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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!

Mi-2 Hoplite Air Intake

Published: September 1st, 2014     
Mi-2 Hoplite Air Intake
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

This set from Quickboost is designed to replace and improve upon the kit parts for Hobby Boss’s Mi-2 Hoplite. The kit air-intake cowling includes two holes through which you place the air intakes. It also has a molded-in intake in the upper center with a screen engraved in it. The Quickboost parts feature the cowling with two hollowed intake tubes cast in, along with an opening at the upper center. You get a photoetch screen to place over the opening, along with a spare screen. While a bit more fiddly than the kit parts, the level of detail is worth the slightly greater effort. Recommended.

My thanks go to Aires Hobby Models for producing and providing the parts for a rather esoteric subject and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review them.

Freightliner With Trailer

Published: September 1st, 2014     
Freightliner With Trailer
Reviewed by: Dave and Camden Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/32
Company: Revell, Inc.

Background

A familiar sight to all who have traveled the highways and byways of the United States is the “semi” tractor-trailer truck hauling goods from coast-to-coast.  One of the leading manufacturers of the “tractor” portion is Freightliner, a subsidiary of Daimler AG established in 1942.

The Kit

Big truck, big box, big model – lots of “wow factor” for the young builder!  Molded in light blue, white, black, and clear, the kit comprises of 102 parts.  A sheet of peel-and-stick decals and instructions are also included.  Copyright data on tractor and trailer parts indicate 1979 and 1980 vintage of the original tooling, respectively.  As expected with tooling over 3 decades in service, there was quite a bit of flash along mold parting lines which required some extra effort to clean up prior to assembly.

Alesia 52 BC, The final struggle for Gaul (Campaign 269)

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Alesia 52 BC, The final struggle for Gaul (Campaign 269)
Author: Nic Fields
Reviewed by: Jeff Leiby, IPMS# 30249
Company: Osprey Publishing

Background

Elegant Eagles, Part 1

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Elegant Eagles, Part 1
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/48
Company: Speed Hunter Graphics

This is the third set of 1/48 decals from Speed Hunter Graphics which came out of the Reid Air Publishing Group. The decals look very nice, clear and in register. They are printed by Cartograf of Italy and work very well, I’ll tell you why in a bit. This offering covers six F-15C MSIP II Eagles with a nice mix of Mig killers, commanders' aircraft, and even an aggressor bird. You couldn’t ask for a more varied mix. I couldn’t find whose kit these decals were sized for on the instruction sheet but on the web site it was recommended for the Hasegawa F-15C. As fate would have it, I only had the Academy kit which seemed to work quite well. I also noticed that the site had selections for 1/32 and 1/72 size sheets. I do hope that they branch into the other scales because these decals are really worth it.

The options included in this set are:

US Navy Blue Angels C-130

Published: August 31st, 2014     
US Navy Blue Angels C-130
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

ATTENTION!!! Those of you with that huge box of plastic labeled “1/48 Testors or Italeri C-130 E/H in your stash, languishing in the dust because you’re bored with monotone gray, SEA or European One camouflage schemes.  Here is your chance to buy a couple of extra bottles of liquid cement and get after it!  This decal sheet offers up beautifully rendered markings for “Fat Albert” the USMC C-130T that provides support logistics transport, in addition to it’s own amazing solo performance featuring rocket assisted take-offs for the US Navy’s “Blue Angels” aircraft demonstration team. 

In the plastic sleeve on a typical 5-1/2” X 8-3/4” decal sheet you will find two large Blue Angels shield markings for the giant vertical stabilizer, along with the yellow staff names, “Marines” markings and stencils.  The “Blue Angels” script is provided in two different lettering styles, depending upon which season you wish to depict the aircraft from.  The huge red/white/blue stars and bars markings are provided on a separate, smaller sheet. 

Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Vol. 1

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Vol. 1
Author: Kari Stenman, Karolina Hołda; Illustrator: Karolina Hołda
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: MMP Books

Here is the newest book in MMP’s “White Series”: Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Volume One.  The author, Kari Stenman, is a name long associated with publications on the Finnish Air Force.  Just scanning through my library, I see him as the author of several Osprey “Aircraft of the Aces” books, as well as a Squadron/Signal book.  In fact, in the acknowledgements section of this book he mentions research assistance he has received over the last forty-five years!  This book is clearly written by a dedicated expert in the field.

The book itself is hardbound, with a nice glossy cover and the 200+ pages within are produced on high-quality stock with a matt finish.  Photos, mostly black and white, are on virtually every page.  Most are at least ¼ page in size.  Numerous, extremely high-quality side profiles are also present.  Text is all in English, and is very well-written.

This is Volume One of a two-part series.  The series is not separated by chronology, but rather by aircraft type.  Aircraft covered here are:

World War II Glider Assault Tactics

Published: August 31st, 2014     
World War II Glider Assault Tactics
Author: Author: Gordon L. Rottman Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publications is well known for their books on military history, aviation, naval and a multitude of other subjects. This book is from the Elite series which covers specific military units or tactics used in combat.

World War II was the first conflict with the widespread use of gliders for military operations. All though many countries used gliders the focus of the book is on English, German and United States as they were involved in the largest majority of glider operations during the war.

The author covers the origins, the gliders, the glider types, tug aircraft, glider pilots, glider delivered units and glider operations. Each section is broken down covering how each country used their gliders, how they trained their pilots and how operations were executed. The book is loaded with black and white period photographs and color drawings.

Cross & Cockade International, Spring 2014 - Vol. 45/1

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Cross & Cockade International, Spring 2014 - Vol. 45/1
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: The First World War Aviation Historical Society

Cross & Cockade International is the quarterly publication of a non-profit organization known as The First World War Aviation Historical Society.  The UK based organization has been publishing these journals since 1970 with the objective of furthering the study of First World War Aviation History. The first journal of 2014; Volume 45/1 (Spring 2014) features a beautiful cover painting by David Ellwood of a Phoenix P.5 Cork flying boat “Rattling the Rivets of a German U boat.  The Phoenix P.5 Cork is the subject of a 19-page feature article that kicks things off, but this quarterly journal, much like all C&CI journals, also covers a variety of other well-researched WWI subjects in a highly professional manner. 

Following an Editorial page, the contents includes:

Couplings and Connectors

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Couplings and Connectors
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/32
Company: True Details

Over the years of my modeling enjoyment one of the questions I am often asked by fellow modelers is, why did you buy that”?  Usually these questions are in reference to a specialty tool (pinvise, punch and die, or hex punch) or specialty item (metal barrel, decals, or resin sets).  My standard response has always been the same.  This is a hobby and by its nature is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable.  Any item that I see as a way to make it more so is usually worth the price. 

This new release from True Details definitely fits that bill perfectly.  You get four sets of 16 different styled connectors.  For the Ultra detailer, this is the cat’s meow in saving time.  Depending on your use and ability, you can drill these out to handle one or several cables.  Some of the larger connectors on my sample contained air bubbles but this could work to the builder’s advantage as you don’t have to drill out the connector to accept the cable. 

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