Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

HH-34J USAF Combat Rescue

Published: May 23rd, 2014     
HH-34J USAF Combat Rescue
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Gallery Models

MRC-Academy's latest release from Gallery Models is the 1/48 scale HH-34J USAF Combat Rescue version of the H-34. Previous versions have included the USMC H-34 Chocktaw and the H-34 US Navy Rescue. This is the unarmed recue version and comes with markings for a USAF version as well as German SAR version. Both markings are primarily silver. The kit is primarily styrene but there are two nice photoetch frets for screens and smaller parts.

The build starts with the interior and the interior is complete and full length. Starting from the front, there is a full front engine compartment, a well done cockpit and full crew area. Behind this is the tail of the helicopter and it is ribbed and has its bulkheads. The engine is 40 parts alone and looks great when done. Watch alignment on this carefully- the engine exhaust protrudes through the side and if alignment is off a little, it will not line up with the doors.

US Navy Pilot (50’s)

Published: May 23rd, 2014     
US Navy Pilot (50’s)
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/32
Company: PJ Production

This is the second PJ Production figure that I have had the pleasure of reviewing, and like the first, assembly was easy, with minimal part clean-up being required.  The detail is reasonable for this scale, and the figure can be used with most early 1950’s U.S. Navy aircraft of this scale, as the pilot is outfitted in khaki clothing alone, and not wearing a G-suit that was to come.  The only modeling skill required involves painting a figure; otherwise, I would recommend this as an item manageable by modelers of nearly any skill level.

Office Desk and Chair

Published: May 23rd, 2014     
Office Desk and Chair
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/12
Company: Hasegawa

One in a series of kits featuring “office furniture and school furniture”, this kit is the most difficult of the five “furniture” items recently reviewed. Even at that, the difficulty factor is very low. The “difficulty” focuses on the small parts found on the officer chair. Note in the attached images that each coaster on the chair is a single piece, and they are fairly small. Beyond the difficulty resulting from the small size of the coasters this kit, like the others in this series is “fit, snap, done!”

Hasegawa advertises that this kit does not require glue, and I found that to be true. I took the time remove the nubs after removing the parts from the sprues, but that was more out of habit than necessity. Those who are more advanced modelers will probably feel better if they remove the attachment nibs with a sanding stick, but it is not critical to the “fit” of the parts.

One gets parts sufficient for one desk and one chair.

Herman Munster and Grandpa Munster

Published: May 21st, 2014     
Herman Munster and Grandpa Munster
Reviewed by: Mike Hoekstra, IPMS# 46528
Scale: 1/9
Company: Moebius Models

Mention “The Munsters” and instantly the vision of an odd family on Mockingbird Lane comes to mind.  Fortunately Moebius has introduced two new kits to bring the 60’s family icons of Herman and Grandpa to life in a pair of kits that combine to make a nice diorama of the duo.  Moebius also did a great job with the sculpts, bringing the likenesses of Fred Gwynn and Al Lewis to life.

Opening the kits reveals both are very easily constructed kits.  Herman is comprised of approximately 50 parts.  The sub-assemblies fit and line up very well.  The mold lines are very minimal and all joints are where seams in the clothing would be anyway.  I would have liked to seen the head be one piece rather than a front and back with a top hat insert that makes for a cumbersome seam to camouflage on the head.  I used some Citadel green stuff putty to fill the seam and sculpt the hair line in. Another fit issue I ran in to was in the shoulder joint. Minor fixes are carving down the peg or opening the connection point.

Meeting Room Desk and Chair

Published: May 19th, 2014     
Meeting Room Desk and Chair
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/12
Company: Hasegawa

One in a series of kits featuring “office furniture”, this kit is rather easy to assemble, goes together very well, and provides a bit of fun. The kit provides pieces for two tables and four chairs. There is nothing difficult about this kit and I found myself chuckling out loud at least twice as I assembled the parts. Total build time was about 30 minutes.

Hasegawa advertises that this kit does not require glue, and I found that to be true. I took the time remove the nubs after removing the parts from the sprues, but that was more out of habit than necessity.

One gets parts sufficient for four chairs and two tables. The fit is excellent and assembly is very quick and easy. The table surfaces are “brown” as are the seats and chair backs. The tubing for the chairs and tables is gray.

Messerschmitt Me 410 B-6 / R-2

Published: May 19th, 2014     
Messerschmitt Me 410 B-6 / R-2
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/48
Company: Revell, Inc.

History

The twin engine fighter/bomber type of aircraft was a very popular design with the Luftwaffe during WWII. The Me 410 was a late war development of this concept and proved very versatile. The 1st versions were equipped as light bombers, while later variants moved more towards the destroyer style of aircraft. The B-6/R-2 had a Zaunkonig surface search radar array mounted in the nose for anti-shipping raids.

The Kit

Upon opening the box you will find 3 sprues of grey & 1 clear injected molded plastic, 2 small photo etch (P/E) frets, 1 decal sheet and a 20 page instruction book. This kits debut was in 1997(Yes, I built one back then!) so there is a bit of flash on it but not too much. The canopy parts are pretty clear but also have a bit of flash on them as well. The decals are printed cleanly and have a semi-gloss finish. The P/E is nice as you are supplied with the radio faces, control panels & various levers for the cockpit along with the radar array for the nose. The one thing that I would have liked to seen is seatbelts due to the fact you have a greenhouse canopy and can see a lot of the interior.

Von Franco’s Stoned Hoods & Crooks

Published: May 19th, 2014     
Von Franco’s Stoned Hoods & Crooks
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/20
Company: Moebius Models

Background

This is the second Moebius Models kit based on the monster art of Von Franco, a self-taught American artist associated with the Lowbrow art movement and Kustom Kulture. Von Franco’s skill at drawing hot rod and monster art follows in the art style of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch.

The inspiration for this kit is Von Franco’s caricature monster painting Stoned Hoods & Crooks. The challenge of this kit is not in the build, but in painting the model in the cartoonish style of the box art. If you ever wanted to paint a fluorescent orange model piloted by a lime green monster driver with bloodshot eyes, then this is your kit!

’63 Corvette Sting Ray

Published: May 17th, 2014     
’63 Corvette Sting Ray
Reviewed by: Jim Stepanek, IPMS# 48016
Scale: 1/25
Company: AMT

Round 2 Models, under the AMT brand, has re-released this 1/25 scale 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray. The kit features 1970’s Street Rod Series box art. The Retro Deluxe reissue contains a vintage 3-in-1 kit with a new, full-color decal sheet and pre-lettered drag slicks. Although the kit shows its age in the form of some excess flash, the parts do fit together pretty well.

Engine

The stock 327 engine has several options to choose from: a 4-barrel, fuel injection, three deuces, four Webers or a blown intake setup. You can also select from stock exhaust manifolds or two different sets of headers.  These accessories are some really nice parts.  I chose the Webers, but used the carbs from a Falcon kit and resin air filters.

Chassis

There’s nothing to the chassis other than gluing a couple of axle blocks into place.

Interior

The interior is just a tub with poor engraving.  Though the dashboard is fairly crisp. 

Soviet Air Force Fighter Pilot - Winter Suit

Published: May 17th, 2014     
Soviet Air Force Fighter Pilot - Winter Suit
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

With the release of newer modern-era Soviet aircraft, such as the MiG-21, MiG-29, Su-27, Su-25 and others, there is a market demand for a figure to stand beside the aircraft for scale appearance. Until now there has been a very limited selection. Aerobonus answers this call with their simple, but effective, figures.

The latest release is a winter-dressed pilot. He has his helmet on and his hands in his pockets. The figure’s head is tilted up slightly, as if looking at the cockpit or an overflying aircraft. The pilot figure comes as a one-piece molding that is flawless. I don’t see any mold lines that need to be cleaned up. Just a simple cut at the feet and this figure is ready for paint.  The painting instructions are printed on the back of the packaging insert. The painting instructions are very basic, with a simple drawing calling out generic colors like white, black, and gray-blue. That said, the callouts are adequate for the figure.

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing - Tatiana's Vanship and Fam’s Vespa

Published: May 17th, 2014     
Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing - Tatiana's Vanship and Fam’s Vespa
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

I like sci-fi and weird designs, so this Hasegawa Vanship, from their Creator Works series, was right up my alley. I had never heard of this model, however after a quick Google search, I found out that it’s the “fighter” ship for a hotshot pilot from the 2011 anime series Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing, a follow up to the 2003 anime series, Last Exile. I did find the series on Comcast’s Infinity and watched a couple episodes to try and get some context. Obviously, I need to see the rest of the series but the first few shows were good, so when I get time I’ll finish the rest.

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