Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

IJA Type 95 Light Tank "Ha-Go" Late Production

Published: December 8th, 2014     
IJA Type 95 Light Tank "Ha-Go" Late Production
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Overview

This is the second model in Dragon’s range of 1/35th military vehicles covering the Type 95 Light Tank “Ha-Go”, the first one being an “Early Production” vehicle, released in 2012.  Unlike the battles in Europe or the Middle East in World War Two, tanks in the Pacific Theater were not used in the massive numbers seen in Europe, nor in any major tank vs tank battles.  Tanks were mainly infantry support vehicles, both on the Japanese side as well as the Allied side.  The Type 95 tank saw combat against Chinese and Russia forces in Manchuria on the mainland, as well as taking part in all the Imperial Japanese Army island campaigns in WW2. The tank was fairly light, weighing just 7.4 tonnes and it was designed primarily as an infantry support tank. It was the most produced tank in the Japanese arsenal with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries constructing about 2,300 vehicles. Being relatively small, it only had a crew of three.

ISU-152-2 155mm BL-10 Cannon 2 in 1

Published: December 7th, 2014     
ISU-152-2 155mm BL-10 Cannon 2 in 1
Reviewed by: Bryan Krueger, IPMS# 47881
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

This kit allows you to build one of two versions of a prototype WWII Russian tank destroyer based on the ISU-152 assault gun. The goal was to field an anti-tank gun heavy enough to deal with the heavier German tanks like the Tiger II, JagdTiger and any potentially larger tanks the Russian thought might be in the works with the Germans. The first prototype ISU-152-1 (Object 246) was developed in April 1944 and mounted the BL-8 long barrel gun. Performance did not meet expectations so the gun was reworked. In August 1944 a second prototype ISU-152-2 (Object 247) replaced the BL-8 with the improved and slightly shortened BL-10. The penetrating power and accuracy still did not meet expectations so the gun was again sent back for improvements but the war ended before this was ever completed. The 155mm designation in the kit name is incorrect and should not be used in the description of this vehicle.

Israeli IDF UH-1N "Anafa" Helicopter

Published: December 7th, 2014     
Israeli IDF  UH-1N "Anafa" Helicopter
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Dragon has recently released a 1/35th model of the much used IDF UH-1N “Anafa” Troop transport helicopter.  As a bonus, they have included a set of their Israeli Paratroopers – a figure set which was, I believe, the second set of figures released some decades back by the then-new Dragon Models, right behind their Soviet “Spetznatz” figures.  As these figures have been on the market for almost 30 years, I will pass on reviewing them yet again and instead focus on the helicopter itself.

On opening the box I was startled by the relatively small part count for such a large model as well as the somewhat, shall we say, “robust” nature of the parts.  None of the molding reflects the typical delicacy of Dragon models, and I suspect this is a reboxing of the Panda UH-1N manufactured some years back.  In fact, in general, this model has a sort of “welcome-to-the-70’s ‘feel to it.  It reminds me of the old Revell 1/32nd scale Hueys, only less finely molded.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t build a fine model from this kit, and a plus is that no tiny items get sacrificed to the Carpet God! 

Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B Tiger II

Published: December 6th, 2014     
Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B Tiger II
Reviewed by: Tracy Palmer, IPMS# 39188
Scale: 1/35th
Company: Eduard

Tiger II is the common name of a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, often shortened to Tiger B. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 182. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (German for "Bengal tiger"), often mistranslated as King Tiger or Royal Tiger by Allied soldiers.

The Tiger II was the successor of the Tiger I, combining the latter's thick armor with the armor sloping used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost seventy metric tons, was protected by 100 to 180 mm (3.9 to 7.1 in) of armor to the front, and was armed with the long barreled 8.8 cm Kampfwagenkanone 43 L/71 gun. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.

Dingo Mk II

Published: December 6th, 2014     
Dingo Mk II
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya

Tamiya has released a brand new model (new tool) of the Dingo Mk.II, which is a great addition to their growing line of 48th scale military miniatures.

Upon opening of the box you find two sprues for the British Armored Vehicle. Tires are molded in plastic (no rubber, which is good), but they are molded together with the wheel hubs. It would have been nice to have them molded independently to make painting easier. The model has a simple interior and two figures.

You can build the model with the top either open or closed. There is no engine provided, however the engine compartment is provided, so I would imagine some aftermarket company will come to the rescue.

While the interior is simple, I would say it is adequate for the scale and once you have the figures inside is likely to be just fine. There are a handful of ejector pin marks in the interior, but I doubt those will be visible, even if the top were to be left open.

German Luftwaffe Pilot WWII

Published: December 3rd, 2014     
German Luftwaffe Pilot WWII
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

Figures are the easiest way to provide scale to your model.  Aerobonus figures are an inexpensive way to add figures to your model.

The latest offering from Aerobonus features a Luftwaffe pilot in flight overall in a relaxed pose waiting for his aircraft.  There are four perfectly cast pieces.  The breakdown is not what you’d expect.  There is the body with one arm cast in place.  There is another arm.  Of course there is a head too.  The unique thing is the separate headset which would be added to the hand.

The instructions are basic drawings with basic colors called out.  This is adequate for the modeler but some may find the basic look and dismiss this figure due to that.  They would be wrong.  The figure is wonderfully sculpted with impressive folds and highlights.  The head looks perfect as well.  The proportions of the whole thing are perfect for 1/48th scale. 

Beautiful sculpting, easy assembly and a nice pose will make this a good first figure for the aircraft modeler and the detail will be a lot of fun for the experienced figure modeler. 

Highly recommended

Soviet Air Force Pilot - Winter Suit

Published: December 3rd, 2014     
Soviet Air Force Pilot - Winter Suit
Reviewed by: Franklyn Cook, IPMS# 46413
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A wonderfully detailed 1/72 Soviet air force pilot! He stands in a blue flight suit, leather jacket, leather boots, sidearm, and white flight helmet. His arms are crossed behind him. One imagines him attending a pre-flight briefing or a post-flight discussion, or posing proudly beside his aircraft while someone snaps a photo. Be sure to add some snow at the edge of the tarmac!

The figure arrived in a clear package with insert. It is a single piece on its resin casting block. All you have to do is carefully remove it from the casting block and perform some light cleanup. There was some flash around his hands and under his nose, but the mold seam was easily cleaned up.

On the insert you’ll find a simple color illustration with paint suggestions. No specific paint manufacturer is suggested. Refer to references for correct colors.

The figure is a scaled down version of its 1/48 scale counterpart (product/stock # 480 066), which—at least for me—would be a lot easier to paint! Don’t be fooled by my clumsy finish, however. This is a finely detailed figure!

USAF Fighter Pilot - Vietnam War 1960-1975

Published: December 3rd, 2014     
USAF Fighter Pilot - Vietnam War 1960-1975
Reviewed by: Franklyn Cook, IPMS# 46413
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A nicely detailed 1/72 USAF Fighter Pilot! He stands in a USAF flight suit, harness, helmet in his right hand, and wears a USAF flight cap. Missing is a g-suit and the distinctive “bulletproof” mustache worn by USAF fighter pilots during the Vietnam War. However, with some careful painting, you can suggest these things at this scale.

The figure arrived in a clear package with insert. On the insert you’ll find a simple color illustration with paint suggestions. No specific paint manufacturer is suggested. Refer to references for correct colors.

The figure consists of separate pieces attached to a resin casting block: main body, left arm, right arm, and helmet. All you have to do is carefully remove them from the casting block and perform some light cleanup. Use superglue to assemble the figure.

A problem area encountered is the left arm, specifically the unnatural bulkiness of the left shoulder. Remove some material and it should look right. 

'70 Ford Torino GT 2 'n 1

Published: December 2nd, 2014     
'70 Ford Torino GT 2 'n 1
Reviewed by: Jim Stepanek, IPMS# 48016
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

The Revell 1/25 scale ’70 Ford Torino GT is a wonderful kit with very little flash to be cleaned. The engine fits together very well, and the kit gives you two sets of valve covers and two different air filters. I chose the Lynx-type filter for its lower profile. The very nice chassis has separate suspension components and exhaust pipes. I replaced the kit exhaust extensions with aluminum tubing. The kit even comes with a set of slapper bars.

The interior has separate side panels, seats, and console. This is way all kits should be made! Each component features excellent engraving that just screams for extra detailing.

Moving on to the body, there are only two mold lines along the roof sides; although, I forgot to clean them up. I had fitment issues with the rear panel. I ended up shaving some styrene off the chassis, and I was able to make the panel fit pretty well. The kit comes with side stripe decals in a variety of colors. I painted the body with House of Kolor Lime Gold Kandy over Lapis Blue, and then I shot Nason 2K clear coat over everything.

A-37A Dragonfly

Published: December 1st, 2014     
A-37A Dragonfly
Reviewed by: Robert Head, IPMS# 48922
Scale: 1/48
Company: Trumpeter

The History

Trumpeter describes the history of its latest kit subject, the Cessna A-37A Dragonfly in 1/48 scale, on the box. The Dragonfly was developed from the T-37 trainer for combat service in Vietnam. A series of new components were applied to the aircraft, including: one GAU-2B/A 7.62 mm minigun, two drop tanks on the wing tips, three weapon stations under each wing, stronger landing gear, and two more powerful J85 engines. The new A-37As were affectionately nicknamed the Super Tweet. They were sent to Vietnam as part of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Group, 604th Air Assault Squadron on July 17, 1967.