Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

MIM-104B Patriot Surface To Air Missile PAC-1

Published: January 14th, 2017     
MIM-104B Patriot Surface To Air Missile PAC-1
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

The Black Label collection from Dragon Models offers an interesting range of novel model kits. Their latest offering, a 1/35th scale MIM-104B Patriot Surface To Air Missile (PAC-1), is not the only kitted offering of this venerable anti-missile, missile system on the market; it is not even the first version of the kit produced. But, with its relatively low parts count and absence of photo etch, it is a kit clearly aimed at modelers with a focus on buildability. Dragon includes not only the complete launcher and four posable missile pods, but also the U.S. Army HEMTT prime mover – quite an undertaking in one box.

The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system is used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by Raytheon and replaces the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army's medium tactical air defense system. In addition to these roles, Patriot has been given the function of the U.S. Army's anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot's primary mission. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.

B-52G Stratofortress "Gulf War" 25th Anniversary

Published: January 12th, 2017     
B-52G Stratofortress "Gulf War" 25th Anniversary
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Italeri

Up front: Sincere thanks to Italeri and their U.S. distributor, Hobbico USA, for this Boeing -Licensed model of the venerable B-52. And thanks to IPMS for sending it to review.

The old (1992) AMT/Ertl (Now released by Italeri) B-52 G and H series were hailed at the time as a "Someone finally listened" moment. Three versions of the kit were released, all of which shared the modular center/core of the B-52 line. The B-52G was released in a hound-dog carrier, early-version without EVS (Electro-optical Viewing) and FLIR (Forward looking Infra-red) chin–mounted sensor turrets and fairings. This kit was released with an excellent set of Hound Dog missiles for underwing mounting. The engines were correct for the "G", with the side-mounted electrical generator cooling ducts, and the forward bullet-nosed engine section which was a major feature to differentiate this mark from the "A" through "F" blunt-nosed engines with the Alternator cooling section in the center of the engine intake.

Robin, the Boy Wonder

Published: January 11th, 2017     
Robin, the Boy Wonder
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/8
Company: Moebius Models

In the Batman universe, Robin, the Boy Wonder, certainly has to qualify as iconic a character as anything. His colorful costume, colorful language (Holy banana peels!) and colorful body language all contributed to the fun. Adding this rendition to my Batman collection has been a real pleasure.

Moebius Models chose to mold this kit in bright yellow plastic, which may seem a bit odd to some. After all, the only really yellow part of Robin’s costume is his cape. However, I think they were acknowledging a simple truth here – yellow is the one of the hardest colors to paint, as it normally doesn’t cover very well. All in all, I think they made a logical choice. In any case I didn’t find it a hardship when it got to painting.

One of the things I really like about the Moebius range of Batman figures is the care that’s been taken to make them relatively easy to paint. As in the kits before, this kit has been thought out in some detail, and if you’re not comfortable painting figures, you’ll find that most colors can be painted as separate subassemblies. Having done a few figures in my time, I elected to assemble the kit completely minus only the head and cape.

M4A3(76)W Battle of the Bulge

Published: January 10th, 2017     
M4A3(76)W Battle of the Bulge
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

The M4A3 was the main medium tank used by the US Army in Europe starting in the Fall of 1944 until the end of the war. The A3 version had the Ford 8-cyclinder GAA 500 horse powered engine. The (76)W stands for the 76mm gun version with the T23 turret and the “Wet” ammo storage bins built into the floor surrounded by a jacket filled with an anti-freeze solution. This kit represents a M4A3 that would have fought during the Battle of the Bulge in mid to late December 1944.

This kits contains 10 dark green sprues which are a mixture of past Academy releases. There is a sprue from their M10, older M4s and a couple from M51 Super Shermans. There is a small photo etched sheet with the headlight, horn and taillight guards, plus some unused pieces. A length of white string is supplied for the tow cable. The decal sheet had six versions represented. Interesting, it has a Beute Panzer option for a captured tank in German Army use and some faded, worn national insignias. There are no clear parts. The tracks are molded in one piece. I had to warm them up to straighten them, since they were packed folded.

Stuart M3/M3A1/M3A3 Stuart Light Tank

Published: January 9th, 2017     
Stuart M3/M3A1/M3A3 Stuart Light Tank
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/56
Company: Italeri

Italeri recently began producing a line of 1/56 scale AFVs and figures. This might be an unusual scale for most model builders, but is a fairly common wargaming scale, equivalent to the 28mm scale. The M3 Stuart tank kit is one of their newest releases in that line of kits, and it is done in coordination with Warlord Games, who designed the 28mm WWII-themed wargame, Bolt Action©.

This kit comes packaged in a side-opening box displaying a Stuart tank of the British 8th Army on patrol in a desert of North Africa, which is where the M3 got its first taste of action. The M3 was the first American built tank to engage Axis tanks in WWII, as it was used by the British across North Africa via the Lend-Lease program. It was under-gunned and under-armored against the German panzer force, but its speed, maneuverability, and reliability made it a favorite choice for armored reconnaissance and infantry support. By the end of the war, the M3 Stuart was used by the British, Russian, Free French, and Americans across Africa, Europe, and in the Pacific.