Details

Reviews of scale model detail sets.

North American FJ-4B Fury Jet Pipe

Published: June 14th, 2015     
North American FJ-4B Fury Jet Pipe
Reviewed by: Clarence Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

The Navy FJ-4 was, to many people, the culmination of the basic North American Sabre Jet.  This final naval variant featured a more powerful engine which required a larger intake, a shorter, deeper fuselage, a larger tail, larger wing area and a longer nose gear.  Its front line service was short, however.  By the late ‘50’s, the Fury was being phased out by newer, less expensive fighter and attack aircraft but the FJ-4B was loved by its pilots.  They referred to it as the “Cadillac” while its counterpart and eventual replacement, the A4D was referred to as the “Tinkertoy”.

Emhar issued the FJ-4B in 1/72nd scale in 1990 and is a great kit.  There are really only two shortfalls of the kit; the first being a rather basic cockpit and the second being a crude, short exhaust/jet pipe.  Pavla has recently released resin detail parts for the cockpit and the jet pipe.

GBU-8/B HOBOS

Published: June 13th, 2015     
GBU-8/B HOBOS
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

The GBU-8/B HOBOS (Homing Bomb System) was developed in the late 60’s by the U.S. Air Force in an effort to improve the accuracy of its bombs.  The HOBOS consisted of an electro-optical guidance system fitted to a MK 84 2,000 lb. bomb and was intended as an alternative to the then new laser guided bombs.  The advantage of the HOBOS was that once the seeker was aligned with the target and locked on, the weapon could be released as a fire and forget weapon.  Disadvantages were that the seeker needed an area of high contrast to lock on to and the system was more expensive than the laser guided bombing systems.

Eduard’s GBU-8/B HOBOS is a nice addition to their growing Brassin range of modern ordinance.  The set consist of just 4 parts, consisting of two complete bombs as individual castings with a small clear resin casting of the two seeker heads.  The set also includes a small be complete decal sheet providing enough stencils and markings for both bombs, with a few extras in case some of the small decals are lost.

Cockpit for F3D-2/2Q Skyknight

Published: June 13th, 2015     
Cockpit for F3D-2/2Q Skyknight
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

Pavla Models has been putting out a lot of very nice cockpit sets for older kits that really don’t have more than an oversized seat and a shape for a control panel. One example is the older Matchbox kits that came out in the 70s and 80s. This set was designed to fit into the Matchbox kit and talk about an upgrade; it gives you the control panels for 2 configurations. I’m one of those people that are hooked on the model kits of my childhood because of the fond memories that they bring back. My dad was a postman and he would always seem to bring me some model kit from the Saturday garage sales on his route.

I like these old kits but it is a blessing to be able to add some detail to them.

This set comes molded in the familiar grey resin. The mold is crisp and bubble free with a lot of detail. There is a tub, seats, 2 different instrument panels, pedals, stick, headrests, 3 instrument panels for the sides, and a choice of 2 parts for the deck behind the crew. There are 2 small sheets of instructions showing how the parts come together, what parts of the original kit to remove, and a simple color call out.

F6F Hellcat Early Armament .50 cal Brownings w/ Drilled Cooling Jackets

Published: June 9th, 2015     
F6F Hellcat Early Armament .50 cal Brownings w/ Drilled Cooling Jackets
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Models

Thanks to Piotr at Master-models for providing these metal gun barrels to improve our Hellcats, and thanks to our IPMS leaders for sending these my way!

The Eduard Hellcats have been around for a while now, and are great kits in their own right. Master details provide six astoundingly detailed 1/48 gun barrels to replace the kit plastic parts… read on!

Side-by-side comparison, Master Model’s gun barrels provide improvement on the kit items by providing depth and three-dimensional appearance over the kit parts. The kit guns are sufficient, but these bring the kit up that little bit…

Simply replace the kit gun barrels with the metal versions; the cooling jackets slide over the barrels themselves; I recommend thin superglue and careful application to prevent inadvertent filling of the air holes. Remember the Guns are mounted longest next to the fuselage, mid-length in the center, and short to the outside (toward the wing tip). I only say this because I have seen it reversed on some otherwise excellent builds… artistic license aside.

AM-48-109 F6F Hellcat Night Fighters Barrels w/ Flash Hiders

Published: June 9th, 2015     
AM-48-109 F6F Hellcat Night Fighters Barrels w/ Flash Hiders
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

Thanks to Piotr at Master-models for providing these fantastic metal flash hiders to improve our Nocturnal Hellcats, and thanks to our IPMS leaders for sending these my way!

The Eduard Hellcats are still the best out there in my opinion, and  Master details provide late-model covered .50 caliber gun barrel tips with flash hiders, which directly replace the kit plastic parts…

As you can see on the “before” picture, the kit-provided gun barrels are a bit lacking in the flash-hider department.  Adequate but not quite there…

Master Model’s gun barrels tips and flash hiders provide improvement by providing depth and almost impossible three-dimensional appearance over the kit parts, and improve the appearance by having finer detail than can be provided with injection molding processes. There is just no way to adequately do this in plastic.  (It can be done, but is very difficult to replicate more than once).  Plastic and resin are also extremely fragile.  This is where Master shines!

AIM-9E Sidewinder

Published: June 5th, 2015     
AIM-9E Sidewinder
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Developed as a Sidewinder for the U.S. Air Force, the AIM-9E was based on the U.S. Navy AIM-9B, but with some enhancements, based on early combat challenges of the B- model.  The cooling for the detector used Peltier thermoelectric cooling, and the forward canards were changed.  Ford produced 5000 of the missiles from re-purposed AIM-9B missiles.  The AIM-9E measured 9 feet, 10 inches long, 22 inches across the rear fins, had a diameter of 5 inches, and weighed in at 164 pounds.  The AIM-9E is credited with aerial victories over six MiG-21 aircraft during the Vietnam War being launched from F-4D and E Phantom II’s of the US Air force.

Wires & Stretchers Photoetch

Published: June 5th, 2015     
Wires & Stretchers Photoetch
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

With the ever growing number of 1/32 scale rigged aircraft kits on the market, Eduard now offers a generic photo-etched set of 1/32 scale flying wires and stretchers (AKA Turnbuckles).  Metal flying wires are a logical and much desired aftermarket detail set for model builders wishing to accurately replicate the metal wires used on most Allied aircraft built after 1915/16.  Unlike the majority of other p/e sets cataloged by Eduard, a specific aircraft type (or kit) is not specified.  Instead, the fret includes 33 anchoring rings, wires of differing lengths with a stretcher near one end and others including stretchers with tabs that may be used as attachment points to fit a variety of aircraft (see the photo of the fret below).  Model builders will need to determine if this set fits their needs.  I say ‘fits’ because the wires themselves are provided in only two lengths…2 1/14” and 5 1/8”.  There are 12 of the short lengths and 20 of the longer lengths (10 each of wires with the two types of stretchers).  These lengths will accommodate most single-place biplanes but may not be long enough for larger wingspan aircraft.

Folland Gnat T.1 Pitot tube

Published: June 5th, 2015     
Folland Gnat T.1 Pitot tube
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

Thanks to Piotr at Master models for providing one more great pitot tube to improve our models, and thanks to IPMS Reviewer Corps leaders for sending this my way!

This pitot tube/air probe is a simple upgrade to Airfix’ most recent 1/48 Jet model, the Folland Gnat T1.  Previously reviewed as a build kit, I figured it would only be a matter of time before Master released this for the Gnat…

On side-by-side comparison, it is evident Master Model’s pitot is an improvement on the kit item.  Finesse, is, as usual, the key word to describe what Master model products provide over kit injection molded pitot tubes.  There is just no way plastic, (or frankly resin replacements), can compete with metal.  Cleanup of the plastic version’s injection port is “dicy” at best, particularly on the side of the tube… I rarely have success with this, so I have, in the past, opted for needles.  Not optimal, but acceptable. 

North American FJ-4B Fury Cockpit Set

Published: June 5th, 2015     
North American FJ-4B Fury Cockpit Set
Reviewed by: Clarence Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

The Navy FJ-4 was, to many people, the culmination of the basic North American Sabre Jet. This final naval variant featured a more powerful engine which required a larger intake, a shorter, deeper fuselage, a larger tail, larger wing area and a longer nose gear. Its front line service was short, however. Although the FJ-4B was loved by its pilots, by the late ‘50’s the Fury was being phased out by newer, less expensive fighter and attack aircraft. They referred to it as the “Cadillac”, while its counterpart and eventual replacement, the A4D, was referred to as the “Tinkertoy”.

Emhar issued the FJ-4B in 1/72nd scale in 1990 and is a great kit. There are really only two shortfalls of the kit; the first being a rather basic cockpit and the second being a crude, short exhaust/jet pipe. Pavla has recently released resin detail parts for the cockpit and the exhaust.

MiG-15 bis

Published: May 31st, 2015     
MiG-15 bis
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Eduard

Eduard recently released two very good 1/144 MiG-15 kits. This is the PE detail set designed to make the kit even better.

What you get is a fairly small PE fret with color cockpit components and aluminum colored parts. This is pretty good, since most of the exterior parts are will be natural aluminum when finish