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Merit International J2F-5 Duck

History: Grumman company in late 1929 developed a practical aircraft float that included a retractable wheel undercarriage. First tested on the Chance Vought O2U-1 biplane, it was then used in a design to meet the U.S. Navy requirements under the designation XJF-1. First flown on May 4, 1933 the XJF-1 was an equal span, staggered wing single-bay biplane with a metal fuselage and fabric covered metal wings. Its single step float was faired into the fuselage and the wheels retracted into recesses in the sides of the float. Space was provided in the fairing between the float and fuselage for wireless and photographic equipment or for a stretcher. It was powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-1535-62 Wasp engine and the success of the initial trials resulted in an order from the Navy for twenty-seven production aircraft under the designation JF-1.

The JF-1 differed from the prototype in having an R-1830-62 engine rated at 950 hp. The first Navy unit to receive aircraft was VS-3 aboard the U.S.S. Lexington which received eighteen of them, using them for photographic, target tug, rescue and ambulance duties. Fourteen similar aircraft but powered by the Wright R-1820-102 Cyclone engine were supplied to the U.S. Coast Guard. under the designation JF-2. The U.S. Navy also acquired five Cyclone powered aircraft in 1935 as JF-3's.

As a successor to the JF series, Grumman evolved an improved version specifically for use from carriers and equipped with arrester gear and catapult points. Designated the J2F-1 and known popularly as the "Duck" the new model flew for the first time on June 25, 1935. Eighty-nine of this type were supplied to the Navy. The J2F-1 was powered by the R-1830-20 engine and weighed about one thousand pounds more than the JF-3 fully loaded. Tandem cockpits were provided for the pilot and observer and provision was made for accommodating two additional crew members in a lower compartment. The first armed version to be supplied to U.S. services was the J2F-2 with thirty delivered to the Marines. Twenty-one J2F-3's were supplied to the Navy with R-1820-36 engines featuring increased supercharging and thirty-nine J2F-4's for target towing duties followed in 1939-1940.

These completed production of the "Duck" until 1941 when orders were placed for a further 144 of the amphibians under the designation J2F-5. Several of these were diverted to the Coast Guard for air-sea rescue duties and one was delivered to the Air Force for evaluation as the OA-12. Grumman completed sixty-nine J2F-5's in 1941, delivering the remaining seventy-five in 1942 when production was transferred to the Columbia Aircraft Corporation. The Columbia built version designated J2F-6 featured some aerodynamic improvements including a long-chord cowling and production deliveries began in 1943 with thirteen aircraft, 198 being delivered in 1944 and 119 in 1945 before production was terminated. Total production of the "Duck" was 653 machines. In addition to the aforementioned tasks the J2F-6 could also serve as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft with two 325 pound depth bombs on under wing racks.

The kit:

Merit has ties with Trumpeter and Hobbyboss and this kit looks very much like a Trumpeter kit. The Merit kit comes in a sturdy two part tray type box with both the top and bottom made from corrugated cardboard. The box has an inner divider that provides a space to house the cowling which is on a separate sprue and the clear parts. The cowl is bagged separately from the clear parts which also have some protective foam wrapped around the sprue. Extra points for some careful packaging. Each sprue is separately bagged and everything in my kit survived delivery intact. The kit is molded in a gray color and the surface detail consists of some really fine recessed panel lines and rivet and fastener detail. The fasteners are slightly larger than the rivets and both are nothing like what is seen on some Trumpeter kits. The surface is matte and smooth with little or no flash to be seen. The mold separation lines are a bit heavier than I would like to see but not much different than seen on other main stream kits. The cockpit detail is adequate and not a lot of it will be seen through the small opening. The engine looks pretty good with separate intake and exhaust manifolds and a casting for the front with push rods. Some ignition wiring will set this off and make it look more complete. There are a few ejector pin marks but I found none that will show. I also did not find any obvious surface flaws. The propeller is a single piece casting which is a nice relief from all the multi part props that kit makers seem to like to use to boost the parts count. OK, lets look at the parts.

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To the Gates of Moscow with the 3rd Panzer Division

To the Gates of Moscow with the 3rd Panzer Division


Volume 2 of Luhftfahrtverrlag Starts Photographed by Soldiers, this is the diary of Dr. Herman Türk accompanied by his own photographs on the march into Russia over a period of a year.

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Tamiya/Italeri M107 Tamiya/Italeri M107

Tamiya/Italeri M107 Tamiya/Italeri M107

Full Build Review by: Tony Lee

Tamiya and Italeri have teamed up to reintroduce the M107 175mm Self-Propelled Gun from the Vietnam war era.
Tamiya claims to have updated Italeri's kit with more details,improved parts fit,softer band tracks that can be cemented and painted. Tamiya also included three figures and accessories such as a M16A1,two M60 machine guns,a folding table and chairs plus three folding cots and more.
Markings for two U.S. Army units:
Army 2nd Battalion,32nd Field Artillery Regiment,Vietnam 1969
Army 7th Battalion,15th Field Artillery Regiment,Vietnam 1969

I've not built the older Italeri kit but Sherman is building one for the Uncle Tony's SPG campaign
and those that would like to compare the two kits may do so.

Looking over the Tamiya sprues this morning it appears the detail is crisper and knock out punch marks are shallower and easier to deal with if need be plus I didn't find a single sink mark anywhere.

OK People Lets Roll


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Nuts and Bolts Volume 37: Panzerjäger IV, Part 1: - L/48 (Sd.Kfz.162)

Nuts and Bolts Volume 37: Panzerjäger IV, Part 1: - L/48 (Sd.Kfz.162) is the newest tome from the Nuts and Bolts team. It covers one of my favourite vehicles of WWII, the Gudrian Duck.


This volume includes the early versions of Panzerjäger IV chassis No. V2 to the leichte Panzerjäger IV with the 7.5 cm Pak 39 L/48 with the rest of the story being covered in Volume 38.

Read more: Nuts and Bolts Volume 37: Panzerjäger IV, Part 1: - L/48 (Sd.Kfz.162)

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Nov 1st we will be holding Call To Arms III to fight cancer. For any one who may not know we originally had a Call To Arms for one of our members John Marcus. It was to raise funds to send to the Australian Cancer Society on his behalf. Unfortunately Johns Cancer was very nasty and in less than a year he passed away, not seeing the end of the campaign. We all have stories to tell and every single one of us has had experience with cancer either personally or through one of our friends or family. CTA III is meant as a way to fight this insidious disease by building a model.  It will run from Nov 1st this year till Feb 28 next year. It will cost to play and all funds collected will go to Cancer Research in the U.S.A this time. Our own Duke Maddog is currently fighting the fight and he will be our Patron for this CTA.
We ask that every one please consider joining or donating to this worthy event so that we can do our part to stamp out this nasty disease sooner rather than later.
Everyone knows someone who has been effected or is currently fighting for their lives or the lives of a loved one. Lets use our hobby to do our part in fighting this cursed enemy.

We have a number of Sponsors to make this a great event and we hope you will join in. Let me welcome the following and thank them for their gracious donations.

Last Cavalry

Fun Dekals


Tan Models

 Badger Airbrush


 Masterpoiece Models



FC Model Tips

New Tiger Model Design






Check back for more Sponsors and links to their site. We at Modelers Alliance thank all our donators and Sponsors for helping to make this a great and successful event.

Don;t forget to mark November First on your Calender's.

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