Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Ki 27 Type 97 Fighter Nate '1st Flight Regiment'

Published: June 15th, 2014     
Ki 27 Type 97 Fighter Nate '1st Flight Regiment'
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

History Brief

During the early summer of 1935 the Imperial Japanese Army issued requests to Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Nakajima to competitively build advanced fighter aircraft prototypes to replace the Kawasaki Ki-10 fighter biplane. Before the end of 1935 Nakajima responded with the Ki-27,  a single-seat monoplane fighter derived from the company's ‘Type P.E.’ aircraft.

Of the three contenders Nakajima’s nimble Ki-27 was by far more maneuverable than the other two but was not as fast and had a slower climb rate than the Kawasaki. Finally, after further testing in late 1937 the Nakajima was ordered into production as the Army’s Type 97 Fighter Model A or Ki-27A. Later production aircraft introduced further refinements, including an improved cockpit canopy, these carried the designation Ki-27B.

Space Pirate Battleship Phantom Death Shadow

Published: June 15th, 2014     
Space Pirate Battleship Phantom Death Shadow
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Company: Hasegawa

Death's shadow rides on solar winds

Sleek, magnificent, deadly. A single look at the Phantom Death Shadow will tell you all you need to know. She's a predator angled and shaped with a single purpose: destruction. Lethal Pulsar cannons in triple mounts sit idle 'til they reduce enemy warships to cosmic dust; the blade ram waits to split hulls and spill crews and cargoes to the cold, black emptiness of space. She's a piece of lethal art that deserves a spot in your display case. Kit features 2 Cosmo Wing fighters and display stand.

I’m sure I have mentioned in previous reviews I have become addicted to Japanese anime and when the chance to review the Arcadia came along I took a chance. Admittedly I have not had a chance the watch any of the “Captain Harlock” anime shows but I’m sure I will soon. Check out Hulu.com or chrunchyroll.com to watch.   Captain Harlock dates back to 1953 and most recently appeared in an anime movie as of 2013.  The space ship, “Arcadia”, actually dates back to an anime series from the late 70’s.   So with a little background taken care of, let us get on to the kit….

German Horch Kfz.15 “North African Campaign”

Published: June 14th, 2014     
German Horch Kfz.15 “North African Campaign”
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Tamiya

This kit is a collaboration of Tamiya and Italeri. Most of the vehicle is a reissue of an Italeri kit, with new parts supplied by Tamiya. The kit goes together nicely, with good detail, and is a fun model to build. The kit includes 3 figures and many diorama accessories.

Background

The German Horch Kfz.15, a 4WD transport vehicle that was equipped with a liquid-cooled 8-cylinder engine capable of producing 85hp. Production of the vehicle began in 1937, and it saw action with the German military in a wide range of combat zones from Russia to North Africa. This particular kit has marking options for two dark yellow North Africa versions and one German gray version used in Russia.

Kit Contents

Vehicle parts on sprues A & B are from Italeri’s earlier kit, which is about 20 years old. New parts by Tamiya include a folded roof, cargo area surface, rear-view mirror, taillights, tires, and front window. Tamiya also provides three figures, weapons set, and many diorama accessories.

Soviet GAZ-67B Military Vehicles

Published: June 9th, 2014     
Soviet GAZ-67B Military Vehicles
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

Trumpeter’s GAZ 67-B is an updated model of the vehicle, but is not an easy build. Less experienced modelers might get frustrated with a lot of cleanup and loose fit of the parts.

Background

The GAZ-67 and the subsequent GAZ-67B were general purpose four-wheel drive Soviet military vehicles built by GAZ starting in 1943. By the end of the war, it was the Soviet equivalent of the Willys Jeep.

The GAZ-67 was a further development of the earlier GAZ-64. The GAZ-67B had a strengthened chassis frame, enlarged fuel tank, a wider track of 1446 mm, and other improvements. It was powered by a slightly more powerful 54 hp version of GAZ M1 4-cylinder 3280 cc gasoline motor, and had a top speed of 90 km/h. Production of the GAZ-67 started on 23 September 1943, and in January 1944 it was replaced by the GAZ-67B.

Kit Contents

Trumpeter’s new kit provides a more updated version of the Soviet GAZ-67B than Tamiya’s 1973 GAZ 67-B. Tamiya also produces a 1:48 version of the GAZ-67B.

British Sea Harrier Pilot, Falklands War, 1982

Published: June 7th, 2014     
British Sea Harrier Pilot, Falklands War, 1982
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

Aerobonus has branched out from their long line of US Vietnam-era pilots and air crew figures to produce this standing Sea Harrier pilot figure from the 1982 Falklands War. The figure’s flight suit and survival vest fully duplicate the gear typically worn by Royal Navy Harrier pilots (and probably the RAF pilots flying GR1s off HMS Hermes, as well), including the oxygen mask attached to the vest, the Mae West around his neck, and the knee-pad clear pockets on the pilot’s legs. The head and arms are molded separately to allow for some variation in the pose. One hand holds a map, chart, or some other paperwork.

For the most part, the individual pieces are easy to detach from the carrier block. One arm is molded along the side of the hand and forearm, so some extra care must be taken to separate it without distorting the part. The resin itself is hard without being brittle, with just the slightest bit of give to it. There’s only a slight bit of flash and seam removal needed around the figure’s legs and feet.

Churchill Mk.III - Dieppe 1942

Published: June 7th, 2014     
Churchill Mk.III - Dieppe 1942
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models

The AFV

The Churchill was designed as an infantry support tank. The Churchill prototype was built before the start of World War II. The design parameters called for heavy armor and firepower over speed and maneuverability. The idea was that the infantry tank would assist the infantry as it crossed “no man’s land” between the trenches in France, just as they had in World War I. So the ability to stand up to light anti-tank weapons and to cross rough ground, including shell craters, was more important than tank-busting.

The prototypes were still in progress when France fell in 1940. Suddenly the design changed, as there weren’t going to be any trenches in France in the near future. The result of this change was that the Churchill was given a 6-pounder as its main weapon and a more powerful engine was developed.

T-38A Talon

Published: June 6th, 2014     
T-38A Talon
Reviewed by: James Binder, IPMS# 49206
Scale: 1/48
Company: Trumpeter

The Northrop T-38A Talon is a two-seat, twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2014 in air forces throughout the world.

On the heels of the Wolfpack T-38 kit comes the Trumpeter T-38A Talon kit in 1/48th scale. The kit is molded in grey plastic and clear plastic with recessed panel lines and rivet detail. It has 84 plastic parts, a fret of photo etch and two decal sheets one for the cockpit and one for markings of two aircraft, one from Holloman Air Force Base and one for an aircraft from the Portuguese Air Force, more on these decals later. The box is very sturdy and has a nice glossy front.

M103A1 Heavy Tank

Published: June 6th, 2014     
M103A1 Heavy Tank
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35th
Company: Dragon Models

The USA managed to muddle through World War 2 utilizing the M4 Sherman Medium Tank as the mainstay of its armored forces.  However, as the Germans introduced better armored tanks with ever more lethal main guns, the M4 Sherman became increasingly vulnerable.  It wasn’t until 1945 that the US finally introduced into front line service its first Heavy Tank, the M26 Pershing with its more potent 90mm main gun and better armor protection.  With the Germans and Japanese defeated in WW2, it soon became apparent to the US that its former ally, the Soviet Union, was becoming its main potential adversary in the post war era.  And the Soviets were fielding some very impressive heavy tanks of their own, such as the IS-3 and the T-10, and that the US would need to beef up its own forces with suitable weapons to match those in the Soviet arsenal. 

F-15C/D

Published: June 4th, 2014     
F-15C/D
Reviewed by: Bob Ulrich, IPMS# 35901
Scale: 1/48
Company: Great Wall Hobby

Great Wall's 1/48 scale F-15B/D kit has generated a flood of commentary on the internet forums regarding its accuracy or lack thereof.  Some of the complaints are justified, if sometimes verging into the area of extreme nit-picking, and some are not.  This review will not rehash the controversy but rather will concentrate on building what is in the box to best advantage. 

My primary references for this project were Reid Air Publications “The Modern Eagle Guide” and Isradecal Publications F-15 Baz.  The latter is indispensible for information and detailing on IAF Eagles, and the former is the best available reference on the Eagle in general.  The 26 page instruction booklet is fairly well done, although some of the illustrations are a bit vague.  Packaging is first rate, especially the missiles.  No parts were broken or detached from their sprues.

Sd.Kfz.234/3 mit 7.5cm KwK

Published: June 1st, 2014     
Sd.Kfz.234/3 mit 7.5cm KwK
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: Dragon Models

Dragon’s Sd.Kfz.234/3 is an excellent kit with crisp molding, full interior detail and while complicated, it goes together very well. This new Premium Edition is a reissue of Dragon’s 2007  kit #6257 including new fenders with photoetch storage bin covers & locks, and movable suspension that allows the wheels to be angled for turns.

Vehicle Background

The SdKfz 234/3 was the third in a series of heavy armored reconnaissance vehicles produced by Germany during WWII. It had an open-topped superstructure in which a short-barreled 7.5cm L/24 gun was installed. This gun, surplus from the upgrade of older Panzer IV tanks, was intended for use against "soft" targets. Eighty-eight of the 234/3s were produced by Buessing-Nag between June & December of 1944.

The vehicle had four-wheel steering and was able to quickly change direction thanks to a second rear-facing driver's seat. The transmission had six forward and reverse gears, with traction over the eight wheels. Power was provided by an air-cooled Tatra 103 diesel engine.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer