Britain's most produced tank during WWII was the Vickers Valentine, representing a full 25% of all tanks built. The Valentine made its combat debut in Operation Crusader in North Africa, 1941 and production ended in 1944 after 8,275 were built. All but 30 of the 1,420 vehicles built in Canada were Lend-Leased to Russia, along with 2,394 of the British built Valentines. It is said that when offered replacements, Russian crews asked to keep their dependable Valentines. No wonder then, that the Ukraine model company, MiniArt, was the first to provide a truly state of the art model kit of the Valentine, with one version kitted specifically as one of the Valentines that served on the Eastern Front. MiniArt has marketed a few variations of the Valentine to capture the subtle differences between them. These are all new tooled models – they are not re-releases of the old Alan, VM or Maquette models. Every serious Armor modeler should have a Valentine in his collection.
Aires has added the late model Aces 2 ejection seat to their 1/72 aircraft accessory line. Aires doesn’t specify any kit for this one so it should fit in any model aircraft that would use the Aces 2 seat. I picked the Italeri F-15. They also include 2 seats so you can do either two single seats or one 2 seat aircraft.
This offering is a quality piece of resin; smooth, seamless and bubble free. The detail is very nice and is far superior to the kit seats, which usually are 3 pieces and have seams to fix. All that is needed to install the seat is to remove the molding block and install it with a drop of CA. Another added plus for this set is that the seatbelts and other detail are included as a PE set.
I highly recommend this set if you want a superior looking kit, sometimes just adding a great looking seat in a kit really dresses it up. Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the chance to do this review.
This kit is an acknowledged reissue of a kit first issued in 1966. In those days, for you youngsters out there, the big thing was motorized kits, especially armor. Accuracy was not terribly important, as long as it looked cool squeaking its way across the carpet. Usually black, the rubber tracks were stretched around the running gear and off it went. This kit is that kit, minus the stamped metal gear box, motor(s), and wired control box (no RC, kids, just levers and wires).
The DShK 1938 (Degtyaryova-Shpagina Krupnokaliberny, “Degtyaryov-Shpagin Large-Calibre”) became the standard Soviet heavy machine gun of WWII. It fired 12.7x108mm cartridges (the West’s M2 .50 cal fired 12.7x107mm) fed by belt or box magazine. It was frequently deployed with a two-wheeled cart and a single armor shield (similar to that used by the Maxim) as well as on a tripod for anti-aircraft. It was mounted on GAZ trucks, on late war tank cupolas (IS-2, ISU-152) in tank turrets (i.e. T-40), and other vehicles and ships.
A modernized DShK 1938/46or DShKM version appeared post war, which looked much the same. The Soviet Union , Russia, People's Republic of China, Pakistan and Romania have manufactured the DShK which has appeared throughout the world. I recall in Vietnam it was called a “.51 cal.” as it fired a slightly larger round than our M2 (the rounds were not interchangeable), and was one of the weapons our vulnerable helicopters learned to respect.
Pavla has come out with a Bomb Bay and Wheel well set for the Hasegawa 1/72 S-3A Viking. When you first look at the Hasegawa kit you realize that the Bomb bay doors are molded in the closed position. This may be okay for the S-3B but the A model carried Torpedoes. After all it was a sub hunter, so who wouldn’t want a bomb bay?