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Sturmgeschutz III On The Battlefield 4

Sturmgeschutz III On The Battlefield 4

The latest volume of the World War II Photobook Series by Matyas Panczel is out, featuring the Sturmgeschutz III. At 110 pages of clear black and white photos and descriptions of unusual subjects, this is a must have reference for fans of the German SPG. Text is in English and Hungarian and the book is laid out in landscape format, making it easy to use at the bench.






I purchased mine from Amazon for around $33USD, other sources carry it as well. There are twelve volumes in the series, ranging in subjects from World War II.

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Jagdpanzer IV, Part 2 - L/70 (Sd.Kfz.162/1) (Vomag & Alkett)

The newest Nuts and Bolts vol 28 is now available.


This is the second part for the Jagdpanzer IV covering the L/70 (Sd.Kfz.162/1) (Vomag & Alkett), I reviewed Part 1 here.

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Bobcat 1/48 Yak-28P

Bobcat 1/48 Yak-28P

Before starting a couple of things, first Bobcat, ohh noo another Chinese kit maker, well sort of, it seems that Bobcat is a reincarnated Xuntong Model. At least it's easier to pronounce. After turning out a couple of kits Xuntong all but disappeared. Looking at the packaging and the instructions it's easy to see the linage. That said it appears that this kit has a finer level of execution, panel lines are smaller and detail more petite. The mold maker company name and address has changed but it is still in the same city and province in China so I assume it was some sort of reorganization.

Secondly I'm am no expert on the Yak-28 series of aircraft nor do I have any good references. Therefore I will not be critiquing the kit for accuracy or things that the manufacturer did not do right. If anyone wishes to do so, be my guest but my review will limit itself to reviewing the kit from an execution standpoint.

A brief history: The Yak-28P is an all weather interceptor of the Yak-28 family. It was developed from 1960 and deployed operationally from 1964. 443 were produced between 1962 and 1967. The Yak-28P omitted the internal bomb bay to allow for a larger fuel capacity. Interception radar was added. Generally armed with two medium range K-98 air-to-air missiles and two short range K-13A air-to-air missiles, the Yak-28P was able to destroy low to medium altitude targets such as bombers and surveillance aircraft. The Yak-28P was the last Yakolev aircraft that served in the Soviet Air Force. The Yak-28P was withdrawn in the mid 1980s and replaced by the Sukhoi Su-15.

The kit...

The Bobcat Yak-28P comes is a large top open tray type box made entirely of thin corrugated cardboard resulting in a nice sturdy container. While it's a bit over sized the largest sprue just fits within the confines of the box. Inside the box are five sprues molded in gray, each one in a resealable bag. There is also one bag with clear parts and one that has an alternative nose piece in it. The decals are in a separate plastic sleeve.

The parts are cleanly molded with only a few hints of flash and mold separation lines on parts are light. The parts have a smooth matte finish and surface detail consists of fine recessed panel lines as well as recessed rivet and fastener detail. Rivets and fasteners are restrained and not over done and they vary in size as one might expect them to be depending on their purpose. There are some very delicately molded openings and raised details where appropriate. There are some antennas molded to one half of the fuselage and on one of the wings that will probably get broken off during assembly. I hate when they do that. Looking over the main air frame parts I did not find any noticeable flaws or defects. As near as I can tell most of the ejector pin marks have been kept out of visible areas.

Detail wise starting with the cockpit, it looks pretty busy to me The pilots instrument panel has recessed instruments with internal indicators and raised knobs and switches. The rear seat panel has raised bezels on the instruments with internal pointers and raised internal detail. The excerpt from the manual below shows the assembly. There are no harnesses for the bang seats.


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Forgotten Archives 2

Forgotten Archives 2: The Lost Signal Corps Photos.


Having reviewed the first volume of this series by Panzerwrecks, I was exceptionally happy to find the second volume in my mail box. What a treasure trove of interesting pictures and history it provides,  care of those unsung members of the Armed Forces who captured the war and the detritus left over from intense action. Whether in action or after the fact they documented the war and its many facets for the intelligence community, posterity, and for consumption by the general public.

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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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