Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

JC-130A Hercules

Published: February 3rd, 2011     
JC-130A Hercules
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Scale: 1/144
Company: A-Model

When the package arrived I was expecting a C-130A and was surprised to find in its place a model kit for the JC-130A. I didn't have a clue on what the "J" stood for, so off to the internet to find out. Well, they were built to track and retrieve missiles tested over the Atlantic test range. Further snooping found that eight C-130A's were built as JC-130A's and later several B models were built as JC-130B's and were used to track and retrieve space capsules (i.e. film capsules from spy satellites) on the Pacific test range.

Tiger I Initial Production

Published: February 3rd, 2011     
Tiger I Initial Production
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models

OK, so the real kit name is Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Tiger I Initial Production s.Pz.Abt.502 Leningrad Region 1942/43, but I was not going to squeeze that in above. This is another very impressive release from Dragon in 1/72 scale, and as with my other reviews in this scale, the level of detail is on par with what the company does in 1/35 scale. This release also includes a fret of photoetched parts, a length of wire to make tow cables with, and one-piece Dragon Styrene tracks.

German sWs with 2 cm Flakvierling

Published: February 2nd, 2011     
German sWs with 2 cm Flakvierling
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/35
Company: Great Wall Hobby

Background

The Schwere Wehrmachtschlepper (SWS) was a heavy half track manufactured by Bussing-NAG and Tatra from December, 1943 to March, 1945. To streamline production, the SWS was simple to produce when compared to the Sdkfz 251 series. Approximately 825 were built. Beginning in mid-1944, an armored cab version was introduced and utilized for mobile flak guns. While this vehicle may not qualify as a paper panzer, it's pretty close. I found one very fuzzy photograph on line, so it did exist; however there are no production figures for the variant depicted in this kit and so one can only assume that the numbers were low.

Boeing 737-400 / US Airways

Published: January 31st, 2011     
Boeing 737-400 / US Airways
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The Aircraft

The Boeing 737 was developed in the 1960s as a low-cost development of the 707 and 727. It's the only Boeing "narrow body" airliner still in production. There are 9 versions, ranging from 85 to 215 passengers. While not approaching the Bf-109 in numbers, the 737 is the best-selling jet airliner in history, with 6638 delivered, with 2186 more on order as of December 31, 2010 (Editor: Boeing source).

The 737 in this kit is the -400 version, with CFM-56 engines. Because of the low wing and large diameter of the engines, the lower side of the nacelle is flattened, giving a distinctive "hamster pouch" look. The -300 and -500 versions differ from the -400 in fuselage length, with the -400 being 10 feet longer than the -300 and the -500 is 8 feet shorter than the -300.

For the military modeler, there are 22 air forces that fly or have flown a version of the 737. Unfortunately none of these are -400s. The 737, in its 9 versions is operated by over 500 airlines world wide.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Published: January 30th, 2011     
Ferrari 458 Italia
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/24
Company: Fujimi

Deriving its name from its country of origin, the 458 Italia is the latest from the Ferrari stable. All the usual things you would expect from a Ferrari are there including incredible performance (top speed over 200 mph) and styling that makes it look fast just standing still. There are some firsts for Ferrari including no floor shifter and direct fuel injection. The gear changes are handled by paddle shifters coupled to a dual clutch, 7-speed transmission. A former Ferrari team driver Michael Schumacher helped design the interior layout. Cooling air is introduced by some clever intakes around the headlamps and behind the rear quarter windows. Another neat innovation is the airflow vanes in the front grille that actually deflect as speed increases to reduce drag. The 458 has been in the news lately for a rash of fires that destroyed several cars. The problem was traced to a wheel well adhesive that couldn't take the heat.

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