Details

Reviews of scale model detail sets.

Spitfire Mk.IXe/XVIe Early version (Conical Fairings) & Late version (Rounded Fairings)

Published: December 8th, 2015     
Spitfire Mk.IXe/XVIe Early version (Conical Fairings) & Late version (Rounded Fairings)
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

This is a combined review of Master Model’s two optional turned brass barrels (20mm Hispano), and Browning tips and fairings for the Eduard Spitfire Mk.IXe and Mk.XVIe:

  • AM-48-102 - Spitfire Mk.IXe/XVIe early version (conical fairings).
  • AM-48-103 - Spitfire Mk.IXe/XVIe late version (rounded fairings).

I love, love, love the Eduard Spitfire series of kits. The kit has impressive detail to say the least. Sure there are some things that could be improved with aftermarket. One of those things is the armament.

Master has been producing some of the best turned metal barrels and pitot tubes in the world. These sets are in keeping with that reputation.

Carrier Tow Bar

Published: December 4th, 2015     
Carrier Tow Bar
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1:144
Company: Brengun

I recently built and reviewed Brengun’s USN Tow Tractor (BRL 144025) used on aircraft carriers. One thing that I said was missing was the tow bar to allow the tractor to move the planes around the deck. So here it is.

The entire kit is a single resin cast and a single PE fret. The resin parts are the bars for the tow bar. The PE is the connectors to hook the assembly to the tractor at one end and the aircraft at the other.

Assembly Preparation

The assembly is both easy and difficult. The easy part is that there aren’t a lot of parts, and they are logically set up. The difficult part is that the PE parts are all very small and easy to lose. One way I overcome this difficulty is using a jeweler’s apron, which anchors to my workbench at one end, and the other end has a loop which is around my neck. This way if I drop a part, it usually falls into the apron, where it can be recovered. The carpet monster is bereft.

I cut the two bars from the resin casting block, using a fine saw blade mounted in a hobby knife handle. After the cutting, I lightly sanded the attachment sprue flat. Number 500 sandpaper is plenty coarse for this job.

C-54 Landing Gear

Published: December 4th, 2015     
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1:144
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

First, THANKS SAC and IPMS USA for another review opportunity! SAC has been around for a few years, and to my mind fills a serious need for models. As kits get more expensive, they have more detail, weigh more, and you have more invested in it.

Enter SAC. This set adds structural strength to the fragile gear on a 1/144 scale airliner-sized model, in this case the Minicraft C-54. The C-54 has a fork nose gear with one tire; the kit requires about ½ ounce of nose weight, so there is added stress to the nose gear. The gear is also scale in size, meaning it’s very fragile. Metal makes the difference between gear snapping off on provocation, or gear that withstands handling.

Use of this SAC gear is simple, four parts: two main gear, the nose gear (the fragile part of the kit), and the nose gear retraction strut. Just swap the SAC gear for kit items, and you are done!

A couple of builder notes: The mount for the main gear appears to have a slight dihedral offset built in to it to ensure the model has all four main gear sitting perpendicular to the ground, in line. This aircraft has a bit of dihedral in it as a matter of design, so pay attention there.

B-1B External Upgrade Set

Published: November 29th, 2015     
B-1B External Upgrade Set
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Barracuda Studios

Roy Sutherland has been around for a bit, providing resin details we never knew could exist, but now do because of his commitment to improving basic products. This set is one of four that I used on the new (but old) Revell B-1B… they are in Roy’s “Barracudacast” resin accessories branch of his company. On to the review!

This set is comprised of nine antennas for the most recent upgrades to the B-1;

Preparation is simple; soak for a while in a cleaner like automotive spray tire cleaner (I used “bleach-white”), 409, or whatever, to get rid of the silicone mold lubricant that is inherent in resin casting. Run an old tooth brush over all, rinse fully with water, then allow to dry.

I removed the casting blocks with a razor saw, then cleaned up with a metal “T” sander bar to give a nice, flat surface for the DAS (Defensive Avionics Systems) antennas. The three items on the aft fuselage, two towed decoy pods, and one large DAS dome, required a different removal process.

B-1B Landing Gear for Revell Kit

Published: November 28th, 2015     
B-1B Landing Gear for Revell Kit
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

SAC has been around for a few years, and to my mind fills a serious need for models. As kits get more expensive, they have more detail, weigh more, and you have more invested in it. Plastic landing gear is not such a great idea in this case

This set adds structural strength to the huge Revell B-1B. It also prevents the model from taking damage as simply as plastic or resin gear would. And face it, with all the resin I just put on this kit, it needs metal gear

Now, I know many have not or will not build this kit. It’s huge. It has presence. And it’s an accurate rendition of the “Bone” .For the most part. But with work, it looks great when complete. This model is now on display on the overhead desk of my pod in our B-1/B-52 System Program office, and has garnered a lot of attention…

Use of the SAC gear is simple; not easy, because it’s a complex gear, but worth every dime and the time. You will have a hard time breaking this landing gear… it’s a direct replacement, so just follow the kit instructions using the SAC gear. I used brass tube for the axles, and the Barracudacast wheels for the B-1B.

Metal Landing Gear for the Tamiya Mosquito

Published: November 28th, 2015     
Metal Landing Gear for the Tamiya Mosquito
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Many thanks to Mr. Ross MacMillan of Scale Aircraft Conversions and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to try this neat substitute and replacement set for the Tamiya Mosquito FB. I am delighted to report on another sweet add-on and upgrade.

The white-metal parts arrived in a blister pack, backed by the distinctive SAC company logo. The weight of the parts is very noticeable. All parts are free of sprues with the exception of some main mount bracing. The parts require very little buffing, cleanup and polishing. I did use a Dremel tool to buff some of the parts and brought a very nice natural metal tone to them.

U. S. Navy Modern Tow Bar

Published: November 24th, 2015     
U. S. Navy Modern Tow Bar
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/48
Company: Brengun

Many thanks to the Hauler Brengun Company and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to review this unique diorama accessory. Hauler Brengun is a valued contributor to the IPMS Reviewer system and I am very pleased to report on my experience with this excellent accessory, a modern USN tow bar.

USN jets are one of my favorite modeling subjects, and small details such as this tow bar add greatly to displays of completed kits. These towbars are ubiquitous anywhere aircraft get pulled around.

The kit components arrived in a 5.5 x 2.75 inch plastic pouch with the resin and photo etch parts individually packaged. A simple and very adequate black and white instruction sheet illustrates the assembly steps. The photo-etched metal is brass and the light-gray resin is not brittle. The parts were easily detached from the fret and pour plugs and the relief-etched fold lines in the brass are very easy to see. The metal is very finely etched and is malleable enough to easily bend without too much pressure.

RAF SE.5a "Hisso" Main Landing Gear

Published: November 23rd, 2015     
RAF SE.5a "Hisso" Main Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions has released replacement landing gear for the Wingnut Wings 1/32 Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a “Hisso”. The supplied items include two main gear legs and the main gear axle. All three parts are loose in the blister package. You will need to remove the metal sprue from the main gear legs.

This replacement set will provide stronger landing gear that won’t sag over time, and are somewhat adjustable if necessary to obtain proper alignment. Even with zero previous experience in using white metal parts, this set will provide an upgrade that most modelers will have no problem installing. Scale Aircraft Conversions does not use lead in their white metal mix, so the builder does not have to be concerned with that perceived hazard.

There are no supplied instructions; you simply swap out the kit provided plastic parts with the new white metal items. You do need to be very careful following the instructions in the Wingnut Wings kit to assure proper alignment on all three axes. The SAC main gear struts may need to be slightly adjusted to be straight (a benefit of using metal is that you can bend it slightly).

Russian Battleship Tsesarevich 1917 Armament

Published: November 22nd, 2015     
Russian Battleship Tsesarevich 1917 Armament
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model

Tsesarevich (Russian: Цесаревич) was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Russian Navy, built in France at the end of the 19th century. The ship's design formed the basis of the Russian-built Borodino-class battleships. After repairs were made following the Russian-Japanese war, most of the small-caliber guns (47mm and 37mm) were removed. Tsesarevich was not very active during the early part of World War I and her sailors joined the general mutiny of the Baltic Fleet in early 1917.

This Master Model set provides you with 20 barrels: Four machined aluminum 305mm/40 (12”) barrels; twelve machined brass 152mm/45 (6”) barrels; two 47mm (1.85”) Hotchkiss Gun barrels; and two 37mm (1.5”) Hotchkiss gun barrels and a single page instruction sheet. As you can see in the comparison photo below, the improvements are most noticeable in the muzzle ring of the twelve 152mm barrels due to the limitations of injection plastic molding.

F-16CJ Block 50 BigSin

Published: November 16th, 2015     
F-16CJ Block 50 BigSin