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EA-6B Prowler, VAQ-135 Black Ravens 2010

Published: August 25th, 2012     
EA-6B Prowler, VAQ-135 Black Ravens 2010
Reviewed by: Matthew Cottrell, IPMS# 48174
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

Aircraft History

The EA-6B Prowler is an electronic warfare aircraft operated by the US Navy and Marine Corps since 1971.  With a crew of 4, the Prowler can take on several roles, such as jamming and electronic intelligence gathering, or even an offensive role when equipped with the HARM missile.  There have been several upgrades throughout the Prowler’s life, culminating in the current ICAP III version.  Today, the Navy has begun to replace their Prowlers with the EA-18G Growler.  However, the Prowler is expected to continue to fly with the USMC until 2017.

Voyager Unmanned Space Probe

Published: August 24th, 2012     
Voyager Unmanned Space Probe
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

Hasegawa’s Voyager is the 2nd in a series of “Science World” kits. The 1st offering in this series is the 1/72 Manned Research Submersible Shinkai 6500, an intriguing kit in its own right. For those who enjoy “real space” subjects, the release of the Voyager is a stroke of luck.

NASA launched two spacecraft during the Voyager program, known as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The actual Voyagers were almost identical, and that being the case this model can be said to represent either vehicle.

At the time of this writing, Voyager is 18,169,754,598 KM from the Earth. In the time it took to type these two sentences Voyager extended that distance to 18,169,757,539 KM. I find that stunning!

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #44, Summer 2012

Published: August 24th, 2012     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #44, Summer 2012
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Company: Model Art

Model Art No. 44 is devoted to Super Dreadnoughts – battleships from the beginning (HMS Dreadnought in 1907) to the US Navy’s Iowa class (the last operational dreadnought).  As usual, in this issue there is extensive historical information along with kit builds of examples.  The magazine itself is A4 size – somewhat longer and less wide than standard US 8.5 x 11 inches.  There is a centerfold with the full-sized cover art of the Yamato firing a full broadside and Tamiya’s 1/350 Yamato model.

The coverage starts with a 14-page pictorial on Zvezda’s 1/350 HMS Dreadnought, the battleship that lended its name to describe the world’s most powerful weapon at that time.  A beautiful kit, with pages of how to build the kit.

Next up is the ultimate Super Dreadnought – Tamiya’s 1/350 IJN Yamato.  20 pages showing details on building the kit (in late 1944 fit).  Again, a beautifully built model.

M151 MUTT In Action

Published: August 23rd, 2012     
M151 MUTT In Action
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

Tracing its origins back to a set of 1950 requirements for a replacement for the M38 family of vehicles of World War II “Jeep” descent, the M151 Military Utility Tactical Truck (MUTT) became the primary ¼-ton tactical vehicle of the United States Armed Forces until the advent of the HUMMWV in the mid-1980’s.

In the course of 80 pages packed with 220 photos – mostly color – and a handful of line drawings, author David Doyle captures the genesis and service life of this legendary military vehicle.  Although “In Action” in name, plenty of detail photos and narrative are provided of the vehicle in various phases of development, assembly and maintenance – a modeler’s treasure chest!

Operational photographs and narrative capture the MUTT’s service in numerous configurations, conflicts, and theaters of operation, including Vietnam, NATO and PACOM exercises, Beirut, Grenada, and others.

Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot – Battle of Britain

Published: August 23rd, 2012     
Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot – Battle of Britain
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/32
Company: Ultracast

This is the sixth Ultracast figure I have had the honor of reviewing and I can honestly say that each one is better than the last. This figure of a Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot is no exception.

It is sculpted by my friend Mike Good. He has a world reputation as a sculpture of pilots in every scale, and I believe I have painted every one of them.

This piece is cast in hard tan resin in five parts that fit perfectly. The engineering is superb in that the pieces are pegged in such a way that there is no way to fit them wrong.

After removing the casting blocks and minor cleanup of seam lines, I assembled the parts and mounted the figure on my favorite working block, a medicine container. I like this method because it affords me a surface to hold onto once the figure is CA glued to it, and after the painting it is easily removed from it.

T-34/76 Mod. 1943, No. 112 Factory

Published: August 23rd, 2012     
T-34/76 Mod. 1943, No. 112 Factory
Reviewed by: Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

History

The T-34 tank series proved to be quite a nasty surprise for the Germans after their invasion of Russia in June of 1941, and eventually influenced the design of future German armored vehicles.  So impressed were they with its capabilities, the Germans actually considered building their own version of the T-34.  The Russians built the T-34 in several factories during the war, many of which needed to be relocated to avoid capture by the advancing German armies.  Maintaining commonality in the vehicle became a challenge.  As with most military vehicles, actual combat revealed the need for changes and improvements in the base design.  The T-34 was no exception.  Initially, the factories focused their efforts on supplying the needs of the military without attempting to include too many improvements in the T-34.  Nonetheless, improvements were made.

M551 Sheridan Tank Walk Around

Published: August 23rd, 2012     
M551 Sheridan Tank Walk Around
Author: Chris Hughes
Reviewed by: Bart Cusumano, IPMS# 31882
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

When I’m not building in the era of World War 2, I’m doing Vietnam subjects, which made the choice to do this review quite obvious for me.  Just about all my modeling buddies are familiar with or have a number of these Squadron/Signal Walk Around books.  If you’re one of the few modelers who are not familiar with these titles, you should be - and this latest volume on the M551 Sheridan is no exception.

Presented in their customary landscape format, this 80-page softcover volume on the M551 is just chock-full of approximately 244 clear, close-up color photos of the exterior and interior of this small AFV.  An assortment of line drawings accompanies the photos and text, clearly helping to illustrate the engineering and function of various aspects (like the running gear) of the Sheridan.  The full-color cover illustrations (both front and back) are done by Don Greer and are up to the usual quality of his work.  There is a very short obligatory write-up on the Sheridan at the beginning of the book, but that is typical of these Walk Arounds, as they focus more on photos of the nuts and bolts of the subjects rather than on their histories.

Mitsubishi A6M-5c and J2M-3

Published: August 22nd, 2012     
Mitsubishi A6M-5c and J2M-3
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

History

The 352nd Flying Group was apparently activated in Japan on 1 August 1944 as a day and night fighter group, and operated from Omura Air Base in Japan until the end of the war.  They used the A6M5 Zeke 52, N1K2-J George, and J2M3 Jack in the interceptor role.  Apparently, their aircraft were marked with distinctive tail codes denoting their unit, and Hasegawa has seen fit to issue a “two-in-one” kit of two of the three types they operated.  I was able to find very little information on the unit history, and none is provided in the kit instructions or box art.  Thorpe’s book on Japanese Navy Camouflage and Markings only provides the dates and types operated. Osprey’s Imperial Japanese Navy Aces, 1937-1945, mentions the unit as having operated defending the Sasebo, Nagasaki, and Omura areas, but not too successfully against high flying B-29’s.

F3F-3 Landing Gear

Published: August 22nd, 2012     
F3F-3 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Russ continues to deliver bits and pieces which are, when you think of it, invaluable!  Most heavy thanks to him for providing IPMS USA yet another of his great works.

This set provides metal duplicates of the original plastic landing gear for a kit which has been with us since 1959.  (I have a box with the Gulfhawk kit; it proves, along with the decal sheet with manufacturing data, that this kit is just a year younger than I am!).  The kit was re-released by Monogram (and later by Revell) in 1964, 1973, and 1999, both as the Gulfhawk and the standard F3F.  The kit has cut-down Gulfhawk wings for both releases…to which Mike West has a replacements for the proper wingspan in resin, or you can use internet resources to cut/paste two kits to get the same result with a LOT more work!

Blast-Away Sandblasting Cabinet

Published: August 22nd, 2012     
Blast-Away Sandblasting Cabinet
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Blast-A-Way

The Blast-Away Sandblasting cabinet is also labeled as the Blast-A-Way Sandblasting cabinet. For the purposes of this review it will be labeled as the “Blast-Away” cabinet. That is the manner in which it is identified on the instruction booklet that accompanies the product.

The Blast-Away cabinet is made from corrugated plastic and arrives in a box roughly 40x 24x3. Within the review sample was the cabinet itself,  the clear “window” items which will be attached to the cabinet, and the 10 page instruction booklet. Additional parts can be purchased – those being additional clear plastic lenses, a replacement liner, and an exhaust manifold.

Setup is an easy process; it is recommended that you skim the instruction booklet to get an overview of that process, but use the video on the Blast-Away website to watch the inventor set up the booth in about 90 seconds. That video is on the “demos” page and the link is http://blastawaycabinets.com/demos/.

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