Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK 30.01(h)

Published: August 12th, 2019     
OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK 30.01(h)
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/72
Company: OKB Grigorov

OKB Grigorov is a small model company based in Bulgaria that you may not be too familiar with. The company focuses primarily on AFVs, tanks, and naval ships in 1/72, 1/350 and 1/700 scales, and they have an extensive list of products available. They produce full resin kits with photoetch enhancements, as well as resin, photoetch and white metal conversion pieces for other models. More recently, they began producing some plastic AFV kits.

Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank"

Published: August 7th, 2019     
Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank"
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: MiniArt

The normally super-realistic folks at MiniArt have loosened their imagination and wandered into the hypothetical with the first kit in their new What If...? Series, the Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank". Possibly based on the Kugelpanzer, that Wikipedia describes as : "The Kugelpanzer (lit. "spherical tank") is a one-man tank built by Germany during World War II. It was captured by the Soviets in Manchuria and is on display in the Kubinka Tank Museum. There is no record of it ever having been used in combat".

MiniArt has a video on their website about the Sharotank, and cleverly inserts their kit model into period photos (or are they real?) showing the Sharotank after capture by the Soviets.

MiniArt also produces other versions of the ball tank:

Meng Leopard 2 A7+

Published: August 4th, 2019     
Meng Leopard 2 A7+
Reviewed by: Bob LaBouy, IPMS# 3064
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

A Very Brief History of the Leopard

During the late 60's Germany began to plan for new primary main battle tank which would replace the M48 Patton tanks purchased from the US (in service through 1993). Early designs were grouped around the initial concept called the MBT-70, though it never got past the initial design with only a wooden hull constructed. For several years numerous prototypes were designed leading to the Leopard I design in 1965, which used a German built 105mm Royal Ordnance gun. These tanks continued in use through 2003 and included 4744 main battle tanks.

Russian YAK-130

Published: August 3rd, 2019     
Russian YAK-130
Reviewed by: Gregory Hansel, IPMS# 46474
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kitty Hawk

Introduction: This kit was released at the end of 2018 and features resin crew figures, photo etch details, and marking options for seven jets, including two from Russia, one from Bangladesh, and four company demo aircraft. There are almost more sprues of weapons then there are of the actual aircraft, included are Kab-500kr, Kab-500Kl, Kab-500se, Kab-1500-Kl, Kab-1500-Kr, Kab-1500-se, KH-29L, KH-29T, KH-31, KH-58, and three versions of the KH-25. It's almost worth buying the kit just for the weapon sprues! The kit looks impressive in the box.

Construction: Construction starts with the seats and I intended to use the photo etch harness on one and the resin pilot on the other. The PE seatbelts seemed to be a bit too big and ended up looking awkward when I had it done. Also, the seat fits so tightly to the cockpit that there was not enough room for the belts to hang over properly, so I ended up removing them. The cockpit looked great after painting and weathering and the nose wheel can be left off until the end which was nice. The next 9 steps get the air intakes and main gear bay installed and the major construction.

F-15E Strike Eagle

Published: July 31st, 2019     
F-15E Strike Eagle
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

The Model

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a development of the F-15. The concept of the Strike Eagle was to produce a bomber aircraft which also had fighter capability. The biggest visual differences between the E model and earlier F-15s are the two-seat cockpit and the addition of conformal fuel tanks on the sides of the fuselage.

This F-15E is a reissue of a kit previously sold as part of a multi-kit collection from F-Toys which contained an AV-8 Harrier, An A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-15E. The kit is designed to have the parts pressed together, with little or no glue needed. As such, there is some filing and sanding required to get an acceptable fit. You get two aircraft in the box, and decals for 3 planes.

Assembly

The assembly is pretty simple. The seats are glued in the cockpit, the instrument panel is inserted, and the cockpit assembly is placed between the forward fuselage halves. I glued the fuselage parts together. This was a mistake.

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