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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!

404 Squadron Beaufighters: Black Friday plus

Published: January 29th, 2015     
404 Squadron Beaufighters: Black Friday plus
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aviaeology

For any who have missed it, Aviaeology is a company out of Canada producing decals specific to many Canadian themed subjects. This set of for 404 Squadron Beaufighters and comes in all scales but this the 1/72nd version. The first thing that hits you when you purchase one of their sets is the detail provided to replicate specific aircraft. The research going into these decals is second to none. This set includes markings for twelve different aircraft in a variety of schemes. Here’s a quick list:

Venturas in Canada 1

Published: January 29th, 2015     
Venturas in Canada 1
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aviaeology

Venturas in Canada pt.1 provides complete markings for ten individual Venturas of various marks, and most of the markings necessary for an eleventh subject (Ventura B.II AJ430 as a ski test aircraft) are also included. This decal set depicts training aircraft, test machines, and some early US Navy ‘visitors’ to Canada.  The 8-page instruction booklet included in the set explains subject selection was focused on variety as well as available reference photographs.

The instructions describe decal application, placement instructions, provide illustrations with painting instructions for all subject aircraft, plus a number of black and white reference photographs.  Information in this set's documentation includes the early-production B.II / B.IIA cockpit canopy variation, detail items on ski test aircraft, ASV radar anti-submarine warfare test aircraft, and information on rare US NAvy PV-3 interim ASW aircraft.

The following aircraft are covered:

A-4N Wings of Wittmund

Published: January 28th, 2015     
A-4N Wings of Wittmund
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

Bob Sanchez and TwoBobs latest release is beautiful set of markings for the Hasegawa A-4N, which covers planes from Wittmund Germany owned by BAE systems. Curious about that? No problem- Twobobs has the following history included:

"BAE Systems operates (6) ex-Israeli Air Force A-4N aircraft in Wittmund, Germany.  These aircraft fly tow banner, Ground Control Intercept and Close Air Support training missions in support of NATO in Europe."

There even more explanation on the decals sheet. The sheet contains markings for four white painted planes with numbers N431FS, N432FS, N434FS and N437FS. Markings are included to allow the making of two planes that look great in all white and their colorful markings.

The remaining two planes that BAE also operates are camouflaged. The first is in Israeli colors with a ghost gray bottom and three-color top camouflage, while the last is in overall light ghost gray. All the markings for these are also included. So you can choose one white bird and one camouflage if you like, or mix and match anyway you like for a total of two airframes.

Executive Board Meeting Minutes - January 2015

Published: January 28th, 2015     
Submitted by: IPMS/USA Webmaster

WWII IJN Ship Windows & Sealed Cap for Portholes

Published: January 28th, 2015     
WWII IJN Ship Windows & Sealed Cap for Portholes
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Scale: 1/700
Company: Lion Roar

Lion Roar has produced an ideal product for superdetailers: a value-priced set of 1/700 scale (late-war) porthole covers and “eyebrows” for portholes (hull and superstructure) for Imperial Japanese Navy warships.

What You Get

Lion Roar photoetch set R7038, 1/700 WWII Imperial Japanese Navy Ship Windows & Sealed Cap for Portholes, does not actually contain any windows or portholes. The title for this set was obviously mangled in translation into English. This set has three sizes of “eyebrows” that are meant to be placed over portholes of various sizes and caps used to cover portholes later in WWII. Eyebrows are called rigols or rims in naval parlance, and they are an arc-shaped trough that goes around the upper third or half of a porthole (round scuttle) or window to prevent water running down the hull or wall from entering the porthole. Caps were used to reduce the risk of light escaping from a porthole and to assist damage control by removing a portal of entry for water when porthole glass was shattered by an explosion.

Vought F4U-1A Corsair

Published: January 28th, 2015     
Vought F4U-1A Corsair
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/32
Company: Tamiya

Thank you to Tamiya, Inc. for providing this wonderful kit for review and to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to document my build experiences.  The sharing of this review with the scale modeling community would not be possible without the exceptional support of the IPMS Reviewer Corps.  Thank you everyone!

Summary

The F4U Corsair needs no introduction as one of the iconic naval fighter-bomber aircraft of World War II and Korea, primarily operated by the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps.  A list of publications I found useful during this build may be found following this review.  The kit is very well-researched, with numerous subtle part choices to allow one of three variants to be completed with either folded or extended wings.    

Il-2 Shturmovik

Published: January 28th, 2015     
Il-2 Shturmovik
Author: Viktor Povinsky
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

MMP has just released what they are referring to as “an illustrated technical history” of the Il-2 Shturmovik.  Like all other MMP publications, this book is published with high production values.  Solid, hard covers enclose over 200 pages printed on heavy, matt-finished stock. 

The first 66 pages of this book describe the development and operational use of the Il-2, beginning with the initial concept of developing a heavily armed (and armored) ground attack aircraft. Various chapters describe the prototype, initial production, deployment, and improvements (such as adding a gunner and modifying the wing design). These are presented in a chronological fashion and make it quite easy to follow the evolution of the aircraft as combat experience dictated necessary changes.

Each chapter has several clear, black and white photos highlighting the subject at hand.  There are also numerous 1/72 and 1/48 scale plan views showing each variant, and (of great assistance to the modeler) differences are noted as necessary.  Several scrap views appear throughout, illustrating various armament options, canopy changes, etc.

Horten Ho-229: Part 3 - The Big Finish

Published: January 26th, 2015     
Horten Ho-229: Part 3 - The Big Finish
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33643
Scale: 1/32
Company: Zoukei-Mura

Last we spoke, the frames and interior were done and it was time to finish the plane off by adding the outer skin and finishing all the details. Prior to starting, I sprayed the top and some portions of the bottom RLM 02 as these are visible when the plane is complete. I quick test fit can show you which areas to paint. Starting with the center fuselage, the top is added and there are placement indents where the frame fits into the skin. Also, the engine covers are added at this time. As a side note, the skin is molded clear and you could leave it as is to see the superb interior detail. I next added the front section with the intakes and they matched up well. Take your time here and get a good fit so you don’t need putty. Mine dried a little crooked and it caused some issue later. In hind sight, I would probably glue the front end to together to get perfect alignment and then add to the frame. Not sure how tight it would be but it would preserve the excellent surface. I then added the bottom middle piece and again, you need a good fit to prevent seams. This turned out good and I added the fairing to accommodate the wheel housing.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, January 2015, Vol. 36 Issue 11

Published: January 26th, 2015     
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modeling

I get excited when the new issues of Scale Aircraft Modeling arrive. They have the same basic design and format. They are jam packed with superb aircraft builds and tips. In this issue, there are four feature articles, an Aviation in Profile piece, and seven Compact Build Reviews. This issue also includes a special section devoted to the IPMS UK Nationals.

The Feature articles for this issue start with Mike Williams build of Airfix 1/48 Folland Gnat T.1. He details how to get a flawless finish and selects a gorgeous red and white paint scheme. He also depicts the plane in flight which really works with this subject.

Next up is Nigel Poole's build of the Italeri Westland Wessex. He details it with two Eduard sets and then folds the rotors with Scalewarship's set. I had not heard of these on this side of the pond but the results are spectacular as is the paint schemes and detail. He also notes that the rotor fold set is 3D printed....its coming to models near you!

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