Hauler produces photo-etched and resin upgrade sets for armored fighting vehicles (AFVs), airplanes, cars, railway vehicles, and dioramas. They also produce a few resin kits. Their products are in most of the common scale sizes, 1/72, 1/48, and 1/35, but they also produce a number of other items in common railroad hobbyist scales.
This set of resin gold bars is an example of some of the unusual items they offer. The set includes a stack of 12 bars and another four individual bars. All of the parts are attached to their sprue stubs, and you'll need to take care when cutting them off. The stack of bars presented the most trouble for me to get off the stub while keeping the tops of the bars intact. I was able to sand down any imperfections and they came out pretty well. The stack and individual bars represent the "Good Delivery" bars that are very familiar to most of us from television shows and movies. Not sure too many people have actually seen or held one in real life.
The R-3S (AA-2 "Atoll") air-to-air missile was developed by the Soviet Union as their equivalent of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile. It was used extensively by the Soviet Union on its fighters and it was exported widely to its allies.
In conjunction with Eduard's release last summer of its new MiG-21MF kit, Eduard released several photo-etch and resin accessory sets for the kit. This set is actually the combination of two other sets: MiG-21MF pylons (672 184) and R-3S missiles for MiG-21 (672 185). As a result, the set not only provides replacement pylons for all five stations, but also four R-3S ("Atoll") air-to-air missiles and their associated launch rails. Buying this set instead of the other two sets individually will also save you a few bucks as the suggested retail price of this set is $3 cheaper than the combined price of the other two sets.
A nice addition to Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) already impressive array of aftermarket landing gear is the set for the F/A-18 A, B, C, and D. The parts are made of white metal and include three separate landing gear pieces, as well as a metal tree with two landing gear support pieces.
A few mold seams are apparent on the shock absorbers of both the main and the nose gear, but they can easily be sanded or scraped off carefully with an X-Acto knife. Be careful to not bend the soft metal when cleaning up the parts. Also, the molded plastic nose gear cover that comes in the Hasegawa kit will have to be glued to the metal. A touch of super glue does the trick.
I primed the gear with Vallejo black primer before painting them in flat white. If no primer is used, the base color easily rubs off the metal. After the white dried, I painted the exposed shock absorbers a metallic silver, according to reference photos. Hasegawa's wheels were then super glued to the gear pins.
You can't enter a discussion of World War II tanks that made an impact on the course of the war without the T-34 coming up somewhere along the line. While it was a surprise to the Soviets to see their "allies" attacking, the grit and determination of Soviet industry did not leave the attacks unanswered. While it may not be as aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, the design of the sloped frontal armor, rough weld lines, and wide tracks to accommodate Mother Russia's terrible winters made it more than able to be up to the task of staving off German armor. Starting out with the 76mm cannon to fight off the Panzer III's and IV's of the time, the advances in design allowed for a new turret to house the much more powerful 85mm long barrel gun- which was more than a match for the dreaded Tigers and Panthers.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
Our good friend and supporter Abby Robey of Xuron supplied several new tools to us for review. Up first is this sprue cutter. Like all of Xuron's tools, this is a finely crafted tool that will deliver years of service if properly used. That means plastic only - the fine cutting edges are shaped to deliver a near-flush cut on soft plastic - use them on metal and you'll damage that edge.
I did a test cut on a standard sprue runner from the Eduard Spitfire I'm reviewing - take a look at the results in photo 3. Even on a relatively thick piece of styrene, the tool delivers a near-perpendicular cut through the runner. Moving on to "normal" usage, I removed one of the horizontal stabilizers from its tree - note (photo 4) that the resulting cut is almost perfectly flush. Cleaning up parts is my least favorite part of building; these cutters will reduce the magnitude of that tedious task. Highly recommended!
Here's the second review of some new tools from our friends at Xuron up in Saco, ME.
The Photo-Etch Tool Kit consists of three discrete tools:
- Model 9180ET Professional Photo-Etch Scissor
- Model 450 Tweezer Nose Pliers
- Model 575 Micro Bending Pliers
Osprey's Campaign series of books is a well-established line covering some of the more famous campaigns in military history. The series started 29 years ago with the Normandy landings and with this installment, Smolensk 1943 being one of their latest releases.
Following up the first three in this series, The Russian Aviation Colours 1909-1922: Camouflage and Markings, Volume 1 Early Years, Volume 2 "Great War", Volume 3 "Red Stars", comes MMP's latest tome. This book, focused on 'Against Soviets' is the final volume in the series. The author leans heavily on Russian private archives, as well as archives, libraries, and museums.
The book is a nice hardbound, with a nice glossy cover, and 128 pages on high-quality stock with a matt finish. Mainly clear black and white period photos are supplemented with modern day color photos, color period posters and postcards, colour side and top views, and colour unit emblems and personal markings. The text is in English and quite readable. I counted 173 black and white photographs to go with an additional 21 color pictures. There were 79 color side profiles and another 51 color drawings highlighting markings details.
According to the Kagero website, this book is the first in a short series looking at the major developments of battle tanks by Western nations in the years following the end of the Second World War up through to the present day. This volume is a good mix of B&W images, design sketches, as well as a color photo section and selection of color profiles.
There is no real order of chapters the book follows. After a brief introduction paragraph, the overall majority of the book just delves into a general overview of the "Iron Trinity"- Firepower, Protection, and Mobility. The book then shifts into how late war versions of the Sherman, including the Easy Eight, were primarily used for training and continued to be used up until the time of the start of the Korean War. During this time, the M24 and M26 started to make their presence known, but not in as sufficient numbers as the military would've hoped. Photos early on in the book switch between training photos and in service shots from the Korean War.
For directing the 38cm and 15cm guns, Bismarck was equipped with three armored fire control posts (in the conning tower, on the foretop, and on top of the aft superstructure. The main and aft control posts were equipped with 10.5m rangefinders, while the front control post received a 7m rangefinder. Each station was also equipped with optical target givers (Zielgeber C/38 S), two pieces in the aft post and three each in the fore and main posts. Binocular columns were also probably placed in the fire control posts. Veteran Models provides a diagram of the Bismarck showing possible locations for the equipment. The Battleship Bismarck By Stefan Draminski
Veteran Models Kit
Tru-Color paint was started in 2008 when Rick Galazzo and Scott Cohen, armed with a desire to improve the Accupaint formulas, set about to formulate a new model paint. Both gentlemen have extensive experience formulating commercial paints, so they brought their knowledge and experience to bear in the model world. The goal was to produce a paint that was a solvent-based formula with a quick drying time and a glossy finish. The result of their efforts is Tru-Color paint.
- MSRP: $5.69 / 1 oz., $10.25 / 2 oz.
Eleven years on, and 600 colors later, they are still expanding the line of paints. The initial batches were targeted at model railroad enthusiasts. These paints are airbrush ready and replicate hundreds of colors that have seen the light of day. In addition to the airbrush-ready paints, Tru-Color also offers matte airbrush-ready paints and brush-able matte paints. As the years have passed, the offerings have expanded to include ranges for other genres of models: