By Modelers... For Modelers
Banner 2 Banner 3 Banner 3 Banner 1

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!

F-104G/S Starfighter airbrakes

Published: May 24th, 2015     
F-104G/S Starfighter airbrakes
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Thanks to Aires for providing their excellent aftermarket parts for IPMS USA to review, and to IPMS leadership for providing it to me to review.

Once more Aires improves an already great kit; in this case, the 1/32 Italeri F-104G receives an upgrade in the form of improved speed brakes.

A grand total of eight parts are provided: two speed brakes (or speed boards, or air brakes, depending on your background), two fuselage wells to place them in, two actuating rods, and two brace frame assemblies. 

In the side by side comparison, Italeri has provided an acceptable speed brake well and boards. Aires has taken the kit parts, and raised the detail bar.  There are rivets incorporated in the well, the frames are more delicate, and the speed brakes themselves appear to be a bit more delicate. 

To begin, remove the kit speed brake compartment on each side.  I used a Dremel tool with large sanding drum at low speed, taking small “swipes” to ensure I didn’t remove too much plastic. 

F-104G/S Starfighter control lever

Published: May 24th, 2015     
F-104G/S Starfighter control lever
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Quickboost

Thanks to Aires/Quickboost for providing more of their excellent aftermarket parts for IPMS USA to review, and to IPMS leadership for sending it my way.

Quickboost has earned (rightfully) a reputation for providing just a bit more detail on a given area of a model; seats, cowlings, engines, can all be improved drastically with their parts. This is also the case with this set - control levers for the New Italeri F-104G/S.

One pour stub holds six parts: three control column boots/bases, and three control columns with much improved detail on the grip assembly.  Room for error or second kits.

In the side by side comparison, Italeri has provided an acceptable and accurate control column.  Where Quickboost has been able to improve on the kit item is incorporating a more detailed trim button (the “Chinese hat” on which the pilot’s thumb can be used to trim roll and pitch axis), an improved gun trigger on the front of the column, and an intercom button on the left mid-section of the grip.  There are also bolt recesses on the column.

Surfite with Figure

Published: May 23rd, 2015     
Surfite with Figure
Reviewed by: Jim Stepanek, IPMS# 48016
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

There was no flash on this kit with lots of chrome parts.

Engine

Eighteen pieces make up the little 4 banger engine that is very well detailed with all the parts fitting extremely well.

Interior

The interior is a one piece tub that the steering column gets glued into.  Very basic. 

Body

The body is really small.  I mean tiny, but it’s molded very well.  I painted the body with HOK chrome yellow.

Chassis

The chassis glues together in 4 pieces and then the tiny little chrome parts get glued to it.  Some of those chrome parts are extremely small and that made it difficult for me to put together.

Included in the kit are the tiki hut that is extremely well engraved.  I used several different colors in an attempt to make the palm leaves come alive.  The “Big Daddy” figure was pre-painted by Revell.  The decal sheet has several Rat Fink decals that can be added to the figure.

This really cool kit to work on and Revell needs to be commended for their craftsmanship.  Thank you also to IPMS for allowing me to review this kit.

B-29 Antennas and AN/APQ-13 Radomes

Published: May 23rd, 2015     
B-29 Antennas and AN/APQ-13 Radomes
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Thanks to Brengun for providing this upgrade set for the Academy B-29; and to IPMS USA for sending it to me to review!

This is a very simple set which is designed for the Academy 1/72 B-29, but could also be adapted to the Airfix B-29. 

Consisting of two resin Radomes, and a fret of PE antenas, this will go a long way towards improving the plastic items in the kit. 

First, the Radomes.  The AN/APQ-13 antenna fit were used on some B-29’s early on; the later “bathtub” radome is in the kit, and you need to check your sources before you commit to installing these radomes.  The resin is flawless, with easy to remove Pour stubs.  The only thing you will need to do is hold a sheet of sandpaper over the assembled model fuselage, and sand the appropriate curve into the mating surface of the radomes before installing with epoxy or superglue.  Very easy.

