takom stug iii dn models masks for scale models 2020

Takom StuG III? Biggest news for armor in 2020

Takom StuG III

release was somewhat logical announcement. Although still not official news neither as scale nor as release date, Takom dropped the bomb with a single picture posted on their Facebook page. For armor modeling world, this is probably the biggest and most likely the greatest announcement of 2020. It is most definitely more interesting and important for armor modelers than corona virus is nowadays.

StuG III is the most produced vehicle of the German side of the Second World War. Not only that, but it has tons of fans around the World, modeling-wise. Interestingly, those who once take the StuG road, tend to stay on it, with few extreme examples. Latter one are builders that build either mostly or only StuG IIIs in 35th scale.

Here comes the question: “What scale will be Takom’s StuG III?”. It might seem like an easy answer, but it is not yet announced officially, which might mean that it can be 1/16th, just like their FT-17 tank. And why not, considering that Trumpeter are releasing StuG in 16th scale sometimes in the next 12 to 24 months. It is definitely a possibility.

Most likely though,

the 35th scale kit will emerge on the already flourishing armor market. And that means a lot. It means that this is just the beginning. Because Takom are not like Bronco, and they will expand their line and probably give the rights to others to re-pack. In the meantime, the most interesting object for modeling of the WWII will  probably be explored by others too. It is highly unlikely this speculation to be false as well. And if you wonder why, think about it:

MiniArt just announced Panzer IV and they already did some pre-production Panzer and StuG IIIs. Border model also entered the game with their Panzer IV, as well as the brilliant Rye Field Model representation of the same thing. It will be insane decision not to take a swing at the StuG III, considering that it is far more popular than Panzer III and IVs.

But let’s give time

to Takom and see what exactly they will offer us. And if expectations of everybody are correct, this will be 35th scale new tooling of a StuG III. Probably with interior. That will set the beginning of a new line of StuG IIIs and will put a huge pressure on Dragon, dethroning them as a StuG dominant on the market. Reasons for that are many, but none more important that this: Takom know how to make contemporary models and are highly competitive, while DML seems to have forgotten how to. One thing is certain: Takom StuG III is happening!


Ka-52 Alligator kh80123 dn models masks for scale models

Ka-52 Alligator in quarter Scale


Ka-52 Alligator

is a dual seat attack helicopter, derivative from Kamov Ka-50 - Black Shark. The latter one is a single seat version and it was first flown in 1980s. Ka-52 Alligator appeared much later, sometime in the second half of the 90s. The extended crew was due to the changed concepts in the 90s and it supposedly gave the helicopter increased survivability. Due to the economic situation in Russia during that period, the serial production was delayed and the first helicopters started entering service in late 2000s. That - to some extent - makes the Ka-52 one of the newest helicopters in the Russian arsenal, despite its old roots.

Ka-52 Alligator - same as its single-seat variant - feature coaxial rotor system, which eliminates the need of a tail rotor. That helps in many regards, starting from weight, going through control, but the most important area that benefits from that design is the safety of the crew. Ka-52 Alligator features ejection system. In that regard, Kamov helicopters are unique.

Kitty Hawk

made a promise to their fans, which even with some time variations was fulfilled. In quarter scale, Ka-52 was expected for some time and will be very warmly welcomed by the modeling fans of the Alligator. At this point it is not yet clear how the helicopter will be designed. Kitty Hawk are famous for breaking down their kits into unusually and sometimes unnecessary many sub-assemblies. On the other hand, the real Ka-52 Alligator form allows for that and the specific subject can eliminate the design style weakness to some point.

Maybe the kit will feature more than just Russian markings, but that is only a speculation. Egypt is already flying its own Ka-52 and hopefully Kitty Hawk contemplated the idea. Armament-wise, KH were never stingy, so in that regards we can also expect decent amount of plastic included. Whatever the case is with the final product that is about to be released - we are in for a very hot kit and from a company that already proved their qualities on the helo arena.

It is true,

that this announcement comes with some downsides. Probably most important is the scale, because helicopters are traditionally done in 35th. However, Kitty Hawk Huey is still a best seller, as well as AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom. However we can only hope that this is just the beginning. They promised Huey in 35th scale too, which we are about to see. Maybe if the Ka-52 Alligator becomes a hit, it can be up-scaled as well. Only time will tell.

The fact that after all this time we will finally get Ka-52 Alligator from a decent manufacturer is great news. And that should happen sometime in 2020, hopefully rather soon. How deep into the future will the line development go - well, that depends on how popular the real Ka-50/Ka-52 family becomes. It has potential, so at this time it looks very bright!

eduard's upcoming spitfire 1/48 mk.i dn models masks for scale models

Eduard’s upcoming Spitfire Mk.I in 48th scale


Eduard's upcoming Spitfire Mk.I will be a definite hit. That is certain, even before any info about the kit's engineering or contents is made available. The reason for that certainty is the history the Czech company made with their 109, as well as with their MiG-21 family. Same goes for their later Spitfire versions. Now, we will have the first Spitfire as well. And this comes as a surprise, knowing that they produce a beautiful BIG Sin set for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.I. Latter one, by itself - a piece of art.

Eduard's upcoming Spitfire will mark the beginning of a whole new sub-family. That will include Spitfires from the early versions. Even ones with two-blade propeller are already being hinted. It is surprising, because those options are not that popular. At least not among general modeling society. On the other hand, they are indispensable for Spitfire maniacs. As for the Mk.I and on, it is clearly a good decision. If Tamiya have decided to take that road, they probably did their research. We all know they pay insane amounts of money on research.

eduard's upcoming spitfire tamiya 61119 dn models masks for scale models

How will the two 48th scale Mk.Is compare is another story. It is true that many have made comparisons and drew parallels in between new tool Me-109s both from Tamiya and Eduard. There is still no clear winner though. If you ask for precision, rivets, small and intricate details, Eduard are there for you. But if you wan't to enjoy the pure pleasure of modeling, encounter less troubles and have almost guaranteed results - Tamiya is the path.

Eduard's upcoming Spitfire

will probably present us with the same dilemma. Either to choose the traditional Japanese approach, or the innovative Czech modeling design.

We, at DN Models found out that Tamiya kits are always welcomed and our products are very popular when it comes down to that specific brand. One of the main reasons is their accuracy in shape and size. Another is their superb research and spot-on markings and description. That's why, learning that we will get a new Spitfire from Eduard, we decided to update our line with Spitfire's markings included in Tamiya's kit. That will make them available option for the future Eduard buyers, giving them the option to build Eduard and make it look like Tamiya. Even maybe build them side to side with equal markings, but different plastic underneath. Lacking Tamiya's notorious decal troubles of course. 

Spitfire Mk.I Numbers and Insignia Paint Mask Set for Tamiya #61119 1/48 dn models masks for scale models

Eduard Spitfire would not disappoint. Nether Tamiya's option. But in the end, they are rather small airplanes even in quarter scale. Price tags are not scary either. So there is the obvious answer - get them both. Especially if you are a Spitfire fan. That way you will get whatever you want from both worlds. And with DN Models' masks? The end result will be even better!


Panzer IV from MiniArt in 35th scale dn models masks for scale models

Panzer IV from MiniArt in 35th scale

Panzer IV from MiniArt in 35th scale was the least expected kit on the Toy Fair in Germany this year. Although everybody hoped that MiniArt will, at some point, release continuation of their Panzer III nad StuG III pre-production vehicles, nobody dared to go that far. Not only MiniArt released a Panzer IV, but they did it announcing the latest model first, which is a very bold move. That only means that we can expect earlier versions quite soon and hopefully a long-lasting line of new generation, 21st century designed Panzer IV kits.

Dragon was to this date, the dominant Panzer producer on the market. Even with attempts from Takom and Border model, nobody else was daring the challenge DML on the most produced German armor of the Second World War. MiniArt Panzer IV is the first really serious threat to DML, even though Border model came really close recently.

Panzer IV from MiniArt in 35th scale dn models masks for scale models

But MiniArt Panzer IV is news, simply because the way MiniArt work. They do produce the thinnest photo-etch among all scale model producers on the planet. Schurzen on this version of Panzer IV are extremely delicate and thin in real life. This can be done only with photo-etch if you want sturdy, yet accurate and scale-proper appearance. Nobody stands a better change than MiniArt in that manner.

There is more...

If you are familiar with MiniArt's T-series of tanks and their tracks, you will know, that Panzer IV in 35th scale will probably feature such beautiful add-ons too, which means a lot. Remember the prices of the aftermarket tracks on the market? Imagine that is coming with your kit OOTB. Later models from DML came with DS tracks which was ridiculous for experience modelers, although well accepted from beginners. This won't happen with MiniArt. Just wait and see.

Panzer IV from MiniArt in 35th scale dn models masks for scale models

Panzer IV from MiniArt will be either the best kit out there, or it won't exist at all. This is how the Ukrainian maker does things. They do put a lot in a box, making almost all of their kits self-sufficient, eliminating the need for 9 out of 10 aftermarket goodies. They do keep their prices low too. So what can be more important on the armor scene than a new release of any decent Panzer IV tank?

Well, the answer to that is: Panzer IV from MiniArt. It simply won't get any better than that. Not in 35th scale. Not with so much in one box. Not with the experience we have with MiniArt's Interior Kit series.

And that is why, this was probably the biggest news on the Toy Fair in Germany this year.

Great job MiniArt! 

www.dnmodels.com Panzer IV from MiniArt in 35th scale dn models masks for scale models
KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

KLP Publishing – P-51 Mustang book


Mustang was always among favorite subjects for modelers and aviation historians. A plane designed for a tad over three months during late WWII, and yet still one of the most capable piston engine fighters ever made. It is self-explanatory why any modeler would like to have as much information about it as possible, especially when it comes down to building it. That is because, in historical terms, the plane is described thoroughly and actually, with many still flying nowadays and in private hands, its quite accessible for the interested parties. However, modeling-wise information is always welcomed. That is because there are many different manufacturers, different modeling approaches and ideas times more than modelers involved. Some, as we are about to see shortly – very successfully implemented.

Revell’s Mustang

There are plenty of new toolings from the last couple of years on the Mustang subject. We have two of the quarter scale in the last two years solely. Completely redesigned as well – one of them doesn’t even require glue to be completed! But since it is WWII warbird, the best way to approach it is always in larger scale. The square footprint of prop fighter planes of the Second World War is somehow generous towards our limited /well not for the lucky ones/ modeling space, thus we can get bigger models!

In 32nd scale there are three distinctive releases. Tamiya, which is a state of the art kit and my favorite, Zoukei-Mura, which gives different approach towards the model and lately, Revell as well. Latter one is the cheapest, most acceptable and last but not least, the reason for quite a few heated arguments between me and fellow modelers. It is the one that you can get easier than the rest, because it is available in many toy stores, while in the same time getting Zoukei-Mura can be a challenge. Tamiya, on the other hand has a hefty price tag compared to Revell, so that pretty much answers it for many modelers out there.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

That was forming my opinion that Revell is some sort of a second-grade kit compared to the other two and I strongly opposed any attempts from the fellow modelers to compare it to Tamiya. Zoukei-Mura, as we all know is a whole different animal. Anyhow, KLP Publishing changed my mind about Revell. It might sound weird, but actually seeing the whole process arranged and followed thoroughly, revealed the kit in different light and highlighted its potential.

The book

The book that KLP made for the Mustang is, as per usual in electronic format. KLP Publishing are working that way. And I can share a lot of my thoughts about how cool that is, but let’s stick to the facts and be objective as much as possible.

First, there is no paper with this book! You can have it only as a ebook. And if you ask me, that is superb decision. In a World that we consume times more than we have on our hands, this is the best way to go. Not only that, but it gives you plenty of additional options to work with. Recently published article about the Mini PCs in our modeling room might help you get the idea.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

KLP Publishing did it in very neatly arranged and logically presented format, starting with the description of the kit, slowly introducing the reader into the subject. Then on, with a smooth transition, it leaves you in the hands of the modeler that is the guest-star of the book, if I might say so. The book is about one single plane – true. However it is not a sole deed of the modeler, but rather a team work that helps the building process to shine, thanks to talent, work and clever forming of the information presented.

Many might think that this is similar to any of the magazines out there and there are plenty of builds that one can refer to. So why KLP? Well, there are many reasons, one of which is, that in reality this book has little to do with any magazine. It is really a book, even though in electronic format only, but is far from any of the magazines that you get on a regular basis out there. Maybe because it is about a single subject and the devotion was greater, or maybe because it is designed to be a proper book from the get go – whichever it is, this product gives different feel. It reveals small and intricate details, that you cannot get from a magazine. Somehow engages you with what’s in the builders head and reveals the whole building process as if you are being a live witness to it all.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

Details, complimented with high-res pictures are thoroughly described, leaving no stone unturned and are somewhat eye opening experience. At least for myself, a guy who was very skeptical about Revell’s Mustang, KLP Publishing did the job. But as the old saying goes: “You cannot learn what you think you already know”. Well, Mustang book from KLP proved me wrong. I really never knew. But now I do. Revell kit deserves respect.

Being KLP’s customer

Something very interesting about KLP Publishing has to be mentioned here. Something that almost nobody does nowadays. That is giving your client more than you promised. As once quoted: the best business model is – under-promise, over-deliver. KLP Publishing are the living proof of that moto.

How it works? Well, if there is an update on any of the products mentioned in the book, any reference or anything that is worth mentioning, KLP Publishing updates it in the book and then…

updates the existing customers for free.

That is right. Free. In other words, you don’t have to buy a new book every time it gets upgraded. Try and find that with any other publisher.

That is done solely thinking about the customer, but not from a business stand point. Since KLP Publishing is a product of modelers and is designed for and targets other modelers, nobody wanted to exploit the product to its maximum. Just the contrary. Everything that was done from KLP Publishing was with the idea to over-deliver especially with the format.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

The truth is, that many of the modelers are hoarders to some extent, that includes me. And in a material world, having a brick of a book on the shelf is an achievement of a sort. Knowing that, KLP did their best to justify their decision to go paperless, although for me this is already a sold idea. Just look at the Australian fires that are still happening and the extreme loss of life there. That would be enough for any human being to stop and think about it. How can we be more effective and more modest in our consuming? For one reason, not using that much paper is the way for me. And good luck with any of us recycling your modeling magazines…  


That is tricky, considering the fact that each KLP book features different modeler, which means different photographing skill set. However, for the Mustang, our subject in this review – it looks superb. The pictures are clear and everything is visible. From my standpoint – a true skeptic on the Revell Mustang idea – pictures told a story that I will never forget.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

The focus –not literally – is pointed at the exact spot and gives you that “picture worth a thousand words” feel. The thing that did it for me was the contrast I got from what I saw in the review section with that dull Revell-looking plastic and the finished product, especially ones that show the spinner of the Mustang. That revealed so much information and emphasized on the end results, which contrasts with the kit contents a lot. And even though we all know that is a result of hard work and talent, the whole thing was presented by KLP in a way that made it unforgettable for me.

Saying it, I know that Revell fans will giggle at my original thoughts, but you must admit that I admitted my mistake! However I never would’ve known if it wasn’t for the KLP Publishing to show me.

Information at the end

Every time I start a project, sometimes even before I purchase the kit itself – I do a thorough research of its weaknesses and potential for aftermarket. Alongside with that I gather as much information as possible on the subject and arrange it in a package, that in my eyes will give me the best result possible. That is often time consuming, especially if there is no completed builds showing how other people did it.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

I’ve seen plenty of copy cats, for example many tanks did exactly as Michael Rinaldi described his process in the book, or Adam Wilder suggested in his works. I’ve seen it with planes too. But that is not the correct way to approach modeling. At least in my opinion. In the same time, knowing what you can do with your kit with all the aftermarket is almost mandatory nowadays with so much stuff out there.

