Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

75mm Pack Howitzer M1A1 & Gun Crew

Published: June 30th, 2015     
75mm Pack Howitzer M1A1  & Gun Crew
Reviewed by: Jim Stratton, IPMS# 20703
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Following their release of the 75mm Pack Howitzer with ¼ ton truck and crew, Bronco has released a British airborne version with a crew of five. When this kit came up for review, I had just finished building Vision’s 75mm Pack Howitzer and thought it would give me an opportunity to compare the two kits. Much to my surprise the Bronco kit is the Vision kit with a new sprue added to detail up the original kit. There are two sets of trails on the pack howitzer. The front trails and the rear trails. Both sets are hollow, with lightening holes on the sides. The hollow front trails house the equilibrator springs and the rear trails are just hollow. Vision released the original kit with a one piece molding of the rear trails, which looked okay but really didn’t represent the hollow trails to well. In the Bronco release you get the entire Vision kit along with a new sprue of parts that better represent the hollow rear trails. In addition there are smaller molded parts to better detail the undersides of the bottom of the cradle and a nicely detailed lunette and tow pintle.

"Blue Devil" Fletcher-class Destroyer

Published: June 29th, 2015     
"Blue Devil" Fletcher-class Destroyer
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/125
Company: Round 2 Models

Thanks to Round 2 models for sending us this “blast from the past” kit, and leadership for generously firing it my way to relive what could have been for a very young modeller…

First, this is a BIG model.  A yard’s worth…(36 inches)… Suitable for R/C (Many have tried and succeeded), display (with work) or free-running (for those with big enough pools… it’s too easy to lose a non-controlled ship in a local pond).

The box art is an attention-getter:  using the original 1964 box art is a great idea; nostalgia sells.  (Yep, I was six at the time when I first saw this kit).  It was what got my “COOL MODEL” factor spun up.  (For those interested, I saw this kit at “Who hobbies” in Rapid City, South Dakota, where my father was stationed at the time as a missile support helicopter pilot flying H-19’s and later UH-1F’s out of Ellsworth AFB… that’s another story, as that hobby shop is, last time I checked, still in business!)

Panzerbefehlswagen 35(t)

Published: June 26th, 2015     
Panzerbefehlswagen 35(t)
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

This is the Bronco Models kit of the Panzerbefehlswagen 35(t) and represents command tank version of which there was approximately 20 in service.

There is also a small poster of the vehicle, the same picture as on the front cover.

Construction

The kit is complex and is not a surprise as Bronco has a reputation for over-engineering their kits, and if you normally build kits from Dragon or Tamiya, this kit will be a whole lot different. It does contain a lot of very small parts, both styrene and PE, and it will challenge any modeller's patience and skills. That said, I loved the details and amount of thought that went into the build, that are not for use. There are quite a few options during the build. I would suggest going through the instructions before starting the build and marking which options you want to use.

The kit includes:

BAE Sea Harrier FRS.1

Published: June 26th, 2015     
BAE Sea Harrier FRS.1
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

I don’t usually build aircraft which do not have propellers but I like Airfix models and I like the Harrier. It’s an incredible bit of engineering that allows a jet to hover like a helicopter! So, when Hornby-Airfix provided this kit as a review sample to IPMS/USA, I jumped (no pun on the phrase Jump-Jet intended) at the opportunity build an Airfix Harrier.

Letov S-16.1 Prague-Tokyo-Prague 1927

Published: June 26th, 2015     
Letov S-16.1 Prague-Tokyo-Prague 1927
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

History

The Letov S-16 design work began in 1924 as an all metal replacement for earlier all-wood aircraft, and was intended as a two seat long range  bomber and reconnaissance type.  Powered by a 450 hp. Lorraine-Dietrich water-cooled engine, the prototype first flew in 1926, and the Czech Air Force ordered three test aircraft.  In all, 89 S-16’s were built for the Czechs, and in addition, Latvia bought 21 and Turkey obtained 12.  In addition, Yugoslavia bought one to test as a floatplane. The type served with distinction during the late twenties and early thirties, and a few were still operational in 1938 when the Germans occupied the country. 

In 1927, one of the first prototypes was prepared for a long distance record flight, and two airmen,  S.C. Skala and Mateu Taufer flew their S-16.1 from Prague to Tokyo, but the aircraft was a write-off due to engine failure on the flight back, and the plane finished its journey courtesy of the Trans Siberian railroad.  The aircraft’s rudder survived to fly on another S-16, and it currently is on display in a Czech museum.

1941 Ford Custom Woody

Published: June 25th, 2015     
1941 Ford Custom Woody
Reviewed by: Joe Porche’, IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/25
Company: Round 2

Growing up along the Central Coast of California it was common to see Woodies for all types throughout town, at the car shows, school parking lots, and definitely at the beach. They were as familiar as the Volkswagen Vans and Chevrolet Corvairs. Not as frequent as Volkswagen Bugs or Ford Mustangs. I always thought of them as beatnik wagons as those that drove them seamed a little disheveled looking.

AMT Round 2’s re-release of the 1941 Ford Custom Woody is a valued addition for those modelers who prefer the quieter and more functional hot rods of the time. Face it, not too easy to haul 2 surf boards 30 miles up the coast to your favorite break in the back of a Ford 1929 T bucket. Panel wagons and Woodies were the main ride for the surfer beach bums of the 60’s and 70’s.

Parts Count

Catwoman

Published: June 24th, 2015     
Catwoman
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/8
Company: Moebius Models

Once again I’m diving back into the surreal world of the original Batman television series with this wonderful rendition of Julie Newmar as the classic Catwoman adversary. In actuality, I believe at least three different actresses took a shot at this role, but Julie is the one most remember, both for her statuesque presentation in that vinyl suit as well as her quintessential purr. Even Michelle Pfieffer didn’t come out looking this good.

Moebius Models has once again designed this kit with buildability in mind. Anything that needs to be colored differently from the basic black has been separated out, making painting a breeze. In addition, the kit offers some small variations, including two right arms, one holding her whip and another a gun. Considering the outfit, I close the whip, which seemed more appropriate, although the little cat-shaped guns are pretty cute. The base is designed to fit with Batman’s base, and together with the other six planned figures, will make a large Batman logo in terrain. I’m going to be curious to see how these all land up looking together.

1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Published: June 24th, 2015     
1979 Pontiac Trans Am
Reviewed by: Joe Porche, IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/25
Company: Round 2 Models

In 1979 Pontiac sold 116,535 Trans Am models which still hold the record to this day. My relationship with the Pontiac Trans Am goes back to an evening ride with my high school chum Kendal Morbito in his white 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. We cruised around town a little then headed out to the freeway. After two rather abrupt high speed turns the yanked my eyeballs from the sockets, I was hooked. On December 23, 1977 I spent all the money I had been saving since my first job on a brand new shiny blue 1978 Pontiac Trans Am.

2014 Ford F-250 Raptor

Published: June 24th, 2015     
2014 Ford F-250 Raptor
Reviewed by: Joe Porche, IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

For those of you who might be skeptical of building a snap tite kit (too easy, not detailed enough, kids toys) this would be the perfect opportunity to put your uncertainty aside and try one out. I had some reservations myself but after watching my 18 year old son bang one of these out in a weekend and it looking purely awesome on the shelf, I though I could do no worse.

I chose to build mine as a representation of the Las Vegas Metro Police Departments Ford F-150. Truthfully they do no currently have any Raptors in inventory but I thought this would make a great fantasy vehicle that is oh so close to the real thing. Included is a picture of the patrol unit I was trying to emulate. Being as such I need to add a few things to the model like light bar, radio, shotgun, push bumper, donuts, etc. The decals I made for the unit where done on the laptop and printed with an HP printer on clear decal stock. Obviously none of these items came from the Revell kit.

Parts Count:

A-10C Thunderbolt II "184FS Flying Razorbacks"

Published: June 24th, 2015     
A-10C Thunderbolt II "184FS Flying Razorbacks"
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

In one of the latest additions to the Hasegawa line of modern military jet aircraft comes the venerable A-10C in a special release that includes markings for Fighter Squadron 184, the “Flying Razorbacks” as depicted on the box top. Also included are markings for the 163rd Fighter Squadron, the “Blacksnakes”, who operate out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The kit builds up reasonably well, as I have often found to be the case with Hasegawa products, and will make a fine addition for those wanting to add an updated Warthog to his or her collection.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as the Warthog, first entered service in 1976 after the first prototype flew in 1972. Designed for close air support for ground troops, armed with the 30 mm General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, and with eleven available hard points, the Warthog was made for a Cold War that fortunately never turned hot. The plane proved its worth during Desert Storm with 144 planes serving in the region, and in addition to destroying a multitude of tanks and other vehicles, managed to shoot down two Iraqi helicopters as well.