Reviews of scale model kits.

Italian Street Scene

Published: May 15th, 2011     
Italian Street Scene
Reviewed by: Chris Durden, IPMS# 29474
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dioramas Plus

Dioramas Plus was founded in 2008 and has been producing 1/35 bases and buildings for the diorama builder. These products are plaster cast and quite robust. When the box arrived I could tell that just walking it up my driveway tired the mailman out it was so heavy (OK, so maybe I exaggerate). Upon opening the box I found the content wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and an examination of the parts revealed no broken bits. You get 4 main cast pieces consisting of the walls and the street base; a thin wood laser cut sheet with window frames and a door, a clear sheet with holes and jagged edges for the window glass and a bag of loose bricks as well as some large debris piles cast as one piece. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the castings - the relief and detail is excellent and the damage convincing.

Mi-24V/VP Hind E

Published: May 15th, 2011     
Mi-24V/VP Hind E
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Zvezda


The Mi-24 has been in service with the Soviet/Russian air forces since 1972. The design is interesting in that it has three engines; another tri-motor to add to the list. The 24 has undergone a number of redesigns, and the early versions had a much different cockpit setup. The Russian Air Force has announced that it will replace its 250 Mi-24s with newer more capable helicopters, starting in 2015.

The Mi-24 is nicknamed "crocodile" by the troops. The Mujahedeen in Afghanistan called it "Shaitan-Arba" (Satan's Chariot)". The Hind is unique in that it can carry 8 troops and weapons at the same time. Huey gunships had to have the seats removed to allow for ammunition and extra fuel storage. The crews didn't think much of carrying the passengers, as they became a liability if the pilot had to do extreme maneuvers and return fire.

Hinds have been involved in 21 different conflicts, ranging from Soviet Afghanistan from 1979 to the present (the Polish contingent currently has 5) to the current Libyan Civil War, where both sides have a few.

Bf-110D-3 Fighter

Published: May 14th, 2011     
Bf-110D-3 Fighter
Reviewed by: Tracy Palmer, IPMS# 39188
Scale: 1/48
Company: Cyber-Hobby

Bottom Line

The kit was well engineered, but I thought it had a few too many parts. Short shots with the canopy frame and propellers were an unwelcomed surprise. It had great detail on the whole aircraft, including panel lines. Engines and gun bay were probably overdone as when complete, you can not see all the work you put into them. But it was a great kit to build and very enjoyable because of superb engineering.

HMS Campbeltown 'St Nazaire' Operation Chariot, 26 March 1942

Published: May 11th, 2011     
HMS Campbeltown 'St Nazaire'  Operation Chariot, 26 March 1942
Reviewed by: John Ratzenberger, IPMS# 40196
Scale: 1/400
Company: Mirage Hobby


I don't know why we need fictional action movies -- there are more than enough tales of derring-do in the real world and in my book Operation CHARIOT, the raid on St Nazaire, is right up there near the top.

The British were ever concerned about the various German battleships, battle-cruisers, etc., and numerous air raids were flown to sink or cripple them in port, damage the ports facilities, etc. One such target was to render the graving, or Normandie, dock at St Nazaire incapable of handling Tirpitz and thus forcing her off the western coast of France  -- from this was born OPERATION CHARIOT. The basic plan was to disguise a ship to look like a German patrol boat, load it with explosives, and ram it into the Normandie Dock, rendering it useless. The secondary objective was to destroy port facilities and smaller docks such that the port was rendered tidal and thus severely restrict use by U-boats and other vessels.

USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier

Published: May 11th, 2011     
USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier
Reviewed by: John Lyons, IPMS# 47470
Scale: 1/485
Company: Revell, Inc.


USS Yorktown, a 19,800 ton aircraft carrier built at Newport News, Virginia, was commissioned on 30 September 1937. Operating in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas until April 1939.

The U.S.S. Yorktown was among the first "true" aircraft carriers ever built. During the Battle of Midway, the Yorktown scored a decisive victory against the Japanese, with the help of the U.S.S. Enterprise and the U.S.S. Hornet. For the heroic sacrifices made by her soldiers in this battle, the Yorktown earned three battle stars. Kit features highly detailed hangar and flight decks with optional-position deck elevators and cranes, twenty Douglas SBD dive bombers, a display stand and official U.S. Navy marking decals.

The Kit - What's in the Box

The kit measures 20.25 inches overall at 1/480 scale and has a total of 114 pieces molded in gray plastic. While the molding is generally good, some of the parts are over scale and there is some flash. The level of detail is also not bad and is also typical for a Revell kit.