I bought this kit along with 3 other kits and it cost just less than 6 quid delivered – its not the greatest kit in the world and as the tooling seems to date from 1957! I suspect not the most accurate but builds into a nice representation of an aircraft that is hard to find in kit form.

The finish is not quite right but AK interactive have a new product out that I may try later in the year.

As the landing gear was a bit naff I decided to have the kit in ‘flight mode’, the base was made from a piece of olive tree branch from last year’s trimmings together with a piece of acrylic rod from ebay @ about 8 quid, I still have 2/3 of it left.

 

I’ve had this kit in the ‘Stash’ for over 5 years, by Atomic City / MRC if assembled with the escape tower its about 30 inches tall!

The kit comes complete with a vinyl astronaut figure that paints up very well indeed. The most difficult part of the build was attaching the retro pack to the heat shield with the metal straps – very fiddly but looks good once done. I added some wiring to the rear of the console that can be seen with the hatch open.  Decals are supplied for all of the Mercury missions, I chose Friendship 7.

Another Eduard kit in 1/48th scale, I wanted to do this to compliment the F4 Phantom, I did both aircraft as flown from The USS Coral Sea.

Again a great offering from Eduard featuring a highly detailed kit with resin, photo etched and masks.

The hardest part of the build was the tail decal, the tail needed to be painted blue and then the multi part decal applied over the very irregular surface – loads of Micro-Sol used!

I completed this some time ago its the Eduard ‘Good Morning Da Nang’ F4 Phantom II, it has all the bells and whistles, Photo Etched, Resin & paint masks to compliment some great details in the plastic. One of my favorite aircraft I’m tempted to get another in the USAF version, this was a detailed but fun kit to build and a joy to paint and decal:-

Rob has so kindly sent me an Airfix Lancaster for my birthday!!! I promised that I would do it as my ‘Birthday build’ and start by posting an ‘unboxing’:-

Airfix 1/72 Avro Lancaster B1(F.E)/B.III kit number A08013.

The kit comes in a very sturdy box with some very striking artwork on it of the Tiger Force (F.E) version of the aircraft, not the view of the Lanc that most of us are used to.

Box

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Once the box is opened your’re greeted with one bag containing all the sprues although the clear sprue is thankfully in another bag – the downside of packaging this way is that delicate parts can get broken in transit as in my case part 16 on sprue C 🙁 not a show stopper.

Inside the box

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The Instruction booklet is well laid out with clear indication of where holes or cuts need to be made and a clear differentiation between the two versions offered, although there is no sprue call out. The colour call out is on the side of the box and lists only Humbrol numbers (who else?)

Booklet

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Two version markings are supplied a ‘more traditional’ 1943 scheme and a very striking 1945 black and white ‘Tiger Force’ scheme. The decals look good and feel quite thin with very little carrier film outside of the colours.

Decals

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Sprue H Clear

I’m afraid can only be called adequate with a number of parts showing ejector pin marks although I’m not sure if or how much they will show, all parts show signs of distortion with part H16 being very poor

Clear Sprue H

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Sprue A

The parts are very cleanly molded with no flash and ejector pin marks light and well out of the way, the outer surfaces have a fine texture to them that will take paint well. Each main wheel comes in two halves (yuk) but is already weighted (yes),

Sprue A

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Sprue B

As Sprue A

Sprue B

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Sprue C

Contains the bomb bay doors, engine hatches, landing gear and many finely molded parts all clean and flash free. There is also a pilot figure – I don’t think that Airfix have changed or improved their 1/72 pilot figures in the last 50 years!

Sprue C

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Sprue D

More finely molded parts with some great details! With the gun barrels looking particularly good for 1/72 scale!

Sprue D

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Sprue F

Mainly the engine nacelles and props, two types of propellers one for each version. The details on the nacelles is stunning, panel lines and rivets brilliant!

Sprue F

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Overall this is a stunning kit with some great details and proves that Airfix are really upping their game, the choice of markings for me is a winner and I’ll be building the ‘Tiger Force’ aircraft. The real challenge will be to maintain all that lovely detail!

It’s been over 50 years since I built a Lancaster and I’m very much looking forward to building this one – Thanks Rob!!

 

After a break of more than 3 months I’m finally back to Scale Modelling with the Ma.K. Hummel from Wave!

I purchased the kit at the end of last year, I liked the look of it, a very spidery drone. To my surprise when the kit arrived it contained extra parts! enough to create a cockpit with a large canopy and a pilot figure and it was with the cockpit that I decided to build it. I made a start about 4 months ago on the cockpit and pilot figure but work was suspended due to holidays and a 2 month relocation. Upon our return I decided not to go with the cockpit option but to build it as a pilotless drone!

