Category Archives: Educational

100th Anniversary of the Tank

Dominating the battlefield for 100 years, the tank was initially designed to break the stalemate of trench warfare and provide infantry units with a mobile, armored base of fire that would give them a significant tactical advantage. Since that time, the tank has developed into an essential component of any integrated military force, whilst always challenging designers to find new ways of combining effective fire-power with greater speed and mobility – in the world of tank warfare, bigger is not always better.

First introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916, the tank was developed under the utmost secrecy for fear of alerting the Germans to these decisive new weapons.

Originally known as Landships, workers involved in their production were told that the vehicles were nothing more than mobile water tanks for use in the desert war. As military planners looked for a suitable code word for the new machines, the word tank was adopted.

As the tank developed, it would become a crucial component of German Blitzkrieg during WWII, as they perfected the use of fast moving armored vehicles to back up infantry assaults, following devastating aerial bombardment. Today’s tanks can trace their lineage back to the first British Mark I machines of the Somme Offensive and will still be found at the spearhead of any ground based military operation.

World War One replica tank placed in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this dreaded war hardware.

Academy Da Vinci Bridge

Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

Academy Da Vinci Bridge Model

Kit Highlights
  • Model of the arch bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci
  • Design uses a self-supporting arch concept to distribute weight through the full curve of the arch.
  • Replica of the oldest known arch bridge design
  • After assembly, place the bridge parts in the box
  • No glue or paint required
  • Pictoral instructions
  • MSRP: $21.99
  • Street Price: $16.99

This is another nice model kit offering from Academy Models. This time Academy features the famous arch bridge design from Leonardo Da Vinci in a wooden finish. As with all the kits from this series, it is molded in a way that won’t stress the plastic parts when snapped from the injection runners. The bridge can be built in 2 different ways under the same concept:

As a 4 sections bridge and a longer more challenging 6 section bridge. It is recommended that the model is built over a non-slippery surface to keep the ends of the model from getting apart under its own weight. This model was built by our friend Keivan and we clocked around 30 minutes building both versions.

Note from the Author

A great model kit for the curious model builder or next homework.

Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier for the review sample.

Academy Kayak Robot

The Kayak Robot is an educational kit powered by a motor that creates a reciprocating rowing motion. This movement in turn drives the paddles to propel the boat. It can run in bath tub , fish tank or other container. Easy to assemble, it needs no glue. The Robot Kayak demonstrates the principles of mechanical link and joint mechanisms. And it’s fun.

Academy Kayak Robot Model

Kit Highlights
  • Powered by a motorized mechanism that creates a reciprocating rowing movement
  • Demostrates principles of mechanical link and joint mechanisms
  • Helps develop creativity and concentration
  • Kayak display cradle included
  • Pre-assembled gearbox
  • Easy to assemble
  • No glue required
  • Illustrated Instructions
  • MSRP: $23.99
  • Street Price: $17.99

My good little friend Keivan actually built this model in the studio. About an hour with some minor help. This model kit needs no tools to be assembled but make sure you have a AA battery to see it in action. Not only the kit goes together without a hitch, but it also works at it is supposed to. It really does show the basic mechanics of rowing a canoe on water. Can be used in the tub but be aware that the electronics are exposed and they are not waterproof.

Note from the Author

The parts on the injection runners are designed to snap without causing much stress on them. So when they say no cutting tools needed Academy actually mean it.

Highly Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier for the review sample.

Lindberg U.S. Moon Ship

A flashback from 1958 comes the US Moon Ship. Released since then as the “Mars Probe Landing Module” and “Star Probe Space Shuttle”, this is a vintage Lindberg kit of a Dr. Werner von Braun inspired conceptual spacecraft. Rather than the sleek aerodynamic spacecraft designs of the time this ship foreshadowed the practical design of the NASA moon landers to come.

Kit Highlights
  • Scale: 1/96
  • Skill Level: 2 (ages 10 and up)
  • Includes in-scale figures
  • Molded in White and clear red parts
  • Authentic decals
  • 41 parts – simple assembly
  • Made in the USA
  • Kit #: HL602
  • MSRP: $19.99 USD
  • Street Price: $17.95

I can finally call this kit done and being Friday, I wouldn’t like to leave the office without sharing it with all of you. This is the U.S. Moon Ship from Lindberg Models now distributed by Round2 Models. Considering how old the tooling for this model kit is, it still prints very well lines and rivets. It is free of flash but the mould line is notable which is natural for a kit this old. The assembly is quite straight forward with a very pictorial 15 steps instructions sheet.

You will need heavy clamping to align the two halves. Cementing will be better if done by sections.

The U.S. Moon Ship is molded in white and Flat White spray paint from the mega store was used. I was very surprised with the quality of the decals sheet. I laid the decals over puddles of Walthers Solvaset without a coat of clear gloss. As you can see on the pictures, there is absolutely no silvering on them. The round decals will need to be placed with decal solvent and once the solvent is dry, some cuts should be made with a fresh #11 exacto blade. That’s because you’re placing a round decal over a round surface.

The moon terrain was made with DAS Molding Clay sold at the craft store. Originally the clay is Terracota color but a heavy coat of cheap spray gray primer too care of that. A few blast marks were added using Tamiya XF-83 Medium Sea Gray. An LED is inside the model but once finished I noticed that it wasn’t bright enough and the cables was pushed inside and not used.

Note from the Author
In all this is a nice build that took me back to my early modeling days with Testors cement in a tube and my square enamel bottles. Not a perfect kit by today standards but a nice relief build nevertheless.

Kit courtesy of my wallet and purchased at my local hobby shop
Hub Hobby.

Revell Gemini Space 1/24 Capsule

Before NASA could send men to the moon, dozens of questions had to be answered. Was it possible for people to be in space long enough? Could space suits really protect astronauts in space? How would vehicle docking work? All these questions and more were answered by NASA scientists and courageous Project Gemini Astronauts tested the fixes to see if they actually worked. Without the efforts of Gemini, the Apollo missions never could have gone forward.

Kit Highlights
  • Skill Level 2
  • Kit Number 85-1836
  • Scale: 1/24
  • Length: 10″
  • Width: 5″
  • Height: 9-1/8″
  • Parts: 93
  • MSRP: $19.95 USD

Well, I didn’t exactly ended up in NASA, but I certainly was fascinated by the GeminiSaturn and Apollo Programs as a kid. Any book I could get ahold of was never enough. This re-release of the 1/24 Gemini Space Capsule from Revell is very exciting to me. The Gemini Space Capsule model kit from Revell is part of their SSP, Selected Subjects Programs and it bears that seal on the box. This means that once the stock of this subject is gone, it will be very long before we see it produced again unlike model cars, aircraft and other popular subjects from Revell’s catalog which make it back to the hobby shop shelves every few years.

Gemini Space Capsule

This kit is as old as the Gemini Programs themselves. To my surprise, the molds are holding up very well after all these years. Stamped on the base is the year 1965 and as you can see on the provided pictures below, there is absolutely no flash or heavy mold lines to deal with.

This is not only good for us regular model builders, it is also good for the occasional builders including the young ones. All the sprues come in a single bag except for the instructions and decals sheet. The instructions are an A3 sized booklet form with 12 pages featuring a parts by number breakdown and in just 7 assembly steps you will get your Gemini model completed. Step number 8 is all about decal placement which by the way, you have 32 decals to deal with on this model.

In case you didn’t know, there are a couple of pre-assembled 1/24 Gemini Capsule desktop models selling for over $350.00. So for us mortals this is a more than welcome option at its MSRP of $19.99 USD. If you suffer from chronic AMS (After Market Syndrome), you can take this model kit to the next level by adding a resin set from Real Space Models. This will set you back another $35 but still you’re way far from those $350+.

Note from the Author
From the casual model builder, model kit collector to the most experienced ones. Even as a school project this is a very nice affordable subject. I highly recommend it.
Acknowledgments
My sincere thanks for their support to Revell USA and for sending in this review sample.