Reviews of scale model kits.

U.S. Army Field Safe

Published: March 16th, 2019     
U.S. Army Field Safe
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

Hauler produces photo-etched and resin upgrade sets for armored fighting vehicles (AFVs), airplanes, cars, railway vehicles, and dioramas. They also produce a few resin kits. Their products are in most of the common scale sizes, 1/72, 1/48, and 1/35, but they also produce a number of other items in common railroad hobbyist scales.

This diorama accessory is a US Army Field Safe. The safe itself is a resin box, with 3 additional pieces of resin representing the combination dial, door handle, and the actual door with "US" stamped on the front. There is a small photoetch sheet, which contains six pieces of photo-etch that will make up the inside shelves for the safe. A simple instruction sheet is included too.

Construction goes together very easily. The shelves are assembled, then fitted inside the actual safe. The 2 small pieces of resin representing the combination dial and door handle attach to the indentations on the front of the door, and the door attaches neatly to the actual safe body. There wasn't much clean up needed and everything went together in a matter of minutes to provide a very reasonable example of a safe.

Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle

Published: March 16th, 2019     
Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya


The Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle (16Shi Ji Dong Zhan Dou Che Hitoroku-shiki kidou-sentou-sha) is a wheeled tank destroyer of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. The Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle (MCV) equips designated combat units. Due to its light weight and small size, it is designed for easy deployment (by aircraft if needed) allowing rapid movement on narrow roads and in built-up areas in response to various contingencies. Despite its small size and light armor, it can successfully attack much larger armored fighting vehicles as well as personnel, using its large caliber gun.


The kit is produced by Tamiya, a well-known company who is known for producing quality midrange priced model kits. The box artwork is outstanding and shows the Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle traversing open ground. This kit belongs to Tamiya's 1/48 Military Miniature Series.

Ford GT

Published: March 15th, 2019     
Ford GT
Reviewed by: Doug Cole, IPMS# 46605
Scale: 1:24
Company: Tamiya

The new Ford GT is a stunning supercar that competes favorably with the best of the breed at a price that the competition hasn't seen in in a decade. Tamiya, not wishing to be left out of the fray has produced a similarly gorgeous replica of the car in scale for the advanced builder.

There are a lot of things to love about the kit and some things that could be improved, but in the end; if you want a great looking model of this superb car this the best example on the market.

Construction begins with the rear and forward body panels and you'll quickly discover that you can't use tube glue or the parts will not fit together. Thin liquid cement or thin superglue are needed due to the tight tolerances of the pieces and miniscule glue points. Reminiscent of the over-engineered 60's kit that saw us trying to keep the front end together with a one-millimeter dot on the end of a tie rod, these joins require concentration and sparing use of adhesives.

Academy F/A-18C

Published: March 12th, 2019     
Academy F/A-18C
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1:72
Company: Academy/MRC

The Boeing (formerly McDonnel-Douglas) F/A-18C is an improved version of McDonnel-Douglas' F/A-18A, which in itself was developed from the Northrop YF-17 lightweight fighter prototype.

Academy's 1/72 F/A-18C is a faithful reproduction of the actual aircraft, although the details in the cockpit and the gear wells is sparse. The fit is generally excellent, with several seams, notably around the intakes (parts B16 and B17). Be careful when assembling the sides of the fuselage (parts B1 and B2), as it is very easy to misalign these parts. One other tricky assembly is the main landing gears, as each main gear leg has a smaller actuating cylinder that needs to be installed at the same time, and the best way to do this is to dry fit both pieces and once the alignment is correct, apply glue.

P-39 D/F/K Airacobra

Published: March 6th, 2019     
P-39 D/F/K Airacobra
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun

The Aircraft

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was a beautiful design. It had an innovative layout for the fuselage, with the engine mounted in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. The P-39 was also the first US Fighter with a tricycle undercarriage.

With these advantages came one large disadvantage. The engine did not have a turbo supercharger, which prevented the aircraft from performing well at high altitude, above 12,000 feet. Because of this, the RAF rejected the P-39. The Soviet Air Force did accept the Airacobra, as most of their combat took place at low to medium altitudes.

The P-39 also had a solid weapons system. The central mounted engine allowed the mounting of the T9 37mm cannon in the nose. This weapon could penetrate 8 inches of armor at 500 yards.

The P-39 was used by the US Army in the Southwest Pacific, mostly New Guinea. There were also P-39s in Alaska, where they were used against the Japanese invasion of Attu, but with limited success because of weather problems.