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Welcome to the IPMS/USA 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 Reviews page!

M65 "Atomic Annie" Gun with Transporters

Published: April 18th, 2015     
M65 "Atomic Annie" Gun with Transporters
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models

Thanks up front to Dragon USA and to IPMS leadership for providing this kit to me for review.

This kit is an answer to an oft-repeated wish of the post-WWII armor crowd: A new-tool 1/72 scale atomic cannon. Why 1/72? Because even in transporting position, it is only 1 ½ feet long. The existing, much older and less accurate 1/32 kit from another age, at almost two and a half feet long when in transport position, was just too big to display for many. It had a lot of operating features, and looked like the actual item, but in reality is better served by a 1/72 scale model in my opinion. That said, if Dragon ever scales this thing up. who knows how it will sell?

The Black Label series is Dragon’s effort at competing in the challenging and changing field of armor models. The various SIG’s and such for armor exhibit strong influence on kit manufacturers, so this model is obviously an example of what can be done when the market speaks. The last time I checked, the average armor kit had between 300 to 700 parts. That is a LOT of quality modeling time, and Dragon is well in the fight.

USS Hornet CV-8 Part 2 – Radar Antennas

Published: April 16th, 2015     
USS Hornet CV-8 Part 2 – Radar Antennas
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1:200
Company: Eduard

Eduard has come out with several photo etch sets for  the 1/200 Scale, Merit, USS Hornet CV-8 (kit# 62001).  This is Part 2 and includes several radar antennas to replace the kit parts.  These new antennas simply step in and replace the undersize and under-detailed kit parts.

There are two sets to replace the forward- and aft-gun director antennas, one to replace the main search radar, and another to replace the main air search radar.  You also get new doors, ladders and windows for the directors.

Assembly is straight forward but a tad fiddly.  There are a bunch of tiny parts that need to be bent and shaped.  The antennas for the directors require several complex bends that took a while to get the correct shape.  Some of the small parts are hard to hold and glue at the same time. 

The instructions are quite adequate to provide detailed information on part numbers and placement.  They also call out which kit parts need to be deleted.  There is some minor surgery required on the kit parts but nothing that is overwhelming.

USS Hornet CV-8 Part 1 – Cranes

Published: April 16th, 2015     
USS Hornet CV-8 Part 1 – Cranes
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1:200
Company: Eduard

Eduard has come out with several photo etch sets for  the 1/200 Scale, Merit, USS Hornet CV-8 (kit# 62001). This is Part 1 of the series, and provides new aircraft and boat cranes for the starboard and port sides, and detail parts to upgrade the ships main aircraft and boat crane on the flight deck.

The new aircraft and boat cranes for the sides are an entire crane assembly. They replace the existing cranes.

The main aircraft and boat crane for the flight deck includes replacement parts for existing kit parts. You get a new boom, hooks, stays, man rails, platforms and ladders. 

Assembly is straight-forward but extremely fiddly. There are a bunch of very tiny parts that need to be bent and shaped. Most of the small parts are hard to hold and glue at the same time. This makes for a time consuming and sometimes aggravating assembly. Thank you Eduard for providing some extra parts. 

The instructions are quite adequate to provide detailed information on part numbers and placement. There is some minor surgery required on the main aircraft and boat crane for the flight-deck but nothing that is overwhelming.

T-90A wTBS-86 Tank Dozer

Published: April 16th, 2015     
T-90A wTBS-86 Tank Dozer
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

Meng has released a second version of their excellent T-90A, this one with newly designed track and two optional front ends: a self-entrenching device, or a TBS-86 Tank Dozer blade.  The twin electro-optical/IR ‘dazzler’ lights come complete with all electronic bits to make them light up, and a layer of nylon turret (composite armor) ‘skin’ add to an already interesting build.

The T-90 tank is protected by both conventional armor-plating and explosive reactive armor, and fitted with the Shtora-1 defensive-aids suite which includes an infrared jammer, a laser warning system with four laser warning receivers, a grenade discharging system which produces an aerosol screen and a computerized control system.  It is also fitted with NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection equipment.  Altogether, the T-90 represents state-of-the-art Russian armor, and Meng has produced a masterpiece representing it in scale.

F-89D/J Resin Jet Pipes

Published: April 16th, 2015     
F-89D/J Resin Jet Pipes
Reviewed by: John King, IPMS# 46812
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

Revell’s 1/72nd F-89D/J came out in the early 90’s and is a great kit.  There are really only two shortfalls of the kit; the first being the lackluster cockpit and the second being the multi-part exhaust/jet pipes.  Pavla has recently released resin detail parts for the cockpit and the exhaust.

