Tag - amps

Rheintochter from Bronco

More good news from Bronco this September: Rheintochter missile and missile launcher set is about to be released on the market very soon. The kit will be numbered 35050, and it will feature Photo-etch parts as well as many small details for that interesting missile. Rheintochter is a German surface-to-air missile from the Second World War. The name comes from Wagner's opera series Der Ring des Nibelungen and resembles the aggression in all its detail. It looks scary and very ahead of its time. The rocket was more than 6m long and for its time was a huge achievement in aerodynamics and rocket science. The project started in late 1942 and continued throughout the war, with more than 80 launches made from test sites. That include several variations of the weapon. None of them made it to the front, but it showed the potential of such weapons. Bronco made a promising announcement with this kit. Not only because this is a new molding but because it is a different set compared to the unstopping flow of tanks and airplanes that all the scale model manufacturers supply us with. I personally know quite a few rocket enthusiasts who begged for V-1 and V-2 models, so you can imagine how much joy that new Rheintochter will bring into their lives and collections. The kit will be of decent size, and can be made in several variations as seen on the Bronco's box. The final boxart is not yet announced, but there will be no let downs there. The only thing that I am a bit afraid of, is the fact that Bronco's plastic is a bit soft-ish and their kits are little over-engineered. The geometry of a rocket by itself is not a complex one, but Rheintochter has small wings/stabilizers in two stages which requires nice, Tamiya-like engineering so to achieve the perfect geometry of the model. This is my concern so far regarding this kit, but it might be only because I tend not to be over-excited when a new kit comes around. I truly hope, that Bronco /and hopefully other manufacturers/ will release similar models like the Rheintochter. There are many weird looking rockets from the Soviet era as well, so this side of the modeling is not to be forgotten or put aside. Job well done Bronco!
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The Year of The Abrams. RFM with Interior.

Several times this year I mentioned that 2016 will be The Year of The Abrams in terms of kits and more or less - in history. 25 years after Desert Storm, Abrams is still one of the leading tanks in the World, alongside with Leopard 2, Merkava IV and T-90. It is the only one among those featuring turbine engine and probably the most used in real combat conditions alongside with the Merkava IV. However, Merkava is used only in the Middle East, while the mighty Abrams is currently deployed all around the Globe and probably took action in most parts of it. Rye Field Model surprised with their Tiger I with interior. It might not have been the best Tiger I out there, but full interior was something interesting. During 2016, Meng, Academy and RFM announced Abramses, with RFM even doing the 25 Year Anniversary one. Now, they will hit the market one more time, with M1A1 /M1A2 with full interior. This is not only cool, it is awesome! Mainly because of the turbine engine. But not solely. The M1A1 /M1A2 is a rather complex combat vehicle, and it is interesting to peek inside of it, even though scaled down and in plastic. The Full Interior tendency is very hot right now, as we constantly see new things with their guts out: MiniArt T-44, Su-85, Meng's Bradley & upcoming Tiger II, RFM Tiger I, Takom with their new Tiger IIs. Now, nobody thought of making M1A1 Abrams in that matter. But yeah, apparently Rye Field did. From what we know about the company so far, we pretty much can guarantee that this will be a winner. Even though new on the market Rye Field proven to be on the right path and with new and fascinating ideas. With the preliminary info about the model /pictures of which you can see here/ it is visible, that they will play no games. The whole M1A1 looks crowded and it should be. Also, we have a lot of competition on that field. Even with different versions, other brands offer us pretty much nearly-perfect Abramses, for which we shouldn't complain. Modelers though are a breed which always demand more, and it seems like the new M1A1 from Rye Field will give them exactly that. Recently, the most featured camo of the Abrams is the desert one. However, DML announced their re-pack with a green NATO camo scheme, and here with RFM M1A1 we have the same on the boxart. The camo schemes are again- desert prevailing, but we have a different option as well: For myself, this one shown above is the way to go. But RFM took care about other modelers with different taste as well: As you can see, the camo schemes are done in a collaboration with MIG/AMMO, which is starting to become a standard in the business. I've already seen couple of people buying kits from Meng alongside with AK paint sets released especially for them. Those paints are far from the best, but they do guarantee perfect color match and for some modelers that is enough. I think it is not a bad thing, since we do have more options. Whatever the case is, all camo schemes made alongside MIG /who is an expert in colors and camouflages/ are quite promising and it is nice to have em more in more in different manufacturers. Those schemes shown in RFM new Abrams are doable with masks, and if there is an interest about it DN Models will release Abrams set in the near future. There are many more options of course, it is a matter of deeper research. As for the interior kit we are about to get - well, those are exciting news. From what you can see in the pictures shown, you can guess that this will be an "A" model and with great quality. I am still not sure about the price, but knowing what they offer Tiger I at, I am pretty sure that it will be acceptable. It is a matter of a personal choice, either to get Meng, Academy, Tamiya or RFM. Or maybe another brand? The Year of The Abrams is not over yet...
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IDF M3 Halftrack from Dragon

