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European Hay Wagon

Published: December 28th, 2013     
European Hay Wagon
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Plusmodel

Plus Model out of the Czech Republic makes great diorama accessories and kits. I state that upfront as more people need to hear about these great items. This kit is a European style hay wagon in 1/35 scale. the kit is entirely resin with 25 gray resin parts and a small piece of wire. The parts molding is excellent with wood grain molded in subtly to the parts. As with any kit, each part will need cut from its pour block and cleaned. The parts are well done but it pays to take care here. I used a fine razor saw and cut the parts loose and scraped/sanded away the molding lines. Once done, I washed the parts in dish soap and warm water in case there was mold release and the parts were ready for assembly.

Assembly was very straight forward and quick. The front wheel/axle assembly is first and fit is excellent. The brake assembly is added also. Super glue was used for all building by the way. Next, the rear axle/wheels are added and joined to the front. You can leave this part moveable. Final assembly builds the top of the wagon, brake handles and the front hitches for the horses. Total time build was maybe 20-25 minutes which was well short of prep time.

A-3D-2 of VAH-1 'Smokin Tigers' Decals

Published: December 28th, 2013     
A-3D-2 of VAH-1 'Smokin Tigers' Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Squadron Products

Superscale initial release for Trumpeters 1/48th scale A-3D-2 with a marking set for the VAH-1 "Smokin' Tigers". Looking at the Internet, there are some great pictures of the Skywarrior in these markings especially on a cruise on the Internet.

The decals come in a single sheet. The sheet contains the markings for the kit including some of the major stencils. The sheet has great registration and color and are printed by Cartograph in Italy. The markings are distinctive with a large red flash on the side and great tail markings. Decals are provided for one airframe, build number 138932. The kit has a great color scheme with the gull gray over white being the primary colors. The nose and the leading edge of the tail is black.  The engine parts are metallic titanium and gunmetal. The paint scheme is in full color on a single sheet and has references for those wishing further reading.

Trumpeter keeps hitting the mark with these kit releases and these decal provide a great option to make the color scheme brighter and more eye-catching. Highly recommended.

A-6A Intruder VA-95 'Green Lizards' Decals

Published: December 28th, 2013     
A-6A Intruder VA-95 'Green Lizards' Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Squadron Products

Superscale continues its releases for Trumpeters 1/32nd scale A-6 with a marking set for the VA-95 Green Lizards. VA-95 has been active/inactive many times flying Skyhawks, Skyraiders and the Intruders. The decals here represent the Green Lizards during August 1974 aboard the USS Coral Sea. There are several great web sites dedicated to VA-95 and a quick Google search will find them with lots of photos.

The decals come in two sheets. One contains the markings for the kit including some of the major stencils. A second small sheets contains the national markings. Both sheets have great registration and color and are printed by Cartograph in Italy.  Decals are provided for one airframe, build number 156995. the kit has a great color scheme with the gull gray over white being the primary colors. The intakes are a deep green and the radome is tan. The markings really highlight the tail. The paint scheme is in full color on a single sheet and has references for those wishing further reading.

Trumpeters kit was long awaited and Superscale continues to provide and excellent set of markings to go with that kit. Highly recommended!

A-6A Intruder VA-115 'Arabs' Decals

Published: December 28th, 2013     
A-6A Intruder VA-115 'Arabs' Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Squadron Products

Superscale continues its excellent decal releases with a set for Trumpeter's 1/32nd scale A-6 with this release of markings for the A-6A for the VA-115 Arabs. VA-115 transitioned to A-6's during the 1967-70 time frame and these marking represent the Arabs on board the USS Midway in 1973. Specifically, the markings are for build number 156995. The color scheme for the plane was gull gray over white with the tail in black and green cap, rudder in white and green tips and fins to the fuel tanks. The radome was tan also.

This set includes a single sheet with all the markings needed to represent this build. Stencils will come from the kit. national markings are included and the decals are well printed with great registration. The printing was done by Cartograph and is superb. Instructions are in full color and give paint colors in name and FS numbers which is great. A reference list is also provided showing appropriate books that can be used.

Trumpeters kit was long awaited and welcomed. Superscale has filled a need and provided and excellent set of markings to go with that kit. Highly recommended!

Ultracast plain wheels and offset tread tires for Mosquito

Published: December 28th, 2013     
Ultracast plain wheels and offset tread tires for Mosquito
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Ultracast

Ultracast is one of those companies that we AMS modelers can’t live without… Thanks up front for this excellent set, and to IPMS USA for sending it my way…Now to figure out which Mossie I’m gonna build…

These, like the previous set reviewed a few weeks ago, are simple replacement items for the Tamiya wheel and tire sets in their Mosquito kits.  As previously done, I have assembled one of each, the Tamiya kit item on the left, and the Ultracast wheel/tire on the right. 

