Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

North American B-25C/D Mitchell

Published: June 4th, 2018     
North American B-25C/D Mitchell
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

A versatile twin-engine medium bomber, the B-25 was to find its first fame on April 18th, 1942, as the Bomb Group led by Jimmy Doolittle flew them off the carrier USS Hornet and made the first attack on Tokyo. Mitchells were flown by many of the United States' Allies, were used throughout WWII, and were in service up into the 1960s.

The new Airfix B- 25C/D was sorely needed in 1/72 scale. The kit comes in a sturdy box with nice box art and is cast in gray plastic with finely molded recessed panel lines. Although each sprue was individually wrapped in clear plastic bags, one half of my sample's fuselage was warped, and this ended up being a challenge throughout the build. The kit comes with an option of an open or closed bomb bay, and if you decide to open it, 500-pound bombs are provided.

The kit includes a nice interior for this scale and also provides a choice of having movable rudders and elevators, but the ailerons are fixed. The landing gear can also be posed up or down, as may the flaps. I opted to build my model with the landing gear and the flaps down.

Shenyang J-31 Gyrfalcon (Airshow China 2014)

Published: June 4th, 2018     
Shenyang J-31 Gyrfalcon (Airshow China 2014)
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Trumpeter

The J-31(FC-31) is a twin engine "fifth generation" fighter currently under development by China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. First exhibited at the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2014, the aircraft is very similar in size to the F-35 Lightning II, and appears to be designed for a similar mission. The airframe has a number of features that that are look like those on the F-35 (such as the humped fuselage sides and forward swept intakes) and the overhead planform of the two aircraft is very similar (other than 2 engines for the J-31 and 1 for the F-35), while the side profile is similar to a shortened F-22. As the jet is still in the early stages of development, a lot of questions remain about its actual performance and capabilities, as well as to what the final version will look like.

FL 282 V-6 Kolibri

Published: June 1st, 2018     
FL 282 V-6 Kolibri
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt Models

Courtesy of MiniArt Models website: The Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri ("Hummingbird") is a single-seat open cockpit inter-meshing rotor helicopter produced by Anton Flettner of Germany. The Fl 282 was undoubtedly Anton Flettner's most successful helicopter development. Prototype testing finished by July of 1940 when the helicopter entered service.

In 1942 German Navy began testing of FI 282. The FI 282 was found to have good handling in good and bad weather, with stable flight characteristics in all conditions, whilst also being quite maneuverable. Several tests involved rough conditions at sea including landing in harsh conditions which the Kolibri proved itself a capable and reliable machine.

In 1942 a total of twenty prototypes were in testing. Based on the prototypes' success, plans to manufacture 1000 helicopters were approved; however, these were never built in such numbers due to the allied bombing of the Flettner and BMW factories.

Soviet Heavy Tank T-100

Published: May 30th, 2018     
Soviet Heavy Tank T-100
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/72
Company: OKB Grigorov

OKB Grigorov, is a Bulgarian scale model designer and manufacturer established in 2003. Their stated goal is to provide quality models and accessories with the maximum amount of details. OKB manufactures resin AFV, ships, and accessories.

From Wikipedia: The T-100 was a Soviet twin-turreted heavy tank prototype, designed in 1938-39 as a possible replacement for the T-35. The T-100 was originally conceived with three turrets and was eventually built with two. The prototype T-100 tank was briefly tested without success alongside other designs in the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939. It was never put into production due to the archaic design concept, poor mobility, and the availability of a far superior alternative, the KV series.

OKB's T-100 kit comes packed in a sturdy light cardboard box with the resin parts in several bags inside the box. The parts are cast in a gray resin and have very sharp detail. There are 132 resin parts and 15 photoetch parts for a total of 148. The tracks are molded in strips about 3 1/2 inches long and attached to a pour strip. The treads are quite flexible and have very nice, sharp detail. The thin fenders have some warp.

Vought F4U Corsair

Published: May 29th, 2018     
Vought F4U Corsair
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/144
Company: AFV Club

I've made several of attempts to model a Corsair without much success. I either got bored with the build, frustrated with the fit and moved onto something else, or just didn't find a kit that suit my modeling style. I even resorted to conning a fellow club member into doing a buddy-build with dubious success. Mine not theirs.

All of those machinations have fallen short of adding a Vought Corsair model to my collection, until now. When I first saw that AFV Club was releasing a 1/144th scale Corsair I was every excited. This diminutive size is my preferred scale for modeling aircraft and until now there really hasn't been a descent kit available. While excited to get my hands on this kit there was a still bit of trepidation.