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Spitfire Aces of Burma and the Pacific

Published: May 28th, 2013     
Spitfire Aces of Burma and the Pacific
Author: Andrew Thomas
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

This book follows the operational use of the Spitfire starting in Australia, moving into India, then onto Rangoon, The East Indies, and then with the last mission being flown on 10 August 1945. The last mission that day was a search for a Mosquito in distress.

The author takes you on a journey as the book goes along, using many first-hand accounts and after-action reports. It is interesting to read about how these pilots had thought that they had encounter one type of Japanese plane only to find out through the author’s research that it was a different type. Just goes to show how in the heat of combat everything becomes a blur and you just start relying on your training.

The book is loaded with period black and white photographs showing these aircraft in action. There are nine pages of color drawings of many of the aircraft used, with four aircraft per page. At the end of the book is a narrative of each of these aircraft and who flew them. There is also a chart in the appendices that goes over the different aces and their claims.

German Military Staff Car Sd. Kfz.1 Type 170 VK

Published: May 27th, 2013     
German Military Staff Car Sd. Kfz.1 Type 170 VK
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Brown, IPMS# 42302
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box

This review is of the Master Box German Military Staff Car, WWII Era, Sd.Kfz.1 Type 170 VK, also known as the Mercedes Benz 170 VK. Since I am a lazy typist I am going to refer to this as the “Mercedes” during this review.

Well, this is one of those kits that is different, and therefore a welcome challenge. The kit consists of three main builds: the engine, the frame, and the carriage.

The engine is a complete engine minus the wiring and oil leak. It is a really neat thing to have, and it is INCLUDED! No extras to buy, no aftermarket stuff, but included. It went together without any problems. There is a little flash to clean up on the fan, but that was minor.

Next step is the frame, which also went together without any difficulties. There was some minor flash to clean up, but nothing too bad. The engine gets attached to the frame, and then everything is attached to the underside of the body.

American Indian Tribes of the Southwest

Published: May 27th, 2013     
American Indian Tribes of the Southwest
Author: Michael G. Johnson
Reviewed by: Kenneth McDevitt, IPMS# 46356
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is another fine publication in Osprey Publishing’s Men-at-Arms series. There are 10 books in the series that covers the Indians of America. This publication covers the Indian tribes of the Southwest, which is mainly Arizona and New Mexico and some of the surrounding states.  The contents cover the history of the tribes, the Spanish Invasion, and the approximately 35 tribes in the Southwest. This number includes all the major tribal groups along with their sub-tribes. There is a description of the major tribal groups and their main characteristics, hunting, gathering, and customs. The section on language and tribal accents is particularly interesting. The major tribes of Ute, Apache (with 4 variants), Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, and Pueblo are covered, as well as marginal tribes. Numerous photographs from circa 1870 up to 1910 are included, along with color art work, maps, and illustrations.

Content overview:

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 35, Issue 4

Published: May 26th, 2013     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 35, Issue 4
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

The June issue features a build of the classic F4U-4 Corsair by HobbyBoss. This six-page article by Brian Wakeman will serve as an excellent reference for anyone wishing to build the F4U-4 early version. Brian’s article details the process he used to build the kit and then to weather the model. The end result is stunning. Brian includes a list of the supplies he used to achieve the spectacular results seen in the images.

Brian’s article is immediately followed by a companion article by James Ashton. James uses the companion kit to HB’s #80386 Corsair, by using HB’s #80387 F4U-4 late. This article also provides a rich and detailed storyline of the build process. James weathered with acrylic over lacquer, separated by a coat of AKI fluid. The end result is a truly spectacular weathered effect. The article, similar to Brian’s, includes a list of materials used and is augmented by images that are rich in detail and superb in quality.

Windsock Worldwide Vol. 29 No.2

Published: May 26th, 2013     
Windsock Worldwide Vol. 29 No.2
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Albatros Productions, Ltd.

The March/April 2013 issue of Windsock Worldwide is the second issue of Volume 29, and the cover photo of a TVAL reproduction Sopwith Snipe foretells the main feature of this issue.  The Snipe is the centerpiece, presented with an exclusive pictorial coverage that provides modelers with much, and supports subsequent product reviews of Wingnut Wings’ two new Sopwith Snipe kits.  But, before getting to the Snipe, this issue is packed with a wealth of relevant news and other features.

The first regular column; the READER’S GALLERY, presents photo coverage of four highly detailed models ranging from a static 1/72 scale model to a 1/6 scale flying model.  Then, following a brief Front Line News column, there is a RARA AVIS covering a one-of-a-kind Swedish Friedrichshafen G.IIIA.  Lance Krieg then brings Chapter Eight of his valuable WWI Modeling Master Class to closure with two pages devoted to “Concluding The Chapters on Adding Extra Detail to WWI Models.”