I added some scratch built air intake details and the build didn’t take long, the camo was sprayed freehand but I had a slight problem with the varnish, part way through I had a little spattering so I blew the airbrush through at 60psi, cleared, unfortunately I failed to lower the pressure all the way and ending up blowing too much air! that left some of the areas a little rough, I sanded and hand re-varnished the worst patches but I can’t use the clay based weathering that I had planned 🙁 so it’s back to enamel 🙂

More pics when I’ve completed the weathering.

After a conversation with Rob, who pointed out that I hadn’t actually posted any more pictures here, I set about finding the final pictures that I had taken, they were unfortunately out of focus – the reason I hadn’t used them!

So after a quick photo-shoot here are the final pix!

The game kicked off to the strains of ‘Life on Mars’ by David Bowie

The Table:

Table 5

Table 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germans at the Bottom, British in the woods.

The Forces:

German: Platoon #3 less 2 riflemen plus, 1 car, 1 senior leader, 3 halftrack APC (to carry one squad), FO for a 81mm mortar battery and 1 Lorraine Schlepper.

British: Platoon #1 less 3 sten plus, 2 entrenchments, 1 bren team and a FO for a 3″ mortar battery.

Force morale, German 8, British 11.

The Paras need a win here to draw the series so the plan is to hunker down and shoot the Germans to pieces. The German plan is to use the ample cover and their greater mobility to close with the British and indulge in a bit of ‘Handgranaten!’

I’ve marked the jump-off points with white lines:

Jump-off points

Jump-off points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Germans got off to a solid start with Squad #B entering the field mounted in halftracks, Squad #C deploying forward of the house on the extreme left while the FO deployed in the house.

The British deployed section #3 in the house in the center with the FO while section #1 deployed in the woods behind the house.

Things started to hot up with the Germans deploying Squad #A in the forward farmhouse, the Halftracks crashed through the estate gate and advanced up the road followed by a senior leader in a staff car

APC Advance

APC Advance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German squad #3 was caught  by a Bren team concealed in the field and suffered the first casualties of the game. While both FO had contacted their batteries it was the British who responded first by putting a ranging shot just to the right of the lead halftrack,

Ambush

Ambush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a while things looked good for the British, the halftracks were forced to swerve off the road but return fire from the German #C squad wiped out the bren team in the field and the German FO called in an immediate barrage on the house causing 2 casualties, one rifleman and the senior leader! British morale drops from a high of 11 to six!

Off road

Off road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With things getting a bit ragged the British Platoon leader deployed and immediately ordered the FO to call in another barrage the battery responded that they had been redeployed and were no longer in range and would not be available to supply any more support!  The CO quickly ordered the bren team in the (now) damaged building to open fire on the Germans in the field with support from the 2″ mortar, he also ordered the PIAT to fire on the approaching half tracks. Meanwhile #1  section moved right towards the wall to cover the fields.

The German halftracks turned back towards the road and continued their advance, squad #C dived for cover by the wall and the German FO called in another barrage on the Estate House but only inflicted 2 points of shock.

Estate House under fire

Estate House under fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An intense fire-fight ensued which reduced the British numbers in the Estate House, pinned the German #C squad and knocked out the lead halftrack.

The German mortar bombardment shifted to #1 section causing little damage. #1 section moved towards the Estate House to support #3 section.

The two remaining halftracks rolled round in front of the Estate House and  the remainder of #B squad launched an assault on the house, they took heavy casualties and the survivors scuttled back and were pinned behind the halftracks leaving the Estate House full of nothing but British dead! The losses reduced the British morale to 2 points and their command dice to 3!

After the Assault

After the Assault

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section #1 occupied the now ruined estate house only to be forced out again as the German mortar barrage rained down supported by fire from the Lorraine.

Estate House in flames

Estate House in flames

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 section went on overwatch in the woods but as they started taking casualties from the Lorrain lobbing shells into the woods it was obvious that even fighting for a draw was out of the question! So the remainder of the British force slipped back into the woods and withdrew.

A German victory (again).

The Germans suffered 17 casualties including a Junior Commander. The opinion of the CO increased by 1 back to zero, its start point and the men’ s opinion remained unchanged at -2 down from +1!

The Para’s suffered 23 casualties including 2 senior leaders, a junior leader and the FO. the opinion of the CO  was reduced b 1 to -2 down from a start of +1 and the men decreased by one to +3 up from the +2 starting point.

Comments.

This was always going to be a tough one for the Para’s to win and loosing the mortar barrage early after just one shot was just cruel,perhaps the british should have taken a 6 pounder! Loosing the bren team was also a blow but the Para’s held the Germans for quite a while.

Things looked a bit dodgy for the Germans once the British mortar barrage arrived things could have been quite different had that continued as the German one did although, the German side did make one HUGE mistake, they forgot the Lorrain! and didn’t bring it on until the last hour of gaming. It  only fired 2 shots, the first reduced the estate house to a burning ruins and fpinned #1 section behind, the second into the woods convinced the British that all was lost, if only I had remembered about it earlier.

So 3-1 in favour of the Germans with one draw, a great campaign that I will replay at some time although not 5 games in 5 days solo!

 

The Game kicked off to the strains of ‘Spoonful’ By Cream from the live Albert Hall set.

The Table:

Table 4

Table 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Forces:

German. I selected Platoon #1 for this battle as it had suffered less casualties than #2, after balancing out the squads all MG42 teams were manned but without any extra riflemen. Options taken were, Panzerschreck team, Senior leader,5 man MG42 team on tripod mount & one full strength Panzergrenadier squad with Junior leader

British, one fresh full strength Paratroop platoon with a Medical Orderly and an extra 2″ mortar team.

Force moral for this one is in the extreme, Paras at 11 and German at 8!

The Paras deployed first but only managed to get #3 section behind a wall in the grounds of the church, the Germans responded with a senior leader, a full Squad and the tripod MG42 team. Both squad and team immediately opened fire inflicting two points of shock on no. 3 section.

Initial deployment

Initial deployment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both sides managed to get all their sections on the field and after a vicious fire-fight in which the Germans came off worse the German commander in the field decided not to wait for support teams and ordered a charge!

Charge!

Charge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The firefight continued as the Panzergrenadiers inched across the open ground albeit with a lessened effect.

Across the open fields

Across the open fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German pressure finally overcame British resolve and #3 section broke leaving the church grounds in the hands of a senior leader, a mortar team and a medical orderly! Seeing this #1 section vacated the house and moved towards the church yard.

Redeploy

Redeploy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 section made it into position behind the wall in the church yard and opened a withering fire on the approaching Germans! With one german squad pinned and 2 junior leaders wounded the Panzergrenadier attach seems ready to stall!

Stalled

Stalled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the Paras kept up an unrelenting hail of lead the Panzergrenidier 2nd squad were wiped out, reducing the German command dice total to only 2, with one squad pinned in the open the German commander decided to withdraw!

Victory to the Paras!

Final positions

Final positions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Butchers bill:

The Germans suffered 19 casualties including a Junior Commander. The opinion of the CO decreased by 2 and the men decreased by  2

The Para’s suffered 11 casualties. the opinion of the CO and the men increased by one.

As neither of these platoons will be used in the last battle no need to calculate the ‘walking wounded’

Comments.

A close call this time had the British #1 Section failed to successfully redeploy then the result may have been a lot different, makes me wonder what the outcome would have been in the last game if I had got #1 section moving sooner?

So 2 to the Germans, one to the Brits and a draw.

On to the next game

Setup for the Toofatlardies Chain of Command campaign Kampfgruppe Von Luck.

Background: KVL is a small ‘ladder’ campaign with elements of the 21 Panzer Division vs elements of 12 Parachute Battalion on the 6th of June 1944. In short the paras have landed and the Germans are trying to dislodge.

Each side has a ‘pool’ of 3 platoons plus in some scenarios some support options. No platoon may fight in 2 consecutive battles, understrength platoons may be combined.

KVL#1 The first scenario table is quite simple with the Paras trying to hold a perimeter on the right of the table while the Germans are pushing forward from the left.

 

 

 

 

 

The Paras drop was dispersed on landing and they are still in the process of forming up so a few die rolls are required to establish the British strength, the result was that the British Platoon HQ is missing the 2″ mortar squad and the Second section in its entirety!  To be honest I would really liked to have had the mortar, I have found it in the past to be so useful!

The Germans start with a full Panzer Grenadier platoon and 5 points of support with 4 of the support points I selected an MG42 on tripod mount with 5 crew giving the Germans an extra big punch! With the last point I took a car for no other reason that at the worst it can be used as mobile cover 🙂

I’ll post the batrep tomorrow.

Completed two more figures to go with the Falke and have applied the decals, I’m now awaiting the arrival of an order from Ammo of Mig to complete the weathering! :-

Next build will be the 1/32 scale Meng ME 163b ‘ Komet’