Tag Archives: scale model

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!


New F-15E in quarter scale! Great Wall Hobby

One of the jets that changed the history of aerial warfare is the Eagle. F-15 is not only a perfect battle station but also one of the fastest jets ever built, very agile and still undefeated in its fighter versions. As a combat aircraft it altered the perception of the term “fighter jet”. After little more than a decade of service, McDonell Douglas took its dual seater and turned it into a whole different animal – the strike multirole fighter platform, also known as F-15E. They named it Strike Eagle and painted it very dark grey. It made it a mean, scary looking killing machine. Additional tanks were added, enhanced cockpit, new HUD, only dual-seating option and superb characteristics. A completely different animal compared to its siblings F-15A/B/C/D. Something that was ahead of its time back in 1988 and something that Sukhoi imitated with their Su-30. Later it inspired the Israeli F-16I Sufa too.

Although F-15E were lost on more than one occasion, the plane is still very effective and 30 years after being born it still brings heat in the enemy lines. It is a success in every aspect: design, capabilities, ideas implemented. And for this fabulous piece of metal, we had no new scaled down plastic copies for quite some time. The most used and respected ones were Revell’s 48th scale one and of course – Tamiya’s 32nd scale version. They were both explored and pretty much exhausted by modelers. But it is 2018 and we need something new, better and up to date.

Great Wall Hobby gave us wonderful 72nd scale option. It is new, up to today’s standards and pretty much the same quality /if not better/ as Revell’s 48th scale kit. The same company /GWH/ had other F-15 versions in quarter scale, so Strike Eagle was a matter of time. And fortunately, the time has come!

Just yesterday, it was announced, that a new, up to date, well detailed and modern option of F-15E will be available on the market soon. In the perfect scale for that jet! 72nd is OK, but not ideal, while 32nd is way too big for the regular modelers. But 48th for the Strike Eagle is just where it should be. More or less it is comparable in size with 32nd scale F-16! And that is not small by any means.

So next thing we’re about to see is how aftermarket companies will compete with each other, providing various resin and photo-etch options for upgrading the new probable game-changer. And as far as I am familiar with Great Wall Hobby kits, their Strike Eagle will be mos’ def’ one such thing! The details on their F-15 versions in quarter scale are amazing. The kit has potential exceeding Tamiya’s 32nd kit, and that says enough.

The price of GWH’s F-15 in 48th scale is a bit bitter though. The kits had issues that the company quickly fixed and Kudos for that. But still, the prices are 21st century ones by any means and we should not expect anything different with the upcoming Strike Eagle. Good thing in this case is, that GWH are worth the price. They might not be cheap, but they are far from mediocre too, and everything with decent qualities has a decent price. So I hope that I brought some smiles with this article, because for me, the news are great!

F-15E Strike Eagle is one of a kind and deserves respect. Now we can transfer ours into a scaled down copy with superb qualities and modern and highly accurate tooling. Thank you GWH!


Magnets for augmented reality in scale modeling

Magnets for augmented reality in scale modeling

Great painting, awesome weathering, bright colors, perfect shapes – all these are key elements for a more realistic looking scale mode. Maybe the only better thing is to make something strange with your model, for example to embed lights, glue the flaps and the ailerons in an angled position, or else – make them movable! That last thing is what it is all about when it comes to using magnets for scale modeling.


                                                                                                        Source: www.coolmagnetman.com

There are magnets with different shapes and sizes, and some of the smallest ones can reach a thickness of only 1 mm. Thanks to these magnets, you could make some details in your plastic model to move and rotate, for example, moveable flaps, slats and elevators. The small magnets can be used just about everywhere in the plastic model, even if you want to make detachable ordnance like drop tanks, bombs and missiles. This will change completely the appearance of your finished scale model and if you really use magnets in as many places as possible – your model could transform itself into 2 or 3 models in 1.

                                                                                                                 Source: www.amazon.co.uk

Different applications of the magnets:

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



                                                                                                          Source: www.dansdata.com

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

There are numerous ways to hide the magnets by embedding into the plastic, by painting the magnets with the same color as the surrounding area, and more. Take a look at a couple more ways to conceal a magnet in a scale model:

  • Add wires, cables or other extra details over the magnets. This means that you will prevent the magnets from a direct contact and thus the attraction force will be smaller, however, it would be impossible to identify the shapes of a magnet if it is hidden under other details.
  • Changing the texture of the magnets. Even a small piece of masking tape will be enough to change the glossy texture of a magnet and to make it almost invisible.
  • A proper weathering. From glue traces around or even over the magnet, to using simple drybrushing techniques – there are plenty of ways to hide the magnet by weathering the area.

Of course, the use of magnets in scale modeling has its own challenges and cons, but let`s face it – the magnets are the key for augmented reality.

                                                                                                            Source: www.amazon.com

Masks vs. Decals – top differences which will help you to pick the right technique

Masks vs. Decals – top differences

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


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

decals, paint masks

                                                                                                         Source: www.hyperscale.com


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

masks, paint masks

masks vs, paint masks, decals

Unboxing Review for L-29 from AMK in 1/48 Scale

While opening this yet small AMK box of the 1/48th scale L-29 Delfin, I came across some good feeling like I`m opening a kit from a very good quality. Indeed, the plastic sprues are so little and the void space inside the box is so big, that maybe everything could fit in an even smaller box. But the quality of this L-29 in 1/48 scale Is magnificent.

The small sturdy cardboard box is decorated with soft reddish and greyish tones, while a gorgeous box art depicts a flying L-29. In the box, two huge cardboard side panels appear that are part of the box itself and that help hold everything inside even if the box is open. Thanks to the small amount of plastic sprues, one could quickly stroll through the elements of this AMK 1/48 L-29 model and see what`s inside with just a blink of the eye. There is one small dark and nicely printed instruction manual, one tiny sheet with key PE parts, one big sheet with numerous decals, and 6 sprues with details. Let`s get started with:

The plastic parts

At first glance it looks like a simple build, but after checking out the manual, the situation becomes a little bit more difficult than it looks like. There are big plastic parts, which location is obvious for such a well-known T-tail plane, but there are also tiny little parts, which are difficult to identify. The quality of the plastic parts is very good, since they are from a darker type of plastic and are neither too soft, nor too hard. The detailing of the parts is not quite impressive and one of the most visible issues is the lack of riveting.

Otherwise, there are plenty of panel lines and you have to just add the rivets if you wish so. Since it is a trainer aircraft, it`s accepted to be a cleaner airplane and the rivets are actually not that easily noticeable, but according to me – they should be there. Some gentle riveting is required and perhaps avoiding the use of very contrasting dark wash during the weathering is a great tip. The clear parts for the canopy are thin and crystal clear, but what`s the most beautiful thing is that there are no long seamlines in the middle of the canopy parts, so no sanding and polishing is required.

Decals, Photoetch, Instructions

Decals and PE parts – they will definitely turn this AMK kit into a wonderful L-29 Delfin. The decals permit 7 different airframes out of this scale model kit alone!

The rest of the instruction is very clear to understand and orientate, while the easy build of this L-29 starts from the cockpit and the fuselage, continues with the wings, the landing wheels and the undercarriage, and ends with the canopy. Of course, it has to be painted after that, and thankfully, the recommended color themes are depicted along with the marking options, as well as are mentioned in the very first page of the instruction manual.

The photo etched parts for this AMK L-29 in 1/48th scale are not so many, but they are very essential to enhance the overlook of the model. There are just about 3 big PE parts for the underbelly of the fuselage, imitating different raised access panels and doors. The rest of the tiny PE parts is dedicated for between the wings and the flaps to improve that area if you choose to display the model with the flaps down.

Which are the greatest advantages of this AMK 1/48 L-29 kit:

  • The privilege of building such a good quality kit is always a great advantage, especially when it can be assembled quickly and easily with less than a hundred parts;
  • Very well detailed nose section with cables to which are attached bottles and other details, as well as options to display the door open and expose this detailed area;
  • A vast array of airframe options provided in the kit. A lot of decals;
  • Very well represented airbrakes – with holes, frames and photo etch pieces for the hinges, which will make the airbrakes very beautiful if displayed open;
  • Decals for the main instrument panels with very crisp detailing.

Which are the disadvantages of this L-29 kit from AMK:

  • Not quite thick, but still thick trailing edges of all control surfaces, which need some thinning in order to put the model closer to the realm;
  • Absolute lack of rivets, while the only few rivet lines onto the wing surfaces look a little bit on the thicker side, just like the panel lines;


Overall, this 1/48 scale Aero L-29 Delfin from AMK is a very good representation of the real plane. The real plane has nothing fancy – it is made rigid and strong, to sustain the basic training needs during the Cold War era, which indeed was the dawn of the fast jet-engine planes. Although two-seater, the L-29 is a quite small plane and its simplicity is very nicely mirrored in this 1/48th scale model from AMK. Add the attractive marking options, which are numerous, add the easiness of the build due to the small amount of parts, add the pleasure from working with photo etch parts, and you will get a picture perfect reason why to add this model to your showcase.

You can get this kit here: AMK L-29 1/48

You can get DN Models mask set here: L-29 Canopy and Wheel mask set for AMK 1/48 Aero L-29 Delfin


GAZ-AAA by MiniArt Step By Step build

MiniArt are highly detailed kits and everybody knows about it. The thing is, not many out there have been completed due to the intricacy of the builds. They feature many small parts, some unexpected engineering and challenges for even experienced modelers. MiniArt’s GAZ-AAA line is abundant and feature many trucks, out of which I picked to assemble the one with the shelter, so to show how everything goes step by step and make it easier for those who have the kits but aren’t sure what they are involved in.

I also wasn’t sure, but from my past experience with MiniArt I already knew that their fit is great and the new plastic material that they are using is a promise for an easy build. Well, not an easy one exactly, but you can see for yourself.

GAZ-AAA is a relatively small vehicle, and I was surprised when I saw MiniArt’s kit finished. Nevertheless, it features almost everything you can get from a truck in 35th scale, with many sub-assemblies, engine, highly detailed chassis and photo-etch parts.

Building the kit will definitely take time, and it is not for one without time or patience. It is not exactly suitable for newbie modeler either. On the other hand, once built, it looks extremely nice and it is a rewarding challenge. The new plastic material is very easy to work with, it bends easily and that prevents unwanted cracks or brake-ups. The photo-etch is typical MiniArt: thin, delicate and nice to work with.

I had some troubles with the tire fit, but that was mainly because I was out of time. Other thing that I found challenging were the arms, which are located beneath the floor of the truck and we have many of those. They represent the controlling mechanisms of GAZ-AAA and MiniArt tried their best to provide them all!

Otherwise the kit is great with superb detail. As I said – it is a bit small once built, but on the other hand that save some space. Again – not a one for a newbie modeler, but I trust that if you follow the link below and see the video build, you will find it much easier to cope with the process!

Click Here to Watch the video build

Click here to buy this kit

F-15E Tamiya 1/32 Bunker Buster review

by Milan Mitev

The inbox review of one of the largest large scale planes from the 90`s:

F-15E Strike Eagle from Tamiya

This kit is a second edition of the original kit release from `93, which matches the “after” Desert Storm period. There is no doubt that F-15E played a main role for that time and was on top of the list with the best scale model planes. Indeed, I have no impressions for the premier release of the kit in `93, nor for this kit from about a decade later (2004).

Until I opened the box just about another decade later – nowadays. It was full of sprues of plastic and weights about a kilogram or so. This is my first experience with such a large scale plane and it really is spectacular. The kit is exclusively provided by Mitko with the fellow mentions that I really need to build this kit. By now (mid-2016) this is just the inbox review of this kit. The box is a stiff cardboard box with a phenomenal box art, depicting F15E with the iconic-themed loadout of the Bunker Buster on a clear blue sky. So let`s take a cup of coffee and let`s get started:

Review of this F-15E Tamiya kit

One of the main advantages of the “Bunker Buster” is that almost every sprue is separately packed in an individual transparent bag, which ensures a better prevention from scratches, bent or broken parts. The quality of the plastic (apart from the detailing) is very good. The most of the parts are thick, which is I suppose normal for such a large scale plane, but the details are not lacking too. There are absolutely contrasting parts – from large and thick spacious pieces with just a couple of panel lines and rivets, to small delicate parts with so many details that they will make you keep staring at them for minutes.

The Tamiya`s plastic quality was recommended by Mitko as a benchmark, and there is no doubt about it. There are plenty of build-in inner struts at the key spots to ensure greater stability and support for such a huge scale model kit. Most of the holes where you screw the screws for better support are flat and not threaded, which means that even the largest parts fit sturdy and solid.

The plastic parts have magnificent details, but there are never enough. The good thing is that it is not “quite”, but just soft plastic so you can easily edit the details with rivets, panel lines or other shapes. There are 9 main part trees – some of them are x2 or x3. Some are small and fit vertically in the box, but others cover the full dimensions of the box. There is an additional bag with a special small transparent box for the metal parts (the three landing gears). The organization of the plastic sprues is easy to understand – they are mentioned from A to H with large letters on the labels of each sprue. Another great advantage is that everything matches flawlessly – if you follow the instructions and if you have to find part “F36”, for example – it is on the right sprue tree where it should be. An interesting approach was the packing of the seats – in separate bags and each on its own individual sprue, like they were detached from the main sprue tree.

The clear parts are beautiful and numerous as well. The canopy is just a standard transparent canopy as expected, which needs your extra attention as usual. Except that this is my first encounter with such a large scale plane and the canopy looks much bigger, than expected. It has a big seamline in the middle that have to be sanded and polished.

The paper parts are quite numerous too – instructions and decal sheets. The instructions look like a magazine with over a dozen pages, a comprehensive explanation of what to do, step-by-step pictures, suggested color schemes, etc. There is another couple of pages of a separate manual, which concerns exclusively the “Bunker Buster” loadout. While for the decal sheets – they are a complete encyclopedia for not one, two, or three, but for whole 7 different airframes.

You can really choose what`s your favorite piece of history from Operation “Desert Storm”. The decals are well sandwiched in rice paper for better protection. Indeed, check out the next lines, because the variety of decals is one of the many things that make this kit unique.

Miscellaneous/extras (included) in the box that make this kit unique

  • The decals: you can make 7 different planes (airframes) from this Tamiya kit, as follow:
  • 89-0471 is from the “Chiefs” Squadron and it features the huge “SJ” marking on the vertical stabilizers;
  • 88-1698 is from the “Rocketeers” Squadron and also features the same “SJ” marking on the vertical stabilizers;
  • 89-1528 is from the “Eagles” Squadron and also features the same “SJ” marking on the vertical stabilizers;
  • 89-0489 is another airframe from the “Chiefs” Squadron that features the huge “SJ” marking on the vertical stabilizers;
  • 87-0201 is another airframe from the “Rocketeers” Squadron that features the same “SJ” marking on the vertical stabilizers;
  • 87-0170 is an airframe from the “Bold Tigers” Squadron and features the huge “MO” marking on the vertical stabilizers;
  • 91-0308 is an airframe from the “Madhatters” Squadron and features the huge “LN” marking on the vertical stabilizers.
  • The metal parts: although only three for the nose/main landing gears, they are perfectly manufactured – in white metal that is hard enough to support this scale model, as well as soft enough to be easily sanded, polished, engraved, etc.
  • The rubber parts: they are also just three rubber pieces – for the tires. So, they are real rubber tires! They have tiny “flash”-like center indentations that you have to get rid of, but they are soft, very cohesive, labeled, recessed… just perfect. Plus, there is a small cordage (string) that you may wonder what`s that and indeed – it`s not part of the aircraft. It is provided to imitate the real strings of the wheel shocks if you display the Bunker Buster in a diorama.
  • Bombs in the Bunker Buster set: beside from the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the GBU-31 and the massive drop tanks, which are all provided, you also get the real deal – the GBU-28 Bunker Buster, the GBU-15 and the AGM-130 guided bombs.

They are so big that if you put them together on the Strike Eagle it really looks like Bunker Buster.

  • Extensive weaponry set: it features all that is needed for almost all the possible loadouts of F-15E from Operation Desert Storm. That`s what really makes this Tamiya kit a small plastic piece of history in a huge heavy box.

There is just about everything as for the armament – cluster bombs, guided bombs, dumb bombs, air-to-air missiles, and they all are numerous from a type. And of course – the iconic Navigation and Targeting Pods are featured in this kit.

  • A main ladder and a second smaller ladder: they are somewhere within the plastic sprues and provide you with plenty of possibilities to jazz-up your diorama. The figures of the pilots are also advantageous – there are different opts to display the pilot and the officer.
  • The scale in terms of dimensions: this scale model is really huge in 1/32 – it measures some 24 inches x 16 inches and will really become a magnet for attention.
  • The screwdriver and the screws: they are separately packed in a small transparent bag, as well as include 8 different types of screws! Some are tiny and almost invisible, but others are quite big, or at least they look so. In all cases, they ensure a much sturdier assembly of this F15E kit.
  • Built-in small pins for some panels in the form of individual plastic parts: this is a quite surprising benefit, allowing you to make some panels movable just by click-fitting and with some minor adjustments.

