Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Mitsubishi F-1

Published: March 4th, 2014     
Mitsubishi F-1
Reviewed by: Walt Fink, IPMS# 2447
Scale: 1/72
Company: Platz

Retired from active service in 2006, The F-1 was the JASDF’s first Japanese-designed and -manufactured supersonic fighter, and was essentially the same airframe as the two-seat Mitsubishi T-2 trainer, but had a solid “hood” in place of the second canopy, along with assorted weapons capabilities and internal differences.  The similarity in appearance to the SEPECAT Jaguar has some merit, though Mitsubishi’s official position states that the only items it has in common with the Jag are its engines.

Platz continues its line of JASDF and JMSDF subjects with this new release.  I’ve never built a Platz kit which hasn’t been excellent with beautiful engraved detail and great fit, and this one’s recessed panel lines and thorough detailing throughout was no exception. 

The instructions are complete but are a little busy, particularly where optional configurations are possible, so the builder needs to study them before making holes or gluing parts in place.  External stores consist of four external fuel tanks, two air-to-surface missiles, a practice bomb dispenser with bomblets, and two Sidewinders.

U.S. Scooter Sidecar

Published: March 4th, 2014     
U.S. Scooter Sidecar
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Plusmodel

This is another in the Cushman Scooter series of models recently released by Plus Model.

Cushman made 4,734 airborne scooters for the military beginning in 1944. The rugged, simple Model 53 could travel through water, climb a 25 percent grade and had a range of approximately 100 miles. Some scooters had a hitch to pull a utility cart. This version of the Cushman airborne scooter was configured to carry a sidecar with either an additional seat or a utility bin.

Kit Contents

The kit has 21 light gray resin parts, one clear headlamp, one piece of wire, four photoetch pieces, and one detail sheet. The instructions include three color schemes – U.S. Navy (gray), U.S. Army (olive drab) and Airfield Service (deep yellow).

The resin is fairly soft and all of the parts have casting blocks and flash that must be removed. The parts do have good detail for their small size.

Fokker E.1 Early

Published: March 3rd, 2014     
Fokker E.1 Early
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/32
Company: Wingnut Wings, Ltd

History Brief

The dreaded Fokker E.1 was the first fighter aircraft to enter service with the German Luftwaffe in World War I. When it arrived at the front in mid-1915, it set in motion a time known as the "Fokker Scourge," in which the E.1 and its lineal Eindecker siblings achieved air superiority over the Western Front.

The Product

My sample arrived in a higher-end box, commonly associated with quality model kits. The box top features a beautiful color print with the famous Wingnut Wings name found in the upper, right-hand corner. Inside the box, I found the parts well protected in the typical poly bags. The parts themselves were flawless and flash-free, featuring delicate detailing. Also included is a photo-etch fret; an unbelievable color instruction booklet printed on glossy paper, featuring vintage photographs and five full-color plates; and finally, the beautiful decal sheet printed by Cartograf.

Messerschmitt Bf-110G-4 Weekend Kit

Published: March 3rd, 2014     
Messerschmitt Bf-110G-4 Weekend Kit
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

The Eduard Weekend kits are designed for a fairly quick and easy build, but as I proceeded through this project it took me much longer than a single weekend.  The build was more like four weeks, working an hour or so each day.  When it was time to write this review, I checked the catalog at Eduard, and it says that the kit doesn’t include masks or PE.  But the mask and PE were in the box when I opened it!!  Dave Morrissette was patient with my query.  I got the PE and mask in the box, but they are for separate reviews.  So look for the reviews elsewhere on the IPMS/USA reviews page.

Israel Heavy Armoured Personnel Carrier ACHZARIT Early

Published: March 3rd, 2014     
Israel Heavy Armoured Personnel Carrier ACHZARIT Early
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

Achzarit – (“Cruel” in Hebrew with female inflection) is the name given to one of the IDF’s newer Armored Personnel Carriers.  The other is Namer and based on the Merkava Chassis.  The Achzarit is based on the Russian T-54/55 chassis that the IDF captured so many of in the previous wars with her neighboring Nations.  No matter what name the IDF gave it, it could not describe near perfection.  The Israelis are the ONLY Nation that has ever put crew protection and survivability forefront in the design of armored vehicles.  The Achzarit is referred to as a heavy APC and rightfully so.  It weighs in at 44 tons and is designed to transport the troops into combat and also survive confrontations in urban scenarios.  It carries a dismount squad of nine and three vehicle crew members.  It mounts three 7.62 FN Mags and another FN Mag mounted in a Rafael OWS for the vehicle commander.  The only not perfect issue with the Achzarit is that the crew has to dismount through a rear opening clamshell door.  This allows an observant enemy to know that the Infantry is coming.  The initial vehicle was fielded in 1988 and since

Tommy Grove Mustang Funny Car

Published: March 2nd, 2014     
Tommy Grove Mustang Funny Car
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/25
Company: Polar Lights

Introduction

Tommy Grove drove this 1969 Mustang based funny car through two seasons. The car depicted in this kit was one of the first funny cars to break the 200mph barrier. Running a 1500hp blown 427ci single overhead cam (SOHC) Ford, this car was hard to beat in its time.

The Kit

Harkening back to the days when artwork sold models, this box is graced with a cool burnout photo. Inside you get about 80 parts in white, chrome and clear plastic. The tires are rubber, with the rear tires done with backside inserts and preprinted “Racemaster” lettering. A single sheet of instructions and a nice decal sheet complete the package. There are extra parts that allow you to choose the style of wheels (front and rear), front end and the type of engine intake you want. The photos on the box confirm that there were several part variations on this car during its short career.

US GPW 1/4 Ton 4x4 Utility Vehicle (Mod. 1942) w/ 37mm Anti-Tank Gun M3A1

Published: March 1st, 2014     
US GPW 1/4 Ton 4x4 Utility Vehicle (Mod. 1942) w/ 37mm Anti-Tank Gun M3A1
Reviewed by: Jim Stratton, IPMS# 20703
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Bronco continues their series of GPWs with one that now tows the M3A1 37mm AT gun. After the War Department determined that Willys couldn’t meet the governments demand for vehicles, Ford was given a contract to license build the GPW version of the Willys MB (Jeep). The GPW differs from the MB in a few areas. The front cross member under the grille is a tubular piece on the Willys while on the GPW it was an inverted “U” channel. Ford also introduced the familiar stamped front grille which was then adopted by Willys.  Another difference is the lids on the tool boxes on either side of the rear seat. The Willys’ tool boxes have plain flat covers while the GPW’s lids are embossed. The vehicle itself is listed as a Mod. 1942, and correctly has the Ford logo stamped on the rear panel, as both Ford and Willys had their company name stamped on the rear panel. This practice was ended in July of 1942 by order of the War Department. Thus, only the first 2000 vehicles had the Ford logo. That makes this kit an early to mid-1942 manufactured vehicle. Bronco has faithfully captured these differences in their release.

5cm Pak 38 auf Zugkraftwagen 1t – Smart Kit

Published: February 26th, 2014     
5cm Pak 38 auf Zugkraftwagen 1t – Smart Kit
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Introduction

This is another in Dragon’s series of Sd.Kfz.10 halftracks and makes an interesting version that is a nice kit to assemble.

Background from Dragon’s Website

Germany fielded a wide range of halftracks during WWII. The Sd.Kfz.10, one of the lighter types, was conceived as a prime mover for small, towed anti-tank or antiaircraft guns. Several specialist vehicles were based on this design, with a rather unique conversion appearing in 1941. This saw a 5cm PaK 38 L/60 gun being mounted on the rear of an Sd.Kfz.10 to create a light anti-tank platform. In addition, armor plate was added to the engine compartment and driver’s cab. It’s thought these unique vehicles were mostly issued to Waffen-SS units.

Dragon originally issued an Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack in 2011 and has reissued several different configurations since then. This version includes additional armor plates for the hood, radiator, and windshield. The 5cm PaK 38 L/60 gun has also been previously issued and is updated in this kit with a new mount for the Sd.Kfz.10.

City Building

Published: February 26th, 2014     
City Building
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: MiniArt

MiniArt is probably better known for their 1/35th scale building and diorama sets but they also have a growing number of building kits in 1/72nd scale.

One nice thing about their 72nd scale kits is they depict buildings without any battle damage so are great for not only military dioramas but civilian ones as well. 

Another main difference between their 35th scale and 72nd scale kits is the smaller scale includes all injection molded parts making them a bit easier for your average modeler to get a quality finished product.

So, the City Building depicts a building that would fit into most European cities and would look particularly good in a World War II up through a modern day diorama.  The kit comes with 183 parts molded in 6 colors of which 166 are used in this build.  The multiple colors mean you can finish this kit without paint and still get a great looking model but painting and weathering this kit will give you lots more hours of enjoyment.  I picked up some artists pencils to try my hand at weathering the brick details to really bring it out.

Soviet Aircraft Carrier Baku

Published: February 26th, 2014     
Soviet Aircraft Carrier Baku
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/700
Company: Hobby Boss

Introduction

A quick search of the internet finds the Baku was a Kiev-class aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy.  Her keel was laid down in 1978 in Ukraine, she was launched in 1982, and commissioned in December 1987.  The ship was actually renamed Admiral Gorshkov after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the paint scheme and markings for this kit are more in line with those of the Adm. Gorshkov era.  Plagued by difficulties since a boiler room explosion in 1994, she was offered for sale and 1996 and eventually sold to the Indian Navy in 2004.  The Baku is an assault carrier, somewhat comparable to the newer USS Wasp class amphibious assault carriers of the U.S.  Navy.  The Baku generally sailed with 6 × twin SS-N-12 Sandbox surface-to- surface missile launchers (12 missiles), 24 × 8-cell SA-N-9 vertical surface-to-air missile launchers (192 missiles), 2 × 100 mm guns, 8 × AK-630 30 mm Close-In Weapon System guns, 10 × 533 mm torpedo tubes and 2 × RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers.  This 1/700th scale kit from Hobby Boss is a fine representation of that ship and many of those weapon systems.

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