Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

1941 Ford Custom Woody

Published: June 25th, 2015     
1941 Ford Custom Woody
Reviewed by: Joe Porche’, IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/25
Company: Round 2

Growing up along the Central Coast of California it was common to see Woodies for all types throughout town, at the car shows, school parking lots, and definitely at the beach. They were as familiar as the Volkswagen Vans and Chevrolet Corvairs. Not as frequent as Volkswagen Bugs or Ford Mustangs. I always thought of them as beatnik wagons as those that drove them seamed a little disheveled looking.

AMT Round 2’s re-release of the 1941 Ford Custom Woody is a valued addition for those modelers who prefer the quieter and more functional hot rods of the time. Face it, not too easy to haul 2 surf boards 30 miles up the coast to your favorite break in the back of a Ford 1929 T bucket. Panel wagons and Woodies were the main ride for the surfer beach bums of the 60’s and 70’s.

Parts Count

Catwoman

Published: June 24th, 2015     
Catwoman
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/8
Company: Moebius Models

Once again I’m diving back into the surreal world of the original Batman television series with this wonderful rendition of Julie Newmar as the classic Catwoman adversary. In actuality, I believe at least three different actresses took a shot at this role, but Julie is the one most remember, both for her statuesque presentation in that vinyl suit as well as her quintessential purr. Even Michelle Pfieffer didn’t come out looking this good.

Moebius Models has once again designed this kit with buildability in mind. Anything that needs to be colored differently from the basic black has been separated out, making painting a breeze. In addition, the kit offers some small variations, including two right arms, one holding her whip and another a gun. Considering the outfit, I close the whip, which seemed more appropriate, although the little cat-shaped guns are pretty cute. The base is designed to fit with Batman’s base, and together with the other six planned figures, will make a large Batman logo in terrain. I’m going to be curious to see how these all land up looking together.

1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Published: June 24th, 2015     
1979 Pontiac Trans Am
Reviewed by: Joe Porche, IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/25
Company: Round 2 Models

In 1979 Pontiac sold 116,535 Trans Am models which still hold the record to this day. My relationship with the Pontiac Trans Am goes back to an evening ride with my high school chum Kendal Morbito in his white 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. We cruised around town a little then headed out to the freeway. After two rather abrupt high speed turns the yanked my eyeballs from the sockets, I was hooked. On December 23, 1977 I spent all the money I had been saving since my first job on a brand new shiny blue 1978 Pontiac Trans Am.

2014 Ford F-250 Raptor

Published: June 24th, 2015     
2014 Ford F-250 Raptor
Reviewed by: Joe Porche, IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

For those of you who might be skeptical of building a snap tite kit (too easy, not detailed enough, kids toys) this would be the perfect opportunity to put your uncertainty aside and try one out. I had some reservations myself but after watching my 18 year old son bang one of these out in a weekend and it looking purely awesome on the shelf, I though I could do no worse.

I chose to build mine as a representation of the Las Vegas Metro Police Departments Ford F-150. Truthfully they do no currently have any Raptors in inventory but I thought this would make a great fantasy vehicle that is oh so close to the real thing. Included is a picture of the patrol unit I was trying to emulate. Being as such I need to add a few things to the model like light bar, radio, shotgun, push bumper, donuts, etc. The decals I made for the unit where done on the laptop and printed with an HP printer on clear decal stock. Obviously none of these items came from the Revell kit.

Parts Count:

A-10C Thunderbolt II "184FS Flying Razorbacks"

Published: June 24th, 2015     
A-10C Thunderbolt II "184FS Flying Razorbacks"
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

In one of the latest additions to the Hasegawa line of modern military jet aircraft comes the venerable A-10C in a special release that includes markings for Fighter Squadron 184, the “Flying Razorbacks” as depicted on the box top. Also included are markings for the 163rd Fighter Squadron, the “Blacksnakes”, who operate out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The kit builds up reasonably well, as I have often found to be the case with Hasegawa products, and will make a fine addition for those wanting to add an updated Warthog to his or her collection.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as the Warthog, first entered service in 1976 after the first prototype flew in 1972. Designed for close air support for ground troops, armed with the 30 mm General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, and with eleven available hard points, the Warthog was made for a Cold War that fortunately never turned hot. The plane proved its worth during Desert Storm with 144 planes serving in the region, and in addition to destroying a multitude of tanks and other vehicles, managed to shoot down two Iraqi helicopters as well.

Tiger I (Late Version)

Published: June 23rd, 2015     
Tiger I (Late Version)
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

Academy did a fine job packaging this kit with parts bagged and contained in a sturdy box.  Academy is very clear in their instructions to examine the parts (before opening the bags) and contact them if you find any missing or damaged pieces.  My kit was complete so let move on.  The next thing I noticed was the fact their seemed to be several turrets and hull top pieces. More than what is necessary to build a single Tiger I kit.  In fact there are 3 turret tops, two pairs of turret sides, 2 hull top parts sets, 2 glacis plates, 2 pair of fenders and a few extra wheels.  I’m not a Tiger expert so I’m not sure what the differences are between Early, Mid and Late but it is obvious this kit covers more than one tank.  Included with the styrene parts are a set of photoetch grill covers and a photo etch zimmerit application tool.  The kit uses a rubber band track system and what is really cool is the fact the decals were printed by .

Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB – Part 1 of 3

Published: June 22nd, 2015     
Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB – Part 1 of 3
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/24
Company: Airfix

Airfix has been producing some of the finest model kits in the industry for 75 years - models that we all grew up with; models that absorbed our allowance money; models with box art that filled our imagination.  The company has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but, like our hobby, it’s always been there in the background, beckoning us back to the workbench.

Following their recent trend back into 1/24 scale aircraft kits, Airfix has released the venerable Typhoon Mk.Ib by Hawker Aircraft.

The Typhoon was arguably the RAF's premier ground attack fighter of World War II.  Armed with rockets, bombs and Hispano cannon, the ‘Tiffy’ lorded over the Normandy skies, disrupting or completely paralyzing German road traffic and sapping morale, for even the prospect of a rocket attack by the dreaded ‘Jabo’ was unnerving to those on the ground.

Jet Engine

Published: June 22nd, 2015     
Jet Engine
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Airfix

Review

Airfix has released a Jet Engine kit, part of their line of “Engineering Models”. This is an interesting kit, as it intends to explain the basics of how a jet engine operates and it introduces the modeler to some very basic electrical skills.

The kit is molded in red, white, blue, clear and silver plastic. It requires no paint and it actually is put together using (dare I say?) screws rather than plastic glue! It even provides you with a screwdriver.

There are about 50 parts which are well molded and the parts themselves require little clean up before assembly. The instructions guide you through the electrical connections of a handle, starter button and mini-electric motor/blower which actually spins the engine.

Mitsubishi J2M5 Raiden (Jack) Type 33

Published: June 21st, 2015     
Mitsubishi J2M5 Raiden (Jack) Type 33
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1:32
Company: Hasegawa

The J2M Raiden (Allied code name Jack) was designed by Jiro Horikoshi (of A6M Zero fame) and built by Mitsubishi for the Imperial Japanese Navy as a land-based point interceptor. It was designed to counter high altitude bombers. It relied more upon speed, climb-rate, and armament over maneuverability to perform this task. Initial production aircraft suffered from numerous problems with its Mitsubishi Kasei 13 engine, which in turn delayed production until solutions were found. The Kasei 13 was eventually replaced with the Kasei 23a engine on J2M2 and J2M3 production aircraft. The J2M5 Type 33 aircraft, represented by the model under review here, featured an enlarged cockpit and canopy and a Kasei 26 supercharged engine, giving this variant more speed at high altitudes with a consequent lowering of effective range. The J2M Raiden was the preferred bomber destroyer of IJN pilots late in the war, but due to its technical development problems the aircraft series did not see large scale production, a total of only approximately 500 being produced from 1942 to the end of the war.

M10 GMC

Published: June 20th, 2015     
M10 GMC
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

There’s an apocryphal conversation that supposedly took place in World War 2 between a German captive and his guard:

German Prisoner: “Not meaning to insult, but in battle, any German tank is the equal to any ten of your Shermans.”

Guard: “Really?”

German Prisoner: “Yes, but you always have eleven.”

It’s no joke that American tankers fighting in Europe had to contend with a host of powerful German tanks, using a tank design that although noted for its maneuverability, ease of maintenance and automotive reliability, suffered from inadequate armor and even less adequate firepower.  Enter the M10, America’s first serious attempt to level the playing field a bit.

Designed as a tank hunter, mounting a 3-inch gun in an open-topped turret, the M10 had enough kick to penetrate most German side armor at reasonable ranges.  Further refinements eventually involved the replacement of the 3-inch gun with more potent weapons, including the British 17 lb. gun.  Further development led to the M36 Jackson, still seen on some battlefields around the world to this day.