Despite having produced the world's first ocean-going ironclad warship in 1859, the Glorie, the French Navy (Marine Nationale Francaise) entered the twentieth century unsure of its direction and at the mercy of confusing political demands. It was left with a hodgepodge of capital ships at the end of the nineteenth century few in number and facing obsolescence. It took the emergence of Germany's Imperial Navy, the Mediterranean threat from Italy and Austria-Hungary, as well as its traditional rivalry with Britain's Royal Navy to shake the French Navy and the Marine Ministry from their stupor and confusion, and institute a program leading to the development of modern battleships.
Divided primarily into four sections, this edition of Osprey's New Vanguard naval series describes:
The Bell P-39 Airacobra was a beautiful design. It had an innovative layout for the fuselage, with the engine mounted in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. The P-39 was also the first US Fighter with a tricycle undercarriage.
With these advantages came one large disadvantage. The engine did not have a turbo supercharger, which prevented the aircraft from performing well at high altitude, above 12,000 feet. Because of this, the RAF rejected the P-39. The Soviet Air Force did accept the Airacobra, as most of their combat took place at low to medium altitudes.
The P-39 also had a solid weapons system. The central mounted engine allowed the mounting of the T9 37mm cannon in the nose. This weapon could penetrate 8 inches of armor at 500 yards.
The P-39 was used by the US Army in the Southwest Pacific, mostly New Guinea. There were also P-39s in Alaska, where they were used against the Japanese invasion of Attu, but with limited success because of weather problems.
The book goes into great detail of the development, service, variants and full history of a classic car which is one of the world's most popular cars ever produced. I have always loved this little car, with great memories of traveling in one when I was a child in the Sixties. The book is a wonderful treasure trove of pictures that I have ever seen before and even though I thought I knew a lot about this car it has so much more history and facts I never heard before.
Also, it is written by a very professional and knowledgeable author of lots of articles I have read and enjoyed before. The car's history goes back to Wartime Germany in the late 1930s and goes on till today! The car was the brainchild of the great car designer Ferdinand Porsche and was to be the Peoples car of the Third Reich under Hitler, hence Volkswagen (Peoples Car).
I found this book fascinating and made me aware of a lot of information I have never read before. The pictures alone are well worth getting this book for.
German battleships and heavy cruisers were equipped with three armored fire-control posts (in the conning tower, on the foretop, and on top of the aft superstructure. Target selectors around the foretop selected air targets. Each of the selectors, called ZAGs, worked in conjunction with one of the Directors for targeting. Veteran Models Fire Control Set provides 4 - ZAG Light Flak Directors, 4 - Zielsaule C/38 S Night Directors, plus 8 - 1540mm Search Light Directors.
The resin pieces are exquisitely cast with extremely fine detail, and virtually no imperfections. There is some very minor flash on the parts, but no bubbles or voids. The eyepieces even have recessed ends! The small photoetch fret provides hand wheels for the Light Controllers and Night Directors, and there are several spares for the extremely small pieces.
Gareth Williams has been a curator at the British Museum since 1996, with responsibility for British and European coinage, about AD 500 to about 1180. Within this area, he specializes in Anglo-Saxon and Viking coinage. Much of his work focuses on the use of coinage as evidence within broader historical and archaeological studies. Gareth has authored at least fifteen books and led several projects at the British Museum, with a "Viking Voyages" exhibition that recently finished a run from March 2015 through February 2017. He has been actively involved in historical re-enactments. Check him out at the British Museum.
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: