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75mm Pack Howitzer M1A1 & Gun Crew

Published: June 30th, 2015     
75mm Pack Howitzer M1A1  & Gun Crew
Reviewed by: Jim Stratton, IPMS# 20703
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Following their release of the 75mm Pack Howitzer with ¼ ton truck and crew, Bronco has released a British airborne version with a crew of five. When this kit came up for review, I had just finished building Vision’s 75mm Pack Howitzer and thought it would give me an opportunity to compare the two kits. Much to my surprise the Bronco kit is the Vision kit with a new sprue added to detail up the original kit. There are two sets of trails on the pack howitzer. The front trails and the rear trails. Both sets are hollow, with lightening holes on the sides. The hollow front trails house the equilibrator springs and the rear trails are just hollow. Vision released the original kit with a one piece molding of the rear trails, which looked okay but really didn’t represent the hollow trails to well. In the Bronco release you get the entire Vision kit along with a new sprue of parts that better represent the hollow rear trails. In addition there are smaller molded parts to better detail the undersides of the bottom of the cradle and a nicely detailed lunette and tow pintle.

Camouflage & Markings: The Battle for Britain-RAF May to Dec, 1940

Published: June 30th, 2015     
Camouflage & Markings: The Battle for Britain-RAF May to Dec, 1940
Author: Paul Lucas
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Guideline Publications

I am a “History of the Battle of Britain” enthusiast, and as an offshoot of that enthusiasm I am a follower of all things “RAF”. When given the opportunity to review Guidelines Publications new “Camo & Markings” book I jumped at the chance.

As an enthusiast of the “historical aspect”, I found this publication to be superb. As a scale modeler I found this book to be an excellent reference for colors and markings of the RAF. You will not be disappointed!

To begin, you will note that the title of this book is, “The Battle For Britain” and not the more common, “The Battle of Britain”. The author provides a narrative in which he summarizes the main political, economic, and social history of the time, explaining a revisionist view that the aerial combat we call the “Battle of Britain” was more a battle of existence for Britain as an independent and sovereign nation, and perhaps, therefore, more correctly labeled as a battle of ownership for Britain. As a scale modeler, I most certainly overlook this aspect of the information I collect about the Battle of (For) Britain, but I found this discussion engaging and illuminating.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 37, Issue 4

Published: June 30th, 2015     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 37, Issue 4
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33643
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

As Gary Hatcher states in the editorial, the dust is settling from the transition in editors and they are striking a balance between modelling, reference and history with modelling having the lead. This edition is chocked full of detailed articles on all types of planes.

The lead article is a test shot build of IBG's RWD 8 PWS by Karl Robinson. The final results are great and as this is their first aircraft, Polish manufacturer IBG comes out strong with this  kit and bodes well for the future. Karl shows off his rigging skill as well.

Richard Mason previews Revell of Germany's 1/72 C-54 Skymaster with shots of the sprue and a history of the plane itself. The kit has a full interior and it builds similar to the RoG C-17. The kit looks great and I can't wait to see it show on American shelves.

Kinetic's new Mirage IIIE in 1/48th scale is built by Rick Greenwood. Mr. Greenwood details building the cockpit, the wings and also the options with the kit including the dropped flaps and the all of the weapon options. The finished kit looks great and the decal options are fantastic.

"Blue Devil" Fletcher-class Destroyer

Published: June 29th, 2015     
"Blue Devil" Fletcher-class Destroyer
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/125
Company: Round 2 Models

Thanks to Round 2 models for sending us this “blast from the past” kit, and leadership for generously firing it my way to relive what could have been for a very young modeller…

First, this is a BIG model.  A yard’s worth…(36 inches)… Suitable for R/C (Many have tried and succeeded), display (with work) or free-running (for those with big enough pools… it’s too easy to lose a non-controlled ship in a local pond).

The box art is an attention-getter:  using the original 1964 box art is a great idea; nostalgia sells.  (Yep, I was six at the time when I first saw this kit).  It was what got my “COOL MODEL” factor spun up.  (For those interested, I saw this kit at “Who hobbies” in Rapid City, South Dakota, where my father was stationed at the time as a missile support helicopter pilot flying H-19’s and later UH-1F’s out of Ellsworth AFB… that’s another story, as that hobby shop is, last time I checked, still in business!)

WWII USMC Seated Fighter Pilot Gregory "Pappy" Boyington

Published: June 29th, 2015     
WWII USMC Seated Fighter Pilot Gregory "Pappy" Boyington
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Ultracast

Ultracast has issued a figure than can be used in Tamiya's 1/32 F4U-1a Corsair and they picked one of my favorite subject, Pappy Boyington. The kit comes in seven well cast tan resin pieces- two arms, two legs, torso, head and chin strap. The castings are excellent with minimal to no mold lines. And the sculpt is by Mike Good and is superb. 

I started the build by freeing the pasts from the casting blocks with a razor saw. A few scrapes with the back of a knife and the seams were gone. I added the arms and the legs and had small gaps. I used Squadron white putty to fill in the seams and smoothed with a lacquer thinner. Once dry, I primer with Alclad gray primer. 

I started with the flesh which is only the face. I have started using Scale 75 paints and really like them. I built up layers over a base coat and probably over did the creases some. The eyes are meant to be slits like he is looking into the sun and I could got them a little narrow.