Friday, 13 September 2013

Hip to be square: Italeri/Fabbri 1/100 Mil Mi-8 review

Used by soldiers, spooks and warlords the world over, Mil's Mi-8 Hip is probably the world's most produced helicopter (although Bell's Huey is another contender for the title if the whole 204/205/212/214 family is included). Yet, much like the CH-47 Chinook, it is not very well represented in 1/100 scale.

QRF make two resin and white metal models in their modern 15mm range: the Mi-8TV Hip C armed transport and the Mi-8TVK Hip E attack variant. While I own neither, I do have a few of the 1/100 diecast Hips released by Italeri/Fabbri a while back. These were made in two civilian liveries: an Aeroflot one or a Maldives-based Hummingbird Helicopter one and I can heartily recommend them although they are sadly getting harder to find at reasonable prices.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Imperial Rover: QRF 15mm Landrover Series II review

Way back when I was a wee lad (well, actually it was more like ten years ago), I bought some QRF 15mm LWB Landrovers which had formerly been part of the Denzil Skinner range and a while back I enquired as to whether this model which had disappeared from the QRF website was still available for purchase as I fancied adding a quartet of them to my (very) slowly growing Imperial Twilight in Africa forces.

After rummaging through what I presume are mountains of moulds in QRF GHQ, they managed to find the ex-DS mould, pop it into the casting machine and include them in my next order which is great testimony to the excellent customer service from Chas and Geoff.

Unlike QRF's PBS10 and Peter Pig's model which are 1970s versions, this long wheelbase Land Rover is a Series II or IIA vehicle (with the headlights on the front grille rather than on the front wings as in the later Series III) as produced from 1958 to 1969 and thus more suitable for the Congo, Rhodesia and Portugal's waning colonial empire.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Helmand workhorse: QRF 15mm Pinzgauer truck mini review

Along with the WMIKs and Snatch Landrovers, the Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer truck is one of the iconic vehicles of the early days of British operations in Helmand province and QRF happens to have a very nice one in its British softskin range.

The diminutive Pinz is a very simple model with only six parts: four wheels, a truck body and a tilt. It is nicely detailed with a well-captured shape and casting quality is pretty good with very litlle cleaning up required.

Being modelled with a separate tilt makes it possible to portray a stripped-down vehicle simply by adding a wire-cutting bar and the canvas supports from plasticard. 

All in all, this is a very nice little model, and the photo on QRF's website doesn't do it justice.