Tag - masks for scale models

kitty hawk huey uh-1b kh5001 dn models masks for scale models

Kitty Hawk Huey UH-1B

Kitty Hawk Huey UH-1B in 35th scale. New tooling. Isn't that great? You bet it is! And finally, after years of its initial announcement, Kitty Hawk released a boxart of the UH-1B 1/35, #KH5001. That happens amidst weird times for all of the inhabitants of our Planet. Being forced to keep social distancing, on a brink of a new economic crisis and with expectations of unpredictable changes, at least we get some good news. Because if now is not the time for staying home and making models, when will be it?

The Huey we expected from Kitty Hawk was different version. Couple of years ago, we were hinted that later variants will be released - either D or H. Vietnam era legends. And they probably will be. But when, this isn't exactly clear. Actually, same goes for KH5001 - UH-1B. Don't let the news of the boxart fool you. Kitty Hawk are not a company that keeps their deadlines or promises accurately. And we are not talking Hollywood postponements of the upcoming movies due to the virus panic. Nope. Even in perfect times, most of the new comers on the scale modeling market does not respect the time frames of their releases. Even though those time frames were set by themselves.

However, being a hobby that requires time and patience, scale modeling and its fans can tolerate extended deadlines. And with that said, the UH-1B will appear rather soon eventually. One of the reasons for that being the fact, that now people are forced to stay home, or at least limit their movement around. That eliminates traveling abroad and vacations too. So we take it that Kitty Hawk are not stupid and they, as many others will exploit the opportunity of releasing new and interesting kits. Maybe latter one being the reason why B version appears first too.

Kitty Hawk Huey is already available in 48th scale, for those who do not want to wait and want to start immediately. But we all have been waiting for this 35th scale release. And even though it took a while it will be great to have it. So brace yourselves helo fans, a new era in plastic modeling is on the horizon! And if you wanna wait for the 35th in those strange times that we live in, you can always count on Hollywood. Legendary movies like Apocalypse Now and We Were Soldiers are here to stay and keep you home, but more importantly - to motivate you for this upcoming 35th scale beauty. Use your time wisely!

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

Yuma Open Air Museum – Arizona

Yuma Open Air Museum is one of those interesting and hidden places, about which you never hear much. It is in the middle of nowhere, people don’t talk about it much and it is made somewhat irrelevant for many. That shouldn’t fool you though. This place has a lot for armor fans and modelers, despite not being in the spotlight. It is somewhat an Oasis in the desert. Without palms and water, but with heavy metal armored vehicles instead.

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

It is located in the middle of the desert, in the state of Arizona, close to California. Close to Yuma. We will leave it at that, so you can do your due diligence and look for it in Google. Hopefully, that will make it a little more popular, at least in the search engine. It is actually easy one to get to, but it is not one that you hear much about.

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

Despite that, as you can see from the pictures here, there are nice exhibits, maintained in very good condition. Now it is not clear which helps more for that - is it the weather in Arizona, or it is whoever take care of them, but it is probably a little bit of both. Armor vehicles are placed on round concrete pads, which are all over the place and most of them are taken. The empty ones hint that there will be more to come, hopefully in the near future.

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

This is not a huge place, nor it features a lot of exhibits, like some of the other armor museums that we’ve described here on this blog. However, this is one of the coolest ones we’ve been to. Because it is not only about the number of armor pieces shown, but also the arrangement, the maintenance and most importantly the atmosphere of the place.

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

Yuma Open Air Museum is definitely one with atmosphere. At first, we’ve thought, that it is an Air Museum, but it is an armored one. Excluding one Cobra helicopter placed on a pylon close by. Right next to the entrance of the military facility in the vicinity of the museum grounds. With that said, still it was a pleasant surprise.

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

We know that for some of our readers, Arizona is far from home, but still many visit California often. And if you are an armor fan, a modeler or just a museum lover, well, this place is located at an acceptable drive distance from Los Angeles and Sand Diego. Even from Las Vegas, Nevada. All of those mentioned - often visited by tourists abroad. So our suggestion: if you like armor, you are OK with driving, do your research and pay a visit to this place. It is an open air museum, you just park and visit. The weather is good almost all of the time, and the exhibits, well, you can judge from the pictures.

yuma open air museum arizona dn models masks for scale models 2020

For those of you who can't go that far, well, check out the link here. We've made a walkaround of the Sherman, since we thought that this is the most interesting exhibit for the modeling fans. It is not nearly enough to cover what you can see in the Yuma Open Air Museum, but at least will give you some hint and hopefully - some help while modeling the M4 tank.


miniart fuel oil drums 35613 review dn models masks for scale models

MiniArt Fuel & Oil Drums 1930-50s


MiniArt Fuel & Oil Drums 1930-50s is an accessories set in 35th scale, designed as an add-on. That would serve plenty of purposes for various modelers and their ventures. From stowage, through vignette accessories, throughout full diorama sets, this is one of MiniArt's sets that is spot on release for almost every modeler out there.

Back in a day, when modeling was more or less Airfix, Heller and Tamiya, such sets were missing from the scene. They were longed for, scratch built, home-made-designed, and always presented a challenge. The bitter truth for many modelers out there was, that if you don't have higher creativity talents and you are not flexible with the items and materials used, you could hardly get yourself such an item. Those were different times.

Nowadays, there is almost everything on the market. Recently a set of pigeons appeared, as well as plenty resin animals, like dogs, cats, sheep, etc. In that regard MiniArt Fuel & Oil Drums set was only a matter of time. Along with their other Buildings & Accessories Series, this set comes with plenty to cover your basic needs.

The box

that this set comes with is a small and with soft sides, slightly different than what you get with MiniArt's bigger kits. It is - as always - with beautiful boxart, featuring a very clear representation of the contents. In this case - a nice set of various drums and couple of hand pumps in two of them. Color-wise it is attractive and it is made in a way that you can hardly resist when you see it on the shelf of your local store. The sides of the box are black, which is standard for smaller sets from MiniArt like the one we are describing here.

miniart fuel oil drums 35613 review dn models masks for scale models

The instructions

are printed on the back of that same box. The back of the box is divided into three sections. The upper one features the building instructions, the second one - the color section of the instruction "sheet". Those two take up about 90% of the back. On the very bottom, there is a short paint guide, featuring most of the famous brands, among which surprisingly Mission Models are present. They are relatively new producer on the market and it is nice to see that MiniArt are fast and flexible on providing that.

The color schemes are very important with this specific item. Fuel and oil drums come in bright colors, usually specific for the manufacturer. But that is only part of the thing - they usually get very worn with age and work on that matter in scale is practically endless. You can play with variations, weathering techniques and actual physical damage of the parts, in order to get the perfect representation of the worn and often battered drum.

The plastic

is light grey and is packed in a small plastic envelope all together with the decals. This time, almost not flash was found on the sprues, which are repetitive and rather simple. Not always is this the case with MiniArt. The only delicate details featured are the hand pumps, but this shouldn't fool you: the level of detailing over the parts - even though simple by themselves - is very high.

Three distinctive drum types are visible, but probably with little imagination those can be altered into more options. Fit seems to be very good with the couple of the drum types that we tested. Small gaps should be easily filled with putty and without much trouble. Besides, those drums with their bright appearance of red, blue, green or any combo of those usually draws attention to another direction.

miniart fuel oil drums 35613 review dn models masks for scale models miniart fuel oil drums 35613 review dn models masks for scale models


are presented on a small long and narrow sheet. Not all the decals are equal in numbers. For example - Azur and Leuna, Agip and Rhena are 2 of each. While BP, Shell and Sinclair are 6 of each. And Gulf and Esso are two. With that said we all know, that usually with age those types of oil product containers are often repainted or worn enough, to erase any markings what so ever. Which gives even broader spectrum of opportunities. However if you decide to use the decals, stay assured that their thickness, colors and overall quality are all great. 

miniart fuel oil drums 35613 review dn models masks for scale models decals


This MiniArt Fuel and Oil Drums set is great addition to any vignette or diorama and is warmly welcomed by modelers. Along with the Jerry Cans and Road Signs that MiniArt offers, this represent a good and complete set of offerings to cover the basic needs for any modeler. In addition to that, there are plenty of others in the Accessories series by the Ukrainian company, that can give you a complete diorama from one manufacturer.

Those can be combined with plenty of 1930s and on vehicles, even up to this day. Modern times, especially where there are regional low-key barely- or no- funded conflicts are full with examples of older stuff like those drums. And from modeling stand point, they will look a lot more attractive if represented worn, battered and old, rather then being shiny and brand new.

MiniArt made another good set, that was missing from the benches before. Nowadays however, you can find almost everything in terms of modeling. And it is a blessing, that we have companies that think in that direction, rather than focusing only on the best selling subjects out there.

Highly recommended!


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: