Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

M4A3E8 Sherman

Published: August 24th, 2018     
M4A3E8 Sherman
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya

Background

One can put up a legitimate argument that the M4 Sherman series of tanks was the most important Allied tank of the Second World War. The initial Shermans that rolled off the production lines in large numbers had what was known as VVSS (Vertical Volute Suspension System) with two road wheels per bogie. These tanks (M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4) also operated as their main armament a short-barreled 75mm gun. As WW2 progressed, and reports from the fields of battle suggested the need for various "upgrades", the Sherman series underwent a number of small and major changes. Late in the war, there were two major changes: the introduction of HVSS (Horizontal Volute Suspension System) which incorporated four road wheels per bogie for a better vehicle ride, together with a larger turret needed to house a larger 76mm main gun. The new designation for Shermans sporting these two major changes added "E8" to the end of the Sherman nomenclature. Hence a Sherman with the Ford motor in its rear hull went from being an M4A3 when it had VVSS and a 75mm gun, to an M4A3E8 when it incorporated HVSS and the 76mm gun turret.

WWII German Infantry

Published: August 24th, 2018     
WWII German Infantry
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

IPMS/USA thanks the Aires Aerobonus team once again for sending us this simple, excellent items for use in a diorama setting. And thanks to Phil and John for obtaining the sets for the team.

This set consists of one perfectly cast figure of an infantryman with a pail/bucket and a rifle. Six parts on one pour block, with main body/torso, two arms, one head with helmet, one bucket, and one rifle. Standard fare with a lifelike pose in walking mode, looking to his left with helmet in hand.

The facial features are natural and after light priming take paint and detail wash well. Details include a cartridge container and overall fall/winter jacket. It looks to be around 1940-42 uniform to me as an uninitiated figure guy.

I added a metal handle for the bucket from fuse wire, and made a sling strap for the rifle by the same wire, rolling it flat under an X-Acto #11 handle on the building pad.

Mitsubishi F-15J Eagle 40th Anniversary Special Marking

Published: August 22nd, 2018     
Mitsubishi F-15J Eagle 40th Anniversary Special Marking
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/72
Company: Platz

Most of you should be at the least generally familiar with F-15 Eagle in its role as a twin engine all-weather tactical fighter. The F-15 was introduced into service in the United States in 1976 and just two short years later in Japan. The Japanese government made its initial purchase of F-15J "Peace Eagles" built by McDonnell Douglass in the late 1970's before continuing to build additional J models and Pratt-Whitney engines under license. The F-15J is based on the US F-15C/D model for those of you familiar with the Eagle.

Focke-Wulf TA 183 "Huckebein"

Published: August 22nd, 2018     
Focke-Wulf TA 183 "Huckebein"
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Scale: 1/48
Company: Academy

Kurt Tank's design team late in the war was striving to design aircraft to rival rumored Allied jet fighters, like the Gloster Meteor. Unfortunately for the Reich, fuel shortages and the end of the war prevented most of the fighters designed after the Me-262 from ever seeing combat. One of these was the TA 183 "Huckebein".  The Americans captured data and plans for the fighter from the Messerschmitt plants- and these evolved into designs of the swept-wing FJ-2/3/4 Fury and the Air Force version- the F-86 Sabre. The Soviet spoils of design plans led to their MiG-15.

Aerobonus WWII German Infantry

Published: August 22nd, 2018     
Aerobonus WWII German Infantry
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

IPMS/USA thanks the Aires Aerobonus team once again for sending us this simple, excellent item for use in a diorama setting. And thanks to Phil and John for obtaining the sets for the team.

This set consists of one perfectly cast figure of an infantryman carrying a Panzerschrek (PS) round on the shoulder. Five parts on one pour block, with main body/torso, two arms, one head with soft field hat with front bill, and one PS round. This one is a standing relaxed pose, good for being alone or walking with the other members of this particular set, looking to his left with weapon over the left shoulder. The detail includes the firing handle on the PS.

The facial features are natural and after light priming take paint and detail wash well. Details include an overall fall/winter jacket with pouch on the belt. The right hand appears to be set up for holding a cigarette (Turkish tobacco not included).