The British Army in Afghanistan 2006-14 / Task Force Helmand

Published: May 23rd, 2015     
The British Army in Afghanistan 2006-14 / Task Force Helmand
Author: Leigh Neville
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Company: Osprey Publishing

Operation Herrick is what the British Army labeled their deployments to Afghanistan in support of the US and other NATO nations.

This 64 page soft cover book takes a look at the deployments to the Helmand Province which is the largest of the 34 provinces that make up Afghanistan.  It is also one of the more dangerous areas with a lot of action taking place in the Green Zone, an agricultural area along the Helmand River.

The book follows along chronologically through the years indicating which units were deployed for each Operation Herrick, their equipment and some of the battles that were waged.  The photographs illustrate the uniforms and vehicles but are small and hard to make out details.  Luckily there are three pages of illustrations that describe the uniforms in more detail.  These are backed up with three more pages of illustrations of the ground vehicles in use though the details in these drawings seem a little vague.  Lastly we have an action painting of the Pathfinder Platoon in action in May of 2006 and a representative image of troops in contact in the Green Zone.

M.B. Mk GQ-7A Ejection seat

Published: May 23rd, 2015     
M.B. Mk GQ-7A Ejection seat
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Thanks to Aires for providing more of their excellent aftermarket parts for IPMS USA to review, and to IPMS leadership for sending it my way.

This looks like a simple item to replace the kit ejection seat, and in practice it is.  However, be forewarned that the harness assembly is not a “do it and done” loom job.  Ejection seats tend to be cluttered affairs, and the Marin Baker series of seats are considered to be some of the more complex seats on the market.  They WORK, but they are tough to buckle into.  Tab “A” into slot “C”, when it is supposed to be slot “B”, can really ruin your day.  So it is with this model seat.

There are four extremely-detailed, hard gray resin parts, (the entire seat in one cast piece, two pull handles, an emergency oxygen bottle with fitting), one soft, flexible resin hose, and a fret of photoetch for the harness and fittings.  First step is to spray all the gray resin and metal photoetch resin parts with primer; I used my new favorite, Tamiya Gray in a rattle can. 

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Hardtop

Published: May 22nd, 2015     
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Hardtop
Reviewed by: Gordy Miller, IPMS# 49574
Scale: 1:24
Company: Revell-Monogram

This release is part of an extremely popular series of models that goes under the Revell California Wheels collection that's been out for quite a while now. This particular Cadillac is actually the Eldorado Seville, of which only 975 cars were ever produced by the factory.

Wooden Barrels and Milk Cans

Published: May 22nd, 2015     
Wooden Barrels and Milk Cans
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1:35
Company: Hauler

Another neat set from Hauler comes this wooden barrel and milk can set. Do not be fooled by the box photo. You do not get two large barrels. You get one large, medium, small wooden barrel, 2 large and 2 small milk cans. You also get a small PE set for the milk can handles. The only thing that would make this set better would have been to include tops for the large milk cans and wire for the handles. The small milk cans have lids attached and maybe the large ones should have been designed that way as well.

F/A-18 Resin Update Set

Published: May 22nd, 2015     
F/A-18 Resin Update Set
Reviewed by: John King, IPMS# 46812
Scale: 1:144
Company: Brengun

The Revell of Germany 1/144th F/A-18C has been on the market since 2005. It’s a great little 1/144th scale jet. The Korean company ACE has re-boxed the Revell kit in recent years, but the plastic is all the same. Although it’s a nice representation of the Legacy Hornet, the Revell F-18 could benefit from some upgrades. Brengun has recently release a small resin set to improve the Revell kit.

Included in this resin set are: new landing gear doors, main wheels, leading edge extension (LEX) fences, ejection seat, new burner cans, a plethora of generic antennas, and a vac-formed canopy. The resin parts are nicely molded. I found two tiny pin holes on one of the main wheels. The vac-formed canopy is crystal clear. However, on my example there was a small blemish in the windscreen. 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer