Reviews of scale model kits.

Metal Landing Gear for P-51D

Published: January 21st, 2018     
Metal Landing Gear for P-51D
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

IPMS/USA thanks Ross and his Team at SAC for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with one more of many monthly releases, with another great landing gear addition for the modeling community.

MiG-21 SMT ProfiPack

Published: January 18th, 2018     
MiG-21 SMT ProfiPack
Reviewed by: Michael Novasad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Brief History

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 NATO reporting name Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Sovier Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument.

Early versions are considered second generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered third generation jet fighters. Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations six decades after its maiden flight. It made aviation records, became the most produced supersonic jet fighter in aviation history, the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War and previously the longest production run of a combat aircraft (now exceeded by both the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon).

Kate - I'll Be Right There

Published: January 17th, 2018     
Kate - I'll Be Right There
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/24
Company: Masterbox Models

Masterbox Models, out of the the Ukraine, has been a leader in 1/35 figures for a while. They expanded into 1/24 female and fantasy figures in 2016, starting with their first series of six female figures representing the World War II era. This current series, Dangerous Curves, is ideal for modern automotive displays.

The kit comes in a standard end opening box. Pulling out the parts, you will first see that the box is probably three times too large, but in return you get a nice painting on the cover by V. Petelin, and instructions on the back with color callouts in Vallejo, Lifecolor, and Mr Color. I will note that the plastic figure sculpted by A. Gagarin is not identical to the cover paining, but it is close. The hair is slightly different and the blouse neckline is cut differently. Packaging of the thirteen parts are protected within a re-sealable bag.

M-76 Otter Light Amphibious Transport

Published: January 15th, 2018     
M-76 Otter Light Amphibious Transport
Reviewed by: Robert Head, IPMS# 48922
Scale: 1/72
Company: Croco Models

About the Company

Croco Models is a small model manufacturer from the Republic of Latvia. They've recently begun developing small kits of rare vehicles, and various model building accessories. This is the second model of their offering and is of the M-76 otter which was a USMC light amphibious vehicle and this is the first time this subject has been offered in any scale.

Short History

Designed by the Pontiac Motor Division in the early 1950's as the T46, this vehicle began life as the intended replacement for the Studebaker M29 Weasel. This amphibious cargo carrier was designed to carry cargo or up to eight troops over shallow rivers and swampy terrains and would become the M76 also known as the Otter. Development started in the late 1940's with the less than enthusiastic US Army watching on. The Army soon lost interest in the project, but the United States Marines, who have a habit of accepting vehicles which the US Army disapproves of (for example the M103 Super Heavy Tank), became interested. Production would start on the M76 Otter in the mid-to-late 1950's

USAF F-15E 333rd Fighter Squadron

Published: January 14th, 2018     
USAF F-15E 333rd Fighter Squadron
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1:72
Company: Academy

Over the years there have been quite a few F-15E Strike Eagle kits released by several different kit manufacturers in 1/72 scale. However most of these kits were adaptations of the manufacturer's F-15B or D kits with some extra parts to address some of the differences between the B/D and the E airframes. Academy's recent release is a not an adaptation of another two-seat F-15 kit, but instead was designed from the outset to be a Strike Eagle.

The kit is also a continuation of Academy's recent focus on enticing new people to the hobby, but it is not a snap-tight kit with all the negative connotations that often has, nor is it a "normal" model kit. Like several of Academy's other releases, this kit is for the most part a push-fit kit, however, it showcases some of the best model engineering I have seen as many joints where the parts fit together are either on actual panel lines or are in locations that are easily filled. The fit is spot on so most of the seams vanish once assembled.