Tag - hobby boss

A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models

A-26B Invader 1/32 from Hobby Boss

Intro

A-26B Invader is the first of the A-26/B-26 line that Hobby Boss releases. Invader is a legendary plane, that’s why there is no doubt that other variants will follow. Let’s start with that, that Invader often is quoted as the plane that fought in the three major US wars: WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Many other conflicts as well. It takes something to be that sturdy and to survive through times when aviation technology was leaping every two years or so. Even more with two spinners attached.

Although later variants were modified and internally had little to do with the WWII examples, it was still the good ol’ A-26 in general. The plane was slightly ahead of its time with its sleek and sexy looks, laminar wing and speed achievements. It was a brain child of the genius Edward Heinemann, the same guy who designed Dauntless, A-1 Skyraider, A-4 Skyhawk and worked extensively on F-16.

The Invader, although somewhat lost in between the news about new and extremely fast jets for their time, atomic weapons and constant conflicts popping up here and there all the time, was still a very bright star in the aviation history if you take the time to explore it. In that terms, this kit can be considered overdue.

Packing

A-26B Invader is the typical Hobby Boss kit. It is packed the same way as Trumpeter and Hobby Boss always did it: in separate plastic bags, with couple sectors made from cardboard dividers. That’s in the box that is rather small for 32nd scale twin prop, but in the same time with enough space left to close the lid once you open and eventually re-arrange the order of the sprues.

Everything else is just like it always was, which is not a “top-notch“ appearance, but that is justified by the reasonable price tag and the fact that in the end, the box means nothing. The only thing that matters are the contents. And Hobby Boss are perfectly aware.

A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models instructions

Instructions

Those are located on the bottom beneath everything else. Unfortunately, the style remains unchanged after two decades of experience in scale model producing. It is not bad per se, but the change was requested million times on different web platforms from plenty of modelers. We are living in an era of highly competitive market of scale models, where companies with innovations and superb quality products bloom. Keeping the sheet the same like it was in 2001 is not a good option. After all, this is your guide for getting through the increasingly complex building processes. On the other hand, the latter hasn’t changed much for Trumpeter/Hobby Boss, so again, this is justified. HB kept this build simple and straight-forward, so if you are not overly pretentious, you will probably be able to accept what comes OOTB in terms of instructions.

Unfortunately, same goes for the color schemes, which provide three options, two US and one French, but without any explanation what so ever. Eventually, the modeler should find out what is being built by personal research.

A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models instruction sheet

Plastic

The quality of the Hobby Boss plastic is good. This A-26B Invader is no exception. It is what we know and love from the Chinese model maker. It sands well, it cuts well, it can sustain decent amount of abuse. What more can a modeler want?

There is a room for extra detailing, especially on a rivet level, but even as it is, the Invader comes with a decent texture. The kit features interior as well and the same goes for that. Again, thanx to the plastic that we are used to get from Trumpeter/Hobby Boss, one can easily conclude that cutaways will be very easily doable and probably almost mandatory with this kit.

A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models

The sprues aren’t that many, but the focus isn’t on the part number as with armor kits. Just the contrary. That was the case with the Liberator recently released by the same company. So logically, here things are pretty much the same.

Speaking of which, Liberator was criticized widely for accuracy issues. There is a big BUT and the fact that there aren’t many other options on the market, so whoever wants to build – builds. The rest complain and search for discrepancies. Same goes for the Invader. And it is pretty sure that the accuracy will have flaws, possibly some major ones. But do we have an alternative?

A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale modelsA26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models

Clear Parts

Clear parts can be described with one word only: Wonderful! Just take a look at the picture below: Clear parts a26b invader hobby boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models

Decals

As mentioned above, the A-26B from Hobby Boss comes with three options. The decal sheet they are fitted in is not very large, although markings for this plane in this scale are more or less – substantial in size. Due to the lack of additional information though, aftermarket options will be probably more attractive than what we get OOTB. The reason is one – lack of information about the specific planes, two – more interesting and probably visually attractive options on the aftermarket scene.

With that said, the decals of Trumpeter/Hobby Boss were never an issue and if you want to stick to the box contents, they are more than acceptable option. With that scale though, decals are better put off and substituted with masks. This provides maximum realism and guarantees that there will be no issues with bubbles, silvering or ripped edges.

decals A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models

Extras

The A-26B Invader kit features two extras: rubber tires and small PE sheet. Neither of those deserves attention though. Not that they are bad, on the contrary. They are acceptable. However, PE is rather thick and for such a big bird it is insufficient in terms of part numbers. Rubber tires are also kinda useless. They are stiff and cannot provide the sag required, thus exchanging those for resin aftermarket parts is the better option.

The thing that is missing and will probably be one of the most important and almost mandatory add-on are the metal struts. One of the things that dictates their usage is the size and the weight of the plane in 32nd scale. The other is, that metal struts are often more detailed than the plastic OOTB parts, which in this scale is highly demanded option. So yes, there are extras that comes with the kit, but let’s get real – they are not enough nor at the required level.

A26B Invader Hobby Boss 83213 review dn models masks for scale models photo etch

Conclusion

Even if the above written might sound more on the negative side, the conclusion about this plane is mostly positive. All that is mentioned like a downsides is justified by the price and the fact that Trumpeter and Hobby Boss, despite their mass production of kits are a B player on the market. Even with that, they produce one of a kind kits on subjects that are with high demand.

Another thing mentioned above is that the Invader was overdue. This is another reason to get this kit immediately. It is a lovely looking plane and despite the expected inaccuracies /which OOTB builders prefer to forget/, the need for aftermarket and lack of historical reference, we have to give it to Hobby Boss. Another spot on hit, closely following the Liberator duo released last year.

So yes, the kit's worth it. It deserves attention and it looks great. You will never get the proper "A" quality from Trumpeter and Hobby Boss, but you will never get that subject from the A players either. So you cannot have your cake and eat it too …

www.dnmodels.com
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mi24 hind zvezda new tool 2020 dn models masks for scale models

Mi-24 1//48 New Tool from Zvezda – Finally!

 

Mi-24 Hind is the best looking helicopter of all time, no doubt about that. Quarter scale scale model of that bird is available, but the quality of the kit is obsolete. Both in 72nd and 35th scale you can get the kit with toolings from Zvezda and Trumpeter respectively, but no new one dared to test the 48th scale market. Trumpeter promised a release of that in he early 2000s, with that promise re-appearing every once in a while. Even in 2019, there was a short announcement of their new tooling Mi-24 in 48th scale. So far, none of that happened. 

However, Zvezda dropped the bomb with a small hint about Mi-24 in 48th, although still considered pending release. In 2020 we are getting Hind from the Russian model maker in quarter scale. Considering the award winning 72nd scale tooling that they did a while ago, we should expect a very serious contender on the Mi-24 scene. Their 72nd scale kit is repacked by many and is constantly re-issued. It is small, but nevertheless it is a great kit to build and have. Eduard's first Limited Edition Dual Combo re-rapck release was sold out within a day. They had to re-release it due to the great interest. So imagine now a bigger and hopefully a better tooling of Mi-24. Wouldn't that be something?

We are at the end of 2019 and Zvezda are not famous for postponing their releases indefinitely, like AMK for example. So in the next few months, probably less than half a year ahead, we might be able to enjoy the mighty Hind in quarter scale. And if Zvezda manage to pull this off properly, it might become the best kit of the Hind in any scale. That is mostly due to its size. Because 72nd is a bit tiny, while 35th is a bit big and very demanding. 48th might be the best option for Mi-24 fans. Fingers crossed it will happen and it will be good as we wish it to be! We, at DN Models are ready for it. A whole line of 48th scale masks for the Mi-24 Hind is just around the corner!

 

www.dnmodels.com

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hobby boss hb81769 osprey mv-22 2019 new tool dn models

MV-22 Osprey from Hobby Boss in 2019

Hobby Boss #81769. This is what we know so far about the upcoming release of the new tooling MV-22 from the Chinese model kit maker. No pictures of the sprues, no paint options, nothing. At least not yet.

Just the kit number and the fact that in 2019, we should receive the long-awaited new tooling of that extravagant and exotic aircraft.

