Reviews of scale model kits.

Westland Lysander Mk.II

Published: December 22nd, 2010     
Westland Lysander Mk.II
Reviewed by: John Ratzenberger, IPMS# 40196
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

Allow me to start by thanking Pavla Models for their most generous contribution of numerous models for review by IPMS/USA.


The "Lizzie" is one of my favorite aircraft for some quirky reason, and one on a very short list of those I wish I had the opportunity to fly myself. There were three versions - unsurprisingly the Mk.I, II, and III. There were a 189 Mk.I, 517 Mk.II, and 964 Mk.III, including license built. The Mk.I and Mk.III pretty much look alike - the Mk.II is recognizable by the smooth, slightly tapered engine cowl. As the Mk.I were quickly shunted off to the Middle East, the Mk.II is most prevalent in the early war years in Europe.

There are numerous Lysander kits in 1/72, a few in 1/48, and even one in 1/32. Many have some issue or another, particularly with markings, about which version they really are. I have also found a huge number of errors in reference books - the captions and color profiles tag the aircraft an incorrect Mark, even though there is a correct table of serial numbers, just a few pages away. I have learned to check everything twice.

Thermonuclear Rodeo

Published: December 20th, 2010     
Thermonuclear Rodeo
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 90mm
Company: Government Issue

As a devotee of SciFi and the related genres, I was always a fan of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. It had a great cast with George C. Scott, James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers and many more including the subject of this diorama, Slim Pickens as Major "King" Kong who most notably rides a nuclear bomb out of the bottom of a B-52 to detonate in Russia. I could go one more but you really need to watch is to appreciate the subtle and extensive humor thrown around.

Stu.Pz. IV Brummbar Early Production with Zimmerit

Published: December 19th, 2010     
Stu.Pz. IV Brummbar Early Production with Zimmerit
Reviewed by: Tom Moon, IPMS# 41392
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

The layout of the part sprues is as follows:

Sprue  A x 2 - (Black) Road wheels, drive sprockets, and idlers

Sprue A x 2 - (Blue) Bogies

Sprue B - Drive sprocket mounts, under hull items

Sprue C - Tool box

Sprue D - (Black) Gun mounts

Sprue D - (Blue) Rear plate and idler adjustment apparatus. Many of these parts are not used

Sprue E - (Black) Fenders, roof, rear deck hatches

Sprue E - (Blue) Schurzen brackets and muffler guard

Sprue F - (Black) Odds and ends. Most parts will not be used

Sprue F - (Blue) Schurzen brackets

Sprue G - (Black) Rear plates, front deck and hatches

Sprue G - (Blue)  


Published: December 17th, 2010     
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box

Master Box Ltd. is a company that makes many different injected molded kits with an emphasis on making their products for dioramas. Their kits have a huge range of themes and accessories for dioramas, including figures of people and various animals, carts, WWII tanks & motorcycles to mention a few. Each kit tells a story of its own and together can bring your diorama to a better level of realism. I know they have been around from at least 2006 but however long it might be, their products seem to be excellent.

FIRST LOOK: Italian Regia Marina Motor Torpedo Boat, M.A.S. 568 4a serie

Published: December 17th, 2010     
FIRST LOOK: Italian Regia Marina Motor Torpedo Boat, M.A.S. 568 4a serie
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

Brief History

(taken from the photographic reference manual provided in kit).

Original conceived in 1915, as a little torpedo boat early prototypes were a failure due to the heavy weight of the torpedo. Soon afterwards, Italy entered WWI and more of the boats were ordered. Development never ceased, and by the end of WWI over 244 MAS's were in service. The first true torpedo MAS gained considerable fame by sinking the Austrian Battleships Wien and Szent Istvan.

Development of the boats continued thru the 20's and 30's. Speed was essential and improvements were made to the hull and more powerful engines installed. Finally the much sought after 40 knots was achieved in MAS 424 in 1928. Three 500 hp Isotta Fraschini Asso engines powered the boat.