Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

"Psycho" Bates Mansion

Published: November 9th, 2010     
"Psycho" Bates Mansion
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/87
Company: Polar Lights

For fans of the "Psycho" movies that starred Anthony Hopkins as "Norman Bates", this kit will bring back some fond or not so fond memories. This kit arrived just as my favorite time of year started, as I decorate for Halloween like no other holiday. I was also fortunate enough to have one of the movie channels recently run "Psycho", "Psycho II", and "Psycho III", which provided good references for how to paint the house. When first released, this was a new kit made by Polar Lights, and it does a nice job of capturing the look and feel of the Bates mansion of the original "Psycho" movies (the remake with Vince Vaughn has a completely different house).

As the original movie was made in black and white, the second and third movies are recommended for references, but you may want to watch all three (or four) to get into character for this build. For this new release, the folks at Polar Lights/Round 2 Models have added an LED light and battery pack to light up the mansion for your display. The 1/87, or HO-scale house, will likely also be a hit with railroad modelers, as well as horror movie fans.

"War of the Worlds" Martian

Published: November 9th, 2010     
"War of the Worlds" Martian
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/8
Company: Pegasus Hobbies

For fans of the older "War of the Worlds" movie and/or the television show from 1953, this little piece of nostalgia will bring a big smile to your face. After conducting some research during my construction of this kit, I found that this "Martian" represents one from the 1953 television show. It is actually a Mor Taxan, a creature from the planet Mor Tax. Looking at the photographs that I could find on line, this creature is an excellent representation of the characters from that particular show.

Polikarpov I-16 Type 17

Published: November 9th, 2010     
Polikarpov I-16 Type 17
Reviewed by: Tracy Palmer, IPMS# 39188
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Greeting to all the plasticholics out there in model building land! Today we have a review of the Polikarpov I-16 type 17. This was an Edward Profipack kit with 96 parts (some of those are extras), a fret of photo-etch - pre-painted on some parts, and decals for 5 A/C.

He-162A-2 Salamander

Published: November 9th, 2010     
He-162A-2 Salamander
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Scale: 1/48
Company: Cyber-Hobby

The Reich Air Ministry (RLM) issued requirements for a single-seat fighter powered by a single BMW 003 jet engine on September 10, 1944. From the many German aircraft manufacturers interested, Heinkel's proposal was selected. Heinkel designed and built The He-162 very quickly. The final design was chosen on September 25th and the He162 flew for the first time on December 6th, less than 90 days later.

It was made primarily of wood due to the short supply of metals. In early test parts came unglued in flight with one such event resulting in the death of the test pilot. As a result, parts were strengthened and some redesign was needed. The glue for the wood parts was found to be defective in many cases. The aircraft was the fastest jet aircraft in the air hitting 550 mph at sea level and speeds reaching 562 mph at 19,000 feet.

The He162 was built at three locations; Salzburg, the Hinterbruhl, and the Mittelwerk. By the time of Germany's surrender on May 8, 1945, 120 He 162's had been delivered; a further 200 had been completed and were awaiting deployment.

German Krupp 12.8 cm K 44 L/55 High Velocity Anti-Tank Gun

Published: November 4th, 2010     
German Krupp 12.8 cm K 44 L/55 High Velocity Anti-Tank Gun
Reviewed by: Don Barry, IPMS# 46771
Scale: 1/35
Company: Great Wall Hobby

Brief History      

The 12.8 cm PaK (Panzerabwehrkanone) 44 was the largest caliber German anti-tank gun fielded by her armies during World War II. It was designed as a final response to the escalating armor/anti-armor spiral which continued right through the end of the war, and afterward. Experiences with Russian 122-mm guns and the heavy armor of the KV and IS tanks had shown that even the vaunted 88-mm gun had its limitations.

The choice of 128-mm was made due to existing tooling being available for this caliber as naval and anti- aircraft weapons.

Contracts for design and prototypes were awarded to both Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig, with testing commencing in late 1944. The Krupp design was chosen for series production, and although performance was impressive, a towed weapon weighing nearly 11-tons was simply not practical. Various carriages, both foreign and domestic were tried, with varying degrees of success.