the Spit IXs, Eduard has re-released the Ju-52s and we can only commend them for such an initiative!

So far 'only' the military transport and airliner boxings of the kit have been re-released.  At one time, the kit was also available as a mine-sweeping variant and there was a ski-equipped Ju-52 boxing too.  Un-surprisingly, Eduard also offer photo-etched sets for those kits..

This build will be a little different from my earlier ones on the 1/144 Eduard Fishbed and Spitfire, in the sense that I will be using the PE sets Eduard designed for the kit and that I am not that interested in German aircraft in German WWII markings...  Obviously, with this particular boxing, the civilian options are probably very limited, but I will be doing some research and hopefully find a military JU-52 that is a little more original...  More on this soon...

In the meantime, let me introduce you to the kit; here are a few pictures of the sprues and other features included in the military transport variant kit (ref.4424):

The way the bottom of the rear fuselage is included with the underside of the wings is interesting and should facilitate building.

The top of the fuselage of this boxing includes the machine gun emplacement, which makes this part different from that of the airliner boxing.  Several parts shown here below are in fact not suitable for this particular boxing of the kit, but all this is indicated in the instructions.

Here is a close-up view of the fuselage skinning, really well done, in my opinion:

The sprue containing the top halves of the wings, also including a couple of parts that will not be required here:

A close-up shot of one of the engines and cowling, possibly the weakest part of the whole kit...:

The clear parts sprue, including an extra window strip for the airliner variant.  All is very clear and commendably thin!

Here are the PE sets for the military variant(s); the smaller PE fret is common to the other kit, I believe, but the larger one is different, mostly in account of the different seating of the military and civilian aircraft:

The top of the instruction booklet for the kit (right) and the instruction sheet for the PE set (left):

The instruction booklet is well designed and includes full colour info for the 4 options offered by the kit and decal sheet:

The decal sheet itself, plus the masks included in the kit.  Note that the svastikas are included.

All markings are for German aircraft, flown in 1940-43 in North Africa, Crete, Southern Italy and France.

Aircraft Modeling / Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IXe
« on: March 04, 2013, 11:17:29 AM »
After releasing three delightful 1/144 MiG-21s, Eduard surprised us last September with a brand new 1/144 Spitfire kit..!  I am not a big Spit fan, nor have much in terms of references here at hand, so can not vouch for the accuracy of this kit, but compared to earlier 1/144 Spits, this one sets, in terms of quality, a new standard that should be difficult to beat...

As is now the norm apparently for those 'smaller' aircraft, Eduard offers a box containing two complete kits.  There is a notable difference though in this case: there are two types of wings in the box, one for each kit.  Those are the, I'd say, 'standard' elliptical Spitfire wing, and the truncated one, which I believe is more often associated with the Mk.IXe.  It would be quite simple to modify the longer set into the shorter set, of course.  Other than that, the rest of the parts are identical for both kits.  Eduard provides us with two very clear one-piece canopies, a set of painting masks and a very nice sheet of decals with markings for no less than 6 aircraft, 3 British, one Israeli, one French and, unsurprisingly, one Czeckoslovakian.  The instruction booklet is mostly made up of the full painting/decalling info for all 6 schemes.

The one baffling thing about this kit, other than maybe the odd choice of Spitfire variant for a first Spitfire kit, is the total absence of cockpit detail..!  The inside of the fuselage halves have a neat recess where the 'tub' should be, but one will need to dish out a bit more cash to obtain the photo-etched detail set marketed alongside the kit, or do a bit of scratchbuilding.  The PE set does offer a few extra parts for the rest of the aircraft, I must add.  It's a pity that Eduard did not offer a basic cockpit tub, because built out of the box, the canopy, very finely rendered, will show off.. nothing..!

As of writing the Mk.IXc has also just been released by Eduard in this scale, and offers 5 choices in terns of markings.  I think this newer release will dispense with the truncated wings.

As with my earlier 'review' of the Eduard MiG-144 SMT, I will build this kit out of the box and report on any fit issue I may encouter.  I may build the second kit alongside and add a few little details inside this empty cockpit area, as I quite fancy having a French Spit in my collection, after all...

Aircraft Modeling / Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 28, 2012, 09:11:10 PM »
Hi there, I'm new here, but LetLetLet is far from being new to me, as I know and have had 'dealings' with several members of this forum over many years now.  Our friend Srecko has tasked me with reviewing a few 1/144 kits for your benefit, and I'll be starting with the really cute Eduard MiG-21.  More precisely, the SMT boxing.  My plan is to review the kit and build it out of the box, to show you what the kit is all about, rather than going into a lengthy build with super-detailling  or other conversion.  I'm not saying those type of builds will not appear here from time to time, but in this case, I just wish to show you the basic kit and point out a few things (if necessary) and hopefully tempt you into building the kit yourself...

1/144, in terms of military aviation is becoming quite popular here in Europe, though the great majority of the products are still only available in Japan, a few from some of the main manufacturers like Hasegawa, but mostly from some far less well-known sources.  A look at the Kampfgruppe 144 blog will simply astound you by the shear variety and quantity of 1/144 products available..!

Eduard has dabbled with 1/144 aviation in the past, namely with some really nice Me-262s and Ju-52s and after a relatively long break, brought smiles to the 1/144 community by releasing not one but three boxings of the famed MiG-21.  More recently, Eduard has offered us a Spitfire Mk.IX and has re-released the Ju-52.  A good sign that 1/144 military aviation is on the move, in a good way.

I'll be working on the SMT (Fishbed K) boxing.  Most of the parts are common to the other two boxings, and I assume most comments that will follow in terms of fit, accuracy, and all, will apply to the other boxings (it certainly does when it comes to the initial, MiG-21 MF, boxing).

The cost of the kit is making it accessible to all, or most I'd say.  Of particular interest though is the fact that each of those boxings offer not one but two complete kits, which gives the package an even better deal in my eyes!

Here is a picture showing the kit sprues (only one of the two kits' sprues are shown), and the common decal sheet, masks sheet and the cover of the instruction booklet.

The parts are finely engraved, with plenty of detail despite the diminutive size (the fuselage, without the nose cone, is just under 9cm long).  Whether those panel lines should be finer, or even non-existent at this scale, is a matter of debate and of current trend in our hobby, but to me, they look just fine and will result in finished models that will fit well with other current releases from other manufacturers.  Note that engraved panel lines were the norm on 1/144 military aircraft well before they became common on 1/72 and even larger kits...  Otaki, LS, and Arii in particular were offering this feature at least back in the very early 1980s..!  The clear parts are commendably thin, extremely transparent and this kit offers the canopy in two parts (windshield as a separate part) and two separate main canopy parts, one with the pilot's periscope, the other without.

Here's a view of the sprue that differenciates this SMT boxing from the others, with the more prominent dorsal hump of the Fishbed K.

The decal sheet provides markings for five Soviet/Russian aircraft.  The decals appear thin, and are well printed.  The masks sheet offers masks for various areas of the aircraft that are not typically camouflaged, such as canopy, windshield, wheels, dielectric panels and the like.

The next view shows the kit in construction.  I have deliberately not followed the kit's instructions, in particular when it comes to the cockpit, so that I can apply the main colour on the aircraft (silver) before painting the internal areas.  This saves on masking chores!  The fit is very good overall...

Aircraft Modeling / F-104G ZELL
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:25:55 AM »
I'm interested in modelling this rocket take-off assisted 'variant' of the Starfighter, but lack info on the actual launch platform...  Anyone here who can help with pictures and drawings?



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