Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

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.

5.5 cm Zwilling Flakpanzer

Published: February 26th, 2014     
5.5 cm Zwilling Flakpanzer
Reviewed by: Dan Mackay, IPMS# 47000
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models

At the beginning of World War two the German Army had little need for dedicated mobile AA defence as the Luftwaffe enjoyed air superiorty. However after a short while it became more important for mobile AA defence as the Army realized that the Luftwaffe could not always provide a protective umbrella. A quick solution was to convert soft skin and half-track vehicles to provide this mobile AA defence, but it was also soon realized that many of these conversions left the crews exposed. It was then decided to mount more effective mobile AA platforms that would have fully enclosed turrets to protect the crews and improve overall survivability in the face of ever increasing Allied air supremacy. The Panther medium tank chassis was ideal for these future mobile AA defences, the 5.5 cm Zwilling Flakpanzer was one of many proposals that did not  advance beyond the drawing board.

Mars Attacks Martian Warrior

Published: February 26th, 2014     
 Mars Attacks Martian Warrior
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette,, IPMS# 33653
Company: Moebius Models

Mars Attacks! Most people will first remember 1996 Tim Burton film. it really started as a trading card series released in 1962 by Topps (the baseball card people). It became the most popular non-sport series ever. Mr. Burton kept the Martians in the film very similar to the trading cards and Moebius has duplicated that in this kit.

The kit consists of 43 gray parts and 2 clear parts for the Martians helmet. The kit has a nicely detail base with toasted human on it, a lamp post and a Martian warrior straddling the corpse. The kit assembles in four parts- the base, the victim, the lamp post, and our Martian.

U.S.S. Boxer - LHD-4

Published: February 26th, 2014     
U.S.S. Boxer - LHD-4
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/700
Company: Hobby Boss

Introduction

The USS Boxer, LHD-4, is the fourth of the Wasp class amphibious assault ship line. She entered service in 1995 and spent several years deployed to the Western Pacific.  After 9/11, the Boxer has deployed to the Persian Gulf several times and recently served as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia.  She participated in the activities surrounding the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips of the container ship Maersk Alabama.  After Capt. Phillips was rescued he was taken to the Boxer for medical treatment and rest.

In February 2013, HobbyBoss released a very precise rendition of the USS Boxer in a 1/700th scale kit.  I would like to thank MMD/Squadron for providing this kit to IPMS USA for review.

Kawasaki C-1 Combo (2 Kits) Limited Edition

Published: February 26th, 2014     
Kawasaki C-1 Combo (2 Kits) Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Scale: 1/200
Company: Hasegawa

The Kawasaki C-1 began development in 1966 to replace the JASDF C-46 fleet. It went into service in 1974, and is still serving today.

Before we start, I’ll let you know that this is not a motorcycle kit. It is an aircraft. I am sorry to disappoint, but just wanted to clear the air before I went any farther.

This kit includes two complete aircraft, consisting of four sprues per plane, for a total of eight sprues in the box. On the decal sheet there are enough markings that you can build any two out 25 airframes. You will need to check your references as the instructions call out one airframe in three different schemes. One of the decal options is for a 50th anniversary of the JASDF scheme.

The parts are molded in a light grey plastic. I cut the two fuselage parts off to test fit them, and they mated up very nicely. One thing that I did notice is the plastic is a little on the hard side. It could also be that my Exacto needs a new blade. Not a big deal in my eyes. The kit is molded with very fine recessed panel lines that should really look good once the model is painted. There is no interior, but in this scale what are you going to see?

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