Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams

Published: April 4th, 2015     
M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams
Reviewed by: Bob LaBouy, IPMS# 3064
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

History

The M1 Abrams tank is one of the world’s best know, easily recognized and most lethal main battle tanks, and has seen combat throughout both the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.  One of the latest versions is the M1A2 SEP V2.   ‘SEP V2’ stands for System Enhanced Program and ‘V2’ denotes Version 2.

There are numerous URLs & sites dedicated to both the SEP V2, a great deal of public information and photographs available to assist the scale modeler in construction and finishing of this tank.

Kit

This is a great kit, providing not only the basis for the updated versions of the Abrams, of which over 5100 examples have been built since the M1’s were first produced in 1978.

Not to be outdone by either their earlier issues of the M1 kits nor those of their competitors, Dragon has raised the bar even further with this M1A2 SEP V2.  What’s different in this kit? 

My abbreviated list includes these new goodies:

Chinese Navy Type 056 Class Corvette

Published: April 3rd, 2015     
Chinese Navy Type 056 Class Corvette
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Scale: 1/350
Company: Bronco Models

History

The 056 Class patrol ship replaces the older 037 Class and was first suggested in the 1980’s but did not emerge until 2012. The ship is a thoroughly modern design with a modular hull featuring stealth properties. It weighs 1,400 tons fully loaded and has a length of 89 meters and a beam of 11.6 meters. Power is provided by 2 marine diesel engines giving a maximum speed of 28 knots and a range of 6500 kilometers. A mixed armament is carried consisting of a 76mm gun, 4 x YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, 10 x HQ-10 SAM missiles and 6 torpedo tubes. The rear deck has a helipad to operate small to medium size helicopters. A total of 20 ships have been ordered for the PLAN, and the type has been offered for export with a different hull and armament options.

Kit

The kit is produced by Bronco Models, a well-known company who is known for producing quality model kits. The box art work in outstanding and shows the Type 056 Class Corvette sailing through Hong Kong harbor with the modern city in the background. The kit can be built for either hull 596 (Huizhou) or 597 (Qinzhou).

Batmobile

Published: April 3rd, 2015     
Batmobile
Reviewed by: Graice & Jim Deck, IPMS# 47248
Scale: 1/25
Company: Polar Lights

Wow! If packaging was what it was all about this would be the premier. Not only are all 6 sides emblazoned with super cool pictures, even the inside leaves of the bottom are covered in Crash, Boink, Biffs, and Pows!

Inside the box you'll find 3 black sprues, 2 clear sprues, a sprue of chrome plated parts, decals, instructions, and a pamphlet. The total parts count is 112 pieces for the vehicle and 6 parts for the dynamic duo. All are flash free and well molded. The tri-fold instruction sheet consists of a color guide, 9 assembly drawings, a decal guide, and a separate step at the end for the figures.

Mignet HM14 Pou du Ciel (Flying Flea)

Published: April 2nd, 2015     
Mignet HM14 Pou du Ciel (Flying Flea)
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun

Brengun is a fairly new company in Brno, Czechoslovakia. They make resin and photoetch kits in various scales. They have some VERY interesting kits and PE detail sets. I recently reviewed their 1/72 shopping cart. It’s got to be part of a street diorama, as soon as I find a 1/72 young lady to go with it.

The Aircraft

In the late 1920s - early 1930s France was very much taken with aviation. If it flew, a lot of people were fans. Henri Mignet decided that he wanted to design and build an airplane that everyone could fly and almost anyone could afford to own. The concept was a “Model T of the Air”. Because the ubiquitous Ford Model T was called “Pou de la Route”, which translated to “Louse of the Road”, his aircraft became the Pou du Ciel, or “Louse of the Air”. The common English translation became “Flying Flea”.

1940 Ford Fire Chief Car

Published: April 2nd, 2015     
1940 Ford Fire Chief Car
Reviewed by: Doug Cole, IPMS# 46605
Scale: 1/25
Company: Round 2 Models

The Kit

This automotive model review covers the 1940 Ford Fire Chief Car 1:25 scale MPC kit #815/12. The copyright date on the inside of the body is 2014 although kit has been released before. This is a Skill Level 1 “Snap-It” kit for modelers eight years and older.  It includes parts molded in red, tan, and black with chrome, clear and transparent red parts and waterslide decals.

Phantom P-51D Mustang

Published: March 31st, 2015     
Phantom P-51D Mustang
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Revell, Inc.

Thanks to one of our steadfast supporters, Revell, for providing us a copy of this vintage kit… and to IPMS leadership for providing it to me for review. Talk about a time capsule…

This kit was first released by Monogram models back in 1961. A groundbreaking effort at the time, it was the best of all modeling worlds; an accurately shaped P-51D in clear plastic, with plenty of detail and operating features. Retractable landing gear, spinning propeller, sliding canopy, bombs which could be dropped… what else could one ask for? All at the princely sum of $4.98! This model has stood the test of time; the molds have a little bit of flash, but the parts pretty well fit together as designed.

F86-F 40 Saber

Published: March 29th, 2015     
F86-F 40 Saber
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 5869
Scale: 1/72
Company: Fujimi

This was my first Fujimi build and I think I picked a good one to start with. I don’t often build jets but I’ve always liked the Saber so I grabbed this from the reviewer corps list. This kit or more specifically this mold has been around since ~1986. For a mold of this age it is in terrific shape and I only spotted a tiny bit of flash on one part. Panel line detail is very good with only a few of the access panel lines needing the attention of your favorite scriber. The kit box makes mention of this being a Value set. From what I gleamed on the Fujimi website, the Value is the fact the kit includes the JASDF “Blue Impulse” decals along with the standard decals.

Space Pirate Battleship Arcadia Second Ship (Phantom Death Shadow conversion)

Published: March 26th, 2015     
Space Pirate Battleship Arcadia Second Ship (Phantom Death Shadow conversion)
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/1500
Company: Hasegawa

I really like how Hasagawa keeps releasing quality models of Japanese Anime vehicles.  This one is one of the Arcadia ships (think there were 2, possibly 3 different versions) used by Space Pirate Captain Harlock.  I found an English dubbed version on YouTube which, of course, featured the green ship instead of this one but still interesting to watch.  I also found a fun site about the lack of continuity in the Harlock Universe that is worth a read if you like this kind of stuff.

SSW D.III

Published: March 25th, 2015     
SSW D.III
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

History Brief

The SSW D.III was a German single-seat fighter built by the Siemens-Schuckert Werke and served as a home defense interceptor. The D.III was a development of the D.IIc prototype. Around 41 D.IIIs were delivered to the front between April and May 1918, most of them went to Jagdgeschwader II. It was powered by a 160 hp (119 kW) Siemens-Halske Sh.III bi-rotary engine. The pilots were enthusiastic about the new aircraft's handling and rate of climb, however, after only 7 to 10 hours of service the Sh.III engines had serious issues with piston seizure and overheating.

Aero L-29 Delfin

Published: March 24th, 2015     
Aero L-29 Delfin
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: AvantGarde Model Kits

The Aero Vodochody L-29 was a Soviet and Warsaw Pact primary jet trainer developed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The design won a Warsaw Pact competition beating the Yakovlev Yak-30 entry and the Polish PZL TS-11 Iskra. The L-29 competition represented a clean-sheet approach and gave the Eastern bloc its first jet trainer not derived from a fighter. Rugged and reliable the L-29 has since been surpassed by the Aero L-39 and other aircraft, but it continues the soldier on in the air forces of former Soviet client states or break-away republics. Georgia is a notable example, since it has an aircraft manufacturing infrastructure in Tbilisi, and its L-29s are in a state of excellent repair.