Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Mercury Atlas

Published: April 8th, 2016     
Mercury Atlas
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/72
Company: Horizon Models

Following on the heels of the release of the Mercury Capsule model, Horizon Models is breaking ground with the release of a 1/72nd scale model of the Mercury-Atlas. This release includes parts to construct one Mercury capsule with the addition of the parts needed to build the Atlas launch vehicle. In the way of a preview of things to come, Horizon has also announced the release of an Atlas ICBM version in the near future. It will use the same basic parts as the launch vehicle in the Mercury-Atlas kit.

Something of historical note, Horizon Models shared that while (or “whilst”) if you speak “Aussie”, the previously released Mercury Capsule kit, 2003, was designed in Australia, it was tooled in China. However, we are informed that the Convair Atlas rocket itself, was designed, tooled and molded in Australia. It is thought that it may the first “full production” model kit tooled in Australia, with the exception of some limited run models. That truly represents “Thunder from Down-Under”!

Pz. Beob.Wg.II Ausf.C

Published: April 8th, 2016     
Pz. Beob.Wg.II Ausf.C
Reviewed by: Len Pilhofer, IPMS# 49932
Scale: 1:35
Company: Dragon Models

History

The Panzer II was widely used in early campaigns of WWII such as the invasion of Poland, the Low Countries, and France. The main armament of most Panzer II variants was the 2cm Kw.K30 L/55 cannon, and a coaxial MG34, although the main gun was ineffective in the anti-tank role. One interesting conversion of the Panzer II was its use as an artillery observation vehicle (Beobachtungswagen). The armament was retained, and its most obvious external recognition feature was the fitting of a frame antenna on the rear deck. These Pz.Beob.Wg vehicles were successfully used in the target acquisition and artillery fire observation roles, primarily with self-propelled gun units. (sourced from the DragonUSA website).

Free French Fighter Pilot WWII Normandie-Niemen (1942-1945)

Published: April 7th, 2016     
Free French Fighter Pilot WWII Normandie-Niemen (1942-1945)
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1:48
Company: Aerobonus

Normandie-Niemen were Free French fighters who flew for the Russians following the fall of France. Their exploits while flying Yak-3s is the stuff of legends. Until now, if you wanted to have one of these pilots in your diorama, you had to settle on a Russian pilot in Russian flight gear. Not anymore.

Molded in light grey resin, this pilot figure contains four parts: the body; arm; and two heads, one with a dress hat and one with a flying helmet on. The pose is completely natural with the pilot standing upright with a parachute draped over his shoulder. You can put either head on him. I’m going to put the dress cap on mine, since it is uniquely French. Both faces are well sculpted and very high quality.

Assembly is easy, just remove the parts from the block and assemble. The figure will look really nice next to an Eduard, Zvezda, or Accurate Miniatures Yak-3.

These figures from Aerobonus are impressive and inexpensive. They make great starter figures and also a nice addition to an aircraft display or diorama.

Another great job by Aerobonus.

Highly recommended

U.S.S. Lake Erie CG-70

Published: April 6th, 2016     
U.S.S. Lake Erie CG-70
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Scale: 1/700
Company: Dragon Models

History

USS Lake Erie (CG-70) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy, named after the U.S. Navy's decisive victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. She is the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Hawaii. The USS Lake Erie is a baseline 4 Ticonderoga class ship, with integrated AN/UYK-43/44 computers (in place of UYK-7 and UYK-20) and superset computer programs originally developed for the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The Lake Erie also has an improved UYS-20 data display system and various decision aids, as well as the SQS-53C sonar and the SQR-19 sonar data processor.

Kit

The kit is produced by Dragon Models, a well-known company who is known for producing quality mid-range priced model kits. The box art work in outstanding and shows the USS Lake Erie at sea launching a guided missile from the stern launchers. The kit can be built only as the USS Lake Erie. This kit belongs to Dragons 1/700 Scale Modern Sea Power Series Premium Edition series.

Fiat 806 Grand Prix, Part 2

Published: April 6th, 2016     
Fiat 806 Grand Prix, Part 2
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:12
Company: Italeri

This is part 2 of the review of Italari’s Fiat 806 Grand Prix kit. Part 1, which covered the in-box review and initial assembly.

This is a difficult kit to assemble with some significant fit issues with many of the parts. An old diecast version of this car was previously issued by Protar, and it looks like Italeri worked directly from the diecast kit. The Italeri plastic parts are identical to the Protar diecast parts, including ejection pins and sink marks. It looks like Italeri used the Protar parts to make their molds. This helps to explain some of the rough spots, lack of crisp decal on the parts, and all the nut & bolt fasteners.