Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Focke Wulf FW-189 A2

Published: April 26th, 2011     
Focke Wulf FW-189 A2
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Great Wall Hobby

Thanks first go to Dragon USA for providing us this excellent new release; Can't say enough as to how generous our suppliers are who provide these kits, which we at IPMS sincerely appreciate!

The Great Wall Hobbies FW189 first hit the shelves last fall/early spring here in the U.S... Previous reviewers in other countries raved about the kit. They were correct... this is a gem of a model. When you open the box, you find five gray runners filled with finely-detailed parts, one extremely clear runner of canopy, armored fascia, and two types of windscreen, hinting at future cannon-armed releases. An excellent photoetch fret is included, with flaps, wiring harness for the engines, gunsights, rudder pedals and seatbelt/harness assemblies. Decals cover two versions, illustrated on a full-color flyer inside the box, with two Russian-front birds, with one having white distemper temporary camouflage, overpainted on a base color of RLM 71/70 Greens over RLM 65 light blue scheme. And best of all, a set of pre-cut canopy masks to take care of all those nasty little window panes! The masks are numbered, with a diagram accurately showing where each mask goes. Excellent.

Su-25K Frogfoot

Published: April 25th, 2011     
Su-25K Frogfoot
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Editor's note: The Eduard website notes that this kit is "Canceled".

Fortunately for the modeler, Eduard continues to release in limited edition packaging of older but decent kits by other manufacturers, enhanced with a variety of Eduard aftermarket products. In addition to the plastic, Eduard boxes pre-painted and regular PE frets, their new line of resin accessories, paint masks and a large decal sheet. My first experience with their limited edition kits, was the Mirage 2000C (ex-Heller) and I was excited when Eduard announced their intention to give the Kopro (ex-OEZ) Su-25K the same treatment; I was not disappointed. These kits are a true multi-media package and a great value when compared to buying the components separately.

The Kopro (ex-OEZ) Su-25K is the most accurate model of the Su-25 in shape, in any scale, but it is not without it weakness in detail, and it does not fall together as a kit. Where the plastic falls short:

British Royal Engineers

Published: April 25th, 2011     
British Royal Engineers
Reviewed by: Tom Moon, IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

This set consists of 4 figures all conducting land mine removal.

The figures come on two sprues with 67 parts, the bulk of which are the odds and ends that the soldiers are carrying. The box art and instructions on the back of the box show the figures as completed. The first figure is using a probe to find mines, the second is digging with a spade, the third is removing (or placing) a mine, and the fourth is using a mine detector. The poses are well done and depict a reasonable amount of action.

The set had very minimal flash and no ejection pin marks. What mold lines that were there were easily removed with a sharp blade. There are no decals and the painting instructions are just for the major items. You will need to copy what you see in the illustration or consult your references for actual colors for the badges, shoulder boards, and metals. The paint colors are coded for Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, and Mr. Color.

Messerschmitt BF 109E-4 Weekend Edition

Published: April 22nd, 2011     
Messerschmitt BF 109E-4 Weekend Edition
Reviewed by: John Lyons, IPMS# 47470
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

Short History

The Bf 109E-4 was an upgrade from the earlier E-1 and the E-3. Units in the Western Europe Theater requested more firepower, so developers added two MG-FF/M cannons in the wings. The new guns were able to fire explosive rounds, along with two large caliber MG 17 machine guns; this gave the aircraft a significantly increased amount of firepower.

The Kit

When I opened the box, each of the 6 spurs totaling 165 parts and 1 transparency with 9 parts were individually wrapped along with 2 decal sheets. This is the basic 1/32 kit, so no mask or PE. But you can find Aftermarket Accessories (PE and resin) for the kit with a little searching on the internet.

Each spur was clean with very little flash. The first thing I noticed was the control surfaces; the simulated fabric areas look nice. The kit has lots of details; the engraved areas are cleanly made. I don't see any ejection/sink marks that interfere with visible surfaces.

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

Published: April 22nd, 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.

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