Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

U.S. Field Switchboards

Published: July 14th, 2014     
U.S. Field Switchboards
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Plusmodel

Plus Models continues its excellent details for dioramas with a portable US Filed Switchboard set. The set is 35 pieces of perfectly cast resin, 23 photoetch pieces and a piece of wire. The kit is actually four kits in one with a desk, two switchboards and the seats/wire parts. All of the parts are cast in grey-green resin and are bubble free and crisp.

The first thing I did was to remove all the resin parts from their casting blocks. This is simple but takes some time as there are  a lot of small parts. I kept them in the correct pile for each part of the kit. A quick wash and we were ready for glue.

The desk is superb with all seven drawers being separate and fitting perfectly. This allows you to pose them open and fill them with paper or the like. There are two metal handles that need attached and also a closure clip in the front. The side table is attached to the desk and you have to use wire to make a folding leg. I cut it long and snipped it off until the desk set level. A small handset is glued to the top and this part is done.

Harley Davidson FLSTFB Fat Boy Lo, Part 2 - Assembly

Published: July 13th, 2014     
Harley Davidson FLSTFB Fat Boy Lo, Part 2 - Assembly
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/6
Company: Tamiya

Part 1 of the Tamiya Fat Boy review describes the background of the Fat Boy motorcycle and the Tamiya kit contents. This Part 2 Review describes the assembly of the Tamiya Fat Boy kit.

This is a fantastic kit! Not only is the Harley Davidson Fat Boy an iconic motorcycle, assembling this kit is one of the best modeling experiences I've ever had! The engineering and detail is phenomenal, the fit and finish of the parts are excellent, and the assembly, while complicated, goes together very well. The kit is a joy to build!

Background

The Harley Davidson Fat Boy is the latest in Tamiya’s series of 1/6 scale motorcycle kits. This is a large, multimedia kit with plastic, metal, rubber, diecast, and photoetch parts. This review also includes Tamiya’s Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo Detail Up Parts Set, item 12655 (MSRP $96.00).

The kit features a range of moving parts – working kickstand, brake pedal, gear shift, wheels rotate, front fork turns, drive belt turns with rear wheel, brake & clutch levers, front shocks, rear swing arm, etc.

Westland Whirlwind

Published: July 13th, 2014     
Westland Whirlwind
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Trumpeter

History Brief

The Westland Whirlwind was a British heavy fighter. Designed by Teddy Petter from the RAF's specification drawn up in 1937, the Westland Aircraft Company produced a single-seat, twin-engined monoplane, prototype which flew on 11 October, 1938 with Whirlwind production starting early the next year. 

It was the RAF’s first single-seat, twin-engined, cannon-armed fighter and a contemporary of the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. The aircraft’s small tube fuselage with its 'T'-tail was an advanced design for its time and the entire plane was built of stressed-skin duraluminium2. The pilot was seated in one of the first 'bubble' type canopies, giving the pilot an almost 360 degree view, and the low forward position of the wing gave the pilot excellent visibility.

Flightline Universal Box (3)

Published: July 13th, 2014     
 Flightline Universal Box (3)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Company: Aerobonus

Thanks to Aires for providing IPMS USA this set of diorama items for review…  We appreciate your support, and thanks to IPMS USA leadership for allowing me to review this item.

One area that seems to have been lacking in the modeling world are diorama accessories.  Oh sure, you can get deceased cows, dogs, humans, burned-down buildings… but “where is the aircraft support equipment”?    For sure there are some companies out there who deliver, but… we need more!

Enter Aires Aerobonus…. Continuing their esoteric addressing of what can be done with resin casting and a bit of effort… 

This set is three boxes.  Non-descript, but appropriate for a flightline operation  Handles are molded on the ends; there is one latch assembly.  Round it off with an excellent decal sheet, and you have a winner.   The decals have these boxes delinated for spill response, etc… but are frequently used for other things… The white markings are intended to be “night glow” silver-white, which makes them stand out in the headlights of a vehicle driving toward them. 

USA Air Compressor

Published: July 13th, 2014     
USA Air Compressor
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Mirror Models Ltd.

The kit is a 1/35 model of a USA Kellogg Air Compressor used during and after WWII. The kit makes a nicely detailed little accessory for dioramas or vehicles. This kit is from Mirror Models, Ltd. Of Ireland, who produce plastic model kits and accessories.

The compressor kit contains two full models in the package, and comes on two sprues of taupe or a gray/tan plastic. The plastic seems a little soft. Many of the parts are quite small and have very fine detail, such as the pulleys and drive belt, part K15. Some of the parts have fairly large sprue connections that require care removing them from the sprue and need some extra cleanup. The sprue connectors seem large but the actual connection points are fairly thin.

In the first step, take care cleaning the sprue connection points off the two halves of the tank, K2 and K3, as there are raised tabs for locating some of the other parts. I mistakenly sliced them off when cleaning up the connections. I assumed the end of the tank, part K1, should be seamless with the rest of the tank so I filled in the joints with putty.

