Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Me 163S "Habich" two-seat trainer glider

Published: December 12th, 2010     
Me 163S "Habich" two-seat trainer glider
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

First, thanks to Pavla for first producing and then providing this kit to IPMS/USA for review; your excellent products continue to amaze me!

This is an extremely simple kit; yet it has complexity in the fact that it is a limited production item and therefore has ejection pin towers for cleanup. Fortunately these are all on the inside of the kit parts... it also has extremely small photoetch; be forewarned if you are an old guy like me. The overall presentation is excellent; I had little or no issues with getting things in place. The instructions are basic diagrams, showing where everything is supposed to go. I caused a minor problem in that the rear cockpit needed to be installed a bit higher than I installed it, as there are no locating pins or rails. The kit contains a runner of parts, one Photoetch fret, two excellent clear canopies, and a decal sheet with optional Luftwaffe and Soviet "captured aircraft" markings.

German Br 57 Armored Locomotive

Published: December 9th, 2010     
German Br 57 Armored Locomotive
Reviewed by: Tom Moon, IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

Roadbed parts come in a separate box and will make a roadbed long enough to hold the completed model.

This kit is a representation of the Br 57 Armored Locomotive. There was extensive use of armored trains by the Germans to provide rail security and to suppress partisan activities. Trumpeter has produced almost everything required to assemble an armored train except the tank carrier. This is only made by Ironside.

 

STUG IV early production w/Zimmerit

Published: December 9th, 2010     
STUG IV early production w/Zimmerit
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Once again Dragon has taken a previously released armor kit and has added Zimmerit, re-releasing it as a new kit. This is a good thing if you don't feel you want to try to apply the Zimmerit using various types of putties and tools. To achieve this Dragon provides us with 26 plastic sprues of varying sizes. Two Brummbar sprues, four STUG III G sprues and only a few specifically for the STUG IV, most of the sprues are for the Panzer IV. Total part count comes to 751 parts; the number of unused parts is 207 leaving 544 parts to build the model. Several sprues have the same letter; Dragon gets around this by having one letter in black and the second same letter in blue. I mark the outside of the bags to make it easy to find the right sprue when I need it.

Steps 1-6 deal with assembling the lower hull, roadwheels, idlers and drive wheels. No problems here just make sure you know which particular tank you want to make as Dragon has several options and photos will help clear up which option you want to use.

German Kz 8cm GrW 42 Mortar

Published: December 9th, 2010     
German Kz 8cm GrW 42 Mortar
Reviewed by: Ken McDevitt, IPMS# 46356
Scale: 1/6
Company: Dragon Models

Description and History:

Quoting from Dragon's web sitde product description:

"The kurzer 8cm Granatwerfer 42 (abbreviated to kz 8cm GrW 42) was developed as a lighter version of the standard 8cm GrW 34 mortar. It was commonly referred to as Stummelwerfer ("stump-thrower") by troops. The smaller size made it particularly useful for German paratroopers who needed a weapon that was easier to move around, but still offered more punch than the diminutive 5cm leGrW 36.

17 pdr. SP M10 "Achilles"

Published: December 6th, 2010     
17 pdr. SP M10 "Achilles"
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

This is the Academy "Achilles" kit put into an Italeri box and marketed. The sprues all say Academy and the only difference is the decals and instruction sheet. The Academy kit is a gorgeous representation of the British version of the American M10 "Wolverine". There are a few interior issues with stowage and rounds but it builds into a great model just the way it is.

What you get is the ten Academy sprues done in beautiful tan plastic, two vinyl T-62 riveted tracks, a 16-page instruction booklet, length of twine (for tow cable), and decal sheet to mark four vehicles. The vehicles are two Polish Division machines and two British vehicles. One of the British vehicles has a neat looking black and green camouflage pattern. The only first look issues are the interior turret plates. These are littered with ejector pin sink marks that are going to need to be cleaned up. The worst part is that these are mostly oblong instead of round ejector pits.