So finally it is here! Model Military International has published my first article. In its April issue you can read about one of my latest projects – T-80U Main Battle Tank from Xact Scale Models. I hope that if you like my blog posts, you will find this article no less interesting.
After more than 2 years of running this blog, I have decided to add a facebook “face” to my blog. As for many other hobbies, facebook has already become place where modelers present their work, share ideas, get inspiration and of course – argue…
If you have been following my rants, you may now find it easier to check what’s new here – just make sure to check out my facebook page here: www.facebook.com/MiniArmourBlog.
I have seen the new Marmon Herrington armored cars from IBG on the shelf of the local store few weeks ago, but was somewhat reluctant to buy it, primarily because of the price.
Almost $80 seemed to me bit too high of a price for a kit of unknown quality from not so established brand producer. During my latest visit to the store I have nevertheless decided to add the kit to my Christmas stash, just to see what IBG has to offer (and also because there weren’t really many other kits that would interest me that much).
My concern that the quality would not be adequate was pretty much gone once I had inspected inside of the box. The kit is not one of those with high parts count – you get 3 large sprues, 5 smaller ones plus one sprue with clear parts, separately moulded turret and 5 wheels and a photoetch sheet. What in my opinion stands out is the quality of the moulding – details are crisp and I dare to say one of the best I have seen on a plastic kit. There is little bit of flash on the sprues, but nothing of a concern.
Kit essentially consists of chassis, main body parts (exterior) and interior. Interior seems to be bit limited, but as I am no expert on Marmon Herrington cars, I cannot say whether this is just a reflection of real vehicle or simplification by the kit producer.
Instructions are quite fine, bit oversized in my opinion, but clear and easy to follow. Markings are only provided for two vehicles, one in Olive green and the other in Light stone/Olive green Camouflage, both from South Africa.
I am quite curious about this kit and would like to try it to find out what the fit of the parts will be (if only I wouldn’t have so many other projects on the go already…). The shape and look of the vehicle are quite unique and will definitely stand out on any model show table.
I still believe that the price for which I have bought the kit is bit too steep, you can get it online for less, which makes it better deal.
See below few shots of the sprues to illustrate the quality and level of detail of this kit.
One of the kits that has found a place in my Christmas stash was Meng’s brand new Char 2C. Meng has conveniently released the kit just in time for Christmas and I guess was not the only one who grabbed it. For some reason the steampunkish look of the model caught my imagination, and though I am normally not a big fan of tanks that did not see any action, I did not think twice about this one.
I have ordered the kit online from Hobby Easy and it arrived promptly within 5 days ( I have used the fastest delivery option as the price difference was about $10 against the standard delivery option).
The kit itself is what we would by this time expect from Meng. One thing that stunned by right as I have opened the box is the size of the kit. The main parts forming the hull of the vehicle are large even when compared to modern battle tanks. Apparently Char 2C was the biggest tank ever built and judging by the size of the model I am willing to believe this.
This got to be the news of the week, if not the of the month.
I noticed this posted on facebook as I was traveling home today and first I wasn’t sure if it’s true or not. It was only posted on a facebook page of one of the (many) modelers’ groups. Takom currently does not have working website or it seems that the one they have is only for iphones. But now it seems that it is actually true, which again should make fans of the Canadian armor happy. I haven’t seen any model kit from Takom yet, so we’ll see what the quality will be.
In any case, if you’re were thinking about that Mexas conversion from Legend, I think you can hold on to your money for now.
So, in case you haven’t heard or seen yet – Mig Jimenez is back. This time with his own brand of painting and weathering products. After the recent split with AK Interactive, many of us were left with the unanswered question, who is going to be providing us, modeling folks with all those great products that spoil us. For a while it was not clear what the future will bring, except for most of us believing that something will happen. And here it is, Mig starts his new brand which is … Ammo by Mig Jimenez.
You don’t need to look twice to see that the visuals build on the AK logo and visual, but by using Mig’s name, it leaves no doubt who is behind. I noticed that some of the products that were announced just shortly before Mig parted ways with AK, are apparently available for sale on his new site under this new brand (such as the new book on Tiran tanks). I believe that all those orange racks full of AK products, will still be full, just with different name.
So as the saying goes: Le roi est mort, vive le roi!
Check out Mig’s new site here:
It seems that the pace of new kit announcements these days is such that I can hardly keep on posting them here…
Just a few days after announcing the Char 2C, Meng came out again, this time with another piece for the Israeli armour fans – Achzarit APC. There is no need to tell a lot about this vehicle. Based on the chassis of captured T-55s, it is one of the examples of the skill with which IDF is able to recycle war booty. I expect this to be extremely popular kit, which was missing for too long time in plastic.
