Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Middle East Diorama

Published: September 21st, 2014     
Middle East Diorama
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35th
Company: MiniArt

I must confess at the outset of this review that I am not, for the most part, a fan of vacuform diorama buildings.  I will always prefer ceramic which is far easier for me to assemble and paint.  That being said, I was quite curious to tackle this kind of project and found myself quite impressed with this kit.

My first impression of this kit came before I even opened the box.  It was remarkably heavy - not what I’d expected of a kit that was largely vacuform parts.  However, on opening the box I could see why – the nine vacuform sheets are quite stout, with remarkable detail on roughly 74 parts.  The kit also comes with five sprues of injection molded details, making a total of well over 150 parts – far more than will be needed in this diorama.  Everything you desire to create a large and detailed diorama is provided here, including the base.  There is a LOT of plastic in this kit.

1957 Chevy Belair Convertible

Published: September 20th, 2014     
1957 Chevy Belair Convertible
Reviewed by: Jim Stepanek, IPMS# 48016
Scale: 1:25
Company: Revell, Inc.

This Revell ’57 Chevy is just a wonderful kit with very little, if any, flash.

Engine

The kit provides 2 small block engines but only 1 set of heads and oil pan.  The parts fit together just perfectly.  Instead of the single or dual quad setup, I decided to use the fuel injection pieces left over from the Revell Black Widow kit.

Chassis

Beautiful chassis that has separate front & rear suspensions and 2 separate exhaust systems.  I cut off the end tips and replaced with polished aluminum tubing.

Interior

I love it!  The side panels are separate pieces and are extremely well engraved enabling easy detail painting.  Included in the kit are decals for the dash gauges, seats and side trim.  I added a set of “Heartbeat of America” floor mats.

F-15C Eagle, 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

Published: September 17th, 2014     
F-15C Eagle, 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  It is an F-15C with conformal fuel tanks.

By 1984, the USSR had amassed a considerable submarine launched ballistic missile capability which complemented their already powerful ICBM force. The vast majority of the Soviet SSNB submarines, known as ‘boomers’, were based at Archangel and Murmansk. Their pre-launch stations were usually in the White Sea sector. Because of this, the US Navy devoted a large portion of its SSN submarines or ‘hunter killers’ to located and then follow the movement of all Soviet SSNB boomers in the White Sea. To perform this task, US SSNs ran through the Giuk Gap in route to their patrol areas. To counteract the Americans, the Soviet navy began a pattern of deploying an ever increasing numbers of modified Bears, call sing ‘F’, in an effort to track the US SSNs boats before they enter the Sea.

R-35 Renault Light Infantry Tank

Published: September 16th, 2014     
R-35 Renault Light Infantry Tank
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hobby Boss

I’m old enough to remember a time when Heller was the only game in town if you wanted to reproduce some of the fascinating French armor of the Second World War.  Now we seem to have been presented with a number of choices, each with their good and bad points.  However, permit me to discuss this particular rendition of this lovely little two-man vehicle on its own merits.

Hobby Boss has taken its own stance on reproducing this tiny machine by providing it with a complete interior, viewable through the numerous open-able hatches on the model.  Frankly, this is one kit that begs for a maintenance diorama in order to show off its features -- anything else seems a waste of detail. 

USS Carronade

Published: September 15th, 2014     
USS Carronade
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/168
Company: Lindberg/Round 2

The Ship

The USS Carronade was commissioned in 1955 and was designed to provide close in fire support for amphibious landings. Her 5" gun was the same weapon mounted on US destroyers and had proved itself in close in support over and over during WW II and its eight 5.5" automatic rocket launchers could fire 30 rockets a minute, meaning 240 rockets could be on their way to some unlucky target within one minute. Because of her cruiser type bow and potentially heavy firepower, she was often called a "bobtailed cruiser" due to her superstructure being so far aft. As a matter of fact, one release of this kit was titled Bobtail Cruiser and not USS Carronade.

After a couple of west coast tours and one cruise to the orient, the Carronade was de-commissioned in 1960 and placed in reserve. When the Brown Water Navy of the Vietnam War needed some heavier fire support, the Carronade was re-commissioned in 1965 and served with several other fire support ships in Inshore Fire Support Division 93. Again decommissioned in 1969, she was sold for scrap in 1974.

MPCV Buffalo with Bar Armor

Published: September 13th, 2014     
MPCV Buffalo with Bar Armor
Reviewed by: Al LaFleche
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Thanks to Dragon/Bronco and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this kit.

BACKGROUND

The MPCV (Mine Protected Clearing Vehicle) Buffalo produced by Force Protection Inc. came out of the US’s experience in Kosovo. It is considered a Class III MRAP. It’s a 6X6 with a V shaped hull to protect the 6 man crew. When installed, the spall liner protects the crew from 7.62 mm munitions as does the ballistic glass. Weighing in at 22 tons, it is powered by a Mack 450 hp diesel coupled to a 5 speed automatic transmission. It is capable of 65m mph. The V shaped hull provides protection from up a 20 kg mine or 15 kg IED. The A2 has an upgraded engine and transmission.

This is the second of three (so far) Buffalo kits produced by Bronco. The first is the basic kit with spare tires mounted to the sides and neither slat armor nor CROWS II. The third kit includes spaced armor in addition to the slats. The version depicted in this kit has full bar armor and an optional CROWS II weapon station with the appropriate controls in the crew compartment.

Focke-Wulf FW 190D-9

Published: September 12th, 2014     
Focke-Wulf FW 190D-9
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hobby Boss

Hobbyboss continues their FW190/Ta152 series with this FW190D-9. The kit consists of 118 beautifully engraved plastic parts, a sheet of 6 photoetch pieces and 5 clear parts. markings are included for:

  • II/JG6, Black 12 BuNo 500570 from May 8, 1945
  • 7/JG 301, BuNo 400208, April 1945

There is an excellent set of decals with full stencils. The only thing I noticed right up front was the lack of seatbelts which I remedied with a Reheat set.

OT-130 Flame Thrower Tank

Published: September 12th, 2014     
OT-130 Flame Thrower Tank
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hobby Boss

During World War 2 the Russians created a large number of flamethrower-equipped vehicles, useful for burning Germans out of strongpoints.  Some of them replaced a turret or hull machine gun position with the weapon.  Others, such as the OT-130, replaced the main gun itself and made this a dedicated flame thrower tank.

Like the original vehicle itself, Hobby Boss’ OT-130 tank is a modification of the tried-and-true T-26, which by this time in the war had outlived its usefulness as a main battle tank.  The 45mm main gun was removed and replaced with a flamethrower unit and its appropriate internal tankage.  The kit itself features over 900 parts including two sheets of photoetch and seeming hundreds of tiny pins used to assemble the workable tracks.  There is no interior provided, although all of the crew hatches do open.  No figures are provided with the kit, although it comes with a clear lens for the headlight.

Bussing-NAG 2 cm KwK 38

Published: September 12th, 2014     
Bussing-NAG 2 cm KwK 38
Reviewed by: John Shimek, IPMS# 4899
Scale: 1/72
Company: AMC Models

The Bussing-NAG 2 cm KwK 38, a four-wheeled German armored car, is one of two prototypes of this nature built. Historical reference for these vehicles is very hard to come by. However, it is known that they were in fact built but never put into production. It is also accepted that they were in fact field-tested, but it is debated as to which unit actually tested them. Some sources saying it was the 12th SS Panzer division, but again, there is no definitive proof of this as the data does not exist to confirm this information.

This resin model kit comes packaged in a sturdy box with all the parts contained in Ziploc bags. Unfortunately, one of the bags arrived opened, and all the parts strewn inside the box. The kit is totally resin and comes with a 20 mm metal barrel which is a very nice touch. There are a total of 51 pieces of resin that compose this kit. There is one decals sheet included of three German Balkenkreuzen. The instruction sheet is one small sheet of double-sided print outlining the four steps to building the model and the suggested painting of the completed vehicle.

Jungle Jim Rail Dragster

Published: September 12th, 2014     
Jungle Jim Rail Dragster
Reviewed by: Mike Hanson, IPMS# 41117
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

The Revell 1/25 scale “Jungle Jim” Rail Dragster is a re-release of a series of dragsters produced in the mid-1970s. This particular kit represents a car driven by “Jungle” Jim Liberman. If forum comments are correct, this is not a representation of any specific car or race, but rather a generic representation of one of his cars. If you want to build something specific, a bit of research will likely be necessary.

The kit comes in Revell’s typical 9” x 7” model box, where you’ll find four sprues of white plastic, one chrome sprue, one black sprue with the rear tires, and a vinyl-type sprue for the front tires.

The largest sprue contains the dragster’s body, seat, and wings. There are some heavy ejection pin marks, but fortunately they are on sides that are not visible. I didn’t notice any sinking on the visible sides, so the parts shouldn’t require much cleanup.