Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

J7W2 Interceptor-Fighter Jet Version

Published: January 25th, 2018     
J7W2 Interceptor-Fighter Jet Version
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

Hasegawa has reissued an old friend in the form of a 1/48th scale J7W2 (Jet Version) Interceptor Fighter. The J7W2 was a natural follow-on to the prop-driven J7W1 kit which was released quite some time ago. While the J7W1 prototypes actually flew short test flights for a total time of just under an hour, the J7W2 never got off the drawing board. The Info-Paragraph on the Hasegawa website states that, "It took its first flight on August 3rd, 1945", but that comment refers to the J7W1 prop-driven aircraft. The only J7W1 left in existence is in the Smithsonian collection, and the J7W2 was never actualized. Within the kit instructions, the issue of whether the jet version ever flew is correctly put forward with a statement that reads, "The IJN, encouraged by the previous success of its propeller-driven Shinden prototype, had plans to build a jet-powered Shinden Kai, but historians have been able to ascertain exactly how far along this project was at war's end."

M32B1 Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV)

Published: January 22nd, 2018     
M32B1 Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV)
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

The Italeri M32B-1 Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) Kit # 6547, originally released way back in 1980, was, at the time of release, still standing sentry duty as the only readily available injection-molded set of sprues for this Sherman-based Allied tank recovery vehicle. The model has gone through a number of updates and improvements since, culminating in what you see reviewed here. After all this time, however, Italeri's offering 'still has it goin' on', sporting a relatively detailed interior and winch/cable assembly; all housed in a decent Sherman chassis. As boxed, this kit is one heck of a value.

M4A3E8 Korean War Sherman

Published: January 22nd, 2018     
M4A3E8 Korean War Sherman
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Tamiya

Summary

Tamiya has enhanced their recently released M4A3E8 Sherman to represent the Korean War variant, including the colorful 'Devil' scheme. Several new sprues, new track, decals, and other odds and ends round out the new offering, including a complete, 2-sprue complementary kit of the Russian GAZ67B Field Car equivalent of the Willys Jeep. One thing is for sure - the kit this new version is based on is one of the finest armor models ever produced by Tamiya. And that is saying quite a lot - for just a pure, modeling experience, it just doesn't get any better.

Berge-Panther mit aufgesetztem Pz.Kpfw.IV turm als Befehlspanzer

Published: January 21st, 2018     
Berge-Panther mit aufgesetztem Pz.Kpfw.IV turm als Befehlspanzer
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

The German Panther is one of the most important and recognizable tanks of WWII. There were many variations and Dragon's boxing here is a special conversion by heavy tank destroyer battalion s.Pz.Abt.653. I believe this was a one-off conversion in the field. Basically a Panther D hull with a Panzer IV Ausf. H turret added to the top. There is no history of the vehicle on the directions or box top, but there is a little to be found online. I've read conflicting things online stating that the gun was operational, or if it was non-functioning. The sources I've found did all agree with one thing - the turret was fixed forward. This vehicle saw service in Russia 1944 with s.Pz.Abt.653 - which is the kit's sole marking option.

This Dragon release is in a nice sturdy box literally packed with kit parts. My thoughts when opening the package were literally "what did I get myself into?" There are over 20 sprues of parts included. One quickly sees that there are sprues for Dragon's existing Panther kits and Panzer IV kits compiled into a boxing for this specific vehicle. The builder will end up with a mountain of "extras" for their spare parts box after the kit is finished.

Soviet SU-85M Tank Destroyer

Published: January 21st, 2018     
Soviet SU-85M Tank Destroyer
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/35
Company: Cyber-Hobby

The Soviet SU-85 is a WWII Soviet self-propelled tank destroyer based on a T-34 chassis. The SU-85m was an improved SU-85 with the SU-100 style commander's cupola.

This specific kit from Dragon is a reissue with some new parts. This "Orange Box" kit includes Dragon's "Magic Tracks" as well as a sprue #GA containing Soviet Infantry Equipment. The box itself is a thinner cardboard and a 'side-open' style. A color profile and decal placement guide is shown on the back of the box.

Directions are simplified and very easy to follow.

All parts are molded in the standard grey plastic, and the kit also includes a metal tow cable. There is no photoetch fret with this boxing. Decal options are included for two unknown units.