For example – there are opts to make the radar dish visible, the canopy can move and the intakes too. This is absolutely stunning and is provided by the Tamiya kit alone.

  • Impeccable fit of the separate panels if chosen to display closed: with a little bit of sanding and smoothing exercises – all the individual panels blend flush and equal with the rest of the fuselage.

Yet a little bit of adjustments/edits might be needed for the most persistent panels.

  • Countless options for scratch-built improvements: F-15E normally is a big plane and respectively there is plenty of free space inside this large scale plane. You can add wiring, plumbing, lights and electronics, sounds, movable parts with RC servos, and more. It`s limited by your imagination.
  • A sheet of decals with plenty of “REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT” tags. If you prefer not to use all of them for this scale model, then you will have plenty of spare “RBF” tags for other 1/32 kits.

Advises how to choose which exactly scale model to assemble from the 7 proposed airframes, because they all are magnificent

One of the biggest dilemmas when you have to choose from so much similar airframes is “Which one?” and next are a few hints (factors) that helped me in this challenge:

  • I noticed that 2 of the airframes (with the decals on a small separate sheet) are a little bit different from the other 5 airframes. The 5 airframes are F-15E and are all based in Seymour Johnson AFB. One of the two “different” F-15E is based in Idaho, in Mountain Home AFB, while the second “different” F-15E is based really quite away – in Lakenheath RAF, UK. Perhaps this is the reason why these two models have different markings on the tails, while the other five F-15E`s all have the “SJ” marking. I like one of the SJ`s.
  • The time frame that I`ve stuck in from quite some time – the Desert Shield, the Desert Storm and the Gulf War periods. Actually, they encompass a period of just about a year – from 1990 to 1991, when Iraq with its word`s Number 4 army invaded Kuwait. The “Rocketeers” Squadron was with some of the first F-15E Strike Eagle jets to deploy in the region, while F-15E from the “Chiefs” Squadron were the first to seek and destroy SCUD vehicles in western Iraq. So, if you listen to your alter ego and narcissism, you should choose to build an airframe from one of the two squadrons – the “Chiefs” or the “Rocketeers”.
  • Keep in mind that for that time almost all the F15E`s (in the kit) were newly manufactured – in 1987, 1988 and 1989. They were in their full swing, the targeting and the navigation pods were the tools that made the night missions successful, as well as low-terrain monitoring and the precise targeting possible. Nevertheless, there is one imperfection in this Tamiya kit and it is that if you choose to make a Bunker Buster airframe with the AGM 130 and the GBU-15 guided bombs, then you will have to scratch build an entire Data Link Pod if you follow the realm. The Data Link Pod is not provided in the box of the kit, whilst it is needed for these two bombs, because they are basically the same – guided or rocket-guided bombs with TV and/or IR seekers, which require steering data from the Data Link Pod. But this is only if you follow a strict realism or if you don`t want to scratch-build something like a simple cylinder with just two cones on both sides.
  • Of course, your own preferences about the Wing & Squadron insignias. The forms and colors are coalescent and contrasting at once, as well as bright and beautiful. The stylized patches are with clean lines and shapes, and however the “Chiefs” Squadron looks to me a little more majestic.
  • The overall paint scheme of this F-15E Strike Eagle scale model is basically identical with the other F-15E jets – darker greyish, which minimal bluish tones and nuances. This paint scheme was dedicated especially for the night missions that F-15E had to perform during Desert Storm. Only one of the two drop tanks was painted in a lighter greyish scheme for some missions. Another factor is the weathering – the older airframes from `87 -`88 are plausible to wear a bit heavier weathering than the airframes from `89. The airframe from the “Madhatters” Squadron was produced even later. I have already build F-15C and with no heavy weathering, so I plan to make this F-15E different – a little bit more stained and weathered.

The only 2 cons about this kit at first glance

 As with everything outstanding come the issues that appear in just a couple of places:

  • The panel lines on the upper main part of the fuselage – they are slightly on the heavier side, i.e. larger and deeper than in the real F-15E.

“Fortunately” – this issue refers only to the top part of the main fuselage and I hope that I will manage to cancel the depth of the panel lines with riveting and heavier weathering.

  • The enormous weight of the kit sprues – it caused some exceptional pressure in the box onto some sprues with rugged parts.

“Fortunately” – it caused minor indentations only onto the tips of the cones of the two round parts with the first stages of the compressors of the jet engines. All other vulnerable parts are well protected with sheets of “sponge” tape.

Further hints on how I plan the assembly

The preferred airframe that I plan for the assembly is from the “Chiefs” Squadron: 89-0471. It has beautiful insignias, because they are contrasting and unobtrusive, and that`s the plane that I can find more reference photos. All the movable things I will try to make movable/retractable, i.e. the nose cone, the panel near the nose cone, the intakes, the canopy, the landing gears… I envision the plane standing on a tall pylon and on a heavy-duty base to support the enormous weight of this large scale plane. This is for an “in-flight” mode when everything is retracted and closed to reveal the splendid silhouette of F-15E. When everything is opened, the model could be displayed as stand-alone F-15E like for a “landed” mode. I hope that with some extra help and advices from Mitko, yet this will be my first try for 1/32 scale model, the plane will become an even greater masterpiece. Other improvements that I may try are of course – a lot of plumbing and wiring, which for this scale I may try to make more realistic and not just some plumbing and wiring. Perhaps the added scratch build parts will be countless again. There should be added some inner struts and supports. They are enough by the kit itself, but always more is better, because this large scale plane will be handled during the opening and the closing of all these movable doors, gears, hinges.

That`s from me for this inbox review. Perhaps I missed something in the review of the kit, but that`s for me that made the greatest first impression. Thanks, stay on orbit for updates, happy modeling, and bye bye.


Tramcar 641 from MiniArt

MiniArt’s German Tramcar 641 or Straßenbahn Triebwagen 641 /kit #38003/ is not a new kit, but it is definitely a very interesting one. Trams are a rail vehicles used widely as a public transportation in urban areas, especially in Europe. They get their power from electricity lines, which follows their routes and thus makes them very economical and green. Our particular subject today was not considered “green” actually, because was used in the 1930s in Germany, when “green” was not an issue. Tramcar 641 is a kit released in 2014 from Ukrainian company Miniart and it is a follow up of their 2013 release of an European Tramcar. It is a similar kit, although in different colors and different place of usage.

The kit of the Tramcar 641 that we’re looking at here is a very nice addition to a diorama, and not only that, but the set that Miniart gave us is a diorama packed in a box by itself. It contains vacuum formed diorama pad of a paved street, typical for Germany in 1930s, and electric poles of two kinds, as of course – the tramcar 641 itself. The tram is very highly detailed and it is molded with high precision.

I don’t intend to bore you with history of the tramcars and how and where they were used, but instead I want to present you with a video unboxing of the kit that I recently made. I waited long time to get my hands on this kit and I am very happy to be a proud owner of this Straßenbahn Triebwagen 641 set, which is a crowded box with a lot of goodies.

I hope you will enjoy my inbox review of the Tramcar 641, and feel free to write me with questions and suggestions anytime!

You can get this kit here: http://amzn.to/1LewX6M


2016 Modeling Show Season is gaining speed

The show season is almost here, and this one gonna be a tough one! First shows in Central and East Europe are very close, including of course, the highlight of those – Moson show 2016, which is only a month away. I know that this show is very controversial with its famously odd judging, however it is one of the most visited ones, and for those who go for the fun and not for the medals and awards, this isn’t a problem.

In UK, shows are going on since the beginning of the year peaking at Telford which is in the autumn, but this doesn’t mean that they are not happening now too. Actually, if you pay attention to the modeling show calendar, pretty much each month there is a place to be. In USA is the same. There are shows each week somewhere.

First of the important ones is Mosonshow actually, and it is most widely known. Then the newly organized Istanbul Scale Model World is in May. Or it supposed to be. They lack the proper announcements and websites to support the show, but it is only couple of years old and it is developing thing so we should cut them some slack. The other unknown thing about it is that it is located in the famous Koc museum, and the owner recently passed away at recently young age, so I am not sure is there going to be any consequences about that show. Hopefully – not.

The one that I wanna visit this year is Ioannina, which also lacks the announcements, but it is rather local based, cozy and small convention rather than a big show like Mosonshow, Istanbul or Athens IPMS.

Whatever the case is, I hope many of you will be there hosting or visiting, and we will get to meet each other, sharing our passion for that hobby! Write me down in the contact form where and when you will be, and I will let you know am I going there or not!

Hopefully more events are on the calendar so more fun times are coming!

Here are my memories from Istanbul 2015: