Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero

Published: March 7th, 2014     
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero
Reviewed by: Andrew Fuller, IPMS# 49099
Scale: 1/48
Company: Revell, Inc.

Manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the A6M5 Zero was a long range fighter aircraft flown by the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service. Its first flight was on April 1st 1939 and entered service on July 1st 1940. More than ten thousand Zero aircraft were built.

Revell brings us another easy and fun to build kit. Being a skill level 2 kit, detail is a bit sparse in the cockpit department.  It consists of only a pilot figure and a decaled instrument panel.  Regardless, of the lean detail, this is a great little kit. The Zero is moulded in grey, and panel lines and detair are raised.

The kit went together nicely, and the fit of all parts were very precise. Other than some very minor "flash"on a few of the parts, the only predicament I encountered were the 4 small locating tabs on the bottom of the canopy.  These locating tabes had to be removed to ensure the canopy had a flush fit with the fuselage.

The decals are crisp and bright, and were applied using decal setting solution to achieve a painted on look, even with the raised rivet and panel line details.

Gloster Meteor MK 4

Published: March 7th, 2014     
Gloster Meteor MK 4
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/32
Company: H-K Models Co.

Mr. Neil Yan and the wonderful folks at HK Models deserve tremendous thanks for providing this review kit.  I appreciate their work to bring new and unusual subjects to the scale modeling community.  The IPMS/USA Reviewer Corps also deserves thanks for giving me the kit to review.  I am only one member of a large staff in the Reviewer Corps, and I appreciate all the tireless team and individual work that goes into getting the material out to be reviewed and the finished write-ups published.

The Meteor appeared late in WW2 as a counter to the V-1 threat to England.  It was the first operational Allied jet fighter, operated primarily by the RAF throughout its history.  The design of the Meteor might seem primitive by today’s standards, but it truly was groundbreaking at the time.  Many versions of the Meteor were developed, including stints as turboprop and ejection-seat test beds.  HK Models chose the MK 4 version for their new kit.

Japan Ground Self Defense Force 3-1/2 ton Fuel Tank Vehicle

Published: March 7th, 2014     
Japan Ground Self Defense Force 3-1/2 ton Fuel Tank Vehicle
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aoshima

Aoshima has released a number of vehicles of Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF), including this little gem. I don’t know anything about the ground equipment of the JGSDF, but this is what’s included as a description, “JGSDF 31/2 ton Fuel truck is mainly assigned to Logistic Support Regiment, utilized for fuel supply to tanks, armored vehicles, and other various vehicles in the field. It has “Ki” (danger) marking just like civilian vehicles.” This is one of a series of service vehicles in the JGSF that Aoshima offers in 1/72 scale.

French Char 2C Super Heavy Tank

Published: March 5th, 2014     
French Char 2C Super Heavy Tank
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

Following on from their superb yet diminutive FT-17 WW1 French tank, Meng Models of China provides the modeling public with a colossus of a tank model, the French Char 2C.  Like the FT-17, the Char 2C was born during the years of battle in World War One, but came too late in the piece to see combat.  Before the prototype was even completed, an order was placed for 300 of these gargantuan beasts, but due to the war coming to an end, this order was subsequently cancelled, and only 10 Char 2C’s were eventually delivered in 1921, becoming the largest tank ever to enter service in any of the world’s armies.  The 10 vehicles went on to become mainly propaganda vehicles, “staring” in various cinematic productions to show the strength of the French military machine.  Each of the ten tanks was named after the ancient regions of France: Poitou, Provence, Picardie, Alsace, Bretagne, Touraine, Anjou, Normandie, Berry and Champagne.  Normandie was renamed Lorraine in 1939.  And while to the French public these tanks gained a reputation as super tanks, land battleships in fact, the French military knew different, and they were never put into battle.  Rather

F6F-5 Hellcat Weekend Edition

Published: March 5th, 2014     
F6F-5 Hellcat Weekend Edition
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Everybody probably knows that Eduard has a series of Hellcats available in 1/72. Everyone probably also knows that one of their competitors has released a similar series. The question arises as to which kit is better. In my opinion, the answer is a qualified neither. Both kits have strengths and weaknesses. I’ll be discussing those of the Eduard kit.

Beechcraft Bonanza F33

Published: March 5th, 2014     
Beechcraft Bonanza F33
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/48
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The Beechcraft Bonanza V-tail is one of the sleekest general aviation designs out there, and it’s still flying today.  I wish I would have had the chance to log some hours in one before I gave up flying.  The Bonanza was introduced in 1947 and is still produced today, although the V-tail design was retired in 1982.

Space:1999 Eagle 1 Transporter

Published: March 5th, 2014     
Space:1999 Eagle 1 Transporter
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/72
Company: Round 2 Models

Introduction

By 1999, a human colony had been built on the Moon (you remember, right?).  Moonbase Alpha safeguarded all the nuclear waste shipped from Earth, and carried out research.  Then, on September 13, 1999, disaster struck when the nuclear waste exploded in a chain reaction, and the Moon was blasted out of Earth's orbit, into deep space.  Thus began the adventures of Space:1999Space:1999 was a British produced science fiction television series that aired from late 1975 to early 1977, and for us science fiction fans, there was nothing else like it on TV at the time.  The workhorse of Moonbase Alpha was the Eagle spacecraft.  Eagle spacecraft were cleverly designed, modular utility ships (like the Huey helicopters of the day), and were used for work tasks and in various configurations to transport personnel and cargo around the Moon and the planets the Moonbase Alpha crew came across in their travels. 

J7W1 Shinden - Final Construction and Painting - Part 2

Published: March 5th, 2014     
J7W1 Shinden - Final Construction and Painting - Part 2
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Zoukei-Mura

When we left off at the end of part 1, the gun bays, cockpits and main airframe were done, and we needed to cover the engines and prepare the airframe for painting.  Moving on to this round of the build, the sides and tops covering the engines are added. This is easier on the 1/48 kit as there are fewer parts, only 7 versus the 11 found on the 1/32 scale kit. In either case, hiding the engine below the covers is difficult, if only because it is so well done. The back is added along with the air scoops, top cover and a little putty, at which point we are done with the aft of the plane.

Mitsubishi F-1

Published: March 4th, 2014     
Mitsubishi F-1
Reviewed by: Walt Fink, IPMS# 2447
Scale: 1/72
Company: Platz

Retired from active service in 2006, The F-1 was the JASDF’s first Japanese-designed and -manufactured supersonic fighter, and was essentially the same airframe as the two-seat Mitsubishi T-2 trainer, but had a solid “hood” in place of the second canopy, along with assorted weapons capabilities and internal differences.  The similarity in appearance to the SEPECAT Jaguar has some merit, though Mitsubishi’s official position states that the only items it has in common with the Jag are its engines.

Platz continues its line of JASDF and JMSDF subjects with this new release.  I’ve never built a Platz kit which hasn’t been excellent with beautiful engraved detail and great fit, and this one’s recessed panel lines and thorough detailing throughout was no exception. 

The instructions are complete but are a little busy, particularly where optional configurations are possible, so the builder needs to study them before making holes or gluing parts in place.  External stores consist of four external fuel tanks, two air-to-surface missiles, a practice bomb dispenser with bomblets, and two Sidewinders.

U.S. Scooter Sidecar

Published: March 4th, 2014     
U.S. Scooter Sidecar
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Plusmodel

This is another in the Cushman Scooter series of models recently released by Plus Model.

Cushman made 4,734 airborne scooters for the military beginning in 1944. The rugged, simple Model 53 could travel through water, climb a 25 percent grade and had a range of approximately 100 miles. Some scooters had a hitch to pull a utility cart. This version of the Cushman airborne scooter was configured to carry a sidecar with either an additional seat or a utility bin.

Kit Contents

The kit has 21 light gray resin parts, one clear headlamp, one piece of wire, four photoetch pieces, and one detail sheet. The instructions include three color schemes – U.S. Navy (gray), U.S. Army (olive drab) and Airfield Service (deep yellow).

The resin is fairly soft and all of the parts have casting blocks and flash that must be removed. The parts do have good detail for their small size.

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