KLP Publishing understood the importance of that and embedded all that information in the book. Mustang release end with a plethora of products, that will help you find your way to perfection. And that is the information that get updated when the creators find it reasonable to do so.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

That in my eyes is priceless. Because if you have such book for every kit out there, this would be the very first thing to purchase. And if you think I am exaggerating, think again, only after checking out the prices of the books in KLP, which by the way are in dollars, Australian…


As a continuation of the last paragraph, I must add that if it wasn’t for the rest /which was great/, that last info with all the books and the aftermarket at the end of KLP’s Mustang release would’ve done it for me. For a fraction of the expenses that one must do when starting a project, you get a map that outlines many potential ways of dealing with kit’s strengths and weaknesses. And as we all know, every kit has them.

KLP Publishing P-51 Mustang - review by DN Models

Bible, would be a word too strong for that book, but the only reason for that is that if it was a bible, it would’ve contain plenty of projects, not only one. But this is definitely a well described chapter of Mustang’s story in 32nd scale. And if we gather all the releases from KLP, we can easily start an Almanac of Large Scale modeling. One, that is contemporary and one that you can easily bring in your pocket on your high end mobile device. While in the same time use it on your large TV screen in your modeling room. Try that with a paper book. Let me know how it works.

Very highly recommended, especially for Revell nay-sayers like myself.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models boxart

Tamiya P-38 Lightning 1/48


Tamiya P-38 Lightning is not only among the newest airplane releases from the Japanese manufacturer, but as the rumors go – it is one of their best. Although almost all Tamiya releases are usually held to very high standards, there were some issues with Tamiya kits in the past. Maybe nothing too bad, usually decals, but nevertheless, modelers complained for this and that. Out of curiosity, as well as love for the legendary twin boom Lightning, we decided to take a peek inside of its box and decide for ourselves – is Tamiya P-38 is really their best quarter scale kit so far?

Tamiya P-38 was something that modelers longed for for quite some time. Although most of us expected it in 32nd scale, accompanying their brilliant Mosquito, Mustang and Corsair, Tamiya decided to do it in the smaller scale. Maybe this is not their last word, but we’ll see in time. P-38 Lightning is a legend. Not only because it was designed by the genius Kelly Johnson or that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry vanished without a trace in one, but because this was an extraordinary machine by all means.

For its time, the lightning was quite ahead in many terms, but none more important than its visual appearance. P-38 Lightning was famous for speed and it was loved by many, even though being outflown by other aircraft by the end of the war. Little more than 10 000 were built, which is quite a number. Much can be said about its history, but let’s focus on the Tamiya P-38 kit here.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models box

Boxing and Boxart

The kit comes in a medium sized box, typical for Tamiya, with light green on its sides and wrapped in a tight cellophane for protection. Once you open it, it is not crammed like many of the new kits that you get to see nowadays. Of course, you can expect certain finesse when it comes down to Tamiya. After all, they are best among them all! Everything inside is packed in separate envelopes, transparent and thick enough to protect the contents. There are metal weights, instructions and more, but we will talk about each down below.

The boxart features a Lockheed P-38 Lightning in flight, over an island, supposedly somewhere in the Pacific. At least color-wise, that is the first impression you get. The camouflage is nothing special, green on top, with lighter blueish-gray color on the belly. Only a small nose art with yellow letters “Miss Virginia” is visible with a number “147” beneath it. In front of that there are two aerial victories and one more, which isn’t exactly clear on the boxart. Probably a ship. The plane wears the old round stars, which are more discrete and somehow more subtle looking than the ones used later on. This Lightning clearly shows wire antennae, which are many and …well, they are about to be your problem. The description beneath is in blue letters, saying P-38F/G, hence – two versions are doable using this release.

So far, a great start!


Tamiya P-38 Lightning comes with close to the standard leaflet type of instructions that you usually get with Tamiya’s 48th scale kits. It is close, because at first sight it looks like one of their leaflets, but when you get your hands on it, it is actually a booklet. Everything inside is thoroughly described with Japanese precision and represents one of the best instruction sheets on the market today. Simple, easy to understand and easy to follow.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models instructions 1

It is only in black and white, but that is due to the fact, that you actually don’t need color for the building process. That doesn’t go for the huge paint options guide, which we will discuss further down. We are talking only building instructions here.

Alongside with those two mentioned above, you get a small leaflet /the old style/ featuring some history fragments about the Lightning. Tamiya did a great job separating it from the instructions, and adding it to the kit in the first place. Lately, many manufacturers forget about this important add-on, which sometimes help young modelers develop affinity towards learning and exploring the real subject.

Lastly, there is a small single sheet showing how to use tools when you deal with scale models, which is another add-on oriented towards younger generation of model builders. Nothing overly important, just some nice fine touches from the Japanese model maker. However, sometimes – as we all know – small touches are everything!

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models instructions 2


Material of the sprues is medium grey in color and at first glance it is nothing special. Tamiya are known for yellow, light grey or medium grey plastic, but whatever the color you might be getting, one thing is certain – quality of it is second to none. Same here. It just doesn’t get any better.

The detail of the surface is very good. Perfect would be too strong, considering the fact that some minor details can be eventually added. But it is darn close. Maybe some rivets and maybe some photo-etch elements might be added. But hey, let’s not forget about aftermarket companies that deal with PE and the fact that some modelers actually enjoy re-riveting their kits.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models sprueTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models sprue 2Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models fuselageTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models dashboardTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models cockpit partsTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models nose

The cockpit details are very close to what you might get with a resin substitute, practically eliminating the need of one. The pilot included represents the same case – resin figure is not needed. Of course, some might feel the need to add wires and cables here and there, but in general, for OOTB, this kit is a pure gem.

The wings, the upper parts of the engine nacelles and the nose are molded into one piece, which guarantees proper geometry. If you look closely, you will see details that are not visible at first glance, catching up perfectly the scale of things. Each of the twin booms are engineered to be a separate module, and this is only fraction of the small tricks that Tamiya used to make this kit a pleasure ride for the builder. Most definitely, they factored the alignment in that too.

Of course, the sophistication that we see with their 32nd scale kits is missing to some extent, but let’s not forget that we are talking quarter scale here. Besides, there are already companies that are aiming to produce resin parts, like superchargers and wheels, and we will eventually see more. Engines, open sections, etc.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models nose weightsTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models super-chargersTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models propellersTamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models wings

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models twin boom empennage

Antennae, mentioned above will be something that you will have to figure out by yourself. This is challenging, but on the other hand it gives an opportunity to recreate especially interesting and delicate kit if you do it properly. Luckily for the masters of the wiring, P-38 is abundant of those, and you will be able to make it shine. For everybody else, you can always leave those aside, and it is guaranteed, that the kit will look brilliantly even without them.

Clear Parts

Are really impressive. Those look somewhat better than what we are used to see with Tamiya. Maybe it was a false feeling, but we share nothing more than an opinion, and we thought that they look fantastic. There are two companies that we know of, that make superb clear parts. One is MiniArt, the other is Zoukei-Mura. This Tamiya P-38 Lightning seems to have beaten those two with this clear sprue. There is very /very!/ good transparency and the detail around the canopy is second to none. An option for open window is present and in general, if you manage to mask them out properly and work clean and careful around them, the end results will be fantastic.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models canopy

There is everything that you might wish for in a kit, especially considering the size of the canopy of P-38, plus the fact that its side windows not only look odd in reality, but are tricky to replicate in scale. Maybe that is why Tamiya put effort in this clear sprue. Or maybe they are just stepping up their game slowly but steadily, with each and every new release. Whatever the case is, this clear sprue is one of the best features of the kit according to our perception.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models canopy 2

Decals & Paint Masks

Tamiya P-38 Lightning comes with a small sheet of decals, which feature an interesting add-on. Those are mirror-like elements, which are embedded into the decal sheet. Other companies have done this too, but when it comes down to decal sheets, Tamiya have always experienced some issues with thickness. However, despite those mirror-like elements, the decals are pretty thin, even though we all know it could’ve been better.

In the same translucent envelope one can find a mask set, with all the outlines of the windows, however you should be aware that they are not pre-cut. One should use very sharp knife and cut the masks by oneself. That is done by cutting over the lines that are very clearly shown and in straight and firm cuts, so to keep the alignment proper. Overall, having those is a good add-on to any kit, however there are better options for that as well.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models decals

Speaking of which, both mentioned above are covered by DN Models already. Decals are always best substituted with masks. The reason is that the real-life way of painting aircraft was done exactly that way – using stencils. And windows paint masks from DN Models always comes already precisely cut. It is up to you to decide whether to use Tamiya’s decals and masks, or to go aftermarket for maximum realism, especially with the insignia and markings.

But back to the subject of Tamiya’s decals and paint masks – they are good for those who would like to stick to OOTB contents. There are many modelers devoted to building kits exactly as the manufacturer provided them, which is - of course - a great option. And Tamiya provided plenty to satisfy the needs for all – from beginners to the experts.

Paint Options

There are two variants included with this Tamiya release. Well, three if you pick DN Models' set instead. But back to Tamiya:

First one is “White 147”, the one depicted on the boxart. Here /remember the boxart description?/, on the color profiles you can see more clearly that the victories are two aerials /Japanese aircraft/ and one battleship. Simple camo scheme – top is green, bottom is grey. The plane belonged to 339th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, 13th Air Force, Guadalcanal, April 1943.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models ver.1

The second one is ”White 33”, 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, Port Moresby, late 1942. Again, same colors, but this time with prop spinners painted in blue and beneath them and on both engines, shark mouths. Again, if you remember the boxart section of this review – as expected, both aircraft were Pacific planes. So Tamiya’s first impression from the boxart is spot on.

The most interesting thing to mention about this color guide is the size. It is folded and it looks like it is A4 or Folio, but actually when you unfold it is double sided, full color close to A2 in size. It represents the size of the kit exactly, which helps in many ways. First, you can use it to create your own stencils, in case Tamiya decals or DN Models masks isn’t gonna cut it for you. Second, you can easily prep a base, knowing the exact appearance of the airplane, which quite often spares time and is less risky for the built model. In addition to that, you get to see how it will look actually, because apparently, there are still manufacturers that present only one of the sides and some even go that far, that forget to put colors on their color paint schemes. Not here. Tamiya did it perfectly.

Tamiya P-38 Lightning #61120 review unboxing DN Models masks for scale models ver.2


Well, this is all about Tamiya P-38 Lightning in 48th scale. Or at least this is their first option from the line that might evolve from that bird. Tamiya are not like Hasegawa, so they won’t go bananas releasing every possible variant and paint scheme out there, however we can expect couple more at the very least.

As far as the quality goes, this might not be the best Tamiya kit ever, because it can hardly compete with their larger scale options, but if we talk strictly 48th scale, this is very close to perfection. Let’s not forget, that Tamiya’s Thunderbolts, their Me-109 and their fresh Spitfire were also considered “the very best in scale” once. The truth is, that this is a unicorn kind of a thing. There is no “best”. For anything.

However, this Tamiya P-38 Lightning is most definitely the ultimate P-38 in any scale up to this point, and it is damn well guaranteed, that the quality is here. The fit will be perfect, the engineering will be at the highest level possible and the price is very acceptable. Besides, let’s not forget that once you get used to Tamiya quality, everything else will present unwanted challenges and will most likely be laughed at.

So if you wanna build a P-38 Lightning, Tamiya is your answer. If you are flexible in scale – this kit will be our nicest option of them all too. Most accurate too. As with most Tamiya releases, this is extremely highly recommended. From beginners to pro’s, this kits delivers and will leave you with pleasant experience and satisfaction, still unmatched by any other manufacturer on the planet.


rotary tools for scale modeling dn models masks for scale models

Rotary Tools for Scale Modeling + Demo Sessions Video


Rotary tools can come in many different forms. There are plenty of manufacturers on the market who have one or more variations in their line and last years many new appeared too. Rotary Tools can be of various sizes, but the basis for all of them comes from Dremel with their legendary tool. The latter one has numerous advantages over the competition, but for the purposes of scale modeling it is not something that would help you make a decision per se.

Scale Modeling rarely involves power tools besides the compressor. The compressor itself is not a power tool exactly, but a supporting machinery. So there are few such tools that one can implement into the hobby, however the definite leader among them as practicality and usefulness is the rotary tool.

Plenty can be achieved with such a tool and you can see that in the video attached below. Those are only few demo sessions that show various solutions that can be tedious if not using a rotary tool. And the one seen in that video is a very cheap option. However, speaking of price one must know that rotary tool that you will use for scale models won’t suffer much and in general there is no need for super-rugged and pricy item which can sustain all that abuse from constant work.

That is simply because it won’t be doing much of that.

The most important thing to look for are the various speeds option as well as a good fat set of bits included. As seen from the Demo Sessions below, there are practical use for almost ever bit, plus the fact that this is only a small fraction of the things that can be done with it. For example – armor modeling present a whole different universe of usage, starting from Metal Track polishing and cleaning up to and including shell holes. Latter ones are very slow process when done by hand.

Whatever the main purpose you are getting your rotary tool is, there going to be many more options revealing once you get the tool in hand. There are extensions with more flexible attachments to go into tricky places with those rotary tools, which will come handy. There are engraving tools that can cover that part of the modeling, but you can get all in one if you find a good set. Or get the stand to hold your rotary tool on your bench and use only the flexi-extension.

Much can be said about rotary tools and many various brands can be shown as example. Dremel are the best, that is certain, but there are many more. From Ryobi, through DeWalt and Black&Decker up to many no- or odd-brand ed Chinese options, they will all do the job for the regular scale modeler.

Check out the video below and see what a basic cheap tool can do. This one costs half the price of a 48th scale model, even less, and it can cope with almost anything:



Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (Early) – HK Models First 48th Scale Kit



There are plenty of 4 engine bombers with their respective variants that were used during the Second World War, but none more significant and well recognized than the Boeing B-17, The Flying Fortress. Up to this day, this is still the most famous and most respected bomber that was used in the war, despite claims made from the Brits with their Avro Lancaster, and the historians with their howl about the Boeing B-29.

Nope. The Flying Fortress is still The King when people start to talk about bombers both – in real life and in scale. And even though on the modeling market we recently saw 32nd scale Liberator, two new Lancasters and promises for even more, news about B-17 being released in any scale is always….well, news!

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

Quarter scale is dominated by few companies, and everybody were surprised when HK Models announced a Boeing B-17 in 48th. That is probably because they already have a 32nd scale options. And nothing to show for when it comes down to 48th. So why scaling down? Well, maybe there are fans waiting for that. Or maybe, HK Models are more ambitious that we thought and are aiming at the mighty quarter scale. But nothing is more important than the end result. So what did we get? Let’s see:


The box that the first HK Models’ 48th scale kit comes in is surprisingly small. Light too. It features superb boxart, but not so attractive price-tag. It is also made in a nice and presentable way, so you might be tempted to buy the kit even without thinking what you are getting inside. After all, this is not the first 48th scale kit of the Flying Fortress on the market. Its greatest advantage is, that is the newest. That is not bad, considering there are plenty new-coming modelers, from younger generations, that will consider this the base line for their modeling experience. Maybe HK Models are aiming towards them. To set a new standard. But that are just our thoughts here, nothing more.

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models


The sheet is printed on a very nice quality paper and is surprisingly thick. That comes from the weight of the sheets mostly, not because of the many steps included inside. There is always a let-down in one way or another with kits produced in China. You have to remember – this is not Tamiya. For HK Models especially, that is nothing new, and here it comes with the fact that this kit, with its price tag has nothing better to show, than black and white instruction sheet.

