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Bachem Ba.349 Natter

Published: June 26th, 2016     
Bachem Ba.349 Natter
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun

The Aircraft

The Bachem Ba 349 “Natter” was another of those last-ditch attempts by the Axis powers to stave off defeat. The Japanese had the MXY7 “Okha” which was supposed to stop the US fleets off Japan. The Natter was supposed to shoot down the fleets of bombers which were reducing the cities of the Reich to rubble on a daily basis.

The concept here was an aircraft which needed no airfield, but was launched vertically using rockets to get the aircraft to altitude. There was a pilot, but his job was to aim the rockets contained in the nose at the bombers, and pull the trigger. An autopilot was supposed to guide the Natter from take off to the intercept area. After the rockets were fired, the Natter was supposed to descend to lower altitude, where the “pilot” would jettison the canopy. This would cause the Natter to split into forward and rear sections. The rear section was reusable, and should descend with a parachute. The pilot also had a parachute. The rear end would be recovered, a new front end installed, and it would be ready for another mission.

Windsock Centenary Special: The Last Flight of the L31

Published: June 26th, 2016     
Windsock Centenary Special: The Last Flight of the L31
Author: Ray Rimmell; Illustrator: Ronny Bar
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Albatros Productions Ltd.

Ray Rimell is releasing a limited edition volume (1,000 individually numbered and signed copies) of the ‘true story of the Potters Bar Zeppelin’. A companion volume on ‘The Last Flight of the L31’ is being released simultaneously. The cover features a painting by Ray Rimell depicting 2/Lt. Wulstan Joseph Tempest firing into the hull of L31 on the night of October 1, 1916. Ronny Bar contributes a large color side profile of Tempest’s RAF Be2c 4577. I counted 56 photographs (including eleven in color) and a scale drawing of a ‘R’ Class Zeppelin 1916 of which L31 was the second example.

Scale Model Handbook: Diorama Modelling 1

Published: June 26th, 2016     
Scale Model Handbook:  Diorama Modelling 1
Author: Various
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Mr. Black Publications

This is the first in a series of diorama modelling handbooks to be published by Mr. Black Publications (the second has also been released). Mr. Black is a relatively new, European-based company specializing in modeling ‘how-to’ books and modeling-related history books. On their website they also offer a small selection of vignette bases and some pro-built models.

This handbook is in the standard European A4 (roughly 8 ½” x 11”) format, and is printed on very high quality, thick matte paper. There are over 400 photos between the covers.

The contents comprise of 9 articles, each written by a different author, explaining the construction and detailing of vignette-style dioramas. The emphasis is on figure-related dioramas, and the contents are as follows:

1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2 "Barbarossa" Limited Edition

Published: June 26th, 2016     
1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2 "Barbarossa" Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

History Brief

Operation Barbarossa, the famous German invasion of the Soviet Union, was the most titanic clash of arms in all history. The forces arrayed on each side numbered in the millions. The territory captured stretched from the Polish border to the doorstep of Moscow. Everywhere, the Luftwaffe roared overhead. The losses inflicted by the Bf 109 and its compatriots gave Germany total tactical air superiority and very nearly handed Hitler a victory in Russia.

The Product

When first released in 1991 the old girl set the standard and has stood the test of time. It has been re-released many times over the years. The gray plastic is still almost flash free and lightly littered with pesky ejector pin marks. The clear parts are decent but showing their age, a total of 67 pieces included. The kit features recessed panel lines with delicate features. The instructions are the standard B&W fold outs we’ve grown accustomed too. Also included is a very small photoetch fret. This kit features two decal options for 1941.

F-4C Upgrade Set

Published: June 26th, 2016     
F-4C Upgrade Set
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26226
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Whether you have the Academy or the Eduard F-4C (same kit actually) there are little things that can be added to make it an even better kit. Eduard is known for its quality photoetch.

There are two brass frets are included in this set. One fret of photoetch is primarily the cockpit sill and canopy framing.

The second, larger one is an extensive upgrade for the landing gear wheel wells and doors. This is something that Academy probably should have done better, but the photoetch parts are easy to add and upgrade the area. The wheel wells are busied up to a more realistic look. Every door on the landing gear is treated to realistic pattern thanks to the PE. There are some parts for the drop tanks, missiles and bombs as well.

The fit of all the parts that I used were perfect for their application. The canopy frame required some minor bending but it added the missing detail to the canopy when posed open. The wheel wells reproduce the pattern in the wheel well.

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