Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

P-39N Airacobra

Published: February 6th, 2011     
P-39N Airacobra
Reviewed by: Greg Perry, IPMS# 45865
Scale: 1/33
Company: Halinski

The P-39 was a marvel of engineering with a mid-mounted engine and a primary gun firing through the propeller hub. Because the US Army Air Corps wanted to save money, the supercharger originally fitted to the prototype was removed. This decision almost doomed the aircraft. The US no longer wanted it for a fighter role and the British summarily dismissed it altogether. Many of the airframes went to the Soviets under a lend-lease agreement where they found their niche as ground attack aircraft and low altitude fighters. This particular kit represents one of those lend-lease aircraft.

For the uninitiated, Halinski paper models are often referred to as the "Tamiya" of paper models. They are that good. Anyone who thinks paper models cannot rival plastic needs to experience one of these before making a conclusion.

U-Boat Biber

Published: February 6th, 2011     
U-Boat Biber
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

Most people are aware of the large WWII German U-boats as they appear in movies, video games and on TV very frequently. These are typically the large Type VII and Type IX boats. Many don't realize the Germany also had a very active midget submarine effort going where one or two man subs attacked and sunk shipping.

While there are several different types, the one we are looking at is a one man sub named Biber (Beaver). There were 324 built towards the end of the war. While not very successful (they sank or damaged 9 ships versus losses of 70 subs), they do hold a spot in the history of the Kriegsmarine.

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.