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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!

F-5F/N Defenders of the Conch Republic

Published: August 29th, 2014     
F-5F/N Defenders of the Conch Republic
Reviewed by: Steve Zajac, IPMS# 34937
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

US Navy squadron VFC-111, stationed at Key West, Florida, is the only F-5 Adversary Squadron on the East Coast. In the 2012–13 timeframe, a new tail scheme was approved for all of the squadron aircraft. Twobobs last provided a decal sheet for VFC-111 in 2007 (48-143). At that time, the only kit in town was the venerable Revell/Monogram version. Happily, Twobobs has updated the sheet with the Sun Downers’ latest F-5N/F schemes, and you can try them out on the newer AFV Club kit.

The color diagrams of seven aircraft are superbly laid out in four perspectives: top, bottom, left and right:

Model Art - Air Model Special No. 06: IJN Zero Carrier Fighter II

Published: August 29th, 2014     
Model Art - Air Model Special No. 06: IJN Zero Carrier Fighter II
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Model Art

Model Art has long set the standard for excellence when it comes to covering modeling subjects related to Japanese military history. Model Art No. 06 is no exception, covering the Mitsubishi Zero variants, such as the A6M3, A6M5, A6M5 Night Fighter, A6M5C, A6M7, and A6M8. While coverage of the Zero variants dominates this issue, there are some other aircraft highlighted in some short “build” articles as well.  

Beginning on page 96, Model Art changes the era of coverage from WWII to modern times with a great article on a 1/32 scale F-104J in JASDF markings. Eight pages filled with excellent images provide the reader with a visual “how-to” for a natural-metal paint scheme and some super detailing on the engine and in the cockpit.

The new Freedom Models 1/48 scale UCAS X-47B is featured in a four-page “how-to” article. Again, the photographs are excellent and very instructive, and they are especially helpful with the paint scheme and markings placement.

Nuts and Bolts

Published: August 28th, 2014     
Nuts and Bolts
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/16
Company: True Details

Run 1/16 in the search bar on eBay and you end up with like 122,221 returns. Click on the Toys and Hobbies sub-category and there are 29, 317 results. I actually used this feature to see how many armor kits were available for use with the 1/16 scale Nuts and Bolts set from True Details. As this is a resin aftermarket set, it has more applications than just for the armor model builder, including the many die-cast farm equipment items, as well as older large-scale automotive models. Many of the die-cast items were listed as collectibles and carried a hefty price tag. Almost all of the listed items could definitely be improved with some or all of the items included in this new release.  

Maudslay's Paddle Engine 1827

Published: August 28th, 2014     
Maudslay's Paddle Engine 1827
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: None given
Company: Airfix

The Engine

After Robert Fulton proved the viability of using steam to power a nautical vessel with his steamboat Clermont (also known as the North River) in 1807, steam power began to sweep wind-powered vessels from the seas. Constant improvements to his engine were made and Maudslay's Paddle Engine patented in 1827 was one such improvement. It was a style of engine that used improved valve chests and gear and these so called Penn Oscillating engines were in use for many years. (I hope somebody understood all that as I didn't.) The largest such engines were fitted into the paddle wheeler Great Eastern designed by Isambard Brunel. However, the engines could not be adapted to the higher steam pressures that were being introduced and the paddle engine gave way to the inclined direct-acting engine. 

Metal Landing Gear for Sword Lightning T4/5

Published: August 28th, 2014     
Metal Landing Gear for Sword Lightning T4/5
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

SAC … getting to be a household name among aircraft modellers by now..  IPMS USA and  the reviewer corps appreciate your continuing to provide us review items… thanks also to the IPMS leadership for sending it my way to review.

This set is comprised of 9 parts to replace the plastic parts provided in Sword’s excellent 1/72 Lightning T4/5 kit.  On their website they don’t’ show it, but the scissors links are included.  Sword’s kit is the two-seat “tub” version, and the metal gear provides not only strength but peace of mind… and improvement on the kit parts.

Particular note:  The nose gear.  The kit would have you install the wheel/tire on the partial nose gear fork, and then glue/cement the other side of the fork to the wheel.  Not SAC!  You get a complete, sturdy fork assembly.  Spread it slightly, install the wheel/tire, and you are done. 

The main gear are also catered to with total replacement parts.  This gear is long and spindly, and will, over time, bend or fail.  Trust me on this. 

Constitution Amendment Season is Upon Us!

Published: August 27th, 2014     
Submitted by: IPMS/USA Webmaster

From Dennis Tennant in the IPMS/USA Forums (IPMS/USA member login required) -

If you didn't already know, July 1 through Dec. 31 is the period when members can submit amendments to our constitution and by-laws (C&BL). You can obtain the necessary forms from MJ in the main office.

Here's how our amendment process works: 

MiG-17APF (Fresco A,B,C) - 23mm Gun Barrels Set & Pitot Tubes

Published: August 26th, 2014     
MiG-17APF (Fresco A,B,C) - 23mm Gun Barrels Set & Pitot Tubes
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

The MiG-17 has two prominent pitot tubes on the wing tips.  Inevitably, if you are like me, you will knock off one or both of them.  Brass pitot tubes will make this harder to do.  Included in this set are two pitot tubes, a two part 37mm cannon barrel, and two 23mm cannon barrels.

The pitot tubes are machined perfectly with the proper taper to the tips. 

The 37mm cannon is simply gorgeous.  Plastic kit makers can only hint at the cooling jacket for the cannon.  Master is able to produce a precision machined cooling jacket and barrel.  The barrel simply slides precisely into the jacket.  Then just prime and paint.  A thing of beauty.

The 23mm cannon barrels are different lengths just like the real thing.

The best part about all these brass pieces is no cleanup.  There are no pour stubs. They also don’t have mold lines, which is a Godsend if you ask me.  Simply drill the appropriate holes and add CA glue to hold it in place.  The strength is an added bonus.  All this makes this all the Master products a great addition.

Highly recommended

Star Trek USS Defiant

Published: August 26th, 2014     
Star Trek USS Defiant
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/420
Company: Round 2 Models

Introduction

When the space station Deep Space 9 got caught up in the conflict with the Dominion over control of a stable wormhole, one of Starfleet’s responses was to provide support in the shape of the USS Defiant.  The Defiant was a new ship design for Starfleet and incorporated new, powerful weapon systems and even a cloaking device.  Once the bugs were worked out of the new design, the defiant proved to be a powerful weapon in the fight against the Dominion.

Almost 20 years ago, AMT first released their model kit of the Defiant during the run of TV’s Deep Space 9 series. In January 2014, Round2 rerelease the Defiant under the AMT name.  Round2’s re-released Defiant kit, like all those kits from the Star Trek series, are delivered in a sturdy box with colorful new artwork.

I would like to thank Round2/AMT for providing this re-release of Deep Space 9’s, USS Defiant to IPMS USA for review.

SB2C Helldiver Landing Gear (CH/Aca)

Published: August 26th, 2014     
SB2C Helldiver Landing Gear (CH/Aca)
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

My thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for offering this item for review and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

Designed by the Curtiss Aircraft Manufacturing Company, the SB2C was a huge disappointment initially and for months to follow.  It was structurally weak, exhibited poor handling characteristics, and was unstable in a number of flight conditions.  But, the Navy and Curtiss stayed with the aircraft and made a number of design changes.  The changes added nearly 3,000 lbs. to the aircraft and resulted in one of its not so endearing names - the Big-Tailed Beast.  Finally the Navy had the plane they wanted.  It became the Navy’s primary attack/bombing aircraft and was responsible for more Japanese targets destroyed than any other aircraft.

Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) has released a very nice set of white metal landing gear parts for the 1/72 Cyber-hobby or Academy SB2C Helldiver.  These same parts will also fit the Cyber-hobby A-25A-5-CS Shrike.  For the purpose of this review I used the Cyber-hobby SB2C kit. 

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