Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Battlestar Galactica (TOS) Cylon Raider – 35th Anniversary Edition

Published: August 30th, 2014     
Battlestar Galactica (TOS) Cylon Raider – 35th Anniversary Edition
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/32
Company: Moebius Models

Background

Airing in 1978 and 1979, with a brief return in 1980, the original Battlestar Galactica (BSG) television series laid the foundation for a follow-on series of books, games, and reimagined series of television shows chronicling humanity’s struggle to survive after the Twelve Colonies of human civilization were all but wiped out by the treacherous cybernetic Cylons in an attempt to rid the universe of human life.  Despite the limited run of the original TV series, BSG has remained a popular franchise among Sci-Fi fans for three-and-a-half decades.

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the original series (TOS), Moebius Models has released a series of kits depicting craft from the 1978 production, with a 1/32 scale replica of the Cylon Raider as the largest of the pieces.

The Kit

Moebius wows the modeler with this giant 1/32 scale kit, patterned after the actual studio model which was also in 1/32 scale.  Although prior incarnations of the Raider bore suitable resemblance to their prototypes, the latest from Moebius tops all in accuracy and in size

Maudslay's Paddle Engine 1827

Published: August 28th, 2014     
Maudslay's Paddle Engine 1827
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: None given
Company: Airfix

The Engine

After Robert Fulton proved the viability of using steam to power a nautical vessel with his steamboat Clermont (also known as the North River) in 1807, steam power began to sweep wind-powered vessels from the seas. Constant improvements to his engine were made and Maudslay's Paddle Engine patented in 1827 was one such improvement. It was a style of engine that used improved valve chests and gear and these so called Penn Oscillating engines were in use for many years. (I hope somebody understood all that as I didn't.) The largest such engines were fitted into the paddle wheeler Great Eastern designed by Isambard Brunel. However, the engines could not be adapted to the higher steam pressures that were being introduced and the paddle engine gave way to the inclined direct-acting engine. 

Star Trek USS Defiant

Published: August 26th, 2014     
Star Trek USS Defiant
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/420
Company: Round 2 Models

Introduction

When the space station Deep Space 9 got caught up in the conflict with the Dominion over control of a stable wormhole, one of Starfleet’s responses was to provide support in the shape of the USS Defiant.  The Defiant was a new ship design for Starfleet and incorporated new, powerful weapon systems and even a cloaking device.  Once the bugs were worked out of the new design, the defiant proved to be a powerful weapon in the fight against the Dominion.

Almost 20 years ago, AMT first released their model kit of the Defiant during the run of TV’s Deep Space 9 series. In January 2014, Round2 rerelease the Defiant under the AMT name.  Round2’s re-released Defiant kit, like all those kits from the Star Trek series, are delivered in a sturdy box with colorful new artwork.

I would like to thank Round2/AMT for providing this re-release of Deep Space 9’s, USS Defiant to IPMS USA for review.

British 6 Pdr Anti-Tank Gun (Airborne) with 1/4 Ton Truck & Crew

Published: August 26th, 2014     
British 6 Pdr Anti-Tank Gun (Airborne) with 1/4 Ton Truck & Crew
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Bronco models have repacked its Jeep and airborne anti-tank 6 pdr gun, together with 6 figures into this “full meal” boxing. Actually the vehicle has the necessary part to be the airborne variation used to tow the gun, including all the fittings for the ammo boxes.

When you open the box you find 26 (!) sprues –including one clear-, 3 photo-etch frets, and 3 decal sheets, including one for the soldiers rank. You get all the parts needed to model the airborne variation of the Jeep used to tow the gun, including all the fittings for the ammo boxes. You actually get several extra parts in this boxing and maybe you can model other versions of the Jeep, but I am not sure.

The surface detail is impressive, petite yet well defined. The tires even have the maker letterings in raised detail and would look very good under some dry-brushing.

The instruction booklet is printed in full color, using CAD drawings having 23 steps for the vehicle and 15 steps for the cannon.

U-Boat Type IX C (U-505 late)

Published: August 24th, 2014     
U-Boat Type IX C (U-505 late)
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Revell, Inc.

The U-505 was a Type IX C late-war boat completed in 1942 and refitted in 1943. A “hard luck” sub from the beginning for the German Navy, the U-505 was damaged in action, had a captain commit suicide, and finally, was captured by the Americans in 1944…she is now a museum piece at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. I went and visited her for this kit build to check details, and found only the bow section to have any rivets left showing. When I inquired as to what happened to the rest, I was told that thanks to the boat’s being out in the Chicago elements for years, they figured they’ve lost up to 70% of the hull thickness. There also were many welded-on patches to hold her together, which looked like big band-aids.

