Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

AGM-154A/C Block I "JSOW"

Published: August 11th, 2018     
AGM-154A/C Block I "JSOW"
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1:72
Company: Eduard

The AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is manufactured by Raytheon Company and gives a precision strike, launch and leave capability. The JSOW has a stand-off range of around 12 miles when launched at low altitude and around 70 miles when launched at altitude. The weapon weighs around 1,000 lbs. and has different payloads depending on which variant it is. The AGM-154A carries 145 BLU-97 sub-munitions and is used to attack fixed and moveable soft targets such as parked aircraft, trucks, APCs and surface to air missile sites. The AGM-154C is equipped with a 500 lb. blast/fragmentation/penetrator warhead and is used to attack fixed point targets such as buildings and hardened tactical targets. The JSOW uses a global position/inertial navigation system for guidance and the C model has a terminal IR seeker. Over 400 JSOWs have been used in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq since it entered service in 1999. (US Navy Fact File)

Avro Shackelton AEW.2

Published: August 11th, 2018     
Avro Shackelton AEW.2
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

For the last several years, Airfix has transformed itself. They have been releasing a plethora of new kits that are heads and tails above the kits that we all put together as kids and young adults. The Avro Shackleton under review is further evidence of Airfix moving forward into the 21st Century. In 2015, Airfix released the Avro Shackleton MR.2. In 2017, Airfix released the Avro Shackelton AEW.2. This kit continues their current trend of crafting exquisite kits with modern molding technology and engineering. The plane had a long service life and pedigree according to the blurb on the instructions, "Developed from the Lincoln bomber and sharing with it the DNA of the famous Lancaster [bomber], the Avro Shackleton enjoyed a long career with the RAF, first as a maritime patrol craft and then as the RAF's primary AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft . . . . the AEW.2 version remained in service until 1991, the MR.2 was phased out in favor of the Nimrod in the 1970s."

Zlin Z50 "Worldwide Users"

Published: August 8th, 2018     
Zlin Z50 "Worldwide Users"
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Introduction

The Zlin Z-50 is an aerobatic aircraft developed in the Czech Republic in 1975. Designed to withstand plus 9 and minus 6 G's and running a 300 HP engine, this aircraft is a real contender in the competitive aerobatic world and has won a couple of championships. Of course, the plane is only as good as the pilot. For a number of years now I've had the pleasure-as have many others-to see Rob Harrison aka "The Tumbling Bear", perform his brand of low level high energy aerobatics in his bright yellow Zlin. My favorite part of his routine is the passes so low you can see Rob working the controls! Rob has been a stable on the Southern California airshow circuit for years. In spite of a terrible crash in Modesto CA in 2009, Rob supervised the build of his replacement Zlin from his wheelchair and returned to the air. You can see Rob in action on his website. My kids always remembered the Tumbling Bear (he's a big guy) because he would go down the show line after the show and hand out goodies for the kids. When I saw the marking options for this model, I knew I had to build it.

Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony) and Camouflage Decals

Published: August 5th, 2018     
Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony) and Camouflage Decals
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Tamiya

The one thing all Japanese fighters in WWII had in common was a radial engine, except for one plane, the Ki-61 Hien which the allies named Tony. This was powered by a licensed built version of the Daimler-Benz DB601 and not only faced the allied fighters of the day but also had the performance to get to the B-29s altitude.

Tamiya released a new tool of the Tony in 1/48th scale back in 2016 and now has finally shrunk it down to my preferred scale of 1/72nd and a beauty of a model it is. The 45 grey and 3 clear parts are beautifully molded with fine scribed details. The low parts count leads to a quick build. A lovely cockpit is included and the wheel wells look nice. Markings are included for 3 airframes. One from the 19th Air Group in Luzon, Philippines, 1945 and two from the 244th Air Group based in Japan. More on these in a minute.

The instructions contain 12 steps and 4 view drawings for the 3 schemes including decal locations. Color call outs are for Tamiya paint and the colors are notated throughout the build.

JASDF F-15J Eagle J-MSIP Modernized Special Marking "Golden Eagles" in Komatsa 2017

Published: August 3rd, 2018     
JASDF F-15J Eagle J-MSIP Modernized Special Marking "Golden Eagles" in Komatsa 2017
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1:72
Company: Platz

Introduction

This is actually my second build and review of this kit (See review posted October 24th, 2015). This time around it's the same great kit with some really striking markings. My research says Aircraft # 92-8906 was specially painted for an airshow that was cancelled due to a typhoon. You do get a second marking option without the cool artwork but I can't imagine building this kit as such.

I'm not going to go into the history of the Eagle as it is well documented many other places. Unlike the first build where I used a nice photoetch set, this Eagle was built out of the box with the exception of some seat harnesses from the spares drawer.