Monday 23 August 2021

Buccaneer S Mk.2 B XV 352 cockpit

..John Hume, owner of XV 352, working on the Buccaneer cockpit electrics today at the RAF Manston history museum. Here John has just finished installing a 'new' Tag Heuer stopwatch on the right-hand side of the coaming - quite an expensive little item, but typical of the fantastic attention to detail in what John says is the 'best and most detailed' Buccaneer cockpit in the UK. A little 'reference' for builders of the new-tool Airfix Buccaneer including a closer view of the ejection seat..

All hands on deck to get the display exhibits ready for Saturday's RAF Manston history museum post-Covid re-opening...

More on Desert Storm veteran XV 352 on my 'Jet & Prop' blog here

Sunday 1 August 2021

The worst model kits available .. a Top 10 run-down


Martin Slovak posted an interesting overview of a range of model kit companies and their worst kits as a comment to the Champion Scale Modelling youtube site video (see bottom)..I've reposted it here and added my own comments and remarks. 

In fact I've built a few of these, from the hopeless Fokker Dr. 1 (Smer) to the ancient Airfix 'classic', the DH 88 Comet. Probably the worst kit I've ever built is one that many will know - the Italeri P-51 in 72nd scale. Or is it the Academy Fw 190 in 72nd scale. Or even the Hobbycraft Me 109 D in 48th scale. I guess if built out-of-the-box it's not too bad, but try correcting it! More below...

- Smer
The last kit this company really tooled is from the early 90s. When taken in perspective to the age when these kits were created, they are not bad (can be compared to present short-run kits and with some work are adequate). These kits are for those who want to get back to their modelling beginnings or want a specific thing (Su-25 1/48 and some more). See their 1/44 Fokker Dr 1 elsewhere on this blog

- MisterCraft
This company have never tooled their own kits - all their 'range' are re-boxes of old Smer/KP/Frog/other eastern Europe kits from 80s/90s (and the molds are not maintained properly so there is loads of flash).

- Amodel
This is a specific company...for me their kits were a miss. According to Martin you are 'best off getting a lump of wood and carving the plane from it than from their kits..'

- Trumpeter / Hobby Boss
Mostly high quality and very buildable. However some new-tools are really inaccurate shapewise and/or overly complicated with details that cannot be seen. See their Fw 190 V-18 elsewhere on this blog.

- Airfix
the 'favourite' kit brand of this blog, especially since the division to "Classic line" (old kits) and standard new kits. See their very ancient DH 88 Comet elsewhere on this blog - issued in 1957, it was pretty poor then one imagines, complete with solid cockpit with pilot heads. The new kits are generally brilliant - see the 48th scale Sea Vixen elsewhere on this blog. However certain of their new tools - even the brand-new Vulcan - have been found to suffer from certain quality control issues, including but not limited to short-shot parts! This must improve..

- Zvezda
Anything before 2008 is hit or miss, anything newer is quite good and represents good value for money. See their 'snap-together' Fw 190 and Bf 109 in 72nd scale elsewhere on this blog.

- Italeri
Interesting subjects, usually not so good in the fit department, especially their 72nd scale P-51, possibly one of the worst kits I've ever tried to assemble (but some kits have cartograph decals so...). Their Bf 109 G-6 in 72 nd scale is an absolutely awful kit too - tyres like tractors' and an undercarriage that is far too wide. Here's one I finished as a 'wilde Sau' nightfighter of JG 300. Dreadful. I also built their Apache in 72nd scale - I spent some six years on and off filing and filling and sanding that one!


a 72nd Fw 190 A that looks absolutely nothing like a Focke Wulf - the ailerons are over-sized, the tail too small and the front cowl an abomination! Academy's Dora-9 on the other hand is not too bad at all

The Revell & Academy Fw 190s side by side in the colours of Heinz Bär's 'Red 13' (JG 1) and Staffelführer JG 11 Erich Hondt. Note how horrible the Academy kit is (on the right!) with its barn-door type wing & hopelessly oversized ailerons. The rudder and engine cowl are also under-sized. In fact the front end bears no relation to the actual aircraft - easily Academy's worst 72nd scale kit.