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 Quarter scale scale model of that bird is available, but the quality of the kit is obsolete.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!

 

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italeri mig-23mf/bn already obsolete dn models masks for scale models

Italeri’s 2019 MiG-23MF/BN Combo Set – Already Obsolete? Maybe.

 

Italery's MiG-23MF/BN in 48th scale is the latest announcement to come from the Italian model maker. Just recently, we discussed MiG-23BN from Eduard, which supposedly should've been very cool and neat Limited Edition set. But not exactly. The reasons for that are many and probably they all apply to this Italeri upcoming release of the MiG-23MF/BN combo. With this start, one might feel already somewhat disappointed on what is coming next in the article. And to some extent - yes, the news are not exactly news and overall what you're about to see is not good.

Italeri's MiG-23 is an old tooling. There was quite a few releases of it before and there is nothing surprising about this set. The price is OK, the plastic is not bad and mostly what you get is typical 90s Italeri feel, which even though not sophisticated, is still pretty good. However in 2019, a re-release of a not-so-decent kit in 48th scale and of such an iconic jet fighter is a sin.

MiG-23 is considered by the critics as a gap filler in between MiG-21 and MiG-29. That is very far from the truth. MiG-23 was a success in many aspects, latest variants of which were competitive to the first MiG-29 variants. The reason for the bad name that MiG-23 received was the fact that the Western World clashed with its third-world variants, which are downgraded and were flown by ill-prepared pilots.

Another reason for MiG-23 to be easily forgotten is the fact that many Eastern European Air Forces dumped it, to keep MiG-21 instead. The reasons for that were purely economical and are considered as a very wrong move made under the financial pressure of the transition period. No, MiG-23 was not less capable fighter or bomber than the MiG-21. But it was tough to be maintained in worthy condition. Expensive too.

Trumpeter made an attempt to start a new line of MiG-23, both in 32nd and 48th scale, but that was a miss. Their kits have major flaws and shape-wise they were almost a disaster. Compared to Italeri and this upcoming kit of MiG-23MF/BN they seemed superior at first glance, but in reality they weren't. What is important to know about MiG-23 that Italeri offers is the fact that it is more accurate in many aspects compared to Trumpeter's release.

italeri mig-23mf/bn already obsolete dn models masks for scale models

If you wonder why such a combo: MiG-23MF and BN, here's to clarify. MiG-23MF that comes from Italeri is almost perfect if you want to do a conversion to the BN variant. The reasons for that are many, but comparing some decent drawings it appears, that Italeri's tooling, is brilliant for such a purpose. It is true, that it lacks the rivets and some of the panel lines need to be altered, but for modelers who are not scared of those modifications, Italeri's MiG-23 is probably the best and the most accurate kit to become MiG-23BN in quarter scale.

What Italeri are about to release with this kit in terms of the nose section of the MiG-23BN is another thing and still uncertain. However we are about to find out soon enough. But the rest is pretty much OK, especially if you'd like to spend some time riveting and doing panel lines over the kit. Especially with the fact that there is no alternative. Or the alternative is not good enough.

Another thing to consider is the variety of options included in Italeri's set. You are getting two-in-one set and with various markings. Actually, the boxart was changed from its original look for whatever reason. First the announcement featured Polish MiG-23MF which is one of the most famous light-gray schemes because of the white stripe on the tail section. Then that was changed from the picture above, to what you can see in the title picture of the article. Was that done for some political, copyright or artistic reasons is a mystery. The first option was better in any case.

italeri mig-23mf/bn already obsolete dn models masks for scale models

Whatever might've caused the change, the kit will feature plenty of options. Including the Polish one, as well as East German and Luftwaffe. And after all, whatever Air Force you might want to recreate, you can easily find decals or masks, but you can never substitute the accuracy of the plastic. Apparently, despite its age, with the Italeri's MiG-23 we have strong competitor to the Trumpeter kit. And for the accuracy maniacs it still presents the better option.

That is the saddest part though. So many decades have passed and we don't know if we're going to get a decent MiG-23 in any scale. More than 5000 were produced, very close the the mighty F-4 Phantom, but despite that the Flogger never came close in terms of fame. Pity, because it is a really beautiful bird. It looks aggressive and with its sweep wing technology it was an icon for its time. Some consider it the best MiG ever made. And maybe they are right.

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F-104 Starfighter AMK 48th scale 2020 new tool DN Models masks for scale models

F-104 Starfighter in 48th scale from AMK

AMK or Avantgarde Model Kits is a company that initially became famous with their MiG-31 releases, which was praised by the modelers globally and considered the best MiG-31 representation in any scale. This was due to two reasons: there weren’t many releases of MiG-31 besides HobbyBoss/Trumpeter that was worth mentioning, and most importantly – the kit was very good and above the expectations for a start-up company such as AMK. That was at the time of the release of course.

The other thing that AMK became famous for is that they are doing a great job in terms of procrastination. Their long awaited F-14 Tomcat was announced couple of years ago and it was pending release every 4 months since. That annoyed a lot of modelers, especially those who did bite the bait of pre-order option. Now we are at the end of 2019 and the kit is just starting to appear in the stores and that is just in limited numbers. Besides the disappointment, AMK left little room for their bright future that was initially expected when the MiG-31 appeared.

Surprisingly, AMK announced another kit in late 2019. A new F-104 Starfighter release in 48th scale. Now this can be considered as one of many things by the modelers/potential buyers. Firstly, there are those – of course – that will clap and scream in joy due to the fact that a new Starfighter is coming out. It was flown all around the planet and many are in close ties to that bird in one way or another. Considering the AMK MiG-31, there is some decent amount of hope that one might want to spare for 48th scale Lockheed needle. It might be a nice release. 

It must be added that a large part of that first group will be collectors of kits too, not real builders.

But... Aside from that and in general, most of the modelers are smart people – the hobby demands it – and they won’t bite the bait for the second time. Here we get to the second group - those who will pass by the "news" on any new AMK upcoming release, simply because they don't have a life to spare waiting. AMK Super Etendard never became a thing. Their Tomcat is beyond of any "new tooling" point, because it is already years after its announcement and it is still in its humble beginnings. That doesn't leave much room for hope.

And there is that too:

F-104 Starfighter was announced earlier in the year from Kinetic. Not a bad idea for any quarter scale Starfighter fan. On top of that there is a Hasegawa version that has been around for quite a while and most importantly – it is a very decent representation /with some well known flaws like the rivets on the wings/ which are fixable. We can give it to Hasegawa, since their Starfighter is old. Really old. Kinetic though, they are coming up with something probably very nice, considering the Hornet that they released recently. Some things are approached very differently in their line of kits, for example the thickness of the surfaces. Latter one, a very very important aspect of F-104 Starfighter as a whole.

Now AMK seems to be either extremely bold or extremely stupid. If they do not manage to release this in the first half of 2020, they will probably fade forever. Nobody will stand another five year delay on a kit that already has two decent substitutes. And let’s now fool ourselves – AMK does not have a religion-like army of fans, like Tamiya, Dragon or MENG Model. On the contrary - they have hundreds of disappointed buyers, who waited half a decade for a release. So with all that, if they manage to deliver their Starfighter soon, they might stand a chance of surviving. And that is only if the kit features something innovative, something unseen in terms of quality and also – a great price. Those are all highly unlikely eventualities.

Knowing the history of AMK with their MiG-31 releases and the delays of their Tomcat, it seems more like a mirage or a desperate attempt to do something, just anything. Something like shooting in the dark with that F-104 release.  Why Starfighter and why now?!

Because their MiG-31 has its issues and actually HobbyBoss is very acceptable option. Same goes for the Tomcat. Tamiya cannot be messed with, no matter the detail that AMK thought they might come up with. So in conclusion, this F-104 Starfighter from AMK might be just another indefinitely-postponed release that might never see the light of day, while people all around are showing off their Kinetic Starfighters at the shows and group meetings. Not the mention thousands of stashed Hasegawa options that have plenty of resin to be played with.

So is this really news? Maybe. Or maybe it is the last song that AMK will even going to sing. It all depends on them. One thing is certain: time is running out for AMK and they have to be fast. 

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Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Black Hawk by Kitty Hawk – MH-60L 1/35 Review

Intro:

Black Hawk Down is one of the very best war movies ever made. The flawless production, as well as the dynamics in the movie, made it one of the crown jewels in Ridley Scott’s portfolio. Not only that, but it made the Battle of Mogadishu famous Worldwide, and strengthened Black Hawk Helicopter fame as well. Black Hawk helicopter didn’t need any introduction even before that cinematic masterpiece, but after that, people somewhat started to respect the bird even more.

Kitty Hawk released 1/35 Little Bird helicopter with a boxart that was a scene from the battle of Mogadishu, which was a sign more or less. For Black Hawk lovers is was most definitely hope. In 35th scale, Academy’s obsolete toolings were not enough for the contemporary modeler. The market too, needed a new tooling of a modern helo in 35th scale, and alongside the most famous birds – AH-64 and Mil Mi-24, Black Hawk was very good contender.

So after an early announcement and the regular several release date changes, we received a new tooling of the Black Hawk from Kitty Hawk. Now let’s take a closer look at this kit and how well Kitty Hawk managed to deal with the challenge. Being the first one of a long line of versions, this deserves fair amount of attention.

Boxart:

Battle of Mogadishu seems to have been the basis for the boxart of this kit. The whole appearance: color-wise, action-wise, etc., seems very close to the Little Bird release of that same company. The movie, as many of you might remember, had some sort of grim appearance, probably based on more black color used overall. The boxart creates that same feeling.

It is very important for many, how the boxart will look. Kitty Hawk made their effort and the boxart here looks fantastic. That goes for the whole box of course, but the first thing that catches the attention in the picture of the top of the box, and here we have a brilliant execution.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Instructions:

Kitty Hawk make their instructions in an odd manner, placing the color schemes just in the middle of the booklet. That leave you no other option but to remove them for which some craftsmanship and thick tweezers will be needed most likely.

Overall, everything seems arranged nicely, however, it lacks a lot of information for this to be called satisfactory instruction sheet. By that I mean the fact that this helicopter is crammed with details on the inside, and there is not enough information about what is what and how it should be painted properly. There are basics, but this kit is massive, thus this will be all visible – no room for errors, half-measures or mediocre work. Especially with that price tag.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

The interior itself is enclosed in a capsule of a sort, which is placed in between the two halves of the Black Hawk. That capsule will be the most challenging part of the build in my opinion. Actually, it probably won’t be for Black Hawk experts and those who have the option of being in touch with the bird in real life. But I feel the need to remind Kitty Hawk that not all of the modelers live nearby Black Hawks, nor reference material is accessible for everybody easily. It is not free either.

So some improvement on that part of the instruction sheet is definitely needed. I can understand why this is skipped in an airplane model, but this beast here demands further explanation. Besides there are engines which /if you stick only to Kitty Hawk’s instructions/ will be left partially painted and will look under-detailed just because nobody gave enough attention to the instruction sheet regarding that section.

With that said, I can understand that Kitty Hawk is not Zoukei-Mura, but again – with that price – Kitty Hawk should’ve added more. Maybe booklet with picture references at least. Anything. Just not leave it like it is.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Plastic:

The plastic is light grey, with very good detailing overall and qualities, that have been well-accepted by modelers over time. With the fact that Kitty Hawk are not one of the old and established manufacturers, they’ve done pretty good choice with the plastic.

Engineering-wise there are some questionable decisions and you can get that simply by looking at the sprues. There is /at least to my understanding/ better approach to build a helicopter with an interior, plus the fact that there is way too many sub-assemblies, but the two halves of the kit could’ve been separated into more sections, for example the tail boom and/or the nose section. Probably the focus that Kitty Hawk had was oriented towards something more innovative. Who knows?

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Fit is yet to be tested and that requires more than one opinion. I am mentioning that because quite often, there are praise words said and written about a kit, that later appears to be with questionable qualities overall. That might be the case here too. Although I doubt it in all my honesty. Maybe there will be some tricky areas, but I can trust Kitty Hawk in general. Probably that was one of the reasons for the two huge halves of the fuselage as well. We’re soon to find out. But again – wait for what at least few modelers have to say about it.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsBlack Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Clear Parts:

The experience that I have and have shared with others in regards to Kitty Hawk clear parts is overall satisfactory. As with the grey plastic, there are some odd engineering decisions, but I can live with that. The thing that might be challenging is the fact that even though nicely packaged, some of the clear parts arrive with slight damages and some detached from the sprue. It is not that often, but it happens.

That is the thing that will eventually bother some modelers. Contrary to that, the plastic is clear and does not bend the light too much, although in general is far from perfect. Actually, the execution here is so-so, but as mentioned above: satisfactory. Definitely not the best nor the worst out there.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

DN Models has a mask set for the clear parts, and most likely will follow the whole line that Kitty Hawk is about to release. The main reason for that is the number of windows of this Black Hawk and the challenges that this might present to the modeler. Not only in real life, but in modeling, helicopters are complex machines and require additional attention compared to fixed wing aircraft. So this set might come as some form of relief.

Photo-etch:

Two PE sheets are included with this release. One of them is filled with equal elements, representing two types of seat belts. The other is filled with various parts, and they all look great. They are not thick and the material is OK to work with. Besides, there is some sort of a challenge, even only at first glance.

Not that Kitty Hawk are overly famous with their photo-etch, but with this release I think that they scored very nicely. The best thing about it is the variety of different parts /only on one of the sheets though/, that will definitely spice up the Black Hawk here. I am rarely thrilled with photo-etch, but I liked the inclusion here a lot.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Decals:

As with the photo-etch elements, the decal sheets are two. One of them is representing the dashboard and the side panels of the Black Hawk and for many will be useless. Master modelers usually prefer to paint, weather and modify the cockpit by themselves.

The other one features the stealth-insignia, the aviation art and the technical markings. Some of the latter ones are yellow, there are white lines too, but dark colors dominate the decal sheet. Now, as you might imagine, black helicopter with darker colored decals will be a challenge. First, to make the decals visible despite the fact that the colors will be awfully close. Second, the carrier film is very challenging on a dark base, which is the case here.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

With that said, I must add that there is no complaints regarding Kitty Hawk’s decals, so whoever has experience will be perfectly fine with that. That, and the fact that at first look the decals look very nice indeed and it is probably one of the highs of this kit.

Variants:

All of the variants included in this released are from 1993, Somalia. All of them are Special Operations helicopters and all seems like gunship oriented vehicles. The difference is the numbers and the small aviation art on the sides of the Black Hawks included.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

On the boxart though, there is the logo of Werner’s Wings, which is a hint, that promises a lot more upcoming. As we know Fl. Werner Jr. is one of the Gurus of helicopter modeling and we can expect not only decals, but resin add-ons and variations based on that release.

Not that four variants are not enough, but in general they are very similar one to another and that might cause some frustration among modelers. Of course, if you are devoted fan of the Black Hawk, there are many more that you can explore, but for the regular MH-60 fans, Kitty Hawk placed all the bets on Somalia ’93.

Black Hawk Kitty Hawk MH60L 135 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Conclusion:

First and most important is how this kit compares to Academy’s tooling. And the answer is simple: it is way better. Especially detail-wise. This is a kit that follows all the trends in scale modeling and possesses all the qualities that modelers require from the detailing of the surface. Both, inside and out, the kit is superior to Academy, but that is only logical if you compare the prices of both toolings.

As a stand-alone release, this kit is one of the best works from Kitty Hawk. Although not with the smartest engineering and with some unusual complications in different areas, this should turn into a very decent representation of the Black Hawk in 35th scale. Maybe some aftermarket will try to improve the tooling here and there, but overall Kitty Hawk deserve a praise.

Prise-wise this is one of their boldest attempts in any scale, but considering the need for a new-tooling 35th scale Black Hawk, that price is most likely justified. If you are not ready to pay what they ask, you will have to struggle with Academy and the results will hardly be comparable.

Even with everything mentioned above, the kit is good and is a must for every helicopter modeler in 35th scale. There is no information for another tooling of the Black Hawk upcoming, but there is a line coming up from Kitty Hawk with various of Black Hawk’s siblings. That should say enough.

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Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G Mid/Late 2 in 1 1/35

A Strong Start:

Border Model is a company that few have heard of. They haven’t produced any injection moulding kits up till now, nor there is any information that were involved in supporting activity of such kind. Apparently, that was not an argument strong enough to stop them from entering the scale modeling scene and not only that, but enter it with a big bang.

That loud bang came from the fact, that they are stepping into the light with no other, but Panzer IV tank, which is an object of great and passionate discussions for decades now. The Panzer IV in real life is nothing short of a legend, but in modeling World it is one of the most discussed objects, due to its accuracy, numerous variants and endless camouflage schemes.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

So far Dragon was the company that was considered the most wanted when it comes down to Panzer IV. Actually, Dragon is considered as the best armor producer in regards to WWII period in general. They have been criticized for some accuracy issues /mostly due to version mixing in the boxes/, some instruction flaws and fluctuating quality of the combinations – some kits feature separate track links, others rubber tracks, some have enough metal and PE, others barely. But even with that, nobody came close to their quality.

Border model made an attempt to play on that scene and here we’re about to see what they did and how well they did it, because Panzer IV is a game only for A-listers.

Boxing:

The box of the Border’s first kit looks very neat. It is professionally made in all aspects and one might think that they got the know-how from somewhere. Many modelers speculated that TAKOM has something to do with this kit, due to similarity of the boxart. We have a winter scene with Panzer IV over a partially snowed field, with battle smokes in the rear. Similar, to what some of the TAKOM kits already showed. In colors, in appearance, in everything. It is only a speculation though. Maybe the same person painted the pictures.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

The sides of the box show profiles of some of the Panzer IV color options included in this kit. They are plenty, because the kit is 2 in 1. There are also basic color guides for each of those mentioned, but it is only basic thing. Just to spice up the appearance of the box in general. Successfully actually.

A short description is added too, but as with the first Trumpeter kits, the description was written with someone with not-so-good knowledge in English. It seems chaotic and you must devote yourself to catch what exactly the writer wanted to say. Many word repetitions, no clear structure. This, so far appears to be the only let down of the boxing. Maybe not very important for many, especially Panzer IV experts, but still.

Instructions:

The booklet with the instruction sheet is about an A4 in size. It is made from glossy paper, with the boxart and the sprue description instead of a front cover and a Tank You note on a black background alongside with Panzer IV profile drawing instead of a back cover.

There is a page dedicated to the tank with two black and white pictures and then the building process starts. Every step is clearly depicted, without any overcrowding or confusing parts. There are some explanation in Chinese which were not translated. They are not many but this seems to be a small problem within the instruction sheet.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

The optional parts are here and there, which is understandable, considering that this kit is 2 in 1, so various small parts can be interchanged in between versions. Most likely, this will be the first of many Panzer IV variations. Especially if the very first kit of Border happens to be a commercial success.

The last couple of pages are dedicated to the color schemes. Everything is abundant in color and is very professionally executed. There are /what seems to be/ two companies engaged in this part of the instruction sheet. AMMO by Mig on one hand and Transform, a company that I haven’t heard much about. The latter one has a Chameleon on the logo and maybe are part of Border or work closely with them, since this can be seen on the sides of the box lid as well. Mig profiles seems more refined and nicely done, however Transform did a great and on top of that they provide some colors. Again, very little information about those.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

Plastic:

One of the most important aspects with every new kit producer is the quality of the plastic and the way everything is molded. The plastic here is light gray, flexible and thin. At first glance – very promising. The quality of everything also appears to be very good. By that I mean molding qualities, detail qualities, attention to detail, etc.

For example, the tires are labeled Continental, not like Dragon kits where you can get U at the end. Nothing major, but a nice first impression. The parallel with DML kit is inevitable as you might guess and one must admit, that here the quality is very close. It is definitely not better, for several reasons, like for example the overall feel of the material and the looks on the inner sides of the turret for example. DML plastic is more refined in that matter. However on the outside, everything looks great. Besides, we have no unusual complications with anything with this kit.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

On the other hand, this kit smashes the competition that is not Dragon. Italeri, Academy or Tamiya are all sent into oblivion. For example Zvezda Panzer IV looks decades behind Border in terms of plastic quality, detail and kit contents. And their Panzer is treated with a lot of respect, in terms of new releases in the last couple of years. Everything with the other Panzer IV manufacturers is thicker and lack the finesse that Border kit presents.

As far as the fit goes, it is too early to draw any conclusions and the same goes for the accuracy of the versions included. There are handful of real Panzer IV experts that can give adequate opinion and probably most of them will refrain from giving something definitive. After all, this is Border’s first model and it is way too early to tell what will be the future of this Panzer IV and how the company will cope with any eventual flaws in terms of accuracy and realism. Only time will tell.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

Tracks:

This is a tricky part when it comes down to armor kits. While some prefer to go down the aftermarket road all the time, others are satisfied with single track links offered by some of the companies out there. The thing is, single links are great but are tedious to be completed and often times, sag is represented in a wrong way. Border selected the road in between. Here, there are track lengths, made from plastic, which look a lot more realistic compared to DS tracks that DML offer for some of their Panzer IVs. That saves a lot of time building it link by link. On top of that, Border added a sag for the upper part of the track length, which helps with positioning and guarantees satisfactory realism.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

On the other hand, there are ejector pin marks on those track lengths here and they are not a few. Nothing that should discourage you from getting the kit, but still far from perfect. Options to make additional damages will require aftermarket and that is another down side of this decision. All in all, if you decide to build this Panzer IV in orderly condition, you will be just fine. Some sanding and filling the gaps and you'll be OK. But if you want to do something else involving the tracks, those in the kit won't do the job.

PE & Metal Parts:

One of the strengths of Border’s Panzer IV are the PE and metal parts that the company added. While Dragon gained their fame /to some extent/ because of such add-ons, in time they started to disappoint their customers with cutting off some of those precious metal or PE parts in their kits. I assume that Border understood that, learned a lesson and added enough to satisfy their customers from the start. Hopefully they will not follow DML in their strategy for the future of course.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

In the kit we have a metal tow cable, made from flexible material that even if you don’t use with your build, will be very useful at some point in your armor modelling ventures. Alongside with that, we get schurzen plates, made from photo-etch and with nice execution, plus they are /again/ a quantum leap when compared with Zvezda kit for example.

It doesn’t end there though. We have another PE sheet with more parts, like for example some clamps, which armor modelers adore. And again, it doesn’t end here either. We also have metal gun barrel and smoke dischargers too. The latter ones are not the best metal substitutes out there, nevertheless, being in the kit is a pleasant surprise and we have to give it to Border for their effort.

Paint Options:

Plenty here and presented in very pleasant manner, as mentioned above in the instructions’ section. Most of the vehicles are from the Eastern front as one might expect and of course, as the boxart suggests. However, there are examples from Italy and Tunisia.

Almost everything is included. Single-, two- and three-tone camouflages, as well as winter washed Panzer IV are presented. It is understandable, considering the fact that from the thousands of Panzer IVs used you could probably find many of each and in various stages of wear and tear, which makes your option limitless. With that in mind, Border added a handful of options, which will get modelers’ admirations and warm welcome.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale modelsBorder Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

Such an abundance can be confusing sometimes and the decision which of the ones depicted to make might be problematic, especially for the young fellows which will get this as their first kit. The solution is, as always – get more than one box. However, having plenty is always better than having only one or two color options. It definitely won’t hurt anybody.

