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M4 Sherman vs. Type 97 Chi-Ha

Published: September 20th, 2012     
M4 Sherman vs. Type 97 Chi-Ha
Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Reviewed by: Jim Stratton, IPMS# 20703
Company: Osprey Publishing

This latest release in the Duel series by Osprey examines the conflict between the American M4A3 and Japan’s best tank of WWII, the Type 97-kai Shinhoto Chi-ha. As is typical for this series, this book provides detailed descriptions of the tanks and the men who operated and fought in them.

Not a lot has been written on tank battles in the Pacific theater. The region’s diverse terrain required a change in tactics, to where tanks were used as infantry support weapons as opposed to the maneuver warfare that usually led to major tank-vs.-tank battles. This book starts with the early encounters between the Japanese and the US in the Philippines in 1941, where US M3 Stuarts fought Japanese Type 95 light tanks. By 1944, both sides were deploying large numbers of tanks in combat. The Japanese committed an entire tank division to Luzon while the US Army had nearly a third of its armored battalions committed to the Pacific.

He-162B Salamander Armament and Details Set

Published: September 20th, 2012     
He-162B Salamander Armament and Details Set
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

This is the seventh item that I have reviewed from Master Model, a Polish company that specializes in brass detail parts, typically in the form of gun barrels, antennas, and pitot tubes.  This new 72nd scale release is designed for the Heinkel He-162 Salamander, and replaces the kit supplied forward pitot tube and gun barrels, and also provides a nose gear position indicator.  No kit is mentioned for installing these parts onto, but for comparison purposes, I have put a Dragon release to use.  As with the other releases from Master Model, these parts will dramatically improve the appearance of your plane, plus provide the nose gear indicator that I have not seen on kits in this scale.

US Workshop Crane

Published: September 19th, 2012     
US Workshop Crane
Reviewed by: Fred Wilms, IPMS# 42113
Scale: 1/35
Company: Plusmodel

History: The workshop crane was used in most machine shops or automotive shops, both military and commercial.  It primarily was used to handle items up to 1,000 pounds in load.

Items in the box: The model is made from cast resin parts – grey in color.  One fold-out instruction page, well presented.  A metal chain for the hook is provided, as well as a small decal sheet.

Construction: Assembly started with the base, then the trunk, lifting arms, braces, and last, the lifting piston.  Some small modifications were made to the crane.  I substituted the pins with straight pins, cut to size.  The wheels were made with thinner sheet plastic, as the original wheels were too thick for the yokes.  I also used railroad bolts for the dolly.  As illustrated, the box or load, an extra feature, mostly for effect. (Not supplied in the kit).

Present Day US Wheel Chocks

Published: September 19th, 2012     
Present Day US Wheel Chocks
Reviewed by: Fred Wilms, IPMS# 42113
Scale: 1/32
Company: Profimodeller

History

Chocks act as a safety device when placed under the wheels of a parked aircraft.  This prevents the aircraft from rolling, especially when unattended or during an engine run-up.

Items in the Box

The units were resin cast material – white in color.   One-page plans, good format.

Construction

The assembly is very basic.  The cord or rope supplied looked large to me, so I used a thinner cord.  (Thread: standard brown).

Finish and Detail

Used Floquil reefer yellow.  I used black striping on one set of chocks.  On the remaining two sets of chocks, I used the decals supplied on the instruction sheet.

Conclusion

With a slight modification, the units went together well.  These units can be assembled by any inexperienced modeler.  I wish to thank Profimodeller and IPMS for allowing me to review this kit.

 

Ju-88A-1 Bomber

Published: September 19th, 2012     
Ju-88A-1 Bomber
Reviewed by: Fred Wilms, IPMS# 42113
Scale: 1/32
Company: Revell, Inc.

History

The Ju88 was the most versatile German World War II aircraft in service.  Several applications were: dive and high altitude bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber against shipping, tank buster, as well as reconnaissance.

Items in the Box

The model is made from injection molded plastic – grey in color.  The plans were in book format, printed both sides.  I had an issue with the landing gear assembly – the procedure could have been more definitive.  Clear molded plastic windows were supplied.  An extensively detailed decal sheet was also included.

Construction

Initially, I started with the cockpit buildup, pre-painting and assembling details.  Next, I assembled the fuselage, tail surfaces, wings, nacelles, landing gear, and finally, the canopy glass.  All went together well, with the exception of the canopy glass fit.  I had to use some filler here.  When assembling, care should be taken, as some of the detail parts are tiny and can be easily lost.

