Reviews of scale model kits.

British Infantry Tank Mk III Valentine Mk II with Crew

Published: December 30th, 2010     
British Infantry Tank Mk III Valentine Mk II with Crew
Reviewed by: Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

History and Performance

The history and performance of this vehicle has been addressed in an earlier review, and therefore I will have nothing more or new to offer.

The Kit

This is the first MiniArt plastic kit that I have seen. The kit is packages in a sturdy cardboard box, with all of the sprues, decals and instruction sheets bound in a securely taped plastic bag. The box top indicates that there are 657 Parts in the kit.

A6M2 Zero IJN (2 options)

Published: December 30th, 2010     
A6M2 Zero IJN (2 options)
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The Aircraft

The A6M2 Zero-sen was the best carrier-based fighter in the world from 1940 to 1942, when more powerful Allied aircraft came on the scene. Fairly fast, very maneuverable, capable of a good rate of climb, it was dominant in the Pacific at the beginning of World War II. One of the markings for the Minicraft A6M2 is from the Soryu at Pearl Harbor, the other is for the "Akutan Zero" which crash landed almost intact in the Aleutians, and was flown by the US Navy for evaluation.

The Kit

Two sprues of light gray plastic and a clear canopy. The wing and horizontal stabilizer are each one piece, with 2 fuselage halves, and a separate cowling. The landing gear is one-piece, with the wheels and gear legs molded onto the doors. A separate set of doors for "gear up" are provided, along with a bladeless prop hub. The prop is one piece, and the tail wheel assembly is all one part. There's a one-piece fuel tank provided.

The kit is not a new mold, with fine raised panel lines and no cockpit. Nevertheless Minicraft picked a very good example of the Zero for this kit.

F-86F-30 Skyblazers

Published: December 30th, 2010     
F-86F-30 Skyblazers
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/48
Company: Italeri

The F-86F Sabre happens to be my favorite jet aircraft so when this kit was given to IPMS for review I almost begged to do it.

This kit is not in a scale I normally build but since it was one of the only Skyblazer scheme F-86s, I just had to do it. I was not sorry. Upon opening the box the first thing that amazed me was the size of the decal sheet. It is huge and had every bit of the great color scheme in decal form so I did not have to mask and airbrush anything.

The cockpit was adequate with decal instruments and side consoles. The seat was fine with the belts molded in. I liked the way that the cockpit fit with the intake trunk and front landing gear bay. When assembled, it became foolproof with the L/G well in just the right place and the same with the cockpit.

After closing up the fuselage the rest was a piece of cake. I remembered to add about a pound of lead sinkers before closing the fuselage as I didn't want this baby to be a tail sitter. The wings were an easy three part deal with nice boxed and detailed wheel wells.

Porsche 935/78 LeMans Entrant

Published: December 23rd, 2010     
Porsche 935/78 LeMans Entrant
Reviewed by: John Yager, IPMS# 40097
Scale: 1/24
Company: Tamiya


In the late 1970s, Porsche was dominant in GT and sports racing. For the 1978 race season, Porsche designed the 935/79 Turbo with the goal of claiming the Le Mans 24 hours title. The new longer, ground-hugging body of the car pushed the limits on the silhouette regulation. Due to the 935/78's unique body design, the vehicle earned the nickname "Moby Dick". The vehicle featured a 3.2 liter, air-cooled twin-turbo engine with four valves per cylinder and Porsche's first liquid-cooled cylinder heads, which produced 850hp. The race team entered the 935/78 Turbo in the World Championships for Makes Round 4, as a test for the Le Mans race, and in an impressive debut won. At the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours, the 935/78 qualified 3rd, but fell to an overall 8th place finish as a result of mechanical problems.


Molded in white and having black detail pieces, the model comes with not only the decals for making the 1978 Le Mans entrant #43 but the 1978 Silverstone winner entrant #1S.


The body is a one piece with a separate wing to be attached on the rear.

Supermarine S-6 and S-6a/B

Published: December 22nd, 2010     
Supermarine S-6 and S-6a/B
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

The line of Supermarine racers, designed to attack and eventually acquire the Schneider Trophy for Seaplanes, actually began with the S.4, a mid-wing cantilever monoplane with amazing aerodynamic form for its time, 1925. This floatplane racer was sent to the United States for the eighth Schneider Cup races at Baltimore, where it suffered a number of mishaps before it finally was wrecked when the pilot lost control, fortunately with no injuries. The race was won by Lt. Jimmy Doolittle, with the backup Gloster III placing second.