Unlike Achzarit, vehicle which could have been expected was recently announced by Trumpeter – Ti-62. Leveraging their T-62 series, Tiran 6 is natural addition to their line. Not a lot was provided in terms of any pictures, just one small shot, but let`s hope it won`t take long to see this arrive as well.
The last announcement comes from a newcomer – company called Diopark (I have never really heard about them), But they came with really original release – civilian Mercedes from the 70s. I believe that such a vehicle was sorely missing on the market and will be welcome by all Middle East diorama fans. I can already see what weathering enthusiasts are going to do with this kit as well…
With quite a bit of surprise, Academy made a date today for all the fans of Israeli armour by announcing their next kit – Magach 6B Gal Batash. I must say I am truly impressed by their choice of subject, which is original and attractive. Magach series vehicles is at this time completely missing from the plastic kits market and your only choice is (or was) Legend conversion sets.
I hope that Academy will not fail us both in terms of timing and quality. I am bit puzzled by the small text saying “NEW PARTS” on the box, hoping that the whole kit will be new, not just few new parts added to their old M60 kits. In any case, can’t wait to see this one.
I know this is not much of a news by now, but it’s definitely still worth mentioning – T-72 is FINALLY coming. Trumpeter has recently released photos of its upcoming release on the Facebook. Frankly I have expected this to come earlier and never got to understand why are they releasing another T-90 for example – after the Zvezda and Meng kits I just don’t know hy would someone need another one from Trumpeter (perhaps except for the really die-hard T-90 fans).
In a typical Trumpeter fashion the first release announced is not the most awaited version in my opinion, this seems to be one of the later versions of this tank. Again I have to say, let’s wait and see when the Trumpeter will announce the earlier versions you could build in the Mid-East colours.
AK Interactive has announced few days ago upcoming release of a new book that will surely please all the fans of Russian armour in the Middle eastern colours. With the Tamiya’s Tiran 5 on the market now, this book is likely to provide all the reference information and inspiration needed to build this vehicle.
100 pages, 300 colour photographs and 6 colour plates guarantee that this book will not be missing on my bookshelf.
For more info check out AK Interactive page on facebook.
I couldn’t resist. Two weeks ago I have decided not to wait any longer and ordered the Meng’s D9R kit from Luckymodel. Having noticed that the price difference between the regular and speed delivery wasn’t that huge I went for the latter. And I was not disappointed. As promised, 3 days later big box from Hong Kong landed at my doorstep (compare that to the performance of Canada Post – it took 2 weeks to deliver letter from Port Elgin to Mississauga – 200kms! Pity.)
That’s perhaps the first thing you will notice, the box is larger than the usual model boxes. To understand why, you have to look inside. This thing is going to be big. Literally, having seen just parts will give you understanding the size of the mode. And wait, till you start putting them together.
Even the cursory check of the content and look at the sprues left me impressed. Quality of molding is first class. Details are sharp and crisp. Tiny things like storage box latches are extremely well done and even if any aftermarket producer will come out with photoetch replacements, I don’t believe they are going to be worth it.
For me this kit is special. It is the “put-everything-down-and-build-me” kit. I saw photos of the real machine long time ago in books. I jumped up when Vajra released it in resin, just to be cooled down by the price. Luckily I skipped Vajra’s offering.
I have already started building the model and must say this is complex kit. The way the kit builds is very well thought out and implies complicated molding of individual parts. You could worry about the fit given that complexity, but Meng did a great job. Fit of the part is Tamiya-class. There are still small gaps to fill and seam lines to clear, but the complexity of this kit is way beyond what Tamiya has ever done (maybe with the exception of FAMO trailer, but even this is still behind), so I am OK with it. Definitely not a build for a beginner or a weekend project. You will have to plan construction phase carefully as the model has quite a bit of interior, which is closed once completed and a lot of windows made of clear blocks have to be inserted into a plastic frames and you will not be able to do so after assembling the plastic parts, so you will either have to paint them in pieces first and then put together or do bit of masking.
There are reviews with a lot of pictures online already, so I only made few to illustrate the level of detail and finesse that I like. If you call yourself a modern armour fan, you should already have one (or have one ordered)…
The waiting is over… Meng broke the news today that they will be bringing FT-17 to market. The news could not be better. I was waiting for a decent kit of this tank for years, hoping to forget the old RPM kit. The fact that it is Meng who announced it, adds to the joy as the quality of their latest kits was superb.