The IXO/Altaya Bombers Collection

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Re: The IXO/ALTaya Bombers Collection

Postby smeg1959 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:09

Moresby,

Totally agree regarding the Emily. The only aircraft model I ever had that came close in the rivets' stakes was one of those terrible Starfix kits from Israel that did the rounds in the 70's. The Chi-Ha did have sizeable rivets but I reckon that ones on the Emily would be too large even for a 1/35 scale Type 97! Definitely stick with either the old ARII kit or Algernon/Cafe-Reo trading mini.

The Wimpy (Wellington) is not too bad, but mine has suffered some form of botch-up with the paint finish (IXO's, not mine) on one of the wings. On the positive side, the lower regions are black, unlike the Bomber Command variant of the Halifax, which is decidely dark grey. I'd noticed the dark earth faux pas on the Coastal Command Halifax, too, and I cannot find any reference to a He111 (or anything else in the Luftwaffe) having an RLM Grau/Dunkelgrun splinter pattern like that on the Altaya effort.

Still, if my Atlas Editions' Hampden and C-46 Commando are anything to go by, the overall quality is better than that exhibited on some Atlas releases. :roll:
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Re: The IXO/ALTaya Bombers Collection

Postby Russ » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:36

smeg1959 wrote:Moresby,


Still, if my Atlas Editions' Hampden and C-46 Commando are anything to go by, the overall quality is better than that exhibited on some Atlas releases. :roll:


Yes indeed, the old Atlas SB2/SB-RK was a real piece of work that had to be done. The lack of decals of russian marks was understandable as the model was a Spanish Insurgent forces machine with a red and yellow bands marking, but the paints were actually a metallic or metalflake finish of bronze brown and medium green, colors more at home on a dragster or a custom hotrod. So the kit was sanded to bare metal and primed with automotive spray after the horrendous mid fuselage lateral open seam and the screw holes were filled. Same treatment for the DB-3 kit too, along with more landing gear details and some better weapons and canopy painting.

Russ
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Waiting for the Third Batch post...

Postby moresby » Mon Jun 21, 2010 19:20

Here is my IXO/Altaya He-111 after repainting, detailing and weathering.
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I have vacformed a dorsal turret and added exhaust flame dampeners; now I have a 1/144 Heinkel 111 h-20 (I didn't want to bother with removing the two attached bombs , otherwise I could have tried a V-1 launcher He-111 H-22).
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Re: The IXO/ALTaya Bombers Collection

Postby bluedonkey99 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 21:32

Moresby,
Lookw much better painted as you havem and nice composition on the dio.
I hope you don mind me "aging" your photo?
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Re: The IXO/ALTaya Bombers Collection

Postby smeg1959 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 13:58

Nice work on the 111, Moresby. The turreted H-20 adds a bit of variety as we're pretty much inundated with H-6's in 1/144 scale. I remember that one of the early 111 releases in 1/72 scale was Airfix's H-20 and the company was canned for picking this less common variant over a H-3 or H-6! Personally, I'd love to see some enterprising company do an earlier variant, like the E-1's that were used in the Spanish Civil War. It's's a pity that IXO doesn't look like doing the 111's early stablemate, the Ju86, as originally reported to be in the Altaya releases.

Oh and check out Altaya France's latest release, No. 64 (http://www.altaya.fr/ficha.php?id=130&pagina=13#enl). The second Wimpy is finished in Coastal Command colours and, you guessed it, we have dark earth (or some other shade of brown) substituted for the Ocean Grey again, just like the original Halifax! :?
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Re: The IXO/ALTaya Bombers Collection

Postby moresby » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:21

Liore et Olivier LeO 451

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I’m not an expert of l’Armee de L’Air, but colour scheme looks right (the grey areas should be darker, perhaps): from the white arrows, I’d say the model represents a post-armistice bomber. The 20mm dorsal gun has two strange side barrels (added lmg?). Negative panel lines on fuselage, positive (not too heavy) lines on wings. Remember to add a few fuselage windows details, and retouch a few frames (nose, cockpit). Once cured the ‘depressed wing syndrome’ (see my second post in this thread), you get a fine model: if you go weathering, note how a lot of those planes had a very poor paintjob: lots of scraping with bare metal showing, almost Japanese-style (see below at the Betty post).
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Junkers Ju 290

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Boy, this guy is big. It’s as large as the B-29, but its fuselage is wider and huger. It’s one of the times you’re happy to have started a 1/144 collection: I wouldn’t know where to put this baby if it were 1/72. It’s an aircraft I don’t know very much -and have seen even less pictures and drawings- of; it didn’t have a significant operational history and wasn’t produced in large numbers. I also believe we have the only 1/144 Ju-290 here.
From all sources found, the model looks correct; fuselage windows have been reproduced by decals and once the usual filling and retouching has been done there isn’t very much to do except sitting and watching this strange bird just hatched from the blister. Unless...
...of course there is the radar array: they were a outstanding feature of this plane’s nose (see here http://www.atlantikpirat.proforums.org/ ... .php?t=214); someone should produce a photoetched set (not forgetting the small underwing radar aerials). I might try something with sprue but I’m aftraid it would be a nightmare not worth the result. My model hasn’t received any intervention yet and is still in pristine IXO/Altaya condition.
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Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty'

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A fine model, with (acceptably) riveted panel lines: all defensive positions are closed, only tail 20mm gun is in its place. Minor camouflage gaps (engine nacelles, cockpit frames, lower left fuselage, under cockpit) need retouching with IJN Green or Brown. There is no detail for the aiming glass panel under the fuselage, just behind the nose: use glossy black paint to simulate it. Have fun weathering and especially scraping; many Bettys and Nells seemed to have gone through a half-hearted paint- removing job by their ground crews.
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Boeing B-29A Superfortress

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Gentlemen, here we have the notorious Enola Gay: this means this is not a standard B-29, and all gun turrets are faired over. If you aren’t going to display this model on its stand, it will correctly stay on its nose wheel. It’s another natural metal model: if you want to fill gaps and seams, you’ll need airbrush work to blend your reworked parts with the rest of your model: and even if you don’t care about filling, there is the d#@]§d decal blunder: there is one Star-and-Bars where there should be none (right wing upper surface); this is somehow balanced by the absence of a national insigna under left wing. Getting a proper decal for the missing position isn’t too difficult, but removing the unwanted one is another story. I tried with an escalation of water (cold at first, then lukewarm, ending with boiling hot), soap, alcohol, solvents, sellotape, and finally very fine grained sandpaper. In the end the decal was gone and yes, of course, the paint got scraped. When airbrushing (you’d need a full replacement decal set if going to repaint the whole model) try to mask areas following panel lines. Again there are a few transparent panels to paint glossy black (tail gunner windows). You may want to add a few aerial detail (use photo and drawings for reference).
Final result is a big, shiny model, with recessed panel lines.
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Junkers Ju-88a4 Scnellbomber

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I have been getting my De Agostini models through a sort of subscription where I committed myself to buy all models in the same newspapers kiosk (I can stop this –and I just have, after I got #50). One Saturday morning last year, the delivery guy swapped orders and my IXO Ju-88 got a extra round-the-city day ride. Trouble is it was sitting under a huge pile of newspapers stacks: when it made back to my newspaper kiosk, the landing gear had collapsed, one engine had broken free and tailplanes were angled funny. So I sent it back (without paying of course): this explains why I’m unable to provide you with a first hand recension of this model.

I asked –and never got- a replacement, then settled for a double Ju-188 (meanwhile I had got the Ju-88 Miniart kit and also one of the F-Toys): my double Ju-188 should be used for my Ju-88G project (by the way, plastic BMW engine nacelles are easy, but is there anyone to suggest me a safe way to saw off the tail section from a metal model?), but this is another story. From pictures seen on the web, I’d say the IXO Ju-88 needs repainting in the engine nacelles area (they must be from separate plastic parts and do not blend with the camouflage scheme) and cockpit frames (they look painted grey).
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Pics are from kampfgruppe144.com/CompareAIR144_01_Ju-88.htm.
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Waiting for the fourth batch post...

Postby moresby » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:19

...here are the three 3rd batch models I have already tinkered with.
As in a few already posted pics, the sky has been photoshop retouched (you can see it before photoshop in the Betty and B-29 photos).
And it's me blowing on propellers in the Enola Gay pic (no motorization, no photo editing) 8-) .

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Re: The IXO/Altaya Bombers Collection

Postby Russ » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:39

Don't know why, and maybe its a preference, but those silver nose glazing panels on the G4m Betty are just too artificial looking. Compare those with the French LeO or the B-29 with black colored side windows. It just seems that glossy black is the more real looking window and silver is not. Its a nitpick item to be sure, but many of these kits go to great lengths to look real, so just one item can really stick out. I know some builders do prefer silver or a light blue, or even a medium blue, so I expect debate potentially here. :|

Russ

BTW - thanks for all of these articles. Besides giving newer collectors a chance at some close up pictures and some info on the drawbacks, but also some really nice examples of some simple weathering and detailing for these models. Well done! :D
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The Fourth Batch

Postby moresby » Wed Jun 30, 2010 14:41

Short Stirling

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I’m not a Stirling expert, but I believe we have here one of the best model of the series, if not the best, as it couples a good-quality, faultless model with a correct color scheme: very fine engraved panel detail, standard RAF night bomber camouflage -even slightly soft-edged in places- it seems from a different planet, really light years away from the one who spawned the Emily. If you really must find something to criticize, you might say the undersurfaces black is a bit on the dark grey side, and cockpit frames do not match the camouflage scheme. Jolly roger is a late production Stirling (one with a modern-looking dorsal turret, not like the one you may remember from the old Airfix 1/72 kit). After this one, a second MkIII has been announced but no detail of its look have been made available yet.
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Junkers Ju-52 3m

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Air assault on Crete! As I have already said, the corrugated alluminium skin (a Junkers trade mark since WWI) has been bidimensionally reproduced with a decal. General effect is surprisingly good (even if undersurfaces look a bit too dark), but forget any idea of repainting this model. Fuselage windows are reproduced with a white decal. With a bit of retouching and detail enhancing (especially around engines areas) you’ll have an acceptable 1/144 Tante Ju sitting on your desk which won’t have you missing the Eduard one too much..
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Piaggio p-108

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Another less known subject (like the Ju-290) and another unique in 1/144. Watch those bizarre outer engine turrets, the nose gun and the ‘tipo Wellington’ engine exhaust dampeners (Italians copied them from a crashed Wimpy). The fuselage windows are reproduced in white and have no frame detail. Starboard engine interiors are black while the board ones are left in undersurface colour. I had a second model delivered for a friend of mine at my newspaper kiosk and its wingtips were turned downwards. Back home I checked my P-108 and noticed the same fault (even if less evident); I have spotted it on websites pictures too: you may be more or less lucky with your model but I’m afraid the defect will be there. Wings are in plastic, but it won’t be easy to bend them back to correct shape: underwing surfaces also have a ugly assembly conjunction line interrupting ailerons and flaps lines, so I’m considering something more radical: sawing wingtips off, repositioning them correctly, filling, sanding everything and repainting my model in a night intruder scheme. A P-108A (A stands for Artigliere = Artilleryman, the only 105mm-gun equipped prototype) was announced in the French Site as #59, but it's actually the second He-177 offer.
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Martin B-26 Marauder

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Our model represents QQQQ, an England based B-26c early 1944 (no invasion stripes yet). The model is correct, doesn’t sit on its tail, has engraved panel lines and only need the usual retouching (engine nacelles interiors and air intakes plus the fuselage windows, just in front of wings leading edges). The Minicraft kit offers a bit more detail in the engine cowling area but less wing and fuselage panel lines; it also has the four fixed MGs ‘built’ in the fuselage halves. The second, post-#50, offer will be a NM bomber but my IXO B-26’s has an Olive Drab livery and looks a bit pale: this is acceptable for a not-factory-fresh plane, especially in 1/144, and thus is an open invite to weathering my Marauder - which I gladly did as usual.
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Blohm & Voss BW 222 Wiking

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This is one of those subjects expected to be found in the Anigrand range: I thought Ju 290 was huge, but here we have the largest model of the entire series (look at the me-109 close to it!). The model has engraved panel lines and comes in a Darkgrun/Schwartzgrun livery with added winter camouflage white areas (the white has a certain creamy nuance): this is the same option offered by Revell for its 1/72 kit. Googling BV 222 images you’ll find a nice article featuring an expertly assembled and painted 1/72 Viking; it can be used to easily find detail suggestions and spotting points in need of corrections. This time IXO has made an attempt at reproducing the radar arrays but only the support braces are present (and are oversized, of course). The main correction effort will be repainting the lower fuselage area; there is an evident blunder in the tail section of the plastic underfuselage insert where the dark green and black green areas are clearly inverted. Also, according to Revell (I haven’t been able to find a photo source) the undersurfaces light blue should extend up to the splinter camouflage edge.
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Waiting for the fifth batch post...

Postby moresby » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:00

Here are the three 4th batch models I have already worked on:

Martin B-26C Marauder (weathering). IXO/Altaya models may have faults, but their propellers do spin under the faintest breeze!

Piaggio p-108. Wingtips fixed, partial repaint and modifies: this is one of the later series planes (nose gun position faired, exhaust flame dampeners moved under engines) in the 'night intruder' livery (night black undersurfaces, blackened Savoia Cross and rear fuselage theater identification band). These planes tried to bomb Algerian ports after the Torch landings.

Junkers Ju-52 3m: weathering and tail insigna.

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