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F4D-1 Skyray Part 1

Published: November 24th, 2012     
F4D-1 Skyray Part 1
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney, IPMS# 2989 and others.
Scale: 1/32
Company: Fisher Model and Pattern

Being a fan of large scale planes (1/32 and above), I was excited when Paul Fisher from Fisher Model and Pattern announced an impending 1/32 F4D-1 Skyray. No one else would have the tenacity and devotion to make one, and as a fan of US Navy planes, this was a dream come true for me. The plane itself has not been made in 1/32 before and is a welcome addition. This is going to be a multi-part build. In this part, we'll take a look at what you get in the box and then dive right into a full build in subsequent parts.

For those not having built a Fisher kit, they are cast in resin with photoetch detail added, and this kit is no different. The parts are cast in a light gray resin that holds detail well. There are approximately 157 parts to the kit. The windscreen and the canopy are molded in clear resin, as are the seeker heads for the missiles.

WWII US Light Weapons & Equipment Set

Published: November 24th, 2012     
WWII US Light Weapons & Equipment Set
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

This is a set of lots of US weapons that will be useful for dioramas or as stowage on vehicles. There are two bags of weapons with a complete set in each bag, contained on three sprues. There is also a sprue of canvas bags.

I built up the M2 .50 cal machine gun on a tripod, the 60mm mortar, and a bazooka. The machine gun has 20 parts and most are pretty small. But we get a highly detailed gun and very nice belt- fed ammo. The mortar has 13 parts and a couple of rounds for it. The barrels are hollowed out, but a little more drilling is needed. The stowage is as good as resin pieces, and the M1 helmets are the best I’ve seen in plastic. The only problem I see is a bent M1 carbine barrel, since there are three sprues packed in one plastic bag.

Here is a listing of what you get:

Pheasant 17/25 Pounder Anti-Tank Gun Crew Set

Published: November 24th, 2012     
Pheasant 17/25 Pounder Anti-Tank Gun Crew Set
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

This five-man crew is designed for Bronco’s British 17/25 Pounder Anti-Tank Gun “Pheasant”, #CB35071.  They are dressed for the Tunisia, Sicily, or Italy Campaign. Each crewman is molded on his own sprue, lettered A to E. These sprues are attached to a central sprue rod, so it looks like they could be mixed and matched later with other figures or weapons sprues. We get a loader, ammo handler, seated gunner, an officer pointing, and a guy standing with his hands on his hips. The instructions are on the back of the box, along with paint references for four different brands.

The molding is flash-free and has very nice undercutting details on the pockets and collars. The heads are molded sideways on the sprue, in one piece. The seams run around the heads on the helmet chin straps, which make then a little too thick. But it sure makes for easier cleanup and painting. I left the heads attached to the sprues and used it as a handle while painting.

F-18E/F Hornet Landing Gear

Published: November 24th, 2012     
F-18E/F Hornet Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

New to the Scale Aircraft Conversions line is a set of gear for a Revell F-18E/F. The set comes in five pieces with the three main gear and two small retraction links all cast in sturdy white metal. I included pictures of the gear with its plastic counterparts and the detail is good. One issue I have had building F-18 kits in 1/48 or larger scale is there sometimes is a tendency to sag based on the way the main landing gear are configured. The attachment points on this gear have a key the attaches it to the fuselage via three points of contact and, being white metal, this should prevent any long term issues. I included some shots of them on the Revell kit for reference and fit is very good.

One thing to note – these are for the Revell kit.  They could be made to fit the Hasegawa offering but don't bother, just purchase set 48005, the correct gear set for Hasegawa kits.

Another nice replacement set for Hornet fans. My thanks to Ross McMillan of Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this product.
 

The Mole from "Thunderbirds"

Published: November 23rd, 2012     
The Mole from "Thunderbirds"
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aoshima

Nostalgia – there's nothing that warms the heart more at times. Being the age I am, I remember Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds, a marionette based Sci-Fi show which originally aired in 1965-66. The cool weapons and craft, the evil villains, the puppets – all very cool! Lately, Aoshima has been reissuing kits from the original series and this review will deal with my favorite, "The Mole."

The Curtiss SB2C in French Service

Published: November 23rd, 2012     
The Curtiss SB2C in French Service
Author: Phil H. Listemann
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Philedition

This book looks at the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver in French Service. In need of aircraft after WWII, the French Navy received the first 56 of what was to be a force of 110 Helldivers in 1949. Already considered obsolete by the US and not so affectionately nicknamed “Son of Bitch 2nd Class” by US personnel who operated it, the French Navy set about putting it to use in Indo-China.