D3A1 Type 99 Val Dive Bomber

Published: September 19th, 2012     
D3A1 Type 99 Val Dive Bomber
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Cyber-Hobby

If you are looking for a head-scratching challenge…this is the kit for you.  Cyber Hobby’s new 1/72 scale kit of the Aichi D3A1 Type 99 Val is guaranteed to provide you with hours and hours of the same kind of entertainment you anticipate when buying a die-cut puzzle...but, this one carries a MSRP of $41.75.

The colorful box top painting shows a pair of wartime Vals about to deliver their payload, and the many state-of-the-art CAD illustrations and profiles on the other box panels suggest this is the best kit to reproduce the aircraft in miniature.  I had hoped I would get to review this one and soon learned why my mother often said, “Be careful what you wish for.”  A good-looking model is certainly possible, but only if you have reference material to consult, and begin the project with the knowledge that the guys at Cyber Hobby may have thought they were working for a puzzle company.

Unlike the 500-piece puzzle that takes many hours to solve, this Cyber Hobby kit manages to do almost the same thing with a mere 91 pieces.  How did they do it?  Let me explain…

Trytool Tweezers

Published: September 19th, 2012     
Trytool Tweezers
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Hasegawa

From time to time, Hasegawa blesses us with a new high quality tool that seems like just the thing that model builders need to make their tasks a bit easier.  The most recent item in Hasegawa’s Trytool line is exactly that.  It is a set of precision stainless steel tweezers with a pair of small flat tips that should hold anything firmly during parts assembly or painting.

Antonov An-2/An-2CX Colt

Published: September 18th, 2012     
Antonov An-2/An-2CX Colt
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hobby Boss

I have always had an interest in the An-2 ever since watching one take off across the width of the runway at Shaw AFB. It is good to see a 1/48 kit of this much used multi-purpose aircraft.

This kit makes the fifth time that the An-2 has been kitted in 1/48 scale. The first was a Soviet Union-made “desk top” model kit similar to the Allyn and Microscale kits. Neomega did one in resin, and short-run injection companies Bilek and Valom have also issued 1/48 Colt models. This new kit by Hobby Boss marks the first time a major model company has produced an injection molded kit of the An-2.

Having already built the Valom offering, I was very interested to see what Hobby Boss provided.The kit comes in a stout box with 245 parts on 11 sprues. The clear parts are separately bagged, wrapped in a cushioning material, and further protected by being held in a separate compartment in the box. This kit was built out of the box with only the addition of lap belts for the pilot and co-pilot seats.

Operation Overlord, June-September 1944, Volume 1

Published: September 17th, 2012     
Operation Overlord, June-September 1944, Volume 1
Author: Compiled by Neil Robinson
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: AIRfile Publications

AIRfile’s Operation Overlord provides a detailed description of the “Distinctive Markings” carried by Allied aircraft in Northwestern Europe.  Volume One is dedicated to RAF and Commonwealth aircraft, with USAAF machines to be covered in a later volume.

The production and research quality of this book is first-rate.  Stiff card covers enclose over 70 glossy pages printed on thick stock.  Full-color profiles are present on almost every page.

The first section of this book covers those “Distinctive Markings” carried by RAF aircraft during the portion of the War prior to the invasion of Europe.  The specific markings carried by British aircraft are described and illustrated.  General RAF markings practice (such as the ½-black undersides used for recognition from the ground) is covered.  Also, of particular interest, markings relating to specific aircraft such as the Typhoon and Mustang are shown.

Spinner Car From "Blade Runner"

Published: September 17th, 2012     
Spinner Car From "Blade Runner"
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/24
Company: Fujimi

When Fujimi announced a group of vehicle kits based on the 1982 movie Blade Runner, I was excited. This is one of my favorite movies, with great actors like Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, moody lighting, and great special effects. The first release in this series is a 1/24th scale Spinner Police Car. The Spinner is one of the iconic cars in the series, as it is a flying police car which can also change to a normal driving car.

Inside the box are eight sprues. Five of these are molded perfectly in white styrene with one perfectly clear sprue for the windshield and parts. Lastly, there is one sprue molded in transparent blue and one in transparent red for the police lights. There is an excellent decals sheet and a small PE fret with “Spinner” logos.

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