Friday, February 28, 2014

Heller Airfix AMD Dassault MIRAGE 2000 1/72 Model Kit Review Jet Aircraft

Happy carnival to everybody! today we'll celebrate along the Mirage 2000 (an aircraft still in use with many air forces of the world) of Heller;

Boxes; The first box is good and looks modern, but the jet gives a rather chunky impression. The Heller Humbrol is very interesting, as it seems the drawing of a model kit! the last, the Airfix one, which is the one I bought, gives a nice sense of speed. 

THE KIT - 7.5

It's not a bad kit, being made in 1979 is quite good. And probably if you build the original Heller release, everything will fit quite nicely, instead, in the Airfix version you have to sand a bit here and there to make pieces fit, nothing too important but present.

The worst flaws comes with the machine guns under the pilot, which are, to put it simply, missing. You are forced to believe they exist inside the small holes, but in truth they stick out and should be seen. Besides this, the undercarriage lights are a joke of a part, being just two transparent squares together, when the real thing has no similarities.

Finally, the undercarriage is very fragile and quite unaccurate too. It is one of those models to build in flying position.

But everything is not bad. It has nice panelling engravings, the cockpits fits very nicely and is very detailed, and with a good sense of sanding you won't need to use putty to fill gaps.


Having been substituted by kits of the other Mirage versions, this kit is now quite cheap on selling platforms like eBay. 


Nowadays this kit is just a cheap alternative to the Italeri one, much better detailed and made all around, just a bit more expensive. In my case, I bought it along other kits in a lot and I decided to keep it and build it, as I always wanted to have a Mirage, although my favourite period is WW2.

So if you really want a Mirage 2000, get the Italeri. If like me you are just slightly interested on the subject, the Heller one is good enough, or maybe, as the Mirage has quite a lot of interesting camo schemes, the way of making without spending so much or just for a change.

If you have enjoyed this review and want to say thanks, the best way is to click in one of the advertisings in the blog. Every little help will be appreciated. 
This is the example I built, I went for the most colourful and weird "camo", this tiger camo was used by the NATO. Note that I included an Atlantic figure as pilot, as the kit doesn't provide one.;

And yes, this camo does exist, here is the proof :) ;

Here you can get inspiration on other builds, gathered from the net;

Thanks for reading, and see you in the next battle!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Airfix KAMOV KA-25 "HORMONE" A/C 1:72 Review Model Kit Anti-Submarine Patrol Helicopter MPC

Welcome as each friday to my model kit and soldier reviews! we continue on the russian themes and today I'll speak about the Kamov of Airfix;

Boxes; There is many reasons to buy a specific model kit, but in this case I bought basically for the appeal of the first box. I didn't knew anything about this helicopter, not even that it existed, but the completed model in the first box convinced me. If you look carefully, it is not exceptionally well made, but you see clearly the strange shapes and design it has. The MPC (it is exactly as the airfix 1st release but with new decals) box is more detailed, but it just looks like another random modern helicopter (in my eyes of WW2 collector!). The third one you could say the same that the first (it includes new parts, as well as the last one). Finally, the last one is an attempt to make it look more modern, but it fails to do so and it gives a very dull appearance.

P.S: Apparently, SK Model has copied or used under license the moulds of Airfix (of the Hormone B version). About the box, it is nicely painted but looks weird and quite different to the real thing.

THE KIT - 7.0

It is an average Airfix kit of his age (that is, 1983, when this helicopter was still quite secret, so Airfix made a good job with accuracy). It isn't a kit too complicated, perhaps the most tricky thing is building the rotors, as the pieces don't fit well until you have sanded them.

The worst thing about the model was undoubtedly, the windows. They all had a small cavity, ruining all of them (except the front cockpit, thank god) so I had to substitute them all for clear plastic. Till what point this is just a lack of plastic in just some specific examples I don't know, but I suspect it is something generalized, as in the built model in the first box, the middle window and the one in the nose has a bit of cavity. 

Besides this, the other bad thing is the moulding mark on top of the air intakes, which looks very ugly (in my built model kit, I didn't sand it enough). Also, the plate with the air intakes don't fit smoothly with the rest of the cowling, it is too small (I don't know how in the box it looks so well, maybe it was the prototype or they put so much glossy paint that it blended it nicely).

You can build the version A (rescue) or B (navy). (in my case, I built the rescue version but with the missile launcher instead of the lights and the radar in the back).

You will have to sand many things in this kit, and the floats is the better example of it. You have to hugely sand them to get the wheels touching the floor. 


Most Airfix kits are cheap, and this is not a exception. You can get it very easily on eBay, as it is a strange looking aircraft, and is not from WW2 nor any major conflict, it doesn't attract much interest on the whole. 


It is apparently, the only kit released of this helicopter. Just the fact that it is a twin rotor counter-rotatory helicopter, makes it worth of having a place in any model kit collection, just for his uniqueness, and also by his "auxiliary" floats on each wheel. I collect very few modern air kits, but this one stole my heart for it's strange appearance and cold war style. 

If you have enjoyed this review and want to say thanks, the best way is to click in one of the advertisings in the blog. Every little help will be appreciated. 
This is the Kamov I built, I made the main door to open and close with a magnet inside, so the copter could carry Spetsnaz along, and I substituted the decals of the blades;

Here you can get inspiration on other builds, gathered from the net;

Thanks for reading, and see you in the next battle!

Friday, February 14, 2014

MODERN RUSSIAN PARATROOPERS SPETSNAZ Esci Italeri Soviet Special Forces 80s 1/72 review nÂș6169 Mars Afghanistan Wars

Hello again and be ready for my friday review, continuing with the Esci saga, the Russian Paratroopers Spetsnaz!;

Box;Firstly, the box leads to confusion. Are they paratroopers, or are they Spetsnaz? are they both? this means everybody is both paratrooper and Spetsnaz, or just a half and half? leaving aside the title, the artwork is nice and better than standard, although it will be much better for paratroopers than special forces such as the Spetsnaz.

Italeri has decided that they are indeed Spetsnaz (Russian Special Forces, equivalent to commandos or SAS), and has given them the new artwork, so very like the 1/35 ones, but nice all the same. 

Finally Mars in his copy gives us a unusual box, which seems from a bad 80s movie (I usually hate real pics on boxes, and this is no exception). Although I agree that in this artwork they seem more commandos and less paras, but they don't have anything to do with the contents inside. (attention to the painted figures, which most wear white sports shoes! certainly not very communist!)

THE FIGURES - 6.0 out of 10 - (50 figures, 15 poses)




Detail; 9.0
Pose Quality; 4.0
Anatomical proportions; 10.0
Funness; 3.0
Wargaming Value; 5.0
Historical Accuracy; 10.0

Well, first clarify something; Spetsnaz doesn't have a regular uniform, they just wear any uniform or combination they choose for the job, and they can wear any official or unofficial uniform. 

So let's judge them separately; for Paratroopers, they are just a bit dull, for Spetsnaz they are awfully boring. Really, I think that Esci meant this to be just Russian Modern Army, just a sort of a equivalent for the US modern infantry. Why not making a proper Russian Army? did the Warsaw Pact set fulfilled that role? not really.

If they were to be Spetsnaz, they should be doing all sort of exciting and undercover things, and the only pose that seems doing something of the sort is the crouched sniper. If they are to be paratroopers, at least one pose should be getting his chute, or ready to jump, or whatever Esci wanted to do with a man and a parachute. So thumbs down for funness.

And then we come to examine the figures, and no, I haven't repeated the image of the same man, there is actually 4 (!) poses gripping their gun to the air with berets and just moving along marching slightly. One is moving a bit faster, the other is completely still, and their weapons are slightly different. I call this the worst misuse of a pose in a set I have still seen. It was quite bad with the Vietcong set from Esci, but that was nothing compared to this.

Again we receive no prone man, and no grenade thrower, as in the US Modern Infantry. Neither operating a radio.

Let's continue on the bad. All men seem to be wearing a size less of uniform than the one they need, so although the anatomic proportions are perfect all uniforms seem that they have shrunk in the wash. 

Let's come on the good to brighten this gloomy review. We get 5 unique men, one of them actually writing something, one of the few soldiers to do it. We get a sniper, some anti tank weapons (the pose firing to the air is very good), there is no flash to speak of (but be alert, the Italeri reissue has missing the ends of various machine guns and this can be annoying),  and you get 50 men.

"The army representation score is the potential of the soldiers to be used for other purposes different to the one originally intended"

They can be very easily used to represent other paratroopers from other Soviet/Communist countries, or they could be used as Marine troops with some modifications.


"The price value ratio of this soldiers will vary between every shop you go, and the best I can do is judge by their average price on eBay and online stores"

Quite good for 50 soldiers, and you can always get some second hand ones from Esci at very reasonable prices.


Disappointing, for those looking for lively figures. Good if you just want a Russian Army for Afghanistan. But so much more could be done, and they are a bit too similar in poses to other Esci sets. Still, even the failure of Esci can look quite good and decent in modern days.

Conclusion; Lacking style and force, it just covers what is asked for. 

Scroll down to see the painted figures;

If you have enjoyed this review and want to say thanks, the best way is to click in one of the advertisings in the blog. Every little help will be appreciated. 


If you have painted these figures I would love to include them in this blog. Send a email to tam_cob@hotmail.com.

Soldiers painted by myself in five different styles;

Here you can get inspiration on other painted sets gathered from the net;

Thanks for reading, and see you in the next battle!