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Welcome to the IPMS/USA Product Reviews site!

Introduction: The primary organization of the IPMS/USA Review website is by IPMS/USA National Contest Class. Within each Class there are sub-menus by kits, decals, books, etc. The Miscellaneous Class is for items that are not class specific or that cross two or more classes.

IPMS/USA Members: We encourage you to submit reviews, both here and to the Journal. To volunteer for membership in the IPMS/USA "Reviewers Corps" and submit your own reviews, please read the Guidelines For Submitting Product Reviews.

Manufacturers, Publishers, and other Industry members: IPMS/USA is pleased to offer your company the opportunity for product reviews. All product reviews are performed by IPMS/USA members, and are posted in the publicly-accessible section of our website. With very few exceptions, we perform full build reviews of new kit releases, aftermarket products, and supplies. If you would care to provide product samples for review, please contact David Morrissette, IPMS/USA 1st VP.

Welcome to your new IPMS/USA Product Reviews page!

Hawker Typhoon Mk IB late type cannons with covered barrels

Published: September 19th, 2014     
Hawker Typhoon Mk IB late type cannons with covered barrels
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

Master Model has been releasing some very neat turned metal items and this set is another hit.  You get 4 turned barrels, 2 x outer ones and 2 x inner ones (they are different lengths).  You also get 4 PE rings that go over the barrels and attach to the wing leading edge.

The detail is perfect and leaves no seam lines to try and clean up.

Construction is simple, cut off the original kit barrels on the Airfix kit and replace with the new barrels on to the completed wing.  Then slip the PE rings over the barrels, bend them to conform to the wing and use super glue to attach them. 

Master includes a nice little instruction sheet showing which barrels go where and a final length from the leading edge for each.

This item will make a nice update for the Airfix, Academy or Brengun kits.

Thanks to Master Model and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

F-15C Eagle, 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

Published: September 17th, 2014     
F-15C Eagle, 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  It is an F-15C with conformal fuel tanks.

By 1984, the USSR had amassed a considerable submarine launched ballistic missile capability which complemented their already powerful ICBM force. The vast majority of the Soviet SSNB submarines, known as ‘boomers’, were based at Archangel and Murmansk. Their pre-launch stations were usually in the White Sea sector. Because of this, the US Navy devoted a large portion of its SSN submarines or ‘hunter killers’ to located and then follow the movement of all Soviet SSNB boomers in the White Sea. To perform this task, US SSNs ran through the Giuk Gap in route to their patrol areas. To counteract the Americans, the Soviet navy began a pattern of deploying an ever increasing numbers of modified Bears, call sing ‘F’, in an effort to track the US SSNs boats before they enter the Sea.

JAS-39 Gripen Pitot Tube

Published: September 17th, 2014     
JAS-39 Gripen Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Mike Howard, IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Aires and Quickboost (a division of Aires) continue to provide us modelers with very nicely detailed additions to many new and older kits that can greatly enhance the final appearance of the build.

This installment will look at the Quickboost replacement pitot for the fairly new 1/48 Kitty Hawk Saab Jas-39 Gripen (kit #KH80117).

This replacement pitot tube, with associated nose cone tip, is a very simple, two piece addition to the excellent Kitty Hawk Gripen. Quick Boost is kind enough to supply two complete pitot assemblies, just in case something goes wrong on the first try.

R-35 Renault Light Infantry Tank

Published: September 16th, 2014     
R-35 Renault Light Infantry Tank
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hobby Boss

I’m old enough to remember a time when Heller was the only game in town if you wanted to reproduce some of the fascinating French armor of the Second World War.  Now we seem to have been presented with a number of choices, each with their good and bad points.  However, permit me to discuss this particular rendition of this lovely little two-man vehicle on its own merits.

Hobby Boss has taken its own stance on reproducing this tiny machine by providing it with a complete interior, viewable through the numerous open-able hatches on the model.  Frankly, this is one kit that begs for a maintenance diorama in order to show off its features -- anything else seems a waste of detail. 

Stars and Bars (Modern USAF High Viz Insignia)

Published: September 16th, 2014     
Stars and Bars (Modern USAF High Viz Insignia)
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Furball Aero-Design

Often you get a great aftermarket decal sheet for 3 or 4 aircraft, but they don’t include enough insignia for all of them. The solution: Enter a insignia decal sheet, like the one recently released by Furball Design

This set contains 95 correctly proportion modern (post 1947) US National Insignia (the one with the blue border and red stripe).

You get (14) 10" insignia, (25) 15" Insignia, (14) 20" insignia, (10) 25" insignia, (8) 30" insignia, (8) 35" insignia, (8) 40" insignia, (8) 45" insignia, which should cover from small drones, to larger bombers in the last 7 decades of  USAF service.

I want to point out the decal design is correctly proportioned, as the star points do not reach the edge of the circle, but stop at a distance equivalent to width of the blue border.

The decals are independently printed and they are very glossy in the sheet. I would expect them to adhere really well to a glossy surface (Future coat or similar) in your model.

Recommended to airplane modelers of all skill levels.

I would like to thank Furball Aero Designs and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Executive Board Meeting Minutes - August 2014

Published: September 16th, 2014     
Submitted by: IPMS/USA Webmaster

Zero Model 32 Photo-etch Details

Published: September 15th, 2014     
Zero Model 32 Photo-etch Details
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Among recent offerings from Brengun is a set photo-etch details designed to enhance the 1/72 Tamiya A6M3 Type 32 Zero kit.  Set BRL 72071 provides about 70 parts on a single photo-etch fret and two on a printed acetated sheet that will combine to enhance the cockpit and exterior details of the a/c.   The photos below show the fret and the instruction sheet that guide where the details are to be installed. 

The small photo-etched parts on the fret are very impressive, but look strangely familiar to me.  Familiar, because they are exactly the same as the parts on Brengun’s set BRL 72074 for the Zero type 22…yes, exactly the same.  Not surprising though, because the detail parts they provide were the same on the original aircraft (with the possible exception of a small dial face on the instrument panel).  One of the photos below from the Brengun website shows most of the parts installed. 

USS Carronade

Published: September 15th, 2014     
USS Carronade
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/168
Company: Lindberg/Round 2

The Ship

The USS Carronade was commissioned in 1955 and was designed to provide close in fire support for amphibious landings. Her 5" gun was the same weapon mounted on US destroyers and had proved itself in close in support over and over during WW II and its eight 5.5" automatic rocket launchers could fire 30 rockets a minute, meaning 240 rockets could be on their way to some unlucky target within one minute. Because of her cruiser type bow and potentially heavy firepower, she was often called a "bobtailed cruiser" due to her superstructure being so far aft. As a matter of fact, one release of this kit was titled Bobtail Cruiser and not USS Carronade.

After a couple of west coast tours and one cruise to the orient, the Carronade was de-commissioned in 1960 and placed in reserve. When the Brown Water Navy of the Vietnam War needed some heavier fire support, the Carronade was re-commissioned in 1965 and served with several other fire support ships in Inshore Fire Support Division 93. Again decommissioned in 1969, she was sold for scrap in 1974.

Curtiss P-6E “Hawk” Decals (Part 2)

Published: September 15th, 2014     
Curtiss P-6E “Hawk” Decals (Part 2)
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

Yellow Wings Decals has added two new sets to their line for 1/48 scale Curtis P-6E Hawks.  Set number 48-085, or Part 2, provides colorful markings for two Langley Field based USAAC aircraft of the 8th Pursuit Group:

  • P-6E #15 of the 33rd Pursuit Squadron  
  • P-6E #61 of the 36th Pursuit Squadron 

The instructions show that in 1933, 8th Pursuit Group P-6Es sported Gloss Olive Drab #22 painted fuselages with Orange-Yellow #4 wings and tail surfaces and by 1936 fuselages were finished in Blue #23 with Orange-Yellow #4 wings and tail surfaces.  Markings are provided for all national insignia, rudder stripes, aircraft numbers, fuselage bands and squadron markings as shown in the photo below of the decal sheet.  An instruction sheet is included that also provides information about all paints that were used with Tamiya color matches.

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