The resin jet pipes consist of only two parts, one per engine.  These are simple replacements for the multi-part kit versions.  There are no instructions, but it’s a relatively cut-and-dry process.  There is a small pour stub on each part that will need to be removed.  Afterwards, you’ll need to thin out the inside of the Revell fuselage in the area where the jet pipes will go.  Once you do that, these parts slip right in.  Unfortunately, I did not realize the kit would need alteration until after I had painted the jet pipes.  As such, some sanding and test fitting resulted in me marring the paint on my Pavla jet pipes.  This is not a big deal as I can easily repaint them.  However, with this knowledge in hand, your build should be much easier.

German Submarine 10.5 cm Gun

Published: April 16th, 2015     
German Submarine 10.5 cm Gun
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Background

The 10.5cm SK C/32 (SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon) C - Construktionsjahr (year of design) was a German naval gun used in World War II. This was the standard unshielded low-angle deck gun mounted forward of the conning tower in Type I, Type IX and Type X U-boats. The guns were also used in shielded high-angle mountings aboard type 35 and type 43 minesweepers, Elbing class torpedo boats, cruiser Emden, and old battleships Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein. The LC/32 mounting used in Type I and early Type IX U-boats weighed about 5 tons and could be elevated from -10° to +35°. Later Type IX and Type XB U-boats used the LC/36 mounting reducing weight by 10 percent by restricting elevation from -10° to +30°. During the early war years, these guns were used to encourage surrender of independently routed merchant ships or to sink ships damaged by torpedoes. The rate of fire with a good crew was 15 to 18 rounds per minute. When the Allies improved their aerial hunting capabilities, the guns were removed since they contributed significant hyrdodynamic resistance.

Japanese Secret Projects 2: X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft of the IJA and IJN

Published: April 16th, 2015     
Japanese Secret Projects 2: X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft of the IJA and IJN
Author: Edwin M. Dyer
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Crecy Publications

This book is the second in a series on Japanese prototypes and secret projects. It covers many different aircraft from pre-war types to right up till the end of World War II. In all 38 types are covered in this volume with an additional section covering the nuclear weapons programs of the IJA and IJN.

The book begins with two Aichi designs. The B8A Mokusei (a slightly smaller B7A “Grace” with straight non-folding wings) and the S1A1 Denko are discussed. The Denko was a lovely design for a twin engine night fighter. Ordered into production, it would never take to the air as both prototypes and the Aichi factories were destroyed in raids by B-29s.

Westland Whirlwind Metal Landing Gear

Published: April 15th, 2015     
Westland Whirlwind Metal Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

What you get in the package is a full gear replacement in white metal for both main gear legs and the tail gear. In many cases SAC will assemble some of the kit parts prior to casting. In this case the replacement  parts number is the same as the kit parts. They have cleaned up the gear and filled  any imperfections that were present on the original plastic parts. They also have enhanced the level of detail on the gear well above that of the plastic parts

The gear  in the kit consists of  five plastic parts. The metal replacement parts make up five pieces, two for each main gear and a single piece for the tail gear.

Detail is crisper on the metal gear than on the kit’s plastic parts. One can also tell from the photos that the SAC gear  is much beefier, especially on the main gear retraction arms. The replacement parts are a drop fit with no issues what so ever. The overall appearance of the replacement gear is vastly superior to the kit parts.

British Armored Car Saladin Mk. 2

Published: April 15th, 2015     
British Armored Car Saladin Mk. 2
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

The Black Label collection from Dragon Models offers an interesting range of novel model kits. Their latest offering, a 1/35th scale Alvis Saladin Mk.II FV601(C), is a 6-wheeled armored car widely used by the British Army from 1958 onwards, as well as by many other militaries. Production ended in 1972, by which time 1,177 examples had been manufactured. The 11.6-ton Saladin featured a turret mounting a 76mm L5A1 gun and a coaxial M1919A4 machine gun, and it was operated by a crew of three. A Rolls-Royce B80 Mk.6A engine powered the vehicle to a top speed of 72km/h. Saladins were widely used in Oman during the Dhofar conflict from 1972-76, in Cyprus during the 1970s, in the defense of Kuwait (1990) and in the Sri Lankan Civil War. The British eventually replaced the Saladin with the Scorpion CVR(T).

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