U.S.A.F. Maintenance Crew - Farm Gate Operation Vietnam War 1965-1973

Published: July 9th, 2014     
U.S.A.F. Maintenance Crew - Farm Gate Operation Vietnam War 1965-1973
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

To start, my thanks to Aires for providing IPMS/USA with this figure to review! One of six in this review series, each shows a passion and dedication Aires have to providing the finest resin products. We appreciate your support, with the usual nod to IPMS/USA leadership for allowing me to review these figures.

Produced under the Aerobonus branch of Aires, this particular figure is a USAF maintainer in Vietnam with equipment appropriate for the 1965–1973 time period. The casting has outstanding detail and fidelity, and it consists of three resin parts (main body, left and right arms). The figure is wearing the “campaign” hat with the edges folded up, a standard issue set of two-piece fatigues, and a holstered .45-caliber pistol and cartridge belt. He is in a standing position, bent over as if picking up, or about to pick up, something like a box. Also included with the figure are painting instructions in color!

Bleriot Monoplane 1910

Published: July 9th, 2014     
Bleriot Monoplane 1910
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Round 2 Models

Background

On July 25, 1909 Louis Bleriot assembled a tiny monoplane of his own design on a farm in Les Baraques, France.  Weighing in at 500 lbs. and powered by a 25 HP Anzani three cylinder motorcycle engine, the airplane was the picture of utility. Still limping from a recent crash (one of many Bleriot had) he climbed into the monoplane after a short warm up flight and set out across the English Channel. 37 ½ minutes later flying at speeds up to 42 mph per hour at an altitude of 260 feet, Bleriot spotted the white cliffs of Dover and threaded his way through a gap in them to crash land on English soil.  His goal in accomplishing this feat was not the prize money that totaled 20,000 dollars, but Bleriot wanted to sell airplanes and did he ever. As a result of the fame gained from the channel crossing, Bleriot would go on to build about 250 model XIs.  The model XI used what are now a convention for aircraft control, the basic stick for roll and pitch and a rudder bar for yaw. Wing warping was employed in lieu of ailerons as Bleriot had figured out how to make that system work. The culmination of these design elements resulted in a very stable easy to fly design. As a result, the Model XI was used through WWI as trainer aircraft. A short winged version was used to teach ground control.

USAF Maintenance Crew Farm Gate Operations Vietnam War 1965-1973

Published: July 8th, 2014     
USAF Maintenance Crew Farm Gate Operations Vietnam War 1965-1973
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

First:  Thanks to Aires for providing IPMS USA this figure to review!  One of six in this review series, each shows a passion and dedication Aires have to providing the finest resin products.  We appreciate your support, with the usual nod to IPMS USA leadership for allowing me to review these figures.

Produced under the Aerobonus branch of Aires, this particular figure, a Maintainer, like the other figures has outstanding detail and fidelity.  The figure is wearing the “campaign hat” with the edges folded up, and a standard set of two-piece issue fatigues with a holstered .45 caliber pistol and cartridge belt.  He is in a standing position, looking level to his left, with both hands resting on his upper thighs.  Judging by the appearance and sculpture, this guy was a senior NCO in charge.    

Another Aires improvement:  Included with each set are painting instructions in color!

USAF Fighter Pilot Vietnam War 1960-1975

Published: July 8th, 2014     
USAF Fighter Pilot Vietnam War 1960-1975
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

First:  Thanks to Aires for providing IPMS USA this figure to review!  One of six in this review series, each shows a passion and dedication Aires have to providing the finest resin products.  We appreciate your support, with the usual nod to IPMS USA leadership for allowing me to review these figures.

Produced under the Aerobonus branch of Aires, this particular figure, a USAF fighter pilot in vietnam with equipment appropriate to 1960-1975,  has outstanding detail and fidelity; consisting of four resin parts (main body, left and right arm, and flight helmet).  The pilot is wearing the standard “Overseas hat”, which will require a deft hand for painting the silver piping and rank.  The wearer does NOT have the obligatory “ducktail” in the back, so this guy can’t be a real fighter pilot; he must be a McPeak clone.  (Had to say it…you old AF guys like me know what I am going with that comment).  

Note another improvement…  Included with each set are painting instructions in color!

Soviet Air Force Colonel, Korean War, 1951

Published: July 8th, 2014     
Soviet Air Force Colonel, Korean War, 1951
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

First:  Thanks to Aires for providing IPMS USA this figure to review!  One of six in this review series, each shows a passion and dedication Aires have to providing the finest resin products.  We appreciate your support, with the usual nod to IPMS USA leadership for allowing me to review these figures.

Included with each set are painting instructions in color!

Produced under the Aerobonus branch of Aires, this particular figure, a Russian Colonel from the Korean War era, 1951,  has outstanding detail and fidelity; consisting of three resin parts (main body, left and right arm).  The figure is wearing standard pants, shirt, and coat for the period.  The head and shirt collar with tie are separate, wearing a standard Wheel cap.  The left arm is casually in the left pants pocket, and the right arm is at rest, holding a soft flight cap of Soviet issue.  The head of the figure appears to be speaking, so its’ a casual conversation verses yelling and screaming at someone, trying to get them to move or do something faster.

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