The Ospreys are flying all around the globe and are heavily used by the US forces. Why then, for so long, there wasn't a decent kit of that aircraft in 48th scale? Who knows. Good news is, one is hopefully upcoming and soon. Unlike the other modeling companies, Hobby Boss and Trumpeter are usually beating their own release schedules. Maybe that will happen with their MV-22 too.

hobby boss hb81769 osprey mv-22 2019 new tool dn models

In 48th scale this kit should be big enough to be priced in the higher end of the scale range, but that doesn't mean it won't worth the price. If Hobby Boss make the effort to add some movable parts, especially around the engines' complex design, this kit might be a true gem.

It is not a plane, nor helicopter, it is a strange unicorn-like animal, that everybody loves. And that is the reason why many will spend the 2019 waiting impatiently for that HB81769 to hit the hobby store shelves. Hopefully, this will happen rather soon, because this kit has a great potential for aftermarket mask sets. And DN Models are seriously considering the idea of releasing masks for that scale model.

academy ah-1z new tool 2019 dn models mv-22 osprey hobby boss 1/48 masks for scale models

With the pending release of Kitty Hawk's three versions of the Hawk helicopter, Academy's soon-to-be-out AH-1Z and probably other versions too, this rotor-craft will add a lot to the rotor-line in scale. Even though in 48th, and not in 35th, which is the standard preferred by the rotor-builders, there is no doubt that it will be warmly welcomed. But considering the size it is self-explanatory. And probably 48th will be just the right size for an Osprey. It is a huge machine by any means.

Meanwhile, DN Models will do its best to provide canopy and insignia mask sets for all of those. As soon as they are released of course. Which, sometimes doesn't happen as promised. But we can only hope and once they're out - be quick about it. Because we love rotor-craft scale models. And we know that many of you love them too!

www.dnmodels.com

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Unboxing and Review: 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Hobby Boss #81764 box

Unboxing and Review: 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Hobby Boss #81764

Intro:

This plane does not need an introduction. Every fan knows about it, simply because it fulfilled the task it was designed for perfectly. This is something between a first and second generation jet, designed in the early 50s. Surprisingly still in use to this day.

For years we had beautiful Hasegawa options in 48th and 32nd scale. They are still very good, and in my opinion, their quarter scale is unbeatable. But Hobby Boss did a very good attempt with releasing their own A-4 line, including A-4M, A-4E and A-4F. The kit is designed as a direct competitor to Hasegawa’s releases, but actually it can satisfy slightly different types of modelers.

Box and Contents:

Box is the standard Hobby Boss cardboard thing, nothing special nor too shiny. The colors are a bit pale and the explanations on the sides are not very sophisticated. Inside, everything is packed separately for protection. Nice execution which can be seen on every Trumpeter/HobbyBoss model.

Unboxing and Review: 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Hobby Boss #81764 ins

Instruction sheet, alongside with marketing leaflet can be found on the bottom. Instructions are aligned in landscape mode, pretty much like every Trumpeter kit that I’ve built. They are simple, easy to follow and clear of any unnecessary complications. Quality-wise they are far from the current standard, however price of the kit is too - far from today’s tags.

Unboxing and Review: 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Hobby Boss #81764 sheet

Sprues:

Again, typical Hobby Boss/Trumpeter stuff. Light gray plastic, flexible enough, with detail that is chunky more often than not. Lack of excessive riveting is visible on that kit, which I believe is not bad. After all, it is better to spend some time riveting by yourself, rather than deal with wrong lines done from the mad-riveter.

Detail is not consistent all over, but few Hobby Boss kits show such thing.  That doesn’t mean the kit is bad. Not at all. This A-4 is very decent piece of plastic and even though it has some flaws and questionable accuracy, I believe it is well worth the money.

Unboxing and Review: 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Hobby Boss #81764 plastic

Some of the kit’s surfaces like flaps for example are molded. With Hasegawa you get more movable and positionable parts. That is exactly what I meant in the beginning – this kit being aimed toward different kind of modeler. A modeler, that doesn’t want everything open, but prefer simplicity and in-flight or ready-to-fly modes.

For the latter ones, I trust that this kit is superior compared to Hasegawa’s.

Pictures show clearly the level of sophistication of this plastic piece and in my opinion they do not disappoint. The details might be insufficient for many, but they are not bad at all. One thing is certain – in order to achieve accuracy and stunning appearance, additional work will be needed.

