This aircraft is – to me at least – at the top of the evolution pyramid amongst single-engined piston fighters. Years of design honing and fine-tuning have resulted in this series of the fastest, most maneuverable, most heavily-armed, the highest-flying and the most technologically advanced aircraft to date (1945). I was happy to get the kit and am more than willing to build it at first opportunity.
And it is rather good I have to say. First released in 1992 it features 90 parts according to my counting (78 in grey plastic, 2 transparent and 10 PE). Beyond the actual Ta-152 airframe parts there is a detailed engine bay (with engine and cannon), which could be posed open. Some have gone so far in criticizing the kit as to call it “over-engineered”, and hail the Aoshima H-0 and H-1 sets (which are based off the Dragon offering) as a better solution due to the small number of parts (about half the DML count) and lower price. I personally wouldn’t replace my kit for the Japanese one, and the pics below will tell you why.
The Nachtigall (Nightingale) is a radar-equipped variant of the Ar-234 jet bomber. It is armed with an underslung pod with two 20mm cannon, holding 200 rounds per gun.
Well, this is what the kit basically is – an armed bomber. So sprue A holds completely uneventluf stuff – common parts like fuselage, horizontal stabilizers, undercarriage, and even recce cameras intended for the bomber.
Sprue B has the wings, engines, and cockpit section – the whole nose is a separate unit to allow for construction of various versions. Each Jumo engine is made up by two halves, an inlet with integrally molded compressor face, and an exhaust “egg” – much similar to the Revell’s Me-262 (or vice-versa?).
A member of the “Golden Wings” series from the early 90s this kit represents a Luft ’46 aircraft. Me-1101’s partially completed prototype was captured by US forces at the end of WW2. It later flew in The States as Bell X-5, the first aircraft with variable wing geometry. The radar-and-missiles equipped night fighter you see below must only have been a paper-only project…
The original aircraft did not feature a T-tail, it might as well have been a Dragon invention. Anyway – liked the look of the thing and when opportunity came I snatched the kit off EvilBay. It arrived in excellent condition and revealed a curious packaging pattern – all sprue bags and the decals placed in a big bag stapled to the side.
After so much waiting the new Mi-24 by Zvezda is finally in my hands. Probably one of the most awaited models in the 72nd scale, this impressive offering has no less than 284 parts and allows you to build the most accurate “Crocodile” in the scale to date.
One of the perks you get with the kit is the complete engine/gearbox setup that allows you to build your Hind all opened up (you’d still need to make the compartment plumbing yourself or wait for Eduard’s go at it though). Pick a V version with the YakB-12,7 Gatling gun, or a GSh-23-2 armed VP. Hang some serious firepower under the wings, pop the two pilots in the cockpits and let it rip!
The HobbyBoss effort has been on the market for some time already and it really retired the previous kits in the scale. A detailed cockpit, a pretty serious and well-detailed arsenal that could actually fill the pylons of 4 Hinds, better shapes, more adequate rotor heads, engraved panel lines and decent surface details. Most modelers also notice it’s a good fitter, so for about 10 euros it came as a notable bang for the buck.
The few issues noted on The Net are the overrepresented raised lines on the main rotor, the single-detail canopy (common for both cockpits) and the seam line going down the middle of it. But it still started a new era for the fans of the feared “Crocodile” – the biggest, toughest, most popular attack helicopter in the world.
Much-smaller than it’s Soviet counterpart below, the FLAK-38 is represented by fewer parts. The crew consists of an aimer/gunner and a loader.
Details are well-represented on the gun – even bolt heads on both sides of the armored shield are represented. Please note that transport trailer and ammo boxes are not included.
The flash hider is a bit too bulky, but should be easy to replace with a self-made cooking-foil detail. My main concern is that the sprue gate that is located on the barrel is almost as thick, so care should be taken when separating that detail. It could also use some seam-line cleaning, esp. on the small shield just in front of the breech.
The gun comes on two green sprues. There are two seated soldiers comprising the crew (aiming the gun in azimuth and elevation, respectively) – no loaders are present.
You can assemble the gun with or without crew. If you are using the aimers you will notice the seats are molded to their backs (all handcranks are separate details). There’s a pair of extra seats should you decide to skip the crew.
Details on the gun itself are pretti decent for a snap-fitter. The only visible ejector pin marks are on the single-detail gun carriage, but these can be quickly removed.
The famous German MG 34 infantry machine gun and its role in WW2 combat needs no introduction. Zvezda of Russia allows wargamers and modelers alike to add TWO machinegun teams to their colletion with this set.
There are two identical sprues with a MG, a shooter, a spotter, a base and a flag plate on each. I personally am fond of the quality of the sets, and consider the details adequate for the scale. There’s a noticeable seamline down the middle of each figure, but that should clean with a pass or two of the modelling knife.
Russian kit manufacturer Zvezda has literally exploded with news during the past year. They’ve announced a massive ammount of kits in various scales – from 1/350 ships through a number of 1/72 war gaming (snap fit) sets to 1/48 aircraft and 1/35 figure sets and armor kits.
I am going to have a look at three WW2 72nd scale sets tonight that are intended to be used with Zvezda’s own board gaming system “Art of tactic”:
There has always been something magnetic about this US amphibious vehicle. When the kit was recently presented to me I decided it deserves some attention, as it’s a whole bunch of firsts in a single package. Let’s see…
Spue A has the cupola (actually two – one of each pre- and post modernization), armament and smoke grenade launchers, the front fenders, and the old suspension. Two options are presented for the in-the-water propulsion system – propeller boxes can be shown opened or closed with two pairs of separate details. You can make up the relative sizes of the parts – the grid on the cutting mat is 1 cm square.