Fokker D.VII (OAW)

Published: May 26th, 2013     
Fokker D.VII (OAW)
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/32
Company: Wingnut Wings, Ltd

The D.VII is my first go at a Wingnut Wings (WNW) kit, and I chose it for several reasons.  The D.VII is one of the most recognizable aircraft used in World War I, perhaps even more so than the Dr. I.  That having been said, the most significant feature that put this kit above the other WNW offerings for me was the sparse rigging that would be required.  I don’t mind rigging per se, having tackled a number of 1/48th kits that are fully rigged, but I did not want to make my initial WNW project any more difficult or complex than it needed to be by adding rigging to the process.

I expected that the kit would present some challenges, especially since I am not a Master Modeler or anywhere near that level of skill.  In fact, I consider myself to be a good modeler, but no more than just “good.”  I’d seen a number of  WNW kits and I had some concerns about my ability to complete the D.VII at a show or contest level, much less at a level at which I could display it in the War Room Display Case where, for all intents and purposes, I would be the only person to view it.

A6M5 Zero Gun Barrels & Pitot

Published: May 26th, 2013     
A6M5 Zero Gun Barrels & Pitot
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost now offers model builders an aftermarket detail set that replaces the wing gun barrels and pitot tube found in Tamiya’s 1/72 A6M5 kit.  The parts provide a higher level of detail and accuracy, and the gun barrels are molded with open ends.  The parts are designed simply to drop-in, in place of the kit part, and provide better detail.

The parts are molded in Quickboost’s familiar resin on a small casting block with protective bars on the ends. The quality of the molding is quite flawless, with no bubbles, pinholes, or flash to deal with.  A sharp #11 X-Acto blade or razor saw blade is the only tool needed to remove the parts from the casting block, and a quick swipe with a sanding stick can dress up the cut, if necessary.  Because they are resin, they must be anchored with superglue or epoxy cement.

These detail parts will be a very nice addition to the 1/72 scale Tamiya 1/72 A6M5 kit.  This set is highly recommended.

I appreciate receiving these detail parts from Quickboost, and thank IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review them.

Bf-110F Nachtjager

Published: May 25th, 2013     
Bf-110F Nachtjager
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

The Bf-110F was a transitional aircraft.  It was put in place with the failure of the Me-210.  It was an interim until the G-2 could be produced in numbers.  Only 500 were made, divided between night fighters and fighter bombers.

Interestingly, Eduard elected to release the F as a weekend edition.  This is the first time that the Bf-110F has been available in any scale that I know of.  This cardboard box is so jam-packed with plastic it is surprising to me that it costs so little.  Because of the transitional status of the real aircraft, it had features of the older E model and the newer still-to-come G model.  Eduard’s parts break down shows this transitional parts listing, necessitating the parts from each of the earlier releases.  There are a lot of extra parts because of it, even extra fuselage halves.

Messerschmitt Bf-110E Gun Barrels

Published: May 24th, 2013     
Messerschmitt Bf-110E Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost has produced a set of resin gun barrels to replace the nose armament for the Eduard Bf-110E kit.  The only real differences between the kit and replacement parts are that the resin part is one piece, whereas the kit parts need to be glued together, and the gun barrels are drilled out, allowing for more realism. Once installed, the gun barrels are barely  visible, although the drilled out muzzles do stand out, and the parts are so small that drilling them out could be a bit tedious at best.

This is a nice little addition to what is already an excellent kit.  Recommended. My thanks to Quickboost and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review these items.

Hasegawa J2M2 Raiden (Jack) Prototype

Published: May 24th, 2013     
Hasegawa J2M2 Raiden (Jack) Prototype
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/32
Company: Hasegawa

The J2M series of aircraft were designed by Dr. Jiro Horikoshi who also was responsible for the Zero / Zeke design.  The J2M (Allied code name “Jack”) was designed in 1939 and first flown in March of 1942.  A total of 621 J2M Raiden (Japanese for Thunderbolt) series of aircraft J2M1 through J2M6 were produced with the M2 and M3 accounting for 438 of the total built. 

I’m a big fan of all things Thunderbolt including this fine Japanese aircraft that shares the nickname with our beloved P-47.  The box arrived at my house and what greeted me inside the standard issue model box is what I would expect from any Hasegawa kit.  A quick inspection of each individually bagged sprues again yielded no surprises. The parts were all flash free and the detail was what I expect from Hasegawa kits.  Decals are provided for two aircraft, one of which is the all-orange J2M2 prototype, the second is a J2M2 Type 11 early model flown with the 302nd Naval Flying Group, Ataugi A.F.  More on the decals later in this review.