72nd scale returning to the spotlight?

Back in a day, when you open a Heller or Airfix catalogue, 72nd scale was all over it. Catalogues were small leaflets, not fancy too. Later on, Italeri and Revell started expanding their 48th line and slowly, the pages were equalized in numbers and content count. Rater quickly same happened with 32nd scale and at some point, 72nd scale became slightly obscured.

Reasons for that are many. Modelers prefer to work on larger pieces with age, more detail options embedded in 48th and larger scales and relatively acceptable size even for larger models. Then Trumpeter appeared and they tested the boundaries of 72nd scale. Unsuccessfully at their first attempt.

Nowadays things started to shift back. Not because modelers that are devoted 72nd scale builders are a huge crowd, nor that they are very vocal. But because of several scale models in 72nd scale that appeared and proved a point. A point that was debated for a long time – are 72nd scale kits sufficient to satisfy the detail demand of the experienced builders.

There were several hits from Trumpeter and AMK, Great Wall Hobby as well. But the company that made the real difference was Eduard. They released brilliant 72nd scale MiG-15, Fw-190 and MiG-21, which are extremely detailed. They are high-quality in terms of plastic, fit and decals. Accuracy is flawless. Very competitive to best 48th scale kits. Better then some too. So there the magic happened.

A lot of modelers that are devoted to the bigger scale bought some of those. Just for the sake of having such kit in their collection. I was one of them too. And once they opened the box, they were immediately hooked. I know at least couple of guys that built their kits putting aside everything else on the bench, simply because they looked so tempting.

So, is the market slowly shifting backwards?

Maybe, maybe not. But it’s a start. 72nd scale has a lot of advantages. Mostly – size-wise, the kits are very attractive. You can build ton of these and still have room for more. They are /or at least most of them/ cheaper. Compared to 48th and 32nd of course. Less plastic, smaller photo-etch and decal sheets and there you go. That cannot be said for all of the companies though. For example, G.W.H. F-15E or Trumpeter MiG-29 are very good, but expensive in 72nd scale. With that point, Eduard again smashes the competition. They produce the best 72nd scale kits nowadays and at the most affordable prices too.

Why that happened? Maybe, because Czechs have their history with 72nd scale. Maybe because 72nd scale was what we all grew with. Or maybe, because the scale offers extremely interesting way of approaching the hobby. Detail-wise and collection-wise.

True, there are kits that are limited to that scale. Like the Dora railway gun that Hobby Boss offers. Or Tupolev bombers from Trumpeter. Well, the latter ones are not limited to that scale per se, but the truth is that there are many versions and if you want them all, you either buy them in 72nd scale or you buy yourself another home and turn it into a scale modeling museum. Maybe that’s why Modelcollect offered their B-1B, B-2 and B-52s in 72nd, don’t you think?

But all things considered, Eduard did the breakthrough here. No doubt about it. Their MiG-15 and Fw-190 started it and MiG-21 nailed it. For good I believe. Why would anyone want to be limited to something? Do you stop watch your old favorite sitcoms because they are in 4:3 and now everything is 16:9? No. You just enjoy a different perspective. 

Same with modeling. What’s wrong in being back into the smaller scale? Nothing of course. You just sit back, relax and enjoy the hobby to its fullest. Just like in the old days.

www.dnmodels.com
picture courtesy of Eduard
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New F-15E in quarter scale! Great Wall Hobby

One of the jets that changed the history of aerial warfare is the Eagle. F-15 is not only a perfect battle station but also one of the fastest jets ever built, very agile and still undefeated in its fighter versions. As a combat aircraft it altered the perception of the term “fighter jet”. After little more than a decade of service, McDonell Douglas took its dual seater and turned it into a whole different animal – the strike multirole fighter platform, also known as F-15E. They named it Strike Eagle and painted it very dark grey. It made it a mean, scary looking killing machine. Additional tanks were added, enhanced cockpit, new HUD, only dual-seating option and superb characteristics. A completely different animal compared to its siblings F-15A/B/C/D. Something that was ahead of its time back in 1988 and something that Sukhoi imitated with their Su-30. Later it inspired the Israeli F-16I Sufa too. Although F-15E were lost on more than one occasion, the plane is still very effective and 30 years after being born it still brings heat in the enemy lines. It is a success in every aspect: design, capabilities, ideas implemented. And for this fabulous piece of metal, we had no new scaled down plastic copies for quite some time. The most used and respected ones were Revell’s 48th scale one and of course – Tamiya’s 32nd scale version. They were both explored and pretty much exhausted by modelers. But it is 2018 and we need something new, better and up to date. Great Wall Hobby gave us wonderful 72nd scale option. It is new, up to today’s standards and pretty much the same quality /if not better/ as Revell’s 48th scale kit. The same company /GWH/ had other F-15 versions in quarter scale, so Strike Eagle was a matter of time. And fortunately, the time has come! Just yesterday, it was announced, that a new, up to date, well detailed and modern option of F-15E will be available on the market soon. In the perfect scale for that jet! 72nd is OK, but not ideal, while 32nd is way too big for the regular modelers. But 48th for the Strike Eagle is just where it should be. More or less it is comparable in size with 32nd scale F-16! And that is not small by any means. So next thing we’re about to see is how aftermarket companies will compete with each other, providing various resin and photo-etch options for upgrading the new probable game-changer. And as far as I am familiar with Great Wall Hobby kits, their Strike Eagle will be mos’ def’ one such thing! The details on their F-15 versions in quarter scale are amazing. The kit has potential exceeding Tamiya’s 32nd kit, and that says enough. The price of GWH’s F-15 in 48th scale is a bit bitter though. The kits had issues that the company quickly fixed and Kudos for that. But still, the prices are 21st century ones by any means and we should not expect anything different with the upcoming Strike Eagle. Good thing in this case is, that GWH are worth the price. They might not be cheap, but they are far from mediocre too, and everything with decent qualities has a decent price. So I hope that I brought some smiles with this article, because for me, the news are great! F-15E Strike Eagle is one of a kind and deserves respect. Now we can transfer ours into a scaled down copy with superb qualities and modern and highly accurate tooling. Thank you GWH! www.dnmodels.com
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MENG Model 9K37M1 Buk Air Defense System

Many kits are considered controversial, especially due to their history. Most of them are from the First and the Second World Wars. Not so many of the modern armor models, especially currently in use will spark such a debate as this one though. And as far as the information goes, besides MENG Model mentioned in that article, there are couple more options on the way from different manufacturers concerning the same subject. The latest that MENG Model announced was the 9K37M1 Air Defense Missile System, more popular as “Buk”. Buk is a self-propelled, medium-range, surface-to-air system, that entered service in the late 70s in the former Soviet Union. It is most famous as the system that shot down Malaysia 777 over Ukraine couple of years ago. Despite the fact that the Russians refused to take blame for the accident, investigators found proof that this was used by pro-russian separatists at the time of the unfortunate event and was part of a Russian regiment before that. That will bring a lot of sad memories for the thousands of people involved in one way or another with that tragic event, and now having it in 35th scale will cause the controversy mentioned above. It is nice to have a kit that can bring so much more than just being a beautifully painted and weathered scaled down model. Kits that brings memories about something are more than just a plastic with paint. They are quite often works of art, just like paintings. They can make you smile or ignite a dose of anger within you. They can even bring tears. Creating feelings means also that they are powerful tools and they are more than a lifeless toy. Something that builder managed to bring to life. Just like a beautiful song and its author. The Buk system that MENG Model is about to release is such a kit. What I think though is, that it is a bit too early to put this on the market. It is of course, nice to have a great addition to their beautiful and well detailed 35th sale line. However for many, Buk will always be a reminder of what happened to the people flying in that Boeing 777 over Ukraine. MH17 as many remembers it. Great loss of life and completely useless too. I am guessing that not many will reproduce the exact system that caused the tragedy of course, but still, the name Buk will always ring that wrong bell in many. Interestingly, as mentioned above, more of those are about to appear on the market in 35th scale. Again, surprisingly – closely released one to another. But that is not yet completely confirmed. On the other hand, one might hope that builders will make such kits, that will remind us properly about what happened and will make us think more often about MH17. Because thinking through the history is one of the ways to learn it. And once you know it, it is a great way to avoid it repeating itself. www.dnmodels.com
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KLP Publishing – a strong start

Recently, I came across an interesting venture: new publishing company, oriented towards large scale models. The name is KLP Publishing, and it touches my favorite area of modeling – planes in the bigger scales, where I believe only the best dare to tread. There are many publishing companies created last couple of years, most of them with very decent production and alongside them some, with not that high quality. The thing that I found to be the most common issue with all of them is the fact that many modelers complain about troubles getting the product delivered and/or the lack of distributors nearby. Since some of those books are very costly, scale model shops often avoid stocking them, which leads to additional troubles for the buyers. It is a shame, since we live in a digital world. This company that we are talking about today – KLP – decided to skip that and go digital. The thing that caught my attention from the get go is the “green” idea behind everything. It might not be what the company was built around but for me it is one very important factor. Scale modeling as an origin is not the greenest hobby due to the many materials that we use and then dump, as well as the fact that the models are made of plastic. Unfortunately, large percentage of that goes to the bin and we are all used to it. The second thing I believe is already dominating the modeling rooms and benches are the digitalized information centers. AKA computers. More and more modelers use their old computers to install and use as a source in their modeling rooms, quite often right next to the paint booth. Some even use newest and high-end stuff, like a friend of mine who installed iMac for more than $3000 on his bench just for modeling purposes. There are several reasons for that. Mostly, forums, YouTube and of course – online shops are quite often visited while working. Then, we have digitalized sources of information – not only pictures of course. Videos of all kinds, magazines in different formats and so on. Very comfy, very green and handy at all times. You cannot compare a hard drive with the fist size to a library for $10-15K and the fact, that you can damage the books with paints, glue and whatever. So, KLP immediately caught my attention. The company is relatively new and just released their first publication. Second one is on its way. Both – very interesting subjects, both with an author, who is known and respected in the large scale community. The debut book is called: “Building Brick’s Sabre in 1/32 scale” and the article speaks about itself. The book features more than 100 pages filled with information about how and why this large scale Sabre was built. Also, walkaround information about the F-86 can be found, plus specifics about K.J. “Brick” Bricknell’s CAC Sabre, which is the protagonist in this story. There are even anecdotes from Mr. Brick himself, which makes the book quite valuable piece of art. The modeler featured in the book is another very important part of the project. The one that can be called the Producer or the Co-Producer of the whole thing. In this case we have Eric Galliers, an active airline captain from Australia, who obviously knows his way around scale models. An IPMS member and famous award-winning modeler, he wrote this book and built the model too. Both done in very professional manner which I can only praise. If you check his Facebook page you will see for yourself that he isn’t joking when it comes down to modeling. However, to get the idea in the most professional manner, Building Brick’s Sabre is the way to go. The book looks very comprehensible and useful and I personally believe that even the best master-modelers out there can find something to learn from the pages inside. The price is quite affordable too. KLP is starting strong with this first article of theirs and the upcoming is again very promising. It is about a Bird Dog in 32nd scale and again, we have specific airplane and theme dedicated to somebody in particular. Not just a random plane. That adds something unique in the subject. Something that you can rely to, when reading the pages. It turns the scale model in more than just a plastic copy of the original, but more like an art example with its own soul and story. Few modelers around the World manage to capture that and even fewer to express it in a way that we can catch it and save a piece for ourselves. It is like the movies. There are good ones, but there are brilliant ones too. The ones that you go and get your BluRay copy to take home and watch over and over again. I believe that is what KLP went for. And I think they did it with their very first article. www.dnmodels.com
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Awarded Model at Defenders of the Fatherland Exhibition

9th Exhibition - Defenders of the Fatherland in Nizhny Novgorod was held last 30 days. At the show, DN Models alongside IPMS Odessos were sponsors and award on their behalf was given to one of the best models at the show. The exhibition was quite a long one - beginning in the end of April and ending in the end of May. Such scale modeling shows are rare, due to lack of place and time for both - organizers and contenders. Longer shows present wonderful opportunities for modelers to meet each other and to exchange knowledge and experience. For some it is a platform for work and showing off - building their kits or finishing them during the show duration. All in all, not a bad idea having longer competitions of that kind. Category Best - World War II was the name of the award that DN Models alongside IPMS Odessos prepared for this year's event. DN Models sponsored some of the awards, after being kindly asked by the organizers of the show. Actually, this isn't the first show that was supported by the company nor the one that IPMS Odessos gave awards at. However, this was the first one that featured the DN Models logo in their official banner and the efforts were acknowledged by the organizers. The models presented at the show was at a very high level. Russians are famous for their modeling skills and this show is rather big event, so you might guess the amount of models and the quality presented. Fortunately, organizers gave us access to a lot of pictures from the show and they are featured in a video dedicated to the exhibition. This is 9th exhibition, so it is some sort of a tradition already. Even though organizing a trip to Russia is not the easiest thing to do, maybe its not a bad idea to visit this show in the near future. You will be facing tough competitors, but as seen in the video, the models presented will bring great joy and a lot of knowledge about scale modeling! Check DN Models YouTube Channel for the video, you will love the models there!
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Top 5 inspiration sources to get your modeling mojo back

Getting back in shape after a long break or just after a long period without modeling might be quite difficult. So, make it easier with the following 5 tips. They include 5 awesome sources of inspiration to get your modeling mojo back.
  • Historical movies. There are plenty of them in YouTube and in other video channels, as well as in a variety of other forms to suit your taste. Just pick up your favorite historical movie and try to transport yourself to the time period from that movie, and to get used to the atmosphere. It`s not obligatory to watch “Top Gun” if you want to make a F-14 Tomcat. Other great movies may range from historical documentary movies about the conflict zones where the Tomcat participated, to documentary movies about the construction of the plane. This will give you not only an enormous variety of reference materials and you could learn more about the real plane, but could also inspire you to get started your new model.
  • Posters and other paper artworks. They are definitely a great source of inspiration, because that`s their main purpose too. For example, let`s take the limited edition kit of Eduard – MiG 21 and the Scooter in 1/48, which arrive in one box, as well as accompanied by a huge poster depicting both planes flying in the air. This poster is definitely a must have as a background of your display case or just to hang it on a wall as a painting. When you watch it every day, it should be quite normal to get more and more inspired to start the new build. Another great tip is to get advantage of the beautiful colorful pages with the paint schemes in your model`s instruction manual and to make just about the same thing. Especially the bigger sheets with paint schemes can easily turn into a striking painting for your desktop. It`s not required a lot of talent for decoration for a DIY frame for the colorful pages.
  • Famous songs. For instance, if you plan to start a Vietnam-themed model – check out in internet some Vietnam-themed songs. There are many of them that are especially military oriented and that were produced during the Vietnam conflict period. Such iconic songs could easily make you dream of that bygone era and of the real flying machines, for example.
  • Military games. This is always another great idea to return your modeling mojo, of course if you are not a gaming enthusiast who can easily be tempted to play all day long instead of starting a new model. It comes to games like flying simulators, where your new model is future as a real vehicle and you could drive it, fly on it, etc.
  • Just pictures. Make yourself a collection with beautiful HD photos of the real subject of your model. Whether a collection with highly detailed close-up photos or a just a couple of pics at night, sunset, etc. – such pictures could easily inspire you to start the model. On the other hand, they could act as a wonderful source of reference photos too. Watch reviews over the internet about your model, search for the best tips in WIP videos, and just find what suits you best as a source of inspiration.
(source: www.fondospedia.com)
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Magnets for augmented reality in scale modeling

Magnets for augmented reality in scale modeling

Great painting, awesome weathering, bright colors, perfect shapes – all these are key elements for a more realistic looking scale mode. Maybe the only better thing is to make something strange with your model, for example to embed lights, glue the flaps and the ailerons in an angled position, or else – make them movable! That last thing is what it is all about when it comes to using magnets for scale modeling. magnets
                                                                                                        Source: www.coolmagnetman.com
There are magnets with different shapes and sizes, and some of the smallest ones can reach a thickness of only 1 mm. Thanks to these magnets, you could make some details in your plastic model to move and rotate, for example, moveable flaps, slats and elevators. The small magnets can be used just about everywhere in the plastic model, even if you want to make detachable ordnance like drop tanks, bombs and missiles. This will change completely the appearance of your finished scale model and if you really use magnets in as many places as possible – your model could transform itself into 2 or 3 models in 1.
                                                                                                                 Source: www.amazon.co.uk

Different applications of the magnets:

  • Magnet attracted by another magnet. This opt gives the strongest force of attraction and according to the strengths of the different magnets – the total force accumulates and can reach up to 1 kg. This specific application is required for places, where a lot of force is needed to slightly bent the detail and ensure the best possible fit.
  • Metal surface attracted by a magnet. This is a slightly less powerful solution, but in some cases it is all that`s enough to make one part attract to another part safely and sufficiently. The size of the metal surface is from another importance for the total strength of attraction. This opt is recommended for smaller details like attaching only weapon pylons to the underwing mounting holes.
  • Magnets with space between. According to the size of the magnets – they can provide a great force of attraction, but only a small amount of it is needed to ensure the proper fit. Another case is when the detail has to be attracted by the magnet and to move freely in the same time, such as the doors of a landing wheel bay. In this case, the magnets can be used in the opposite poles to hold the door closed when the landing wheel is retracted, or vice-versa – the magnets can be glued in a way to repel each other, which will help the doors stay open.
   
                                                                                                          Source: www.dansdata.com

How to conceal the magnets for an even greater augmented reality?

There are numerous ways to hide the magnets by embedding into the plastic, by painting the magnets with the same color as the surrounding area, and more. Take a look at a couple more ways to conceal a magnet in a scale model:
  • Add wires, cables or other extra details over the magnets. This means that you will prevent the magnets from a direct contact and thus the attraction force will be smaller, however, it would be impossible to identify the shapes of a magnet if it is hidden under other details.
  • Changing the texture of the magnets. Even a small piece of masking tape will be enough to change the glossy texture of a magnet and to make it almost invisible.
  • A proper weathering. From glue traces around or even over the magnet, to using simple drybrushing techniques – there are plenty of ways to hide the magnet by weathering the area.
Of course, the use of magnets in scale modeling has its own challenges and cons, but let`s face it – the magnets are the key for augmented reality.
                                                                                                            Source: www.amazon.com
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Masks vs. Decals – top differences which will help you to pick the right technique

Masks vs. Decals - top differences

Painting decals is a much easier solution for the final touches of your scale model and the best way to do it is to use pre-cut masks. They have many other unsurpassed advantages, but the decals like we all know them make no exception too. The decals are colorful, very delicate and captivating, but with the masks – you actually paint the decal by yourself. Check out the other top differences between masks and decals.

Decals

The decals are by far the best solution for models in a very small scale, such as 1:144 or 1/72 models. The finest lettering of the tiny decals is contrasting and much more pronounced, than if you use masks as decals. Not to mention the technical difficulties when replacing the smallest decals with masks, so undoubtly it is recommended to use high quality decals for the smallest scale models of tanks, aircrafts, cars or other vehicles. Another great advantage of the decals is the big “open time” for adjusting the decal itself – first wet the surface and the decal, then place the decal onto its position by sliding it over the wet surface, and touch the decal with something dry to get rid of the moisture, and the decal is set. By contrast to the masks, which are sticky and can`t be adjusted once placed onto the surface. They have to be detached and attached again after the small correction. And the third main difference is that once dry, the decals usually have to be protected with a coat of lacquer to seal the surface and prepare it for a further treatment. decals, paint masks
                                                                                                         Source: www.hyperscale.com

Masks

The masks – they require just a hint more attention during the application, because the exact location is essential for a good result. Although slightly transparent and the surface of the model is visible, the masks have an adhesive layer that restricts their free movement like with the decals. Second, this adhesive surface of the masks makes them much better for application over curved surfaces, than the typical decals. Third, by using masks, you actually take full advantage of a number of loopholes for finalizing your scale model. There is no need of chemical setting solutions like with the decals, nor need of decal setters, etc. There is no waiting time too, because the greatest difference in this method is in the use of paint instead of decals. A fast-drying paint like an acrylic paint provides a very quick drying time and the masks are ready for peeling off of the model almost immediately after painting. So, the next major difference is in the opportunity to adjust the color or the nuance of the paint – something that is impossible if using decals. masks, paint masks masks vs, paint masks, decals
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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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The Year of The Abrams. RFM with Interior.

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