Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Horten Ho-229: Part 3 - The Big Finish

Published: January 26th, 2015     
Horten Ho-229: Part 3 - The Big Finish
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33643
Scale: 1/32
Company: Zoukei-Mura

Last we spoke, the frames and interior were done and it was time to finish the plane off by adding the outer skin and finishing all the details. Prior to starting, I sprayed the top and some portions of the bottom RLM 02 as these are visible when the plane is complete. I quick test fit can show you which areas to paint. Starting with the center fuselage, the top is added and there are placement indents where the frame fits into the skin. Also, the engine covers are added at this time. As a side note, the skin is molded clear and you could leave it as is to see the superb interior detail. I next added the front section with the intakes and they matched up well. Take your time here and get a good fit so you don’t need putty. Mine dried a little crooked and it caused some issue later. In hind sight, I would probably glue the front end to together to get perfect alignment and then add to the frame. Not sure how tight it would be but it would preserve the excellent surface. I then added the bottom middle piece and again, you need a good fit to prevent seams. This turned out good and I added the fairing to accommodate the wheel housing.

La Ferrari

Published: January 24th, 2015     
La Ferrari
Reviewed by: Randy Robinson, IPMS# 45593
Scale: 1/24
Company: Revell, Inc.

La Ferrari, even the name sounds exotic, expensive and exclusive. With a top speed of 230 mph, a price upwards of $1.5 million U.S. dollars and only 499 produced for worldwide consumption. The latest supercar offering from Ferrari is all of the above and more. The likelihood of the average Joe getting his or her hands on a full scale La Ferrari, is nil to none. But for us scale modelers; Revell gives us the opportunity to live out our exotic car fantasies in 1/24 scale.

1927 Ford "Black Widow" Hot Rod

Published: January 22nd, 2015     
1927 Ford "Black Widow" Hot Rod
Reviewed by: Gordy Miller, IPMS# 49574
Scale: 1/24
Company: Monogram

The Revell/Monogram 1/24 scale ’27 Ford Black Widow Hot Rod is a great kit with not a whole lot of flash to deal with. Everything fits together very cleanly. With only 55 parts in the entire kit and only one way to build it, there are no spare parts left over. The engine comes with a triple-carb setup and shows plenty of chrome on top. The interior is a bench seat with an elongated shifter handle.

As far as the body goes, it is a two-piece setup with the cab and the bed. There is a nice cover for the bed as well. I love the grille work, as well, with its chrome parts well represented. I proceeded to paint the roadster in Purple-Licious Metallic Lacquer by Testors. It came out extremely shiny and colorful. I painted the afore mentioned bench seat the same Purple-Licious purple with a semi-gloss white for the center ribbing of the seats to give the purple color a kick.

Star Trek U.S.S. Reliant NCC-1864

Published: January 21st, 2015     
Star Trek U.S.S. Reliant NCC-1864
Reviewed by: Dave and Camden Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/1000
Company: Polar Lights

Background

As featured in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Federation starship USS Reliant was the vessel commandeered by the despotic Khan Noonien Singh, a late 20th century superhuman product of genetic engineering. Khan first appeared in an episode of the original Star Trek TV series, “Space Seed,” where he and his crew were discovered in cryogenic stasis while drifting through space aboard the SS Botany Bay. Revived by USS Enterprise’s crew, Khan and his followers were permanently exiled on a remote planet by Captain James T. Kirk after a failed attempt to seize Enterprise.

As with most twice-deposed despots, Khan had quite the axe to grind with Kirk. The Wrath of Khan follows the titular character as he seizes upon the opportunity to avenge his exile and reign havoc on the Federation with the newly-created Genesis Device. A favorite of many Trek fans, Wrath of Khan was a throwback to the classic TV series, and it is punctuated with eye-popping special effects, many featuring the hot-rod Miranda-class starship Reliant.

T-6 Texan

Published: January 18th, 2015     
T-6 Texan
Reviewed by: Jim Persall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

The North American T-6 Texan was the premier advanced trainer through World War II and later.  It was also used as a FAC (Forward Air Control) aircraft in Korea and Vietnam.  The AT-6 was also known as the SNJ by the US Navy and the Harvard by the RAF.  61 countries have used some variant of the Texan.  If you can’t find markings that interest you, just keep looking.

My personal attachment to the T-6 comes from my friend Tom Kelly, who gave me a ride in his T-6G.  We went to Oshkosh for the Air Rendezvouz in 1986.  You get a really respectful greeting when you arrive in a warbird, even if you’re only in the back seat.

The Model

You get two T-6s in the box, plus enough JASDF markings to do 7 JASDF Texans, 4 yellow and 3 silver.    You get 4 canopies, one each for the T-6G and the earlier T-6F or SNJ.  I did notice fairly early that the kit does not include the large spinner which all 7 of these planes had, so you’ll have to either add the spinner or build a different T-6.  So I marked mine as a T-6 flown by my Air Guard unit back in the 50s.

