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Zvezda Pe-2 Soviet Dive Bomber 1:48

Zvezda Pe-2 Soviet Dive Bomber



The Petlyakov Pe-2 history begins with a requirement for a high altitude bomber interceptor, the result of which was a twin engine monoplane with a pressurized cabin and a crew of two classified as the VI-100. The prototype was completed in early 1939 but before flight-testing could begin a change in policy brought the cancellation of the high altitude fighter requirement. In its place, Petlyakov was called upon to produce a high altitude bomber. Much of the effort put into the VI-100 was used for the high altitude bomber but before the prototype could be completed, yet another policy change, still in 1939, was made to scrap the high altitude bomber in favor of a dive-bomber. Much of the reason for all of these changes was the result of experiences during the Spanish Civil War. Another factor was that following the signing of the non aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union representatives from the Soviet Union were allowed to tour some of the German aircraft plants and one thing they took away from this was the Germany had no high altitude bombers in production. This change brought about a change in designation to PB-100. Since there was no longer a requirement for high altitude performance, Petlyakov dispensed with both the turbo-superchargers and pressurized cabin planned for the VI-100. This was made all the more difficult due to Petlyakov being imprisoned at hte time by Stalin for supposedly delaying completion of the Pe-8 four engine bomber. So the changes were made while being incarcerated. Once the plane had flown successfully Petlyakov was released from prison and the designation was changed to Pe-2.

The test program found the Pe-2 to handle satisfactorily and was stable in its dive bombing performance. Dive recovery was initiated by means of an automatic electromechanical operated device. The Pe-2 was also an extremely rugged aircraft with a safety factor of eleven. It also had a good turning radius that rivaled the new fighters then being tested and with a maximum speed of 540km/h the Pe-2 out flew many of the fighters then in service. By the time of the German invasion 458 planes were already in service. The Pe-2 was produced throughout the war and its appearance changed numerous times due to continuous improvement. After the early series of airframes a modernized version replaced the original hand held machine gun with a rotating turret in the rear portion of the cockpit and more powerful engines were installed. Late variants of the Pe-2 took part in all offensive actions during the last phases of the war, including the Battle of Berlin. By wars end somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,400 had been produced.

The Kit...

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Airfix 1/72 Shackleton MR.2

History: Since there is considerable information available online I'm not going to go into great depth here. For additional reading see the references listing near the end of the review. The Shackleton design was a direct descendant of the Avro Lincoln which itself was a direct descendant of the wartime Lancaster. It used the same wings and undercarriage as the Lincoln but featured a shortened fuselage, Griffon engines and six-bladed contra-rotating propellers. The tail unit was redesigned and although following the Lincoln in having twin fins and rudders these were larger in overall dimensions and the tail plane was moved to a higher position on the rear fuselage. The prototype flew in March of 1949.

The first batch of 29 were delivered in the 1950-51 period. The second production batch of 38 aircraft were modified to take Griffon 57A engines in the outer nacelles and were designated MR. 1A. Although the MR. 1 had a trouble free entry into service there soon appeared a number of areas for improvement. The radar scanner under the nose was not efficiently placed and was vulnerable to bird strikes. The sound proofing in the crew compartment aft of the cockpit left a lot to be desired. Long patrols and the need to wear headsets constantly in order to communicate with the rest of the crew plus the dull atmosphere of the matte black interior led to crew inefficiencies. The Shackleton throughout its career was always known as a noisy aircraft but this was far worse on the early versions.

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Bronco Buffalo 6x6 MPC

Bronco Buffalo 6x6 MPC


To start with I chose this kit because of the lack of slat armor ( aka bird cage ) I feel that the slat armor decreases the wow factor of the vehicle and obscures detail.
As for detail this kit is lacking none on that front. It comes in the traditional sturdy Bronco box. There are 15 sprues and two major body components.

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AFV CLUB 1/35 Bussing-NAG 4500A

AFV CLUB 1/35 Bussing-NAG 4500A

This is a kit that i had been waiting for for 25 years, literally!
When AFV Club announced this release I was really excited and bought one........and I wasn't disappointed.
Plenty of plain versions of this type of German truck have been done over the last couple of years but everybody steered clear of this version for some reason - which I can't understand as i believe that this was the most wanted version, being the classic crane that you see lifting the engine from Tiger 1's.
This kit is the perfect companion to a German tank in a workshop dio scene or fix-up mechanical dio.

The Kit.
1 PE Sheet
rubber caps and string.
1x decal sheet.
Rubber tyres
1x free picture of the coverart. (nice touch AFV!)
Instruction book is very nicely packaged being on 28 glossy pages with 3 color schemes included 2 being grey and one in yellow and green.
The sprues are molded in basic dark yellow and all parts are very crisp with exceptional detail. One in particular is the on-board storage/toolbox which is full of detail and covered in beautifully rendered nuts and bolts. The crane is also a 'piece of art'having much external bolt detail, handles , mechanisms and such to entice the modeler and seduce his will.
Please take some time to review the pictures of this outstanding piece of plastic 'porn'.





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Airfix Armstrong Whitworth Whitley MK.V

The new Airfix Armstrong Whitworth Whitley MK.V

I was pleased to find this brand new Airfix kit while visiting The Augusta , GA. HobbyTown.


Price, $ 37:00 which seems about the range expected for this kit .

Here are some brief snippets of the first RAF bomber to fly over German held territory

The Whitley's first operations of the war ironically were not to drop bombs on German targets, but leaflets, and these duties continued well into 1940. The first bombing raids on Germany were made in May by Nos 77 and 102 Squadron from Driffield.

Because of its better range, the Whitleys were used on some of the longest-range sorties in the early years, with the raid on the Skoda factory in Czechoslovakia (a return trip of almost 1,500 miles, much of the outward leg being flown over enemy territory in daylight). Many famous bomber pilots cut their teeth on ops with Whitleys.

Airfix did provide a proper box . Not the most pleasing box art but a fair representation.

The total of the plastic is in a large bag . Some companies now supply bags for every sprue to keep the plastic from getting scuffed in shipping.

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