This book is a brief overview of Helldiver operations by the three Flotille so equipped. Each is presented in a short “newspaper article” style, followed by some very brief coverage of Helldiver use by second-line units. The text section concludes with a listing of aircraft and personnel lost on operations.

There are some nice operational photos within, and two very nice color shots. The profiles are well done, covering twelve examples. All are dark sea blue with white markings and would be quite boring if not for the French roundels and tri-color tail stripes.

British Heavy Assault Tank A-39 Tortoise

Published: November 23rd, 2012     
British Heavy Assault Tank A-39 Tortoise
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

The relatively new Chinese company, Meng, has recently released the first-ever rendition of the British A-39 Tortoise, a behemoth ostensibly created to join battle with the German super-heavy tanks being designed at the close of World War II.  The mind boggles at the specter of a platoon of (Tortai?) engaging a gaggle of MAUS monsters on the plains of Europe.  Of the six vehicles completed, however, only one was sent across the channel for field testing, but it never entered combat.

The Kit

My first thought upon opening the box was: This is a big tank.  Not a lot of parts, but what’s there is significant.  Much has been said about the delicate nature of some of the parts that represent electric lines and cables.  Well, they weren’t kidding.  The first thing I did when I opened the box was to snip out the frame surrounding these parts carefully (they are all together) and place that sprue section in an envelope to protect it.  I have no doubt that the weight of a single un-bagged sprue lying up against these parts would have broken the delicate pieces.

RQ-7B Shadow Drone

Published: November 22nd, 2012     
RQ-7B Shadow Drone
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

The RQ-7 Shadow is a UAV used by the US Army and Marine Corps for surveying the battlefield for damage assessment and just about anything else. It is made to be compact and portable. It is launched by a pneumatic track and recovered with arresting gear similar to what’s used onboard aircraft carriers. Academy has offered a great diorama of this UAV. I could call it a kit but it comes with a base, two choices of pneumatic launchers, and two complete figures, so the term diorama is accurate. Also included are two sheets of decals – one with markings for the UAV and the second with digital camouflage for the figures.

Assembly is a snap in that the entire UAV is 27 pieces. I needed a little filler around the sides of the fuselage, but that’s it. Be careful of the two tail booms! They are petite and accurate but very thin and can be bent or broken. Attaching the v-shaped tail gives some strength. I did leave the wheels off for ease of painting. The engine was built separately and contains almost a third of the total kit parts, and is a good representation of the 38HP Wankel engine that powers the full-size UAV.

Austro-Hungarian Battleships 1914-18

Published: November 22nd, 2012     
Austro-Hungarian Battleships 1914-18
Author: Ryan Noppen
Reviewed by: Steve Zajac, IPMS# 34937
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publishing’s latest monograph focuses on the waning years of the Habsburg Empire, and the Kaiserliche und Konigliche (k.u.k) Kriegsmarine's effort to protect its southern coast on the Adriatic Sea before and during WWI.  Today, the coast and the cities along the coast, Trieste, Pola, and Fiume, among others, are parts of present day Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The book features fine illustrations of the 5 ship classes, 2 “in action” paintings, and many sharp black and white photos, sure to be of interest to ship modelers.  The only weakness is the lack of a map of the 1914 Habsburg Empire's coast, and theater of operations during WWI.

AIM-7M Sparrow Missiles

Published: November 22nd, 2012     
AIM-7M Sparrow Missiles
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw, IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

For most modelers, we all will spend lots of time and energy detailing the aircraft to the max, yet when we get to the ordnance, we are left wanting by the kit-supplied items. Eduard comes to the rescue within their Brassin line and provides a great set of Sparrows for your latest detailed build.  Designed and molded with the latest technology, they will satisfy the need for detail.

A Little History

The AIM-7 Sparrow family was birthed out of a late 1940’s project to develop an aerial beam-riding rocket out of the HVAR used during WWII.  Douglas quickly discovered the size of the HVAR was inadequate for the needed electronics, so the body was enlarged.  The result was the AAM-2 Sparrow I, which made its first “interception” in 1952, and was carried onboard Skyknights and later F3H-2M Demons and F7U Cutlasses.  It use was limited, but it did pave the way for further development.

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