Masks:

There is a sheet of camouflage masks included in this kit. What I've heard is that this is an add-on only for the first batch of Panzer IVs, but so far everyone I know who got the kit found them inside. Anyhow, the mask sheet covers one of the camo schemes and probably will be useful for some. In my opinion they are a bit thick and are made from material that I am not familiar with. How strong it will adhere to the surface while in the painting process also is not clear.

Most of the Panzer IVs of that time were hand painted though and some will find the masks useful only to outline the camo pattern. Hard edges are something that you can hardly find on Panzer IVs on the Eastern Front, that is for sure. Good to have them though, especially for someone who wants to replicate the exact copy of the scheme presented. There is no easier way than using masks for scale modeling.

Border Model Sd.Kfz. 161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G MidLate 2 in 1 135 review dn models masks for scale models

Conclusion:

Being Border’s first effort and with such a demanding subject, I must say I am impressed with the achievement that the Chinese company demonstrated. Aside from the accuracy, which I will leave to Panzer IV experts, this kit is very good and faces competition only in Dragon kits. Avoiding the accuracy discussion is not because I think the kit is inaccurate. On the contrary. It looks pretty much like all the other Panzer IVs and actually the plastic is better than in the most of them. However, there are some tricky places and some tiny little details that might eventually spoil it for some of the modelers out there. Not necessarily of course, but again, only time will tell.

In general, the kit is very good and the minor let downs in terms of English description or some engineering decisions can be easily put behind, considering that there are nice metal add-ons, 2 versions and for example bonus T-34 tracks for additional armor. Alongside with that, we get plenty of options and almost a certain promise, that there will be more from Border in the near future.

Being very pleased with their first release, I can only wish Border Model - Godspeed and keep up the good work! We look forward for more!

www.dnmodels.com
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LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

LAP-7 Rocket launcher – Soviet’s interpretation of a Combat Ford

Historical note:

LAP-7 is built over a license-built Ford AA truck platform. Almost a million of those were built and used in various roles in the USSR. There is simply no surprises when it comes down to that truck, because you can find it in practically every role imaginable. LAP-7 was combat oriented vehicle. Resembling the famous Katiuysha, it bears some legendary signs typical for WWII era seen from the Soviet perspective.

Ford AA needs no introduction on the other hand. Neither this kit by itself. It is a continuation of a long line produced by MiniArt and for some time now. A line, with which modelers are very happy and that they embrace happily with each new release. The weirder - the better.

This is the latest release, #35277 and it seems that people are even happier with it. Especially if you count the reactions in the social networks. But there is no surprise in that fact. Because the tooling is really good and it comes as a great set. So let's take a closer look at it here.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Boxing, Boxart and Instructions:

As with other GAZ-AA releases, the box isn't very big here either. It is part of WWII Military Miniature series and comes with grey sides and beautiful boxart. There is a LAP-7 firing, from what it seems to be a winter scene and a forest road. Exactly what the vehicle was made for. The first rocket seems to be missing, already fired probably, while the second is in the midst of its launch.

Very attractive and nicely done artwork.

Same goes for the instructions. Clearly depicted, without overcrowding with information, clarifications and what not. Despite the nature of the kit - being super-detailed and full with many small parts - the instruction sheet is perfectly understandable, even from novice modeler. However, the rest is not suitable for that part of the community. Some experience is needed for successful completion here. LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Sprues:

Sprues are made from Grey plastic and are mostly the same ones that you get with the flat bed release from MiniArt. The kit features fantastic suspension, engine, gearbox and whatever you can think of, everything made from thin and flexible material. MiniArt are using nice plastic, supplied by Western European company nowadays, so small and intricate parts are not an issue, like it was before. I am mentioning that simply because this truck is full with small parts, especially on its suspension. Such detailing comes at a cost. There is no way around that.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

The sprue with the wheels is something that many love with GAZ-AA series from MiniArt. The wheels are separated into discs and if you glue them carefully, there is no need for aftermarket wheels, nor they will be anything that will come as a significant improvement either. The design of the wheels is very clever and I wonder for some time now, how come no other company haven't took that road yet.

The new sprues introduced in the kit are holding the rockets and the frame of the launcher, which sits on the top of the flat bed. The frame parts will require some proper alignment and patience while in the works. Not only that, but the texture allows for interesting weathering and one can truly apply himself working on the final look of the vehicle. All that thanks to the precise moulding and delicate work made from the Ukrainian model maker.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

There is a sprue with clear parts, which are very forgiving in my experience. Having built MiniArt's ambulance truck which is based on that very same vehicle, I must say that I dropped the ball with the clear parts more than once. However, never managed to damage the parts beyond repair. They can sustain harsh glues and not-so-subtle weathering too.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Photo-Etch:

The PE sheet is not as big as the one you get with MiniArt's tanks, but it is with the same thickness. It is here mostly to add to the kit overall quality and contents OOTB, but frankly, with the precision that MiniArt demonstrate, even made solely from plastic, this kit would've showed similar detailing. For the photo-etch lovers though, MiniArt added a piece of metal. And as you can see from the pictures, it looks nice, even though it is not overly crowded and abundant in details. I trust that MiniArt added this not because they felt the need to, but because OOTB the kit have more complete and satisfactory look compared to a kit that will lack PE parts at all. Better have little than nothing. And that completes the contemporary look of the set too.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Decals:

The decals are pretty much the same as the PE parts. In all my honesty, I believe that more people will choose to avoid the decals than to use them with this kit. Not due to the decal quality or anything, but because of the fact that this vehicle will look better with odd camouflage, winter scheme or a lot of weathering, than to show specific markings and information that most likely was lost at some point during its service career. With nearly one million built of the Model AA, it is highly unlikely that they were all accounted for and marked properly.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Color Schemes:

There are two options included. Both are from 1942, one is from the Autumn period, other is from the Winter. Both are Red Army of course. Autumn vehicle is in camouflage colors, while winter one features partially winter camo, where one of the camouflage colors used during the summer is substituted with White. It is needless to say that the winter camo provides with a lot more options here.

However, whichever of the two you choose to build, have in mind that those trucks were so widely used /maybe not as LAP-7 specifically though/, that whatever camo scheme you choose to make, even captured vehiles - you will still be on the right direction. This is actually one of the highlights of this kit: you can go wild with camo schemes, weathering, battle damages or abandoned pieces. The only limit is your imagination. LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Conclusion:

So in conclusion, this is another great release from MiniArt. One can make quite a nice collection with various tracks used in interesting roles and from the same manufacturer. Most definitely, this LAP-7 with its combat oriented purpose, will be one of the favorite options for WWII modelers.

The kit is absolutely sufficient out of the box and does not beg for any aftermarket, like most of the current releases from many of the competitive companies. Surprisingly, MiniArt managed to hit the soft spot again and present us with both interesting and obscure kit, which will be more than enough straight out of the box. And this is brilliant, simply because many modelers like to have all of those trucks with their versions, but they do not like to invest a lot in conversion sets or resin parts that are too expensive. So, MiniArt delivers. Again.

Highly Recommended for GAZ-AA lovers and Soviet WWII vehicles fans.

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!

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Messerschmitt Gigant in 144th scale by G.W.H dn models masks for scale models 144th

Messerschmitt Gigant in 144th scale by G.W.H

Messerschmitt Gigant was a German military transport airplane from the Second World War. The name Gigant is perfect for that beast-of-a-plane. It measured more than 28m in length and with more than 55m wingspan. For the time, this was a monstrosity. It started as a glider and it was developed into a engine-driven beast of a plane.

Messerschmit Gigant

also known as Me-323 was built between 1942 and 1944. Only 198 were built, a number way too low for the standards of the Second World War. However, due to its size and appearance, it made its mark onto the aviation history.

It is hard to get a model of that plane. Simply because it is gigantic. Messerschmitt Me-109s or Me-262s can be found in almost every scale. Not this Messerschmitt. However, this is about to be updated and Great Wall Hobby are bringing the news this time.

They recently announced a new tooling of Messerschmitt Gigant, more specifically Me-323 D-1 version of it. It will be in 144th scale and it is understandable. It will be way too big if it was otherwise. The truth is, that this aircraft its not the most famous bird of the war, and even though interesting, it is highly unlikely modelers to want to spare so much space for it. By "so much" I mean if it was released in larger scale. The technology of today allow us to receive toys of all scales and sizes and at some point maybe some company will bring this monster to 48th scale or above.

However, to be suited perfectly, probably 144th and 72nd are the best scales for that beast. Probably due to that, Great Wall Hobby are testing the grounds with their release. With the quality of their moldings in 72nd scale they proved a point. Now, in 72nd almost everything comes with satisfactory details. Thus, Me-323 Messerschmitt Gigant in 144 will probably suffice. 

Messerschmitt Gigant in 144th scale by G.W.H dn models masks for scale models sprues

Why would 144th be enough?

Well, originally the aircraft was contemplated as a glider. Gliders are in general simple and smooth. This plane doesn't have too much details and 144th scale will give us the perfect combination in between size and quality. In general, Me-323 was a pretty simple construction. The only thing more complex will be the fact that there were 6 engines present. Maybe the camouflage will be challenging. Most definitely, adding details to those engines will be a difficult task too. But again, 144th should do.

After all, it is better to have the Messerschmitt Gigant in your collection small, than not to have it at all, right?

So, we are about to see what G.W.H will deliver. I want to add that the initial info states that the kit is actually a Pit Road tooling. Anyhow, both are scheduled for 2018 release which will either happen at Telford IPMS show or it will be delayed for 2019. What I trust is, that this 144th scale Gigant will be better than Italeri's 72nd scale representation that we have on the market. Both - detail- and engineering-wise. Hopefully the price will be affordable too. Because too much is coming our way in 2019. And all of it is very promising.

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wingnut wings surprise lancaster dn models 1:32

Wingnut Wings Surprise

Its been a while since Wingnut Wings are around. They are a great company with even greater kits. Probably that’s because of their team or love for aircraft. Or because they are devoted to a specific area – WWI airplanes. It is hard for one to tell which one is it. Whatever the case is, Wingnut Wings create wonderful aircraft and are among the Top 5 modeling companies in the World today. wingnut wings surprise lancaster dn models fuselage It came as a surprise that they are shifting from the path well known. Probably most of you already know what I am talking about: their announcement for 2019. Lancaster kits in 32nd scale. Wingnut Wings kept the scale, but they took a time travel further ahead into the Second World War realm. wingnut wings surprise lancaster dn models interior That is beautiful surprise. The knowledge and experience they have, plus the quality they demonstrated with their kits so far speaks a lot about the upcoming Lancasters. They should be, undoubtedly, works of art. The pictures available on their website speak by themselves. We get everything: Engines, Oil Canning, Rivets all over – the whole package. If you owned or at least looked through a Wingnut Wings kit, you would know that the instruction sheet is work of art too. And that is for single engine WWI aircraft, which are not that complex. Imagine what we will get next year with those Lancasters. It seems so good that it is scary! wingnut wings surprise lancaster dn models engine The other thing that is scary is the step they took. Wingnut Wings are definitely a company that showed different perspective from the get go. A winning one too. Now they are going fast forward 30 years later in history and they are hitting very hard. The market has vacuum in decent 32nd scale 4 engine bombers from that period. Besides Lancaster is of course a legend and of a special significance to many. So the scary part here is, what will come next? If Wingnut Wings go for WWII, at least half of my modeler friends will go bankrupt. Because there are so many objects deserving attention and so few that are getting the correct one. If anything, Wingnut Wings proved that it can give the proper attention to their kits. Hence, whatever new they will release will be probably top notch. That means, that if the Lancaster is the first of many WWII kits, we will do two things. First – spend a lot of money for plastic. Second, eat healthy food and live healthy lives, because time won’t be enough to enjoy what’s coming. wingnut wings surprise lancaster dn models cockpit I doubt that there is a slightest chance that Wingnut Wings will disappoint. Most likely, there will be pleasant surprises, huge expectations for the future and a lot of sales. But with that said, every great company deserves that fate. Looks like the folks on that part of the World know how to do serious business. And in the end modelers are the winners in that game. www.dnmodels.com
Pictures courtesy of Wingnut Wings
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f-14 tomcat great wall hobby new tooling dn models 1/48

F-14A from Great Wall Hobby

F-14 pops out in the news quite often last couple of years. It first started with Tamiya F-14A, then they released F-14D. Both in 48th scale. AMK are struggling to release their D version, for which there have been several announcement during last two years, all of them false. Now I love it when this happens: A company /or sometimes a modeler/ who plans everything ahead with great precision and even greater expectancy. It takes months, sometimes even years to look through all the angles. The product planned is about to be state-of-the-art, one of a kind and ridiculously accurate and full with goodies. And then just before you see it happens, another company shows up with the same thing, better, already available /or almost available/ and promising the same or more and at a lower price and easier access. That happens more often than not in modeling. I cannot begin to tell stories about kits full with resin, metal, decals and whatever aftermarket, all combined into a pile of expensive goodies sitting in a box on a shelf waiting. Waiting for the tiny last item that you need to turn your mediocre tooling into that perfection that everybody's dreaming about. And just when you get it, a company releases a new tooling that has it all. Well, that is about to happen. With the Tomcat and its A version. Many fell into Tamiya's option, improving it with this and that and even more fell into that AMK promise-loop, expecting the altered variation of their favorite jet. Tamiya lacks sophistication typical for the times we live in, AMK rely on MiG-31 glory which begins to fade. What we are about to get is something that will most likely beat both of those mentioned above. Great Wall Hobby provided an amazing line of MiG-29s, a superb line of 72nd scale Eagles and now they are onto the Tomcat. I bet they will release their kit at the same time /if not sooner/ than AMK and soon after, another option will follow. Tamiya will be quickly pushed out of the scene, even though their kit is good. However not flexible enough in terms of spoilers, flaps and what not. Things, that we all know Great Wall Hobby are very good at. Will it be competitive to AMK? You bet it will! Just look at their MiG-29s. What is included in the box and how it is executed. They might even release it quicker, since AMK are more about talking than producing new kits. I assume you remember that three versions of MiG-25 were promised for 2017. But on the other hand MiG-25 is a fast jet so it might've passed us without even seeing it. Who knows. So new F-14A? Yes, more than welcome! Great Wall Hobby? Oh, yeas, they proved their point with the kits they released so far. What can one say, besides maybe: Thank you! We look forward to it.
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