Clear parts:

Clear parts are also mixed bag of things. They can show more detail, but they are not that bad. The level of transparency is good, which is the most important thing for me. Bending of the objects /seeing throught them/ is good /means minimal/, which is very important for that scale.

Another thing to mention is that they are not thick as you might expect them to be. Quite a pleasant surprise from Hobby Boss. After all, you get the clear parts separately covered and packed like a very delicate and precious item in this kit. It is because they actually are such. Good job!

Decals and Options:

Decals are represented by a sheet, which includes two marking options. Nothing much to say about those, other than they are standard quality for Hobby Boss. Many question their accuracy, including me, so I would stick to aftermarket deals or masks.

Unboxing and Review: 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Hobby Boss #81764 decals

The two options are interesting, one is unusual camouflage and the other one is with high-visibility markings. However, based on what Skyhawk was used for and how widely, I trust that this is only a touch of the surface. If you dig deeper, you will find endless options for various wonderful paint options.

Especially Top Gun A-4Es, which are interestingly painted and worn altogether. Sky is the limit for the Skyhawk. Truly.

Conclusion:

Very tricky here. How exactly do I start the conclusion? I have one of two choices: Mixed bag or I like it. It is indeed a mixed bag and inferior to Hasegawa in more than one ways. However, I like it because it is just about enough and will satisfy many. Especially those who would like to make it in an in-flight mode.

The price is acceptable. Low for today’s standards. However, the quality is not up to those either. But after all, you can get it and try to make most of it, or just complain about the quality and wait for another decade or two for a new and improved tooling.

I would say, go for it. It’s not a bad kit and with a little effort you can improve it and beat the competition. After all it is a Skyhawk. Attention is deserved.

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Mi-8 Mi-17 review unboxing DN Models hobbyboss boxart

Mil Mi-8T from Hobby Boss in 72nd scale.

Introduction: Mil Mi-8 alongside with its upgraded version Mi-17 is the most produced helicopter in the World to this date. More than 17 000 were built in many variants. It continues to serve primarily as a transport helicopter, but its versatility allows it to be used as armed gunship, SAR, flying command post, fire-fighting and medical helo, as well as many other roles in all of which you can see it all-around the World. Trumpeter released 35th scale version of it more than a decade ago and it represent a wonderful platform for very high-level of detail and upgrade as a kit. Hobby Boss now offers it in 72nd scale, which is scaled down and simplified version of its bigger sister but also including many options for improving. The Box: We have small box with a soft-ish cover, justified by the scale of the helicopter inside. It is made from nice materials and on the boxart we can find an aggressively looking Mi-8 gaining speed over a desert terrain, looking like on a troops evac or drop mission. The box is fragile due to its softness, so be sure to be careful when dealing with it. I bent mine on couple of places. Not that is bad, but is delicate. Instructions: There is a single sheet with instructions and one with paint guide. The instruction sheet features the sprues and basic information on one of its sides, while on the other, the whole building process is placed. I am used to a lot bigger info-sheets than that, so that left me surprised. It is not complex, although the steps give a feeling of a slightly chaotic process. You need to study it first and carefully. Interesting fact here is that I compared that to the instruction sheet of the other available variant from Hobby Boss - Mi-17 and they are 95% equal. Actually sprues are too. Sprues: Grey plastic, standard Hobby Boss for smaller kits. Everything is carefully wrapped in plastic bags and due to the modest number of sprues, there is some free space in the box. The detail is great, although rivets are lacking here and in case you want to fix that, a lot of work with a riveter will be required. Panel lines on the other hand are great looking, not shallow nor too deep. There are some interior features embedded in the plastic, but they aren't many and there are places that lacks detail. This can be improved but you should follow the ones that are here and add some EverGreen plastic with the similar size to fix it and make it look proper. Clear parts are clean but can be scratched quite easily, so you should approach with care and attention. Due to the many side windows and the frame of the canopy, masking will be required here. You can check out DN Models for a masking set for this kit, which will be usable with Mi-17 version and the repack of ARK Models too. Camouflage schemes: Two options are included. They are depicted in the typical Trumpeter/HobbyBoss style accompanied by a color conversion chart. They are modern Russian and German Army Rescue Group.   Although nice and fairly attractive, with the endless possibilities that Mi-8 offers, I believe you can be a lot more creative and do another option closer to your heart or at least - more unusual than those two. There are a lot of aftermarket options for this set, including unusual variants like Mexican Mis and Chinese versions, as well as various Search and Rescue /SAR/ options. All of them - very high quality decal sets. Decals: Are not bad with this kit. A small sheet, with Russian stars and German SAR markings, painted in the typical orange style. Overall look of those is nice, being thin and if we follow the experience from other HobbyBoss decals - troubleless. There are some technical markings, which are quite enough for my taste, although Mi-8 in the bigger scale requires a lot more than those to look adequate. Nevertheless, this is very well equipped decal sheet, so nothing to complain about. Just the contrary. Conclusion: This Mi-8 is two-sided blade as a kit. It can easily be done as Mi-17, just adding some details and turning the tail rotor to the other side. Basically, the kits from Hobby Boss are equal in contents, besides the camouflage schemes. That makes the particular variant not so accurate, but I wouldn't mention that since I am not building either one of those included. The riveting tool will be required if you are interested in better realism, probably combined with some Eduard PE sets or Resin conversion already available on the market for this particular kit. Hobby Boss Mi-8 is far better than Zvezda and that was by far the best of the rest. With slight modifications like cables on the rotor, some PE and scratch add-ons, this can be turned into wonderful 72nd scale representation of the legendary helo. Highly recommended! www.dnmodels.com
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Tristar’s Brummbar – From HobbyBoss this time.

Tristar's kits are no longer out on the market. Although wonderful kits, some of them featuring interior, Tristar's vehicles didn't survive the harsh market environment. Nothing to wonder, having in mind that better and better kits are released every week from all the newcomers like Takom, Meng Model, Amusing Hobby and so on. However, HobbyBoss are out there for quite a while, and although not official, we wall assume that they are one with Trumpeter, and they are only second to Tamiya in size. Maybe not for long too. So Hobby Boss came to the rescue, and bought the moldings from Tristar, repacking their kits and releasing them under HB serial numbers, with the same qualities, and almost exact same boxes. For Tristar fans is not all gone! Their kits are famous to be very nice, and when they were active /Tristar I mean/, they were considered as one of the best options. Some of the engineering decisions are not embraced warmly but even fiddly, the vehicles were very attractive once finished. Same goes for every kit of their line, and the Brummbar which are we looking at today is no difference from the rule. What we have on the market as Sd.Kfz.166 are Tamiya's relatively old tooling, Dragon's two toolings /1994 and 2008/ the second one of which is probably the best kit out there and repacks of those /Cyber Hobby, CMK/. Of course Tristar/Hobby Boss too. Being a rather unpopular subject, Sd.Kfz.166 Sturmpanzer /or Stupa as popular among the soldiers/ is also not so much represented in plastic. The late version is almost impossible to be found, with early and mid production vehicles available from the manufacturers mentioned above. Tristar's kit is available in two options - early- and mid- production, with and without interior. Now, repacked by Hobby Boss, the price is in the lower end for 35th scale kit and with the same quality. For the faint hearted, the interior version is not an option. It has many tricky assemblies, which combined with the large PE sheets and the single track lengths will drain your energy. The standard kit /w/out interior/ is acceptable though, even for novice modelers. It is important to say that the alignment of the turret, which is from many parts /not like DML's one piece/ might present you a problem, as well as the tracks. And if with the tracks you can get aftermarket as Friuls or any others, turret is not interchangable. So have that in mind. The kit is molded in yellow plastic, rather stiff and old-school looking. It looks like Academy or some older Hobby Boss kits, rather than new HB or Trumpeter. The photo-etch sheets are the same as with Tristar, so I cannot speculate which company made those, but they are nice for sure. Tracks are from different plastic, dark in color but again - tricky to assemble. They are not that good compared to Magic Tracks but are far better than any vinyl substitute. More than 900 parts in total, around 50 of which are PE, this is a project that requires time. The accuracy of the Tristar Brummbar has been discussed a lot over the last years and in general the opinion is that it is good enough. The price was a major issue back in a day, but not anymore. My personal opinion of the kit is that Hobby boss eventually should've released it in better plastic material, more soft and eventually add a thing or two just so to spice it up a bit. After all, the design is from 2008 and it is guaranteed that the industry has gone a long way since then. The tracks are something that I would eventually change for metal substitute too. Although nice, with all the shurzen on the sides, mounting plastic /eventually un-modified and hard to move/ tracks might be risky, compared to metal parts which are workable and won't give you a lot of trouble. In the end, the time spent to build either one of those will be pretty much the same. Now the million dollar question is: "How this compares to Dragon?". Well, to be frank, if money are no option, I would get DML or both. Dragon kit is a bit more sophisticated in terms of engineering, and even though some of their kits have inaccuracies, the Tristar/Hobby Boss Stupa lacks the finesse of DML. The turret for example, some of the small assemblies - all those things are a bit overdone with Tristar. Brummbar is a rather brick-like looking vehicle, so overcomplicating it won't help per se. Also, the tracks of Tristar are inferior. Here I must add, that Dragon's latest kits as we all know does not include magic tracks, so that beats DML. But if you get an older issue, probably Dragon is the better Brummbar. Hobby Boss Sd.Kfz. 166 is a really good thing though. The price is halfway to Dragon's and for what you get in the box it is a deal! The thing that you will require additionally, if you don't get metal tracks or some other aftermarket stuff like metal gun barrel or anything else, is patience. With enough patience, tracks can be modified to be fully workable, designing them exactly as Friuls. The stiffness of the plastic is not a "real" issue, nor the complication of the assembly. The camouflages are not so many, since the Brummbar was produced in couple of hundred vehicles only, but with disc camo mask sets /check the DN Models Store link above/ and/or properly weathered vehicle, you will squeeze a lot from this kit. It is true, that I mentioned some let downs above, but overall the kit is great. Is not the best, but it is close. And the price get it even closer. So, if you are a fan, go on and hit it. There is a link just below: Tristar / Hobby Boss Brummbar Sd.Kfz. 166
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Sukhoi Su-34 /Su-32FN/ Fullback – Kitty Hawk 1:48

Su-32FN as I remember it from my teens, or Su-34 as it is more popular nowadays, is one of the coolest looking multi-role jets of the Russians. Up until the Syrian war, and its short participation in it, Su-34 was somehow forgotten project, pushed to the second row by Su-30 and its derivatives. Probably for commercial reasons, Russians decided to use Su-34 alongside with the old Su-24 and bomb in Syria. Results so far are one Su-24 shot down, and total success for the Fullback. Maybe the reasons for that are various, but whatever the case is, Su-34 deserves a lot more attention that it is getting and not only - it deserves a nice scale model representation. So far, Italeri and Zvezda had Su-32FN / Su-34 in 72nd scale but as you can expect, the quality and the accuracy of those were quite low. During 2016, Hobby Boss promised to release 48th scale tooling of it, which was promising /and still is/ but associated delays with it brought some disappointment. We are soon to enter in the third quarter of the year, and the kit is still nowhere close. Kitty Hawk, obviously saw the gap here, and announced their own tooling of Su-34 Fullback. It is hard to say /from this point of view/ which one will be better. Trumpeter and HobbyBoss in 48th scale tend to be a bit simplified kits. Kitty Hawk with their 48th scale line proven to be very satisfactory, but their MiG-25 showed some engineering flaws and inaccuracies. Of course it is understandable for such a project - MiG-25 being very obscure subject - but same goes for the Su-34 Fullback. Anyhow, in 48th scale now we have two Su-34s upcoming, with most likely very different engineering approaches. The scale is big, and probably this will be the top scale for KittyHawk, however, if the subject becomes famous, HobbyBoss are very likely to expand it via Trumpeter into 32nd scale monster. I will be surprised if this is the end of the 48th scale Su-34 Fullback battle. I assume that very soon Kinetic or AMK or whoever will try to score with the same subject. I am not sure how much Su-34s Russians managed to sell after their Syria campaign, but one thing is certain - they definitely will sell a lot from plastic!  
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1/35 SU-18 SPH from Hobby Boss

As a fan of self-propelled guns, howitzers and tank killers, I needed to mention this release of Hobby Boss, because it is quite attractive. The SU-18 /samokhodnaya ustanovka/ is based on the first Soviet designed Tank: T-18. It was based on the famous Renault FT, incorporating most of its features and most importantly in our subject here - its size. Originally T-18 was designed as a "supporting tank". In a matter of fact, the times were like that then - vehicles was considered "supporting" the people in the army, not the other way around like nowadays. So Soviets took what they could from the Renault FT design, modifying it for their specific needs and came up with the T-18. From it, they managed to squeeze a version, which is quite odd, mostly due to its small size. It is a two man crew vehicle - a gunner and a driver. Designs with 76.2mm, 37mm and 40mm guns were tested, but in the end the idea was abandoned.
SU-18 is based on that T-18 kit from Hobby boss
The reason for that was that the chassis is to narrow in general, and as we know now, howitzers, SPHs and SPGs need a steady, heavy and firm base for stable firing. However, we must not forget, that it is because of these vehicles, we know have that knowledge and modern weapons. So Hobby Boss decided to expand its T-18 line with the SU-18, just to give us another armor vehicle in 35th scale. It is known, that their T-18 tank kit is good enough and has the same basic characteristics /as a kit/ as the Meng's FT. The odd thing about the kit was the fact that there are no decals inside, probably because the real vehicles didn't wear any. Too far in the history to be sure. But whatever the case - in T-18 we have photo-etch and separate track links, fine detail and brilliant riveting, so there is nothing less we can expect from the SU-18. Every fan of the SPHs, like myself, should consider this add-on to his/hers collection. It might be small, but it will be nice looking once built. It won't be long 'till SU-18 release too. After all, it is just a re-tooling of the T-18, so another sprue, another boxart...and there we go!
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New from Zoukei-Mura – Pre-Painted Bases

Zoukei-Mura is not just another company for scale models, they are one of the best out there. The abstract view and approach that they have in regards to scale model engineering and execution is unmatched even by the most advanced and innovative competitors on that market. We all know about their amazing line of airplanes, which are sophisticated and challenging. We also know that they are oriented towards the most serious modelers on the market. This September, Zoukei-Mura's montly advertisement is particularly interesting. They presented us with new items, shifted slightly from the line we are used to see from the Japanese company. It is very interesting actually, because they now offer Pre-Painted bases made from resin. The bases are completed by /obviously!/ professional modelers, and in the end they give us wonderful result for price lower, than what we can get if we build them ourselves. Minus the time too, of course. Zoukei-Mura announced a total of 12 bases, in both scales: 1/32 and 1/48. They are made from Resin and are manufactured and completed in Japan, which pretty much guarantees the best possible quality. The sizes varies according to the scale. For 1/32 is 6mm thickness and diameter of 295mm, and for 48th scale is 5mm thickness and diameter of 245mm. They represent different airfields, panzer fields, temporary runways and aircraft wooden carrier decks. Obviously - more than enough for Zoukei-Mura kits and more. Especially if you are a fan of 32nd scale airplanes like myself. The other thing featured in Septembers monthly advertisement is a decent range of different resin figure sets. We all know that for a diorama, this is extremely important and makes your kit more vivid and with stunning appearance. Zoukei Mura provided Horten ground crew, Ta-152 Ground crew, Ta-152 Ace pilots and flight assistant sets, as well as a pilot's figure, all of them in 48th scale. They fit the 48th line of Zoukei kits, and alongside with the diorama pads are extremely useful and time saving add-ons to your kits. Of course, as with the pads, these crew sets can be used with different kits from different companies, but there are no real competitors for Zoukei-Mura's quality and there is no doubt about it. You can find additional information on the leaflet, or through contacting your local SWS supplier shop. I believe that pictures by themselves are convincing enough and you will be very pleased if you decide to elevate your hobby to the Zoukei level of business!
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IDF Puma from Hobby Boss #83868

I will leave to my friend Paul to tell you more about this kit. For me, this is quite an interesting subject. It is an IDF one, which means it is usually a weird looking armored vehicle, and it is a new release for 2015 from Hobby Boss. They move forward with high speed, and their kits are very competitive. The price is not high, nor too low either, but considering the size of the vehicle...well, check it out  the video to see. We are expecting couple more kits based on that same chassis: centurion tank. And they are Nagmachon, Nakpadon /maybe/, and Nagmachon with Doghouse. Hope they will be on the market as promised - by the end of 2015. So far we have this:  
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