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

Many argued about this issue, which was mentioned more than once in regards to HK Models, but this is beyond any doubt – a very nasty surprise. It could’ve been far better, at least for the “color” profiles, which are lacking color here. There are some mistakes with the colors guide description, but that is nothing compared to the previous statement.

Other than that, the steps are clearly depicted and easy to follow, even though the engineering is a bit over-done. That is a pleasing fact for many of course, and can be seen from opposing perspectives. A matter of personal preference, one might say. Some like it more tricky, while others prefer straight-forward builds. Unfortunately, when it comes down to newly released Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, this is the only one we have currently.

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models


Overall the plastic is with good quality. There are not weak spots or big sink marks at first glance, mostly pleasant experience once you get to open the box. Some questionable attachment points here and there. It is light gray, spread out throughout a decent number of sprues, with some details very well thought out, and others not that much. Again, typical modern Chinese quality.

Surface details are superb, with countless rivets and nice panel lines mostly, however it is not yet clear how accurate that is. HK Models pay a lot of attention to the surface details and here you can tell from the first glimpse. Of course, for those who want to improve, there will be always the re-scribing and re-riveting option, but what we saw from the beginning is pretty pleasing.

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsShape-wise, the kit already received some comments and according to Boeing B-17 modeling experts, there might be some accuracy-issues embedded. That can be said for any other kit as well, but since HK Models need to prove their place on the market and this is their first 48th scale tooling, they should thread lightly. A noisy slap from the fans won’t be a good start. Those potential inaccuracies are still unconfirmed though.

The kit is only weeks from its official release and many are still waiting for their orders at the time of this review, so we are far from a firm conclusion. Even if there are weak spots, in time either aftermarket, or ingenuity of the modelers will solve those in no time. There are no perfect scale model kits. That goes for all scales and manufacturers. Most definitely for HK Models and many of the newcomers on the market.

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

Oh, and let's not forget there is an interior too! That's right. For such a thick bird, that was kinda mandatory if you think of it that way. And HK Models did a very nice job with that too, as seen on the pictures. Detailing is pretty neat and some very tricky things were polished, implying that real modelers were involved into the design process from the get go. Latter one is always a wise decision, because if you get models made by modelers, you are always sure that the questions that you might have are responded to. At least to some extent. 

Boeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale ModelsBoeing B-17G Early HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

Clear Parts, Decals & PE

HK Models did a great job with the clears. They look very nice and well designed all-around. Transparency is not perfect, but is not bad either. The only real criticism on the transparency is in regards to the turrets. However, they are small and round, which creates self-explanatory problems. Overall, the clear parts are pretty nice with this Boeing B-17 release.

boeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale modelsboeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale models

Decals seem to be a bit dark on the colors, however this is different for everyone’s eye perception and cannot be treated as an issue. The film is thin and barely visible around the edges of the decal. They create nice first impression, however Boeing B-17 in 48th scale is still rather large and masks are always better for the insignia. Despite that, mask sets cannot cover the nose art of the aircraft 99% of the time and the decals come as a great tool for solving this problem. So still, they are important and we think that HK Models did good on that end too.

Boeing B-17G Early decals HK Models 1/48 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

Photo-etch does not worth commenting much. It is small sheet and is not an overly complex one per se. You can judge from the pictures, but we strongly believe that aftermarket companies will hit this weakness very hard, which is always good for modelers. Neither of the parts included in the OOB set is unique and irreplaceable. On the contrary. Any photo-etch aftermarket company can do better on those.

boeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale models

Paint Options

It could’ve been better. Especially with that price-tag. As mentioned before, they are depicted in black and white, which is, for lack of a better word, a shame. Another letdown with the options included is the fact that there are only two available. But one man’s failure can be another man’s triumph, so let’s give it to the aftermarket companies with the chance that they’ll get with that. There are hundreds of options in regards to the early Boeing B-17Gs and even though some will look alike, still the nose-art will be important factor. At DN Models, a new line of masks sets for the B-17s in 48th scale is emerging as well. There will be couple of sets and luckily, they will fit more than just this HK Models release.

boeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale modelsboeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale modelsboeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale modelsboeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale models

And speaking of that, what is the potential


of this Boeing B-17? Maybe the label on the box, stating "series" is a strong enough hint.

Well, looking at the 32nd scale line that HK Models already offers, it won’t be much of a surprise if we see it duplicated in 48th. The Flying Fortress has enough potential to be a very good seller in any scale. In many possible options too. Besides, the fact that the quarter scale variant is significantly less space demanding, true fans will most likely go for more than one kit. Especially if they are happy with the potential upcoming releases. Who knows, HK Models might even go smaller.

boeing b-17 flying fortress early hkm dn models masks for scale models


It is too early to conclude about the first quarter scale line attempt made from HK Models. However, we can share our conclusion about this particular kit. It is not bad, although it is very far from perfect. Its price tag is demanding too. Maybe because it is the first of the line. Maybe because it is new tooling. Or maybe, HK Models are just testing out the market. It is certain that they can afford it. What is the real reason though, only HKM can tell.

The kit has the potential to be turned into a beautiful 48th scale representation of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and that is enough for many. Plenty actually. After all, modeling for some people is improving the base kit by adding this and that, in attempt to make it perfect. It is good to have such kit in that scale and in new tooling in 2019. Better late than never!

