When initially opening the kit you are greeted with this note: ‘This product can be assembled without having to glue but usage of proper glue is recommended for detailed parts.’ I find these instructions intended to entice younger modelers bit comical—as this Phantom model clearly requires the aid of glues of several types. With that caveat, it is a very easy-to-assemble kit and enjoyable kit to build. In keeping with these basic instructions, I have assembled this kit using almost no filler, aside from a very small amount of Perfect Plastic Putty (applying it using a very fine tooth pick to apply the filler).
This is at least the second in this as yet un-named series from Osprey. The first that I’m aware of was Spitfire by Tony Holmes published in the same hardback format in August 2015. This appears to be a ‘handy’ size book that is possibly derived from earlier books by Paul Crickmore on the SR-71 Blackbird. Paul Crickmore has quite a history photographing and writing about the Lockheed Blackbirds leaning on his time as an Air Traffic Controller in London. Following the termination of the SR-71 program, Paul Crickmore produced a very detailed book, Lockheed SR-71: The Secret Missions Exposed that won praise from the aviation press, SR-71 crews, and the late president of the Skunk Works, Ben Rich.
OK, this is not my first review of an Eduard 1/144 B.534. I reviewed the “early” version and now I get to review the “late” version. In the previous review I mentioned in the history that a B.534 flying with the Slovak uprising in October 1944 shot down a Hungarian Ju-52 transport. This was the last victory by a biplane ever. Well, this model is that airplane. The Avia B.534 began its career in 1934. At the time it was an advanced aircraft. By 1940 it was well into obsolescence. In August of 1943, Bulgarian B.534s were sent to intercept the B-24s on the Ploesti raid. They had neither the speed nor the altitude to reach the bombers. The decals for a Bulgarian B.534 are included in this kit.
Mr. Black Publications offers a very thorough and comprehensive series of books which feature “Figure Modelling”. This book is the 16th book in that series.
The book is not a Beginner’s Guide to Figure Painting, although there is much “foundation skills” information that is in the book. Rather, there are eight chapters, each featuring a specific subject, each with a different contributing author.
Each article is accompanied by a number of excellent photographs showing the project “in progress” and “completed”. A list of paints, brushes, primer, glue, and other materials used in the project are provided. This “shopping list” is something that I, as a rookie figure painter find extremely important. In each article, the author describes specific techniques such as base preparation, painting skin, armor, clothing, weapons, and “weathering”, or adding damage to the figure.
The Akagi is arguably the best known of Imperial Japan’s aircraft carriers. Like the American carriers Saratoga and Lexington, she was laid down as a battle cruiser, and then converted to carrier as a consequence of the Washington Naval Treaty. Commissioned in 1922, Akagi was Japan’s second aircraft carrier (after the diminutive Hosho). Initially built with three separate flight decks, Akagi was updated in the 1930s to handle larger and heavier aircraft. Gone were the three separate decks in favor of a single flight deck running the length of the ship, together with an island structure added to the port side.