IDF half-tracks are controversial subjects. They are somewhat forgotten from many, mainly because they were already outdated vehicles when they were in active service. From others, they are loved, just because the same reason applies for them. The fact is, there aren't many out there on the market. Dragon released some US half-tracks years ago, never made them very popular, nor re-issue them. Aftermarket companies used the initial momentum to flood the market with tons of stuff, but again - that was it. Mainly, lack of interest among modelers. In the same time, Dragon, in general, are in decline as a company, lowering the amount of quality parts in their kits and raising up their prices. They decided that either new blood needs to be added, or they will fade out. And gathering knowledge from the others on the market, they pointed their attention towards IDF, promising new subject on that matter, based on their good ol' kits, which are already known among modelers. IDF is a tricky subject. People are either in deep love with it, or they are bored to death from it. It is pretty much the same with WWII stuff. But anyhow, modelers who know what is the history of IDF and they do like highly modified vehicles, are attracted to them. And basically, that what is is - IDF gets their inventory from pretty much everywhere, and throughout the years, in order to survive they adapted all kinds of things to their stuff. Those modifications were popular, effective, useless or ugly, but one thing is certain - there are there. So based on that, many models are elevated to a whole new level of artistry and modeling skills. For example, 2016 AMPS award went to a guy who made a wonderful IDF halftrack with a lot of stowage and small but great add-ons. Not that the model wasn't painted perfectly, the diorama pad also executed with high precision, but without that particular subject, the chances of getting that kind of result were low. Now, all that said, it is no surprise that Dragon announced re-release of their M3 half-track, this time Israeli Defence Forces version. The kit is generally based on DML 6467, with deep mods. For #6467, we know that it is a nice kit, there are some problems with the texture of the rivets, which might've been fixed here. Or not. Whatever the case is, IDF M3 from DML is definitely based on something decent, and even though initially tooled in 2008, it still gives you pretty much the best of the present market. So after the announcement of this IDF set, people started talking and they were - of course - excited about it. This is definitely a good sign for DML and half-track lovers in general. In addition to that, these are good news for the aftermarket companies. They get to re-release some of their resin and photo etch stuff for the M3. Well, now, Dragon made specifically IDF truck, so the conversion sets will become useless, but the stowage sets and specific add-ons still counts. DN Models - as you might've noticed - released several mask sets for IDF stuff. This is not a random thing, just the contrary. At the moment though, the information that we at DN Models have about this particular release of DML is limited. That's why before releasing a mask set for that half-track, we will wait to take a look at the kit first and see does it need one. With the quality of the DML or Tamiya decals, they usually do. But the limited amount of markings on soft-skinned and half-track vehicles, it might be too small to be useful. Time will tell. The release date is not yet set, but it is expected to bee within couple of months tops. I believe this is good news for IDF lovers and half-track fans. They are unusually looking vehicles, and I assume you are bored to see only Sd.Kfz. halftracks from WWII out there. A little "sound and color" in the half-track area of the modeling shows will make things more interesting. What is expected - well, DML always gave us good kits, and probably this IDF M3 won't be any different. Let's hope the price is right, and it won't be their last!
Pictures of the built model are taken from the AMPS official page
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MiniArt’s Su-85 Mid Production with Interior

MiniArt's Interior kits seems like the new hit on the market. They did the Su-122 and the T-44 and promised new line of T-54s. But what we are going to look at today is not a tank, but another self-propelled howitzer: Su-85. Again, Ukrainian company did their "Interior KIT" line here. That features a full interior, but not only that - it represents a completely different approach to the interior as it is. Other companies /mainly aftermarket/ did offer interior sets for different vehicles from time to time. Those are engines, gunner's compartments, ammo racks and ammo sets and so on. Sometimes they are made from plastic, but more often - from resin. Meng Model made a hit on the market with their Bradely Fighting Vehicle, and even though it seemed a bit overdone /or overcrowded/, people liked it and some very nice works emerged from that kit. Not many other companies tried it, however, interior is something nice and presents you with a fair challenge, especially when it comes down to AFV. But back to MiniArt and their Su-85: Su-85 is self-propelled vehicle, based on the chassis of the famous T-34 tank. It is a rather gun destroyer instead of a self-propelled gun actually. It is a development of SU-122, but equipped with D-5T 85mm gun, which made it more powerful unit, with capabilities to destroy Tiger I tank from around 1000m. Su-85 entered service in 1943 and saw some battles  throughout the war, proving the concept but also proving to be slightly under-armed. That led to Su-100, but that's another story. Su-85 went on with service history within Soviet Union /until 50s/ and it's allies, which used it for many years after the end of WWII. It saw other battlefields as well, and it gained a fair amount of respect. In total, around 2000 were built. All in all - SU-85 is a subject worth modeling! So, what MiniArt did is: The kit is in a crowded box. And I mean - crowded! Once you break the plastic bags and the order that's inside of them, it is very hard to put everything back and close the box. That was very typical for Dragon kits, but now you can see it all over the place. Sometimes caused by poor judgement of the box size, sometimes - as in Su-85 case - from the large number of sprues. MiniArt did a great effort separating all the details onto different sprues and even though this is a waste of plastic of some sort, creates an useful way for the modeler to arrange the whole build. The instructions are very clear, organized well and put in a nice and luxurious leaflet. The leaflet itself is very nice, better than Tamiya, comparable with Meng and ages ahead compared to Kinetic or Academy. MiniArt do improve a lot small things with their releases and slowly but steadily crawl to the head places in the industry. The camo schemes are not many, but I must add, that there are two factors that eventually led to that decision. First is the lack of picture material about this particular vehicle. It wasn't the star that T-34 was, so Soviets didn't payed much attention in creating a decent archive about it. Second one is the fact, that most of the vehicles differ solely by the numbering. Rest is up to the modeler. Hence, the decals feature all of the numbers so to create whatever number combo you'd might think of. Of course, DN Masking set for Soviet vehicles might come handy in this case, but also painted by hand letters and numbers would do. The plastic is flexible, there is enough detail /maybe even too much for my taste!/ and many many small sub-assemblies. The casings of the suspension are there, just like in their Su-122, the engine and the driver's compartment, as well as the extremely abundant ammo set placed on many racks inside of the vehicle. The engineering of the assembly is done in such a way that there is a chance for you to leave a side or two open, so to show off with what you've managed to enclose in that small space inside. Tracks are very interesting, because they are separate links, placed on two types of sprues. The detail is so fine, that even the moulding markings of the real thing are represented in scale. Not only that, but they are clear enough and it is a pleasure to watch them up close. All the bottom parts - tracks, wheels, active suspension and so on, is very detailed and it is a state-of-the-art thing. Engine is pretty much the same. MiniArt sell kits only with engines, so you might imagine how many small parts and goodies have we got here in the Su-85 kit. Of course, many of these can be left aside and the vehicle will look perfectly balanced and attractive with only the exterior built. But it is the nicest thing to have more and more options, especially enclosed in one box or as it is popular to say - super kit OOTB. This is definitely one! MiniArt did kept their price low and simultaneously provided perfect tracks, engine, ammo set /a huge one/ and all the rest of the interior. Many other companies tried and failed. Even Tamiya, who kept their prices low, started selling improved tracks or gun barrels as separate kits which led to the huge increase in the price. I find that MiniArts ratio for details-per-dollar is probably the best on the market. Hand to hand to that goes the fact, that their kits are not for newbies, but they can be modified to be - leaving the interior aside. But hey, this isn't only cost effective. There are no let-downs with this kit, except for the complexity which is a bit high. But this isn't a let down per se. So I can only say that this kit is one of the best on the market, although challenging. Highly recommended as all of the Interior Kit series from MiniArt! You can get this kit here: MiniArt 35187 Su-85 Soviet SPG with Interior  
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1000 Subscribers /not so/ Special.

Finally, DN Models YouTube channel has reached the milestone of 1000 subscribers. That happened just last week, after almost 10 days hiatus, which was quite unusual. The subscribers count during that hiatus was kinda frozen, which was quite unusual comparing it to the last 3 or 4 months of constant movement. Maybe YouTube evaluated something on my channel, maybe something else was happening. One can only guess. I waited for this moment a long long time, knowing that this is some sort of a magical number after which things will go ballistic and all my efforts, appreciated by at least 1K subscribers there will actually become a real happening. Unfortunately, nothing of that kind happened, and even after a week of waiting and hoping for a slight change, things remained the same. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expected a space shuttle launch to happen, but even the slightest add-ons like monitoring your biggest fans among your subscribers never showed. The only thing I got from this milestone, was a short annotation from YouTube, saying I have reached 1000 subs and now I can fill a theater with them. Good to know. The new people that came in after, actually were with the same steady flow of everyday new subs, which is the opposite of what rumors say. You should go faster and easier after 1000 mark. Nope. Not here. Not in my case. Whatever the case is, I realized that having 1000 subscribers is rather a bigger responsibility than a success, and DN Models is liked, thus I gotta keep on working. Even harder. So what I want to say is "Thank You!" to my subscribers, to people who read here and to people who email me and communicate with me through the social networks. I am grateful for having them in my flow of communication, and I am thankful for their appreciation of my efforts. Seeing nothing happening after 1K subs, I realized also that actually all along the way something did happened. That is new friends found among the other YouTubers, new contacts with people who think alike and new experience in people interaction in general. I am truly grateful for that! I wish to express my gratitude to all my supporters out there, to the people who comment and communicate with me most: Mark, Carlos, Michael R., Michael S., Michael R/again but another one/., Rafael, Andy, Paul S., Paul A. and David. They gave me boost without even knowing, when I was wondering do I need to go on with that endeavour and does my efforts count. Also, I want to thank Alina and Vladislav from MiniArt for their trust in me, and especially Vladislav for the wonderful communication along our mutual work! Thank you guys! I will try and do better and better. YouTube might've done nothing with my 1000 subs milestone, but you did along the way and I am grateful! DN Models could not exist without you, not in YouTube but anywhere! See ya soon!  
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