Again, small details matter. There are no wheel spokes on this set, but the tire radial lines and it’s excellent “Offset Z” tread stands out.  No seam filling; just carefully removing the tire from the pour stub is required.  The tire “weight” is simulated in a subtle way, not overdone like others.

Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a

Published: December 28th, 2013     
Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/48
Company: Revell, Inc.

This kit brings back some memories!  As model builders, we all remember certain events in our model building history that bring back memories (good or bad) that have influenced our personal model building pastime.  This kit, under the Monogram Moniker, was my first attempt at finishing a kit other than OOTB.  I used a heated straight pin (under my Dad’s watchful eye) and made bullet strafe marks through the plastic engine nacelle (the one that had the engine in it and the rear fuselage.  Of course I now know that it wasn’t accurate but it was a step at making me a better and more interesting model builder.

Monogram first released this kit way back in the day.  Under the Monogram name it went through several box art changes.  There were also several decal changes.  The original 1978 release allowed for the marking of five different aircraft.  It was also molded in green styrene.  Very little has changed since 1978.  The Revell re-release still has only 87 parts now molded in grey and six in clear.  The decal sheet allows for decaling four different Swallows in Europe during 1944-1945.

British Paratrooper vs Fallschirmjäger

Published: December 28th, 2013     
British Paratrooper vs Fallschirmjäger
Author: David Greentree Illustrator - Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

Paratroopers have been regarded as elite group of soldiers since their inception. Generally the requirements and physical demands were higher and many of the missions that were assigned to them were high risk, thus the elite status. In this book the author takes a comparative look at the British Paratrooper vs. the German Fallschirmjager in the Mediterranean 1942-43.

The book starts off with a organizational look at the two units. The requirements for soldiers that wanted to join these units is explained along with the operational tactics used by each. There are three operations covered where these two units were engaged with each other. Two of the operations were in North Africa and one in Italy. There is an excellent narrative that describes each action along with period photographs and color maps that show the movements of the units during the operation. The book concludes with an analysis of the two units and the lessons learned by both.    

B-57B/G Canberra Landing Gear (Ita)

Published: December 28th, 2013     
B-57B/G Canberra Landing Gear (Ita)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Thanks again to Ross at SAC for providing IPMS USA this review set, one of what must be by now hundreds of sets he provides for the modelling community. I’m a prolific convert to them!

The Italeri B-57 series, released in the late 1980’s, was a serious jump forward for the modeling community. The only other kits at the time were modified from existing British Canberra kits with the “fish bowl” canopy. The introduction of the B-57 with it’s front and back canopy for the U.S. variants was most timely.

The only problem with the kit was the nose gear was a bit too far extended for ground operation, as the B-57 has a “nose down” attitude when at rest, loaded or not.  In order to correct this, one had to cut part of the oleo out, and re-glue the gear together with epoxy or superglue. Some even resorted to installing a pin through the strut, which worked well.  

“Fireball” Roberts ’57 Ford

Published: December 28th, 2013     
“Fireball” Roberts ’57 Ford
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

A rather large box arrived from the Review Corp helper the other day, containing several car kits and one airplane. The boxes all were the same to me. These are cars and to be honest, other than helping a nice lady sell off her late son’s collection, I know nothing about cars. I am however learning a large amount of information from them. This kit had a lot more weight to it than all the others and I wanted to know why. Was it the two metal axles, additional parts, super detail stuff that added to the weight? I had to know!

We all know the story of Monogram and Revell becoming one entity. I thought that most of the Monogram line was re-kitted using the 85- as an identifier. However, I also thought Monogram kits were all 1/24 and only Revell kits in 1/25. This is an 85- numbered kit but in 1/25 so maybe my assumptions were wrong. Either way, this is a really nice kit.

Well, I may not know the EXACT reason for weight increase but I may have a good idea. The tires are solid rubber/vinyl which adds to weight and there are a lot of sprues. There are a total of 15 sprues. That is a lot for a car kit….I guess!

AIM-54A Phoenix

Published: December 27th, 2013     
AIM-54A Phoenix
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

For fans of US Naval Aviation and those fascinated with the Cold War, an incomparable weapon system and platform pairing was the F-14 Tomcat with the AWG-9 radar and the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. The AIM-54 was the long range fangs of the F-14 that gave the aircraft the capability to engage the Soviet Naval Aviation threat and its vast arsenal of anti-ship cruise missiles at very long range.  It is ironic that the weapon system developed for the F-111B should end up in the Tomcat, the plane Grumman designed to supplant the faltering Navy F-111. There was and has been no equal to the missile. The Iranians used it to deadly effect in the Iran-Iraq war and it was so highly regarded, it was copied by the Soviet Union for pairing with the Mig-31.

To date the options for Phoenix missiles in 1/48 scale have been the missiles provided in the various F-14 kits and the Hasegawa weapons set.  These missiles varied in detail, with the Hasegawa offering perhaps being the best. Now in steps Eduard Brassin producing a 1/48 resin version, of not only the AIM-54A but the later C variant. The early A model is the subject of this review.

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