Tuesday, July 27

Preview: All the info fit to print on Takom's four third-quarter kits in the one place...

Instead of directing you all around the place we thought you would want to see the box art and find a few things out about these four kits for late 2021 in Takom's forthcoming range in the one place. All giants of subjects and in high demand by modellers, see what's coming in these kits in our preview...

Cover art to add to Takom's four third-quarter kits...
The Subjects: The P and Q class Zeppelins

The Zeppelin P Class was the first Zeppelin airship type to be produced in quantity after the outbreak of the First World War. Twenty-two of the type were built as well as twelve of a lengthened version, the Q Class . They were used for many of the airship bombing raids on the United Kingdom in 1915-16, for naval patrol work over the North Sea and Baltic and were also deployed on the eastern and south-eastern fronts.

"Q" Class Zeppelin L20 met an unfortunate fate...
P-CLASS  Zeppelin (1915)
The second "mass-produced" class or Zeppelins was launched in 1915 and went on until 1917. 22 were built, and in addition 12 of the lengthened version, Q Class. Designed by Ludwig Dürr they were used both for reconnaissance and bombing. 

L 11 from another P class airship, 1915.
The P class was an enlarged version of the preceding M class, originally destined to the German Navy Ministry and derived from the LZ 26. First presented as a passenger airship for DELAG it was the very first Zeppelin with a duralumin framework and a strengthening keel inside the hull. Its volume increased from 25,000 m3 (880,000 cu ft) to 31,900 m3 (1,126,000 cu ft), and a fourth engine was needed to vanquish air resistance. That size allowed also a greater range and (bomb) load plus for the first time enclosed gondola for the crew, instead of open one, making the trip more comfortable. The P class in addition was more streamlined with only a 60 m (197 ft) section out of the total 163.5 m (536 5 in) that was cylindrical, and it was divided between sixteen 10 m (32 ft 9 in) bays for ballonets. The four 160 kW (210 hp) Maybach CX six-cylinder engines were succeeded later in production by four 180 kW (240 hp) Maybach HSLu engines. Intermediate frames were fitted between each wire-braced ring frame, reduce lateral loads, and the 17 girders, housing the 16 gasbags made from three layers of goldbeater's skin, backed by cotton, and latter plain rubberized cotton. Pressure relief valves were automated at the bottom of the gasbags, waste being simply diffused upwards between gasbags. Some of these also had manual backups. The covering was undoped to allow the hydrogen to escape.
The forward gondola was the bridge, and the crew accommodations was divided into two separate sections to avoid engine vibration and this small gap was faired over with fabric. The forward section was divided into three compartments, control area, radio compartment, and officer's rest room. On both sides of the latter, windows had a machine-gun port. The engine compartment at the rear section contained a single-engine mated to a propeller at the rear, with a reduction gear. The engine gondola carried three engines in line, with one driving the back gondola and the other a pair of propellers on each side, which could work in reverse for maneuvers. A machine-gun mounting was fitted on each side and there was another single machine at the stern, behind the rudders, in a small cockpit a bit like WW2 bombers tail gunner. Two or three machine guns were also mounted on top of the hull in a bathtub-like arrangement, reached by a ladder accessible from the forward gondola Between the keel girders were suspended electrically released bomb, from the control gondola. The crew comprised 19 airmen, one Executive Officer, a Commander, Navigator, "Sailmaker" (responsible for gasbags), a Chief Engineer, 2 altitude coxswains, 2 steering coxswains, and 8 lower-rank engineers).

LZ 38, the first P class to see service. Features include enclosed gondolas and the keel buried in the hull.
Dimensions: Length: 163.50 m (536 ft 5 in), Diameter: 18.69 m (61 ft 4 in), Volume: 32,920 m3 (1,162,400 cu ft)
Propulsion: 4 × Maybach 3M C-X 6-cylinder inline piston engine, 160 kW (210 hp) each
Performance: Max. speed: 92 km/h; 50 kn (57 mph), Cruise speed: 63 km/h; 34 kn (39 mph), Ceiling: 3,500 m (11,600 ft)
Armament: 7/8 water-cooled MG 08/air-cooled Parabellum MG 14, 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) bombs

Q-CLASS Zeppelin (1916)
By late 1915, Zeppelin introduced the Q class, a true flying fortress capable of a greater operation ceiling. Its hull was lengthened by 15 m (49 ft), for an internal volume up to 35,800 cubic metres (1,264,100 cu ft) and soon, all existing P class airships were lengthened and bring to the Q-Class standard. L7 drawing
Dimensions: Length: 518 ft 2 in (157.8m), Diameter: 48 ft 6 in (14.6 m), volume 794,500 sq ft
Weight: Empty 39,000 lb, Payload 18,500 lb
Propulsion: 3 Gondolas, Maybach C-X of 210 hp (630 hp total)
Performances: Max speed 52 mph (83 kmh), Range 1366 miles (416 km), Ceiling 6560 ft (2000 m)
These two kits from Takom...

Zeppelin P Class Airship
From Takom
1/350th scale
Photo-etch parts included
Length 466mm
Designed in co-operation with Snowman Model
The new 1/350th scale Zeppelin P Class Airship from Takom is designed in co-operation with Snowman Model and includes photo-etched parts for the thinner parts of the airframe, control surface struts and gun emplacements. The shorter P class is still a large kit at 466mm! Five marking choices are included inside the kit.

Zeppelin Q Class Airship
From Takom
1/350th scale
Photo-etch parts included
Length 510mm
Designed in co-operation with Snowman Model
This longer Q-Class Zeppelin is also made from plastic in 1/350th scale which measures it up at 510mm which is a large model! This kit is also of course designed in co-operation with Snowman Model and includes photo-etched parts for the gondola frames and other thinner parts of the airframe. Five marking choices are included inside the kit.

Lun-Class Ekranoplan
From Takom
1/144th scale
Kit No #3002
Plastic and photo-etched kit.
Available in September
The Subject:  The Lun-class Ekranoplan.
Ground Effect Vehicles, also known as "Ekranoplans," are a sort of hybrid between airplanes and ships. They move over water without actually touching it. The International Maritime Organization classifies them as ships, but, in fact, they derive their unique high-speed capabilities from the fact that they skim the surface of the water at a height of between one and five meters (three to 16 feet).
This combination of speed and stealth - their proximity to the surface while flying makes them difficult to detect by radar got the attention of the Soviet military, which experimented with several variants of the concept during the Cold War.
Their deployment on the vast inland body of water between the Soviet Union and Iran led to them acquiring the nickname "Caspian Sea Monster." The "Lun" ekranoplan was one of the last designs to come out of the Soviet ground effect vehicle program. Longer than an Airbus A380 superjumbo and almost as tall, despite its size and weight, the Lun was capable of reaching speeds of up to 550 kilometers per hour (340 mph) thanks to eight powerful turbofans located on its stubby wings.
This formidable machine was even able to take off and land in stormy conditions, with waves of up to two and a half meters. Its intended mission was to conduct lightning sea-borne attacks with the six anti-ship missiles it carried in launch tubes placed at the top of its hull.

The vehicle was equipped with six launchers along its spine that could fire nuclear missiles powerful enough to destroy an aircraft carrier.
The Lun class WIG was built in 1987 and entered service in 1989. NATO were watching closely and gave the vessel the reporting name UTKA Class. The project was expensive and only the first boat (the Russian Navy considered them boats not planes) was completed. A second was nearly completed. 
Its ‘Moskit’ supersonic missiles, known to NATO as the SS-N-22 Sunburn, made the Lun a formidable adversary. It was larger and faster than the Harpoon missile in service with the U.S. Navy. Flying at just 16-32 feet above the surface the plane would expect to detect a ship sized target at about 22 miles. For Moskit this would be almost point-blank range, giving the target minimal time to react.
But it was expected, by U.S. Intelligence at least, that several would operate together. One would go ahead, providing final target data to others which would remain behind the NATO warships radar horizon. The Moskit missiles had a range of about 60 miles and could be fired using the forward Ekranoplans' target data. A three-ship formation could unleash 18 missiles at a target simultaneously, each one closing at 3 times the speed of sound (known as Mach 3).

The cockpit of the vessel: the ekranoplan required a crew of 15 when it was operational. A cockpit is supplied in this kit...
The Lun was not without its limitations however. It can be viewed as a large, expensive missile patrol boat. And greatly inferior to bombers such as the Tu-22 BACKFIRE. It lacked the electronics reach of later patrol boats which had the Monolit-T targeting complex. Its targeting radar complex was not Monolithic or Mineral, so it looks like it was just a traditional radar. This makes sense as the Lun “flew” too high to use the evaporative or surface duct used by these more advanced radars. Thus by the time it was launched the Lun had an inherently more limited missile complex than the patrol boats then entering service.

The only remaining full Lun as it is now at its dock on the Kaspiysk base on the Caspian Sea.
The new kit from Takom:
This is the first "aircraft" - (or is it a ship?) kit made by Takom. the kit itself is in 1/144th scale, but it is still large at 51cm long!  the kit comes with a full cockpit, a detailed rear gunner's emplacement and the launch tubes for the six large Moskit missiles on the spine of the Ekranoplan. Three marking choices are included inside the kit.

 Sachsen Class (F124) Frigate
From Takom
1/350th scale
Kit No #6001
Plastic and photo-etched kit.
Available in September
The Subject:  The Lun-class Ekranoplan.
The Sachsen Class (F124) is Germany’s air defence frigate built by ARGE F124, a consortium consisting of Blohm + Voss as the leading yard, Howaldtwerke-Deutsche Werft and Thyssen Nordseewerke. In January 2005, the three companies became part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

The three ships in this class - the FGS Sachsen (F 219), FGS Hamburg (F 220) & FGS Hessen (F 221)
The three frigates were built under the trilateral frigate agreement, signed by the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, which provides cooperation in national construction of the frigates in each country. In the Netherlands Royal Schelde build the De Zeven Provincien (LCF) Class frigates and in Spain Navantia (formerly Bazan then Izar) build the Alvaro de Bazan (F100) Class.
The first of class, FGS Sachsen (F219), built at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg, was commissioned in November 2004. The second, FGS Hamburg (F220) built by HDW, was commissioned in December 2004. The third, FGS Hessen (F221) built by TNSW, was launched in July 2003 and was commissioned in April 2006.

Frigate Hamburg of German Navy
Propulsion & performance
The F124 is equipped with a combined diesel and gas propulsion system, CODAG. The two operating shafts work independently. The diesel engines are installed in a non-walkable sound-proof capsule. The shafts drive two five-bladed controllable pitch propellers. In diesel mode, one of the diesel engines (type MTU 20V 1163 TB93) is operated via two main gearboxes and one cross-connection gearbox. The peak performance of the diesel provides 7,400kW at 1,350rpm.
The ship has an operating range of 4,000nm at a cruising speed of 18kt in diesel mode. In gas turbine mode, the gas turbine (model GE 7 LM2500 PF/MLG) provides 23,500kW and 3,600rpm, operating two main gearboxes and the cross-connection gearbox. In combined diesel and gas propulsion mode (CODAG-mode), both diesel engines and the gas turbine engine are operated. The maximum speed of the ship is 29kt.

The ship’s medium and long-range anti-air missiles are the Raytheon evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) and the Standard missile SM2111-A, which are fired from a VLS mk41 32-cell launcher. SGS Sachsen successfully completed firing trials with ESSM and SM-2 in July / August 2004.
The F124 has two rolling airframe missile (RAM), mk31 launchers and two four-cell Harpoon missile launchers. Boeing Harpoon is an autonomous all-weather anti-ship missile with range in excess of 65 nautical miles. The RAM missile from Raytheon and RAM Systems GmbH, is a fire-and-forget missile which provides short-range defence against incoming anti-ship missiles including sea-skimming missiles.

F 221 FGS Hessen
The F124 is equipped with an Oto Melara 76mm gun, and two Rheinmetall 20mm guns.
A KMW PzH 2000 howitzer turret with a 155mm gun has been mounted on the deck of FGS Hamburg (F220) as a demonstration of the feasibility of the system for naval applications. The concept is called MONARC and requires a flexible elastic mounting. MONARC has a range of 22nm. Live fire trials were conducted in September 2003.
The ship is fitted with two triple mk32 torpedo launchers for EurotorpMU90 lightweight torpedoes and also has helicopter-borne long-range lightweight torpedoes.

The flight deck and hangar accommodate two Westland Sea Lynx Mk.88A or NH90 naval helicopters. The flight deck is rated to accommodate a 15t class helicopter such as the Merlin, for fuelling and torpedo loading. The helicopter handling system from MBB-Forder und Hebesysteme uses laser guided and computer controlled manipulator arms to secure the helicopter after landing.

The new kit from Takom: The 350th scale Type 124 Sachsen class Frigate
This is the first ship from Takom, and it comes in 350th scale that will make it both popular and easy enough to accomodate in size, but still plenty long enough at 408mm long. The kit is being designed with the help of "Snowman Model" studios. Both a waterline and full hulled version of the kit is presented, with two little plinths to be placed under the hull. There are some very small parts in this kit, but it looks like the photo-etch is being kept to a minimum. The two Lynx helicopters for the rear deck of the ship have either extended or folded main rotors. Three marking choices are included inside the kit.

The kit is scheduled for a September release...

That is all we know about these releases for now. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page