57 Chevy Funny Car

Published: January 18th, 2015     
57 Chevy Funny Car
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/24
Company: Revell, Inc.

This is a very nice kit. Simple enough to be the first ‘glued’ kit for someone moving up from snap-kits, but also a well-made kit that more experienced modelers can build into a great scale model. The kit’s one-piece body and one-piece frame are both very nicely molded parts.

Tom “Mongoose” McEwen is a drag racer best known for is legendary races against Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. McEwen’s “Mongoose” moniker even was a reference to Prudhomme’s “The Snake”. In 1968 McEwen introduced a new funny car based on the iconic ’57 Chevy. With runs of less than 6 seconds, this car laid claim to being the fastest ’57 Chevy in the world.

RAF Strategic Bomber Victor B.2

Published: January 17th, 2015     
RAF Strategic Bomber Victor B.2
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Great Wall Hobby

Britain had the V Bombers, Valiant, Victor and Vulcan, from the 1950s through the 1980s.  They were large bombers designed to carry the large nuclear weapons of the 50s, and they served the RAF well, with the Victor and Vulcan serving as aerial tankers and the last Vulcan tanker retiring in 1984. 

This model is of the Victor B.2 bomber version of the aircraft.  The bomber was never used in combat; the Valiant bombed Suez in 1956 and the Vulcan bombed the Falklands in 1982.  Victor tankers participated in the “Black Buck” missions in the Falklands, with 11 Victor K.2s needed to get one Vulcan to the target, Ascension Island, and return, a round trip of 6,800 miles. 

The Victors were designed to carry a stand-off nuclear missile called Blue Steel.  This was to be replaced by the US designed Skybolt missile, but that program was cancelled.

10.5cm leFH18/40 with Gun Crew

Published: January 16th, 2015     
10.5cm leFH18/40 with Gun Crew
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Later in World War 2, the Germans made an effort to upgrade older guns by mounting them on newer, lighter carriages. Sometimes this was successful, sometimes not. The old 10.5 cm leFH 18/40 light field howitzer was just such a conversion. It was updated by mounting it on the tried and true carriage used for the 75 mm Pak 40. The carriage proved to be too light to support the gun well, and there were constant problems with the combination. Nonetheless, it was used from about 1943 until the end of the war.

Dragon’s model of the field howitzer exhibits the same melding of equipment, with the gun carriage clearly coming from their Pak 40 kit. This set also comes with a full five-man gun crew along with a large sprue of their most up-to-date personal equipment, providing a rich supply of material for diorama purposes. Unfortunately, there is only enough new equipment for four figures, so the fifth will have to rely on the older moldings. There are also clear parts for the gun sight as well as a photoetch sheet providing straps for the figures. For the most part, this is a successful blending of two separate kits with only a few hiccups along the way.

SH-3H Sub-Hunter

Published: January 14th, 2015     
SH-3H Sub-Hunter
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/72
Company: Cyber-Hobby

History Brief

The Sikorsky Sea King became operational with the United States Navy in June 1961. When introduced, the Sea King was a considerable advancement over previous helicopters. It was used primarily for anti-submarine warfare: detecting and tracking Soviet submarines. During the Cold War, the Soviet Navy built a submarine fleet that at one point included more than 200 operational submarines. Luckily for the Soviets the highly capable Sea King never had to kill one of their subs.

It was the world's first all-weather amphibious helicopter and one of the first anti-submarine warfare (ASW) rotor craft to use twin turbo shaft engines. The SH-3H was an upgrade of the SH-3G. It included SH-3G features with improvements for ASW, anti-ship missile detection and other airframe improvements. 163 SH-3Gs were upgraded to SH-3H configuration. These Sea Kings typically had a four-man crew; a pilot and copilot in the cockpit and two aircrew in the cabin operating and monitoring the aircraft's detection equipment.

U.S.A.F. Fighter Pilot, Pressure Suit, 1960-1975

Published: January 14th, 2015     
U.S.A.F. Fighter Pilot, Pressure Suit, 1960-1975
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A perfect addition to your diorama or display base is this Aires Aerobonus figure.  This figure is designed to be ascending a ladder to a 1960-1975 USAF Fighter.  Aires Aerobonus provides you with a resin figure with separate arms on one pour stub with side bars to protect the figure.  Of note is the re-sealable packaging that Quickboost uses that makes the parts easy to review and then stuff back into the package securely. The supplied instructions provide color drawings for painting. 

Aires Aerobonus has molded the figure in light grey resin with no bubbles that I could find. There are no mold seams to sand off and the resin plug is easily removed from the bottom with a razor saw or Dremel.  Clean up was quite easy and the arms attached with superglue.  I added a just a bit of putty to refined the transition on the shoulders to the arms.  The sculpting is great with the proportions of the figure perfect.  The pressure suit is well executed with appropriate wrinkles and folds.