The Sturmgeschutz III (StuG. III) was Germany's most widely produced armored fighting vehicle of WWII. By the end of the war, over 10,500 vehicles, in a number of different versions, had been produced. Built on the chassis of the Panzer III, and originally designed as an infantry support vehicle intended to knock out strong points and hardened defenses, it really proved itself as a tank destroyer first on the Eastern front in Russia. First in Russia, the StuG III Ausf. F was armed with the longer 7.5cm StuK 40 L/43 gun and became a formidable opponent on the battlefield.
Master Model of Poland produces small brass parts for detailing models, be they aircraft or ships. They have parts for aircraft in 1/32, 1/35, 1/48, 1/72, and 1/144, mostly pitot tubes, refueling probes and gun barrels.
These are 4 20mm gun barrels for Japanese WW2 fighters. I had a 1/144 Platz N1K2 "George" on the shelf, which I built for a review about 4 years ago. I selected it for the upgrade.Removal and Replacement
Removal was a simple job. I used sprue cutters and cut the guns off the wing, as close as I could to the leading edge. The kit has fairings at the base of each gun, but I fixed that later. Once I got the plastic guns removed, I used a sanding stick to flatten the base of the kit fairings. This gave me a clean surface to drill into. The instructions call for a .4mm drill. Looking at my .4mm drill and the guns, I downgraded the drill to a .25mm. The hole was still just a little large, but .25mm is about the smallest drill I've got.
When I model military vehicles, I like to have a figure or two with the vehicle to give it more animation and scale. If you like to model modern US armor, there have been limited options for tanker figures in the most modern of US military uniforms. Mostly, suitable figures are found in resin, but injection molded options are few. To be fair to the manufacturers, the US military has kept changing uniforms during its 15 years of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan. When figures are available they tend to be US Army, which wears a different uniform than the US Marine Corps. MiniArt to the rescue.
Hauler has been making photoetched sets in multiple scales including my favorite, 1/72nd. This set is about as easy of a PE set as you can get. It contains 6 grills (4 of one style and 2 of another) and 15 manhole covers (5 each of 3 styles one of these is square). They literally are just cut from the fret and add to your diorama.
As such no instructions are needed but there actually was a set included with mine. Turns out it is for one of their Typhoon sets. Whoops.
I have been unable to track down what countries the manhole covers are from but pretty sure they are from Europe and should look good in a WWII setting. If anyone can find a location that fits please post the info.
All in all, a nice and easy to use accessory that will liven up that street scene.
Thanks to Hauler and IPMS/USA for the review kit.
Another nice PE set from Hauler which will find many uses for the Braille Scale modeler, especially when working with armor and dioramas.
The set includes wrenches, axes, shovels, picks and even a couple machetes. I am guessing for those jungle jobs. There are also a couple of different design tool boxes that you will have to fold.
The first thing I thought when I heard PE tools is how is that going to work with types, they will just look flat, right? Hauler has thought of this and the sledges and a mallet come with an couple extra pieces of PE to thicken the head. A couple of the picks and shovels are designed to be used with some plastic or metal rod to give a more 3-dimensional look.
Instructions are provided for the tool boxes and those tools that use more than one part. Just make sure you are careful when you cut these parts out and they will be sure to liven up that aircraft or tank maintenance scene.
Thanks to Hauler and IPMS/USA for the review kit.
This tome appears to be Piotr Witkowski's second book in English and it's a follow up to Volume one of his Operational Market Garden Paratroopers that focused on uniforms, equipment and personal use items. The positive feedback he received from Volume 1 encouraged him to move fast on this volume to get it published. You can find the review on Volume I at the IPMS USA Review website. I've found two prior books in Polish: Polskie jednostki powietrzno-desantowe na zachodzie (Bellona, 2009) and a second edition of this book titled: Spadochroniarze Sosabowskiego : Dzieje polskich jednostekpowietrznodesantowych 1939-1945 (Bellona, 2012). Volume 3 is in preparation by Piotr Witkowski and will focus on Transports used in Operation Market Garden.
Want an nice upgrade to any 1/48 Boulton Paul Defiant? Step right up to the new Quickboost Defiant Mk.I undercarriage set that provides a beautiful replacement to what is supplied in your kit. The parts are packaged in the standard Quickboost re-closable packaging with a paper stiffener along with the description card. There are no instructions. These parts are specific to fit the Airfix accurate and highly detailed 1/48 Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I injected plastic kit. They may also work for the older limited run Classic Airframes kits (471, 481, and 482) that were introduced in 1995.
Quickboost has molded the undercarriage set perfectly in light grey resin with no apparent bubbles. The undercarriage set detail is an improvement over what is provided in the kit providing more of a 3-dimensional aspect to the doors.
Thank you to Andrea Lindell of Specialty Press for providing a review copy of their new release, Vought F-8 Crusader, Development of the Navy's First Supersonic Jet Fighter, by William D. Spidle. Specialty Press has sweetened the debut of this new book by providing an author-signed limited-edition of the book directly on their website or by calling 1-800-895-4385. As always, I appreciate all those in the IPMS Reviewer Corps, whose work is critical to sharing new and exciting modeling products with the world.
The Germans of WW2 were notorious for multi-tasking vehicles, and this one is a good example. In this case, they mounted an 81mm mortar in a standard light armored half-track. I'm old enough to remember the last time a plastic kit manufacturer took a shot at this particular make - a motorized version by Arii back in the early 1970's. The older kit was pretty poor by even the standards of the day, although it did provide a nice ammunition trailer (to carry the batteries for the motor, of course). Otherwise, there wasn't much to recommend it.
Dragon has filled the void with a new release which does a fine job of capturing this beastie, including "magic tracks" which eliminate the odious task of snipping some 200 track bits off of sprues.
As with all armored kits, I started with the running gear, which gave me no particular problems. Two different patterns of front wheels are provided although the instructions only mention the classic military pattern. Frankly, I rather liked the more complex version, and was able to piece them together despite the lack of instructions provided for these.
The Beechcraft 17 Staggerwing and later D17 was a versatile family of aircraft that ended up serving in for more roles than originally envisioned by Beech. Renowned for its attractive lines and good performance, it was designed to be an executive aircraft. But it soon found a role as a racer, liaison, and a utility aircraft in both military and civilian livery. In the US Army Air Force it was the UC-43, in the US Navy the GB-1 and 2. In addition, it flew with 15 other air f orces.
Roden answered the call of many modelers to release a nice kit of the Staggerwing, finally supplanting the old AMT kit which is still available through Round 2. The AMT kit was a specific post war variant however, and required modification to backdate it. The Roden kit represents the most common D17S variant and while Roden provides different liveries/markings in its multiple releases, there were many more schemes not covered; plus Roden decals can be a challenge.
Thankfully Iliad Design has stepped up and released a set of decals for Beechcraft enthusiasts. This set covers 6 different schemes: