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

A-26B Invader 1/32 from Hobby Boss


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Clear Parts

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz.173 by MENG Model

The market is eagerly awaiting for a new Jagdpanther for years. DML kits are good, but they stand at the same level while times goes by, which at some point will make those kits obsolete and that is inevitable. For some time I was wondering who will be the first to hit the Jagdpanther theme and obviously, that will be MENG Model. Most likely, TAKOM will follow, considering their large amount of Panthers recently released and some – pending release. This is good news in general. I say in general, simply because MENG Model are a good company overall, but are still struggling with some issues. As such many consider the flaws of their Merkava III and D9R fit problems, some engineering decisions and the common delays for their promised releases. Hopefully, those won’t be present with that new Jagdpanther kit. From the renders that are available on the web already, it is visible that there are some transparent parts, as well as photo-etch grills and metal gun barrel. The towing cable also seems to be planned as a non-plastic option. That is all – great! However, it is far from enough for a kit to be complete and of course – to be competitive to DML Sd.Kfz.173s. Accuracy is what is desperately needed for MENG to give us a serious model and with the information nowadays it will be a sin if they do not provide us with a decent Jagdpanther. Another thing is the options available: it is useless to have one option per kit as we see in many companies’ catalogues recently. There should be at least several options included, considering the production run for armored vehicles during the Second World War. With all that said and the beautifully looking renders of the Jagdpanther that we have here, I would dare to speculate that we are about to see a very good Sd.Kfz.173 very soon and at a good price too. There is no doubt in my mind that TAKOM will respond very quickly to the challenge and probably full interior and similar goodies will follow. Let’s hope that MENG Model will act fast and will not disappoint. With the Jagdpanther that is the least we want to happen!

Another M3 from Takom.

Shortly after announcing their first two variants of the ill-famous tank M3, Takom announced another one: #2087 M3 Late. From what I saw with the other two releases, the kit is a rather successful one and it offers great deal of possibilities for those modelers who try to stay aside from the most popular applications. M3 was used in the shadow of M4, which by itself wasn't something great as a tank, but history made it famous enough to have a spot at most of modeler's collections. Lee stayed in the shadows mostly. However, the M3 played some role in Africa and Eastern Front, so there is some possibility that Russian modelers might have some attachment to that tank. The odd looks and the weathering applicable to that particular model made the Takom's decision a good step towards expanding their successful line, which is already broad enough. With that, they filled a gap that nobody else wanted to - the M3 in 35th scale. I believe this is a good move overall and it is about time that we see more of these support-like vehicles at the modeling shows, making way through Shermans, Tigers and STUGS. Not that the latter aren't good, but a fresh blood is always wanted in whatever area of modeling. M3 Takom 2087 relase announcement comes surprisingly, only couple of weeks before Telford show 2017, where most of the companies announce their new projects or reveal something ready to go. Wondering what Takom will have to offer at Telford? Now, since another M3 was announced, maybe something very interesting is brewing and we are yet to find out... www.dnmodels.com 

STUG III Ausf. E – DML #6688 Smart Kit

This STUG III kit came just like an early Christmas gift to me. Not so long ago, I was deeply inspired by a video I found on YouTube about Stug III. It featured specifically STUG III Ausf. C and Ausf. D and showed many vehicles with a lot of stowage, roaming around Soviet union during WWII. That gave me an idea to begin a project, especially featuring early STUG III with short gun barrel and dark gray scheme. There was only two decent choices then: Tamiya Ausf. B and old Dragon tooling of Ausf.C/D - #6009. Both are not bad at all, but they are not exactly up to today's standards. So I was almost ready to hit Tamiya's gun, when information appeared about Bronco's Ausf. E being in its final stages before hitting the stores.
DML Stug III ausf. E #6688 box back
That was great news, especially when they announced that desert version of the Ausf. D will be available too. So, while I was discussing that with a friend of mine, he mentioned about upcoming Dragon 6688 - STUG III Ausf. E. He mentioned, that it isn't exactly a re-boxed version, but rather new tooling parts, incorporated with fewer old-toolings enclosed in a new box, but with Magic tracks, Photo-etch and so on. Not long after that, the postman rung the bell and delivered that long awaited kit to me. Meantime, Dragon STUG III Ausf. C/D /DML #6851/ and STUH 42 /DML #6834/were announced, which, of course were not unexpected, just the contrary. But today we will take a closer look at the Ausf. E from Dragon.
Bronco's upcoming Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. D North Africa version.
There are several things needs to be mentioned before we start to dig in the box. First is that this is a Smart Kit, and this time, most of the features of the Smart Kits are present. We have Photo-etch sheet, we have several different camo schemes and most importantly - Magic Tracks. About them, I have to add, that it is extremely annoying, when reading the Dragon reviews I see comments like: "people will be disappointed by the lack of DS tracks" or "people will not like the Magic Tracks included". Seems like there is no solution to that, because the modelers are just too damn picky! Well, Dragon STUG III #6688 features both types. Yes, that's right - we have DS and Magic tracks inside. Now, go complain! The goodies doesn't stop there. The kit features also Interior. That includes complete fighting compartment with the main gun and the sights, gun mount and ammo storage bins and a radio set. The last one is with new housing and from what I can tell - with better texture compared to the old one. The rifling inside of the gun barrel is there and the gun itself is a 7,5cm StuK37 L/24. There are front fenders and mudflaps made from photo-etch parts, cooling intakes covered with PE grills, antenna trough made from a mix of PE and plastic and a newly tooled gun cleaning rods. All of them - top quality! The kit is made from the typical Dragon plastic - gray - and is very nicely detailed. It is the best out there. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed. Compared to Takom, MiniArt and even Tamiya, this Dragon STUG III just looks better. The feel that the parts gives you, the feel that built model creates in you - that is the Dragon magic. Camo schemes are interesting, because they are not only dark grey this time. Of those we have two. One from Klin, Russia,Stug.Abt.191 - November 1941 and one from Crimea, Leutenant Johann Spielmann, Stug.Abt.197 - 1942. The others are dunkelgelb, first one is single color - 3./StuG.Abt.190, Crimean Peninsula, Russia 1942 #373. Second one is two-tone camo dunkelgelb and khaki green - StuG.Abt.197, Kerch, Ukraine from March 1942 and the last one, probably the most interesting from modeling stand point: Div. "Ferdinand von Schill" /Wehrmacht XXII Korps of the 12.Armee/, south-west area of Berlin, April 1945. It is Dunkelgelb with khaki green and red brown. The colors are shown in a way that suggest that they were done with a brush and paint streaks are visible, so that will mean a lot of painting techniques are about to be involved. Not only that, but this is very late in the war, which means that this vehicle eventually suffered throughout different climates for couple of years and the weathering possibilities here are enormous! Instructions of the Dragon Stug III are the typical Dragon instruction leaflet, which I think is about time to be changed a bit. They probably feature errors, but I can only guess here. There is a need for improvement there, that is certain. Although nicely depicted, the repetitive use of same sprues usually creates confusion and you gotta know what you are doing when dealing with DML. Besides Dragon STUG III is one of the longest running vehicles from that company, which additionally complicates the project if there are errors present. The rest, as I've said before is the Dragon magic. Everything is perfectly done, clean, crispjoy for the modeler. What he have here, is a kit suitable for both beginer modelers and advanced ones, probably even for the masters out there and this is OOTB. This cannot be seen often. MiniArt are great for advanced and masters, but they are nearly impossible builds for newbies. Tamiya are great for newbies and even advanced but are unbearable OOTB for the masters. Here, we have best of both worlds. Magic tracks are some sort of a bonus for the first production run of this kit, or at least is what I am told. But since this is only couple of weeks since it was made available on the market, I doubt that this will be an issue. In other words, you will get your magic tracks most likely. It won't hurt to check though. The thing that's missing is the cardboard that usually holds the PE, metal cables and magic tracks, but Dragon eventually spared some dollars from the production costs removing that. Let's not blame them. Just imagine - a major airline in US saved several million dollars for 12 months after removing the olives from the menu, and there was most likely an olive per meal. So, this is the modern world that we live in. I can say mostly nice things about the kit. The rear of the box is one of the best out there - with drawings and what not. The boxart is crazy cool, and the goodies just enough for everybody. The price is quite right, and of course that's not all. You get an interior! On the other hand, instructions doesn't look any better than before, the box might be a bit sturdier and the missing cardboard sheet makes the kit looks cheaper, which is actually an illusion. But hey, we all know Dragon are struggling to survive with all that competition around. So, final words: 5 camo schemes, 350 parts, interior and magic tracks. "Smart Kit all the way" I would say! Dragon quality, reasonable price, all around pleasure 35th scale vehicle. I can only highly recommend! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do, not because STUGs are one of my favorites, but because this kits really deserves a praise! Kudos Dragon! Keep up the good work! You can get this kit here: Stug III Ausf. E with Interior DML6688 Please enjoy the video that inspired me, special Thanx to Panzer Picture and don't forget to visit their channel in Youtube : P.S. What I've noted is that repeating numbers on DML kits, especially in pairs, like 6688, 6600, 7700 or what not, are usually their best kits. Scout for those, you will see that I not fool you around!

Airfix Ju-87 B-1 – new tooling Stuka

Airfix recently announced a new tooling of the famous Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber. It is B-1 version and on the render picture it looks stunning. Airfix have recently changed their approach to model kits, and they seem to have started to work with China. All their new tooling resemble newest Chinese kits, plastic too, and it is not a secret that probably that was their only option for survival. Their 1/24 Typhoon was a hit, but many modelers experienced some troubles while building that. However, we can hope that this is not the case with their Ju-87 B-1. On the other hand, this is very tricky subject, because of the many enthusiasts around and the fair amount of available kits which have been already evaluated in every possible way. They were compared with drawings, pictures, one to another and so on, which was with the sole purpose to give us the ultimate kit. This is almost impossible, because it is some sort of an unicorn, but some companies come really close these days. So new tooling Stuka from Airfix is on the way. And the question is not how detailed it is, because it will be good. Not how crisp the parts will be, because this is guaranteed. The question is - how it compares to the Stukas that are already out there. They have been exploited in every possible way showing their highs and downs, and we know what are they correct in, or where they are not satisfactory. So, if Airfix managed to somehow fix their flaws, and keep up with their bright sides...well, then we will have it. We gotta wait and see!

35.5cm Haubitze M.1 from Soar Art Workshop

35.5cm Haubitze M.1 was a German Heavy Siege howitzer which saw service between 1939 and 1945. It was developed by Rheinmetall before the Second World War to meet the army requirements for such a huge siege weapon. Total of eight 35.5cm Haubitze M.1 were produced during the war and they saw service in France and at the Eastern Front of course. It weighted 75 000kgs and the barrel was longer than 8m. The shell weight was slightly less than 600kg, so you get the idea what a beast we are talking here. Not much information about this weapon is left, and since siege howitzers are not usually war movie stars, it is doubtful that we can find plenty. Soar Art Workshop did it again with 35.5cm Haubitze M.1. They did it a while back with their humongous Dora in 35th scale, and now they are adding another beast to their line. Although smaller in size, this thing will be huge once built in 35th scale. The box is said to be around 50cm by 35cm by 10cm which is quite a packing. It is also mentioned that the Japanese company will add projectiles inside /probably metal ones/ as well as real springs for the movable parts of the kit. It is very freshly out, so it is not yet exactly clear what we will be getting. It is clear that the instruction booklet is A4 and made from great material, featuring around 30 pages. It is also certain that the moldings will be of a great Japanese quality. Second to none. The price seems to be high, above 100 Euros per kit, but with that size of the box you can imagine what we are dealing with here. Also, having in mind their enormous Dora kit, I doubt that Soar Art will give us something small anytime in the future. The release of this kit is great news because we are having a lot of movement on the howitzer market lately, especially with Takom's kits. Somehow armor modeling developed itself into tractor, artillery,truck and what-not modeling, which is good. I bet that there are a lot of fans of howitzers, and Soar Art thought about them with 35.5cm Haubitze M.1. More info about this kit will be published as soon as possible.

Spitfire – 32nd or 48th?

Sptifire is a whole universe by itself in terms of scale modeling, history and aviation. That is the best airplane that Britain ever created and one of the top fighters of WWII. It is sleek, fast, agile and well armed. It won a lot of air battles and saved many lives. Spitfire built a reputation of a state-of-the-art aerodynamics, innovation and capabilities. And it was produced in numerous versions, featuring very different engineering decisions, and putting them into real action all over the World. Spitfire served from late 30s till the early 60s. For a single engine propeller fighter, and living through the emerging of the jet plane era, this is a unique and respectable fact. Let's talk Spitfire scale models now: Many companies have produced various of different Spitfires during the years, and many of them were great looking plastic kits. However, nothing comes close to the latest editions of Tamiya. The Japanese company did 3 versions of it, all Merlin Powered options, and they did them with insane precision. These are the best airplane kits ever produced, and nothing comes close to them. Except for maybe Eduard. And that's what we should discuss here. Eduard made a new tooling of the Spitfire in 2013, replacing their repack of Airfix, also a great model of its time. With the knowledge that they had repacking it, and the new technologies, they put out a beautiful 48th scale bird, second only to Tamiya's 32nd scale beast. But since 2013, they put out almost twenty /yes, 20!/ options, boxed in a fashionable manner, with various options from nothing, through PE and up to Resin add ons. Something for everybody. So the question for most of us here was, which one to get, if the scale is not the most important factor. Well, the answer is both, because two Spitfires are better than one. Always. But that aside, I want to share my opinion about the kits. Tamiya stands second to none. And that includes Eduard Spit as well. Not only in terms of scale, but quality, accuracy, engineering and even branding. Tamiya is the greatest modeling company ever, and there is no doubt about it. However, Eduard are not that far behind. Which is great! That means that the Czech company is evolving, and getting out there competing with the best. One thing is sure - in 48th scale their Spit is the most beautiful one. And probably with the most options. But not only that. They have delivered a kit from modelers to modelers, allowing us to make whatever possible with that airplane and steal attention even from bigger scaled Spitfires. There are Dual Combo sets, Limited Editions, Weekends, unusual camos and so on. And while Tamiya Spitfire does not have many options from the aftermarket sellers to be elevated /not that it needs to/, the Eduard Spit in that matter is unsurpassed. In terms of price, well, Eduard are not cheap, but are cheaper than Tamiya, giving us pretty much similar satisfaction in the end. And that is because their quality is at a very high level the last years. Also, in terms of options, they offer 3 or 4 times more than the Japanese.  And they alone as a company, offer a great line of add-ons for it. Wheels, cockpits, engines, you name it. So which one is better? Neither. They are kings in their own realms. In terms of comparing them, well, Tamiya have the upper hand, just because they are better in scale, and with amazing quality. Engineering is better, and the kit is suitable for almost any modeler. And while Eduard give us pretty much the same stunning Spitfire once built, the road to that is not for everybody. However, it is mandatory to be said that there are people who are devoted 48th scalers, and that is the Spitfire for them. Honestly, built one next to another, if the pictures does not show them measured, you will hardly tell the difference.  you can hardly tell that this above is 48th scale engine... Masks from DN Models are available for Tamiya 32nd scale birds, but not yet for Eduard's. Honestly, that is one thing Eduard are better than Tamiya - decals. Whatever the case with those is though, on large scale planes it is always wiser to paint the markings instead of using decals. But if you enjoyed the article, and/or DN Models' masks, feel free to contact me in terms of 48th scale Spitfire. A set quickly can come to life! My conclusion: Both. No matter if you are devoted 48th-er or LSP fan, they both worth the money. And the set they will become built together - priceless.... Spits you can get here: Tamiya - Ver.1 , Ver.2 , Ver.3 Eduard - Weekend , Profipack , Royal Class - and many more options. These are just the three main boxings. Masks for 32nd scale Tamiya

Speed build – Harley-Davidson in 35th scale

MiniArt kits are famous for their numerous parts and add-ons. MiniArt often include photo-etch details, clear parts, moving elements and so on. They require time and devotion. You can speed up the process though. MiniArt probably never meant to make it fast. They are all about quality. But if you want to see it happen quicker, this is the way to go. How you can build MiniArt WLA bike in 10 minutes... If you are fan of MiniArt series, this bike is highly recommended. As you can see from the video, MiniArt did extremely good job with this bike. It is not suitable for beginners, but MiniArt models rarely are...

The star from “Fury” by Tamiya

After "Fury" movie came out, Sherman fans were over-excited, and not without a reason. Tamiya issued a 2014 version of reboxed Tasca Easy Eight, and also so quickly they started removing it from the shelves, which made the kit very very attractive with prices exceeding 100$ at eBay at some point.  In the same time, Tasca, which were always pricy, were not so available, but still very popular among Sherman experts. In 2015, Asuka Model started issuing reboxed Tascas and they pretty much filled the whole gap from Tasca, providing us with Sherman 13 versions for 2015 alone. Including Easy Eight of course. The "Fury" tank... However, this was "same 'ol" kit, and eventually, Tamiya made very clever choice to take a step aside from the path well known. Well, not so "aside" but slightly modifying their M51, they announced a new tooling of Easy Eight, and in the very first days of 2016, ordered kits started arriving to their new owners. So in other words, late 2015 the tank was available. Among these owners, I found my place too, receiving it in perfect condition, and once opened the box, the only thing I felt was pure pleasure for the eyes.
Upper part of the body. Note the welding marks and texture around the hatches.
So onto the kit: First off, it is Tamiya. That word means simplicty, accuracy, just enough detail, and perfect, flawless fit and assembly. From what you can see on the sprues here, this is 100% the case too. The very first thing that needs to be noted is the texture. Around the hatches, of the turret /even on the bottom part of it, which is not visible/ on the sides. It is awesome! I mean, it is beyond what you can replicate applying Mr.Surfacer or any other method.
Texture here is second to none.
Second thing I noted and made me very nice impression is the gun barrel. It is one piece, slide moulded, and only problem /isn't actually a problem for non-lazy modelers/ is the muzzle break which is in two pieces. Not that metal gun barrel won't spice things a bit, but even without it, the kit has enough to offer.
Wheels, sprockets, suspension parts
The clear parts are quite few, and they are clear, but having in mind that this is Sherman, and overall - a tank, they don't matter that much. The tracks /T-66 type/ are a bit of a let down for most of the modelers, but honestly - they do just fine, and I can confirm it, because I used them on my M51 couple of years ago. They are more flexible compared to other brands like Academy or AFV Club, the sag is somehow realistic and most importantly, if weathered properly - you can use them without a problem. That is because the original tracks of the Shermans looked like they were rubber made anyhow. Maybe because of the odd sag, the odd tension of the idler and sprocket, I don't know. But the conclusion is - the vinyl tracks will do just fine. Tamiya usually make their case with decisions like that - Abrams for example has vinyls but since the sag is not visible, they are perfect for it. Leopard too. In other cases, where options are available - their Panther D for example - Tamiya offer aftermarket link by link tracks. So if they decided that the Sherman can be done OOTB with those tracks, and not provided us with an option, so most likely that will be the case. Sure, Friul have number of options, if you decide to go the Heavy Metal road, but they cost more than the M4 itself. The only question for me stays, is the two types of tracks offered by the Hungarian company will do the job for the sprockets provided.
Those two could've been better.
The wheels, suspension and the sides under the fenders are nicely done, not over-engineered or anything like that. There are some ejector pin marks on the sides, but nothing major, and the wheels seems perfect. The small suspension parts too. Detail is clean, no flash, typical Japanese perfection. Whatever the case is, /back to Fury movie/ if you see the moving tank in the mud, you will note that nothing from the suspension, tracks, wheels, sprockets or sides is visible. All is muddy. And even though the detail is superb /besides the ejection pin marks/ European Theater Sherman should be muddy beyond recognition, so this part is not so important. You can trust me. I lived most of my life in Europe and have been in Germany for many many times. It's no desert on this continent. And Easy Eights were there, hangin' around. Making trouble for the Nazis.
Amazing texture. Superb quality. Tamiya.
The instruction sheets are two in new Tamiya kits: one with building sequence, and one with short history of the tank and some quick reference photos of the real deal. Here, we have no photos though. I assume that because Sherman is a tank pretty well known, there are a lot of those in the museums, tons of walkarounds, pictures and of course - "Fury" like movies. So Tamiya most likely decided that they will cut the costs for adding a luxury sheet of paper with pictures, when you can find some pretty easy. Keeps the model cost low too, so not such a bad decision.
Note the ejector pin marks.
Decal sheet is small and it contains stars. More or less. There are few precisely drawn, white and couple black /or dark gray/ ones, which seems like they were hand painted. Whatever the case with the decals is, I won't use them in my build, because Tamiya are well known to have problematic decals, usually thick and hard to blend with the model. Instead I am gonna use my own stencils - Allied Set- DN Models which are working perfectly for cases like this one. Of course, the vehicle can be done Russian - Lend-lease one, or captured German /which is my favorite subject line/, but if you want to go the righteous way, you will do it with US markings. Summarizing everything - we have a great kit, which will come second to none in terms of quality, with minor issues, /and those are issues just for some/ like tracks from vinyl, some ejector pins and not many parts. On the other hand, this kit is perfect OOTB for new comers to the hobby, as well as for modeling masters which superdetail their tanks every single time. As a platform this is the best Sherman I've seen so far. If you going to try to go the hard way, there are always Friuls, metal gun barrels, ammo sets, stowage sets /even one for Fury from Verlinden!/ and many more.  If you going to go just for fun, or you want the movie hero tank or world of tanks item, straight outof the box this gonna look spot on. So as with every Tamiya model - no short straws to draw here. In my opinion, this is the Easy eight to get. Here's where you can buy this kit: Tamiya Easy 8