Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

PBY-5A Catalina

Published: May 9th, 2011     
PBY-5A Catalina
Reviewed by: John King, IPMS# 46812
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The PBY-5A Catalina is a well-known piece of US Naval aviation. The modeler has Catalina options in 1/48th, 1/72nd, and 1/144th. For the 1/144th modelers out there or those that do not have the shelf space for the 48th Monogram kit, the Minicraft kit will fit the bill nicely. This is Minicraft's third boxing of the PBY-5. The box contains the same plastic but contains two decal options.

Upon opening the box, two light gray sprues, one clear sprue, decal sheet printed by Cartograf of Italy, and instructions greet the modeler. There is some flash on some of the parts but nothing too bad. The engraving on the parts is nicely done with the exception of the main wing. The engraving of the main wing is a little soft, especially compared to the rest of the kit. However, after painting, it does not look bad at all. The clear parts look well molded and clear.

Type 63-1 (YW-531A) Armored Personnel Carrier (Early Production)

Published: May 9th, 2011     
Type 63-1 (YW-531A) Armored Personnel Carrier (Early Production)
Reviewed by: John Lyons, IPMS# 47470
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Short History

The YW-531a was the first APC manufactured by Norinco for the PLA. It was designed in the early 1960's and first appeared in 1964. It can carry a crew of 4 to 10 troops. The YW-531 was first used in the Vietnam War by the North Vietnamese Army (PAVN) and was in action again in the Iran-Iraq War.

APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), or mortars. They are not usually designed to take part in a direct-fire battle, but to carry troops to the battlefield safe from shrapnel and ambush. Amor on APCs is usually composed of simple steel or aluminum, sufficient for protection against small fire arms and most shell fragments. Just about any type of anti-tank weapon can defeat the armor of an APC. Some APCs also come with NBC protection, which would protect its crew from radioactive fallout or the like.

F-16I Sufa, Part 2

Published: May 7th, 2011     
F-16I Sufa, Part 2
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Academy

This has been a long time coming and that fault lies with me. First, like a lot of modelers, I couldn't leave well enough alone and decided to add Aires 1/32nd scale wheel well to the kit and also the Wolfpack 1/32nd scale F-16I Exterior Set (Part 32031) which includes two corrected pylons and the front fairings. I elected to use the wheel well set as the kit part has lots of ejector pin marks and the Aires set has even more detail. I placed the part in and had to do a little spacing with strip but it fit well and looks great. The exterior set is much less necessary but does have some slight shape corrections to the pylons. I also elected to add intake and exhaust covers to the kit. There is nothing wrong with the intake trunk (it is fully complete) or the exhaust- I just liked the way it looked.

USS Fletcher

Published: May 7th, 2011     
USS Fletcher
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/306
Company: Revell, Inc.

This is Revell's original Fletcher-class destroyer in "box scale" of 1/306. The first Fletcher to enter service, USS Nicholas, was commissioned on June 4, 1942, and was the first of 175 of the class to be built by war's end.

Revell's kit features the square bridge version, but gives the modeler the parts to update it with rocket launchers for a later version. The kit instructions are simple and easy to understand, and best of all---each part has a number and an identifying name as well. As a kid, this was how I learned a great deal about the ships and airplanes which I built. In fact, I built many of these kits in my youth, which was the inspiration to do this review.

Kurtis Midget Racer with Offenhauser Engine and Trailer

Published: May 7th, 2011     
Kurtis Midget Racer with Offenhauser Engine and Trailer
Reviewed by: Steve Jahnke, IPMS# 34991
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

In this review, we have the sister kit to Revell's other Kurtis Kraft Midget racer, the V8-60. The Ford V8-60 Kurtis Kraft model and trailer is reviewed by Jim Stratton elsewhere on the IPMS website. This subject review is the same Kurtis Kraft race car fitted with an Offenhauser 4 slug motor. Jim did a great job telling the history of Frank Kurtis and the racing success of his Kurtis Kraft cars. I will give you a little background on the Offenhauser engine part of the story.