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was, is and always will be a legend. So no matter how many small glitches this kit might show, it’ll still be a great option. It is recommended for any B-17 fan and one thing we can promise: its tooling and general approach is quite modern. In the end, you will enjoy it!



Su-30SM for the Blizzard Scheme DN Models Masks for scale models

Su-30SM for the Blizzard Scheme

Su-30SM is a variant of the famous Su-30MKI – the capable-of-all-defying-gravity maneuvers aircraft – that is designed specifically for the Russian Air Force. Its code name is Flanker-H and fits modern Russian requirements perfectly. That was achieved by “tuning-up” the MKI to the SM variant by providing the proper electronics, friend-foe systems and radios. Everything that Russian Defence Ministry thought it was make it the perfect military machine considering the specific needs.

Su-30MKI became famous for its Blizzard camouflage scheme, which became so inspiring, that the US Aggressor Squadron accepted as one of the variations for their F-16s. DN Models released the camo scheme for the Su-30 some time ago, based on the high demand for that camouflage mask set. However, up to recently, there were no kit on the market that would suit that camo scheme quite as good as any of the recent releases of the Su-30SM will.

Su-30SM Blizzard camo scheme Zvezda 1/72 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

The DN Models Su-30 Blizzard is available in two variants – 72nd and 48th scale. Zvezda covers the first one. Although not the perfect representation of Su-30 in 72nd, Zvezda’s kit is very suitable choice for building the SM and with very good accuracy too. There is some comments about the lack of proper “contemporary” riveting on that kit. However, the kit features the canard scheme, which in most of the other options is missing and needs to be substituted. That can be done only with resin or scratch built elements, both of which costs either time or money. Often times both.

Just recently, Kitty Hawk announced 48th scale version of Su-30SM. A “new tooling”, which is based on their Flanker line that is expanding rapidly last months. At least with expected releases. The quality of the kit will be similar to Kitty Hawk’s Su-35, which is considered “second best” on the market. However, for Su-30 variant, this will be probably the best kit out there as of the date of its release. Latter one should be either in the beginning or in the middle of 2020.

For both of those kits there are various camouflage schemes available, but none of those comes close to the Blizzard demo camouflage, which is by far one of the most attractive Sukhoi show-stoppers. Luckily, DN Models’ sets in both 48th and 72nd scale are based on HobbyBoss/Trumpeter kits, which in general are very accurate and will cover Zvezda 72nd and Kitty Hawk’s 48th tooling.

The release of both scales of masks sets might’ve been done a little bit too early for many, but now the kits are starting to appear and the pieces of the puzzle will click perfectly. Because if you are about to do a Su-30SM Flanker H, no matter 72nd or quarter scale, this camouflage is the way to go.


F-35A Meng Model LS-011 RAM Panels DN Models Masks for Scale Models

F-35A RNLAF Anniversary Edition – MENG Model

F-35A in 48th scale from MENG Model is the best plastic representation of the newest 5th generation stealth fighter. It has been such for a while, and despite some efforts and even competitors from the larger 32nd scale, MENG Model kit remains dominant on the market. Lately MENG Model announced the release of a special anniversary version of the F-35A with the insignia of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. What is special about this kit is the vertical stabilizer art, representing the Goddess of the Hunt, which is the symbol for 323 Squadron of RNLAF.

Specific for the F-35 are the RAM panels of the plane. They were part of the main appearance of the stealth jet for some time, being painted in contrast lighter grey color. That changed slowly to a more subtle and barely visible tonality of the grey, which altered the general appearance of the aircraft. However, kit representation of the RAM Panels is slightly exaggerated, since on the real thing they are barely noticeable. On the picture below it is clearly visible how smooth is the finish of the aircraft and that you can hardly distinct the color variations. True fighter jet camo.

F-35A Meng Model LS-011 RAM Panels DN Models Masks for Scale Models

What stayed from the first days of the high-contrasting tonality of the painting is the fact, that the kit was moulded with very thick RAM Panels that are not exactly real. However, since no company can afford to alter their tooling to that extent, we are stuck with those panels, and the best way to approach them is by painting them with different variation. If you cannot win against them, you better join them – the old saying says.

DN Models has a set that covers that MENG Model release, and it is one of the most popular items on our site. What is interesting here is the fact, that with that stabilizer art, closely appearing color on the RAM Panels will turn this new MENG Model F-35A release into a real show stopper. While on some standard F-35s the RAM Panels sometimes poke you in the eye, here, you have something that you can actually attach to the different colors.

F-35A MENG LS011 DN Models Masks For Scale Models

MENG Model LS-011 is the third of the F-35A series from the company, but it is the first that can offer such a nice option that will cover the RAM Panels and make the most out of them. Compared to the real thing /seen in the picture above/, the panels might look a bit unreal. If you do not paint them, the kit will look even worse though, that is why combining the tail art with the RAM Panels color would be a great choice to deal with that issue.

Still, F-35A from MENG Model in any of its variations is by far the best scaled version of the stealth jet. Even though MENG decide to go with RAM Panels with their /hopefully/ future releases of F-35B and F-35C, there is still a way around those bulged plastic bumps that cover the surface of the kit.

After all it cannot be that big of a deal if you paint it properly and make it look attractive, right?