The U-505 kit comes in a large, impressive, remote control kit-size box. The spruces are packed in poly bags, and there’s a second cardboard deck about 2/3 the way up inside the box. Although the parts were bagged they were able to rattle, and I had several broken parts. There were also dents and holes on the inside of the box where parts had slid around in transit and hit hard.

Sunderland Mk. III

Published: August 24th, 2014     
Sunderland Mk. III
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/72
Company: Italeri

History Brief

The Short Sunderland, one of the most famous seaplanes of World War II. It came into service toward the end of 1938, equipping the Royal Air Force squadrons of Coastal Command. The Mark III turned out to be the definitive Sunderland variant, with 461 built. Most were built by Shorts at Rochester and Belfast, a further 35 at a new (but temporary)[N 3] Shorts plant at White Cross Bay, Windermere;[22][23] while 170 were built by Blackburn Aircraft. The Sunderland Mark III proved to be one of the RAF Coastal Command's major weapons against the U-boats, along with the Consolidated PBY Catalina.

Bristol Blenheim Mk I

Published: August 23rd, 2014     
Bristol Blenheim Mk I
Reviewed by: Ned Ricks, IPMS# 36013
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

When the Airfix Bristol Blenheim Mk I showed up on the kits available for review, I quickly put my name in the hat for it. I had seen the results of a 1/48 scale kit and was eager to try my hand and add to my RAF Battle of Britain collection.

A few paragraphs of history: The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War.

It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter. It was one of the first British aircraft to have all-metal stressed-skin construction, to utilize retractable landing gear, flaps, a powered gun turret and variable pitch propellers. A Canadian-built variant named the Bolingbroke was used as an anti-submarine and training aircraft.

British Forces Quad Bikes and Crew

Published: August 22nd, 2014     
British Forces Quad Bikes and Crew
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

Airifx continued their string of new releases related to British forces in Afghanistan with the Quad Bikes and crew. Basically, these are all-terrain vehicles adapted for military use. There are two complete vehicles and their accompanying trailers with four crew members. These are new kits, so the molding is superb. Given the diminutive size of these vehicles, however, the parts are rather fragile so please remove them from the sprues with care. The kits are molded in that familiar Airfix blue-grey plastic. There’s one sprue for the figures, two sprues each for the vehicles and trailers for a total of thirty seven parts. There is a modest decal sheet and colored instructions with 3-D drawings for instructions. As is typical with Airfix kits, the spues are packed together loosely in a plastic bag which means some loose, and this case, broken parts.

Dornier Do 335 B-2 "Pfeil" (Arrow) - Part 3

Published: August 22nd, 2014     
Dornier Do 335 B-2 "Pfeil" (Arrow) - Part 3
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: HK Models

Yet again:  Sincere thanks to Neil at HK models for providing IPMS USA this pre-release kit for review; your contributions are of great value and we look forward to more releases from your company…

… Part 3; final details!

In The next step was to install the clear parts.  These were truly “crystal clear”… no dip required in the floor wax.  The windscreen was the later type with a sharp bow in the front center; it fit perfectly into place with a bit of Tenax.  Next:  The main canopy.  This particular version has the “bug-eye” bubbles on the upper center section, which housed the rear-view mirrors.  The kit did not provide these, which are possibly on the PE fret.  I had no problem getting these to fit into place either; once again I used liquid cement and it worked well. As there is no seat belt and I was trying to finish, I closed everything up and it all fit fine. If you want it open, there are two integral tabs on the Starboard (right), which held the canopy open with no problem.

Chinese Navy Type 052D Missile Destroyer Changsha

Published: August 21st, 2014     
Chinese Navy Type 052D Missile Destroyer Changsha
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/350
Company: Bronco Models

The Type 052D is a Chinese designed and built missile destroyer. It features an active electronically scanned array radar system and it is refer by the Chinese media as the “Chinese Aegis”. There are two ships in the class completed and several more under construction. This kit represents the second ship of the class, “Changsha”.

Upon opening the box you find 13 sprues, 2 photo-etch frets (one of them for the nameplate), one clear sprue for the helicopter and a small decal sheet. The superstructure is packed on its individual box –inside the main box-. Despite the precautions my sample got slightly warped during transit (see photo).

This is a nice sized kit, with the hull being almost 18.5 inches long. There is no option for waterline hull, however there is an flat internal piece –that provides strength to the hull assembly- and some modeler might feel courageous enough to convert the full hull into a waterline model.

The instruction booklet includes multicolor line drawing instructions (CAD-style) in 16 steps. The first 3 steps relates to the boats/rafts, helicopters and bow details, including the main deck gun.

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