Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Zeppelin Rammer

Published: May 15th, 2015     
Zeppelin Rammer
Reviewed by: Roger A Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Brengun offers model builders a way to spend a few enjoyable hours assembling a pair of miniature examples of a German WWII secret weapons that never was…well, not beyond a single prototype to be accurate.   Kit BRL 72013 provides two small sprues of 16 grey plastic parts, a pair of clear canopies, a very small photo-etched fret of 20 parts and a little wisp of a decal sheet that provide enough components to build a pair of Zeppelin Rammers…one more than the Germans actually had.  

The Rammer (German: Rammjäger) was one of the projects for a German 'secret weapon' by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin.  It was designed primarily for aerial ramming against the allied bomber fleets that by 1944 were effectively leveling cities throughout Nazi Germany…and, maybe bringing the pilot back to earth breathing.

F6F-5 Hellcat Late - Profipack Version

Published: May 14th, 2015     
F6F-5 Hellcat Late - Profipack Version
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1:48
Company: Eduard

Eduard's latest release in their Hellcat series is a F6F-5 late in the Profipack set which contains lots of photoetch, resin wheels, a masking set and the sprues needed to make a late version. The set also comes with five olive sprues and one clear sprue which have wonderful panels lines and the lapped seams in the fuselage. The photoetch has one brass fret and one colorized one with lots of cockpit parts including a wonderful dozen for the instrument panel alone. The kit also has an excellent decal sheet with markings for four planes:

  • VF-12 (or VBF-12), USS Randolph, May 1945
  • LCDR T. Hugh Winters, VF-19, USS Lexington, October 1944
  • VF-29, USS Cabot, January to March 1945
  • White 115, "Death and Destruction", Multiple Pilots, VF-83, USS Essex, May 5th 1945

There's also all the needed stencils. There also options for open/closed canopy, bombs or rockets and extended or retracted tail hook.

VW Rabbit

Published: May 14th, 2015     
VW Rabbit
Reviewed by: Jim Stepanek, IPMS# 48016
Scale: 1:24
Company: Revell, Inc.

Very little flash and the parts fit very well on this kit.  I had thought about trying to fit a V8 engine but the car is just too small.

Engine: The little 4-banger engine is very well detailed with all the parts fitting extremely well.

Interior: Interior panels are very well engraved and cry out to be detailed. 

Body: There’s no chrome on the body.   I made the mistake of masking all the window frames and painting them with black chrome when all that really needs to be done is paint the edge of the glass.  The body is in beautiful shape right out of the box.  I used HOK marine blue to get a pretty close to factory color.

This really cool kit to work on and Revell needs to be commended for their craftsmanship.  Thank you also to IPMS for allowing me to review this kit.

F-4J VF-84 JOLLY ROGERS

Published: May 13th, 2015     
F-4J VF-84 JOLLY ROGERS
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Academy

History Brief

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is an all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor aircraft/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Douglas Aircraft. It was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force. The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It featured a tandem two-seat with twin-engines. It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4 was designed without an internal cannon, but later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record, and an absolute altitude record.

Tiger I Early Production

Published: May 13th, 2015     
Tiger I Early Production
Reviewed by: John Shimek, IPMS# 4899
Scale: 1:35
Company: Dragon Models

This Tiger I kit by DML is the command version used by Tiger I ace Michael Whitman and is an early production vehicle. This kit has distinctive early production characteristics including smoke dischargers, cylindrical cupola, pistol port, and are accurately reproduced. Included in the box is a molded complete crew set as though posing for a propaganda photo. There is a small fret of photo etch parts included which most noticeably is the engine deck screens.

The kit contains 805 parts including 753 in gray styrene, 27 etched brass, 21 clear styrene, and DS plastic tracks. It is important to note that many of these parts are not used on an early production vehicle. A total of 231 parts on the kit's sprue are not used, and are indicated as such on the instruction sheet. Care must be taken as several sprue have the same identifying letter, yet only one of those same sprue has the correct part to use. Three antenna mounts are included for a command tank but antennas are not included kit.

Avia B.534 IV. serie

Published: May 12th, 2015     
Avia B.534 IV. serie
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

History

The Avia B-534 was one of the classic biplane fighters of the 1930’s, and served with several Eastern European air forces, some lasting almost to the end of World War II. When the nation of Czechoslovakia was formed by the Treaty of Versailles, the Czech part was much more industrialized than the Slovak section, and it wasn’t long until a company, Avia, was formed, and began producing different types of aircraft for military and civilian use. In the early thirties, a biplane fighter was developed, eventually evolving into the B.534 series. Prototypes were powered by various radial and in-line engines, and the first B.534 has a License built Hispano Suiza 12 Vprs 12 cylinder liquid cooled engine. Several production batches followed, differing mainly in fuselage configuration, armament, landing gear arrangement, and the location of various engine components.

The main production models were as follows:

Martin 404 TWA

Published: May 10th, 2015     
Martin 404 TWA
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1:144
Company: F-Rsin

The Kit

This was my first F-Rsin kit.  Probably won’t be my last, though.  Their catalog is just full of airliners that don’t make the cut for the major manufacturers.  This isn’t F-Rsin’s first Martin 202/404 either.  They have a resin version of this aircraft too, but it costs about twice as much.  I hope they produce their NORD 262 in plastic.  Or I may just buy the resin kit anyway.  I may be the only IPMS USA member ever to get a ride in a NORD 262.  Yeah, that’s a war story.

The kit is very simple.  Two fuselage halves, wings are 4 pieces: left/right, upper/lower, with separate nacelles.  Cockpit and passenger windows are done with decals. 

German Soldier-Bicyclist, 1939-1942

Published: May 10th, 2015     
German Soldier-Bicyclist, 1939-1942
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box

If you read my previous review on Master Box Limited’s release of the German Army bicycle (kit 35165), some of this will look familiar.  If you are looking to add something unique to your collection of 1/35 scale German military vehicles, or to spice up your next diorama, Master Box Limited has now released their bicycle kit with a rider figure.  Although it is a challenging build, those modelers with photo etch parts experience will be able to turn out one of the rarely seen implements used by the German Army throughout World War 2. 

SAAB 91 Safir B/C/D

Published: May 9th, 2015     
SAAB 91 Safir B/C/D
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tarangus

Introduction

Seeing the end of WWII in sight SAAB decided to design an aircraft for the civilian market. That design, the Safir (Saphire), started as a three seater with a 147 HP Gipsy Major X inline engine. Subsequent versions had horizontally opposed four cylinder engines of 190 HP (B/C version) and 180 HP in the D model. The chief designer A.J. Anderson had previously worked for Bucker hence this aircrafts strong resemblance to the Bestmann trainer. The Safir was purchased by several air forces. The subject of this build is a SAAB 91D model operated by the Finnish Air Force, one of ten D models purchased by Finland. Several were purchased for the civilian market. A total of 323 Safirs were built.

Honda HSR500 “1989 WGP500 Champion”

Published: May 7th, 2015     
Honda HSR500 “1989 WGP500 Champion”
Reviewed by: Tom Moon, IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/12
Company: Hasegawa

After winning the 1988 WGP500 for Yamaha, Eddie Lawson jumped ship and went to ride for Honda. Despite extremely stiff competition at events all over the world, Eddie Lawson's finishes were consistently in the top two, with four first place finishes. With all his wins combined, Eddie won the 1989 Grand Prix Championships for the Rothmans-Kanemoto-Honda team, making him the only rider in history to win two consecutive championships with two different teams..

Hasegawa’s offering of the Honda NSR500 has 192 parts included in the kit, including a clear windshield, two rubber tires, four metal screws, a metal spring, and two colors (black and clear) of rubber tubing. The body panels and wheels are molded in white, while the other sprues are in a medium gray. There are three options for front forks, Inverted Suspension (I used this option), Suspension upright and Carbon brakes. The kit comes in a typical top-opening box, and the sprues are bagged in groups by color. There are 2 printed decal sheets, one for the model, and one for the tires, but I could not find any indications of where these tire decals were to be used.