Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

HS-3/1 Krankenschlittens

Published: July 21st, 2014     
HS-3/1 Krankenschlittens
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

The Krankenschlittens was one type of a variety of German Ambulance used during WWII. In this example, Hauler has given us a horse drawn sled type. The ambulance consisted of a shed constructed on a wooden frame with sled runners underneath drawn by a two-horse team.

Hauler has replicated this rare piece with 32 excellent resin parts and a photoetch frame of 40 pieces in 1/35th scale. The resin is perfectly cast with no issues. There are significant casting blocks that need to be removed. To start, I removed all the of the resin pieces from the casting blocks. The smaller pieces were easy. Take your time with the pieces for the shed- it needs to be square and I slightly over sanded which caused a lot of work. The most difficult part to remove is the poles that go out in front. They are remarkably cast but have lots of pour around them. Take your time and they will come out. All the parts were sanded and then washed and we could begin construction.

Yokosuka MXY7 OKHA Model 11

Published: July 20th, 2014     
Yokosuka MXY7 OKHA Model 11
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun

The Aircraft

In 1945, Japan had their backs against the wall.  The Allies were about to invade Okinawa, part of Japan, and the situation was becoming desperate.  In October of 1944 much of the Imperial Japanese Fleet had been destroyed at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  Kamikaze suicide aircraft had been used during the Leyte Gulf battle, and it appeared that this might be the weapon that could turn the tide back to Japan’s favor. 

Coincidentally in October of 1944 a new suicide weapon had been developed, and flight testing took place in November.  The Yokosuka MXY7 “Okha” (Cherry Blossom) was basically a 1,200 KG (2646 lb.) bomb with wings, tail and cockpit added.  It was powered by three solid-fuel rocket engines, and could reach 600 mph in a dive.  The Okha was ready for deployment when the Allies invaded Okinawa in April of 1945.

CV3/33 Tankette Serie II (Early Production)

Published: July 20th, 2014     
CV3/33 Tankette Serie II (Early Production)
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

Background

Developed from the British Carden Loyd Mark VI tankette in 1933, the Italian government commissioned Fiat and the Ansaldo Company to develop and produce a series of vehicles classified as Carro Veloce (CV), or "fast tank." After a brief run of 21 initial CV-29’s the design was recast in what became known as the CV-33, of which roughly 300 were produced.  Seeing action in numerous smaller conflicts prior to World War II, the CV’s posed limited tactical value and were regularly outclassed by larger and more advanced fighting vehicles and anti-armor small arms.

The Kit

Bronco brings a welcome addition for Italian armor aficionados with their new CV3/33 Tankette Serie II (Early Production).   Although the subject is diminutive in stature, the kit is big on detail and count of tiny parts – just as we’ve come to expect from Bronco.  Molded crisply in tan and clear styrene, the sprue trees number 7.  A fret of photoetch and a sheet of decals are included, along with color instructions, including painting and marking guides for three finish options.

P-39L/N US WWII Fighter

Published: July 20th, 2014     
P-39L/N US WWII Fighter
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Company: Eduard

Although it has been a few years since Eduard released their newly tooled P-39, this latest issue of the L and N versions holds up to the standards of any current aircraft molding.  Markings are included for three planes flown by Americans as well as for two Russian-flown aircraft.  In addition to markings for multiple aircraft, the ProfiPACK includes masks for all of the clear parts as well as color photoetched parts.  The kit builds up well, with minimal filling being required on the fuselage seam, and nowhere else, and can be built by any modeler with limited experience in order to create a reasonable looking Airacobra.  Parts are included for the L and N variants specifically for the markings included, but other variants could be built if desired. 

’69 Shelby GT500 Convertible

Published: July 19th, 2014     
’69 Shelby GT500 Convertible
Reviewed by: Walt Fink, IPMS# 2447
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.

Revell has re-issued their Shelby GT500 as a convertible with a new body shell, roll bar, a convertible top which can be modeled up or down with an included boot, and also features two options for the engine.  The mill can be built stock, or with a set of dual quads and a high-rise manifold. The hood has a scribed, outlined section to cut out in order to accommodate the custom engine option if that’s the builder’s choice.  A set of stock wheels and a set of custom ones are included as well.

The interior is a one-piece tub, with separate seats and instrument panel/dashboard.  Decals are provided for the instrument cluster, plus the wood panels on the doors and the dash. 

Construction on the chassis was pretty straightforward with only a couple of minor fit issues with the exhaust pipes.  I noted the molded-on lettering on the frame said the kit was originally issued in 1988 - I don’t know how many of the original fastback kit parts are common with this new issue.

Lockheed F-94B Starfire

Published: July 17th, 2014     
Lockheed F-94B Starfire
Reviewed by: Roger A Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Sword Models

When the fledgling United States Air Force sought a jet-powered interceptor to replace the piston-powered P-61 Black Widow and P-82 Twin Mustang, they selected the Curtiss-Wright XF-82 Blackhawk. When the prototype didn't live up to expectations, the USAF turned to the one company that had an effective jet-powered fighter in service - Lockheed. As with the piston-powered interceptors, the new turbine-powered machines would have to have a two-man crew… one to fly the aircraft, the other to operate the intercept radar.  Having developed the successful T-33A, a two-seat trainer variant of the F-80 Shooting Star, Lockheed was given the green light to create an interceptor out of the T-33A in an accelerated development program. 

Soviet S-51 Tank w/Self Propelled Gun

Published: July 17th, 2014     
Soviet S-51 Tank w/Self Propelled Gun
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

Trumpeter has released the only 1/35th scale rendition of the rare Soviet S-51 Self-Propelled Gun, mating a modified KV-1S chassis with a 203mm heavy howitzer.  The kit brings together parts from their excellent KV-1 series along with all-new molding for the gun and upper deck to create a positively Russian-looking brute.

Developed by the Grabin Central Artillery Design Bureau (GAU) in 1943, the S-51 passed trials successfully in the spring of 1944, but never entered mass production.  Among the more interesting problems uncovered was the tendency for the S-51 to move to a lateral displacement when firing due to the inertia caused by the high line-of-fire design.  At roughly 55 tons, that must have been something to see.  Also, since the elevation angle was relatively small and the recoil so strong, the nine-man crew were not able to stay on the vehicle when firing.

Battlestar Galactica (35th Anniversary Edition)

Published: July 16th, 2014     
Battlestar Galactica (35th Anniversary Edition)
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/4105
Company: Moebius Models

Background

Airing in 1978 and 1979, with a brief return in 1980, the original Battlestar Galactica (BSG) television series laid the foundation for a follow-on series of books, games, and reimagined  series of television shows chronicling humanity’s struggle to survive after the Twelve Colonies of human civilization were all but wiped out by the treacherous cybernetic Cylons in the attempt to rid the universe of human life.  Despite the limited run of the original TV series, BSG has remained a popular franchise among Sci-Fi fans for three-and-a-half decades.

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the original series (TOS), Moebius Models has released a series of kits depicting craft from the 1978 production, with the flagship being Galactica herself.

The Kit

Unlike prior and disappointing incarnations from other manufacturers of kits depicting the lone surviving battlestar of the Colonial Fleet, Moebius gets this one right on almost all counts.  Reportedly having used the restored studio model as a reference, Moebius convincingly captures the size, shape, proportions, details, and subtleties of “Big G” with great effect.

C-47 Skytrain with Paratroopers

Published: July 16th, 2014     
C-47 Skytrain with Paratroopers
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Revell, Inc.

Thanks very much to Revell for providing IPMS/USA this re-release… This is a timely addition to their catalog for D-Day interest (Was it really 70 years ago?) or just those of us wanting to build a C-47!  We appreciate your support; I also provide the usual thanks to IPMS/USA leadership for allowing me to review this item.

This is the venerable C-47 originally released by Monogram in 1978, now molded in China and carried by Revell.  The original Monogram copyright on the lower exterior wing now says “China 1978”, and a stamp with that information was also used on the inside of the kit in white ink…  Molded in Dark olive green and clear, this kit has survived the test of time, to include releases of a DC-3 version, and later an AC-47 gunship with later minigun fit.  No flash, and fit (with the exception of that noted later) is great. 

MiG-15 Profipack

Published: July 15th, 2014     
MiG-15 Profipack
Reviewed by: John King, IPMS# 46812
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

The Kit

Many 1/72nd modelers have been chomping at the bit for Eduard to release its new tooled 1/72nd MiG-15 after the initial MiG-15 tooling was severely damaged.  Now, we finally have the definitive 1/72nd MiG-15 and MiG-15bis!  This review is for the MiG-15 Profipack.  The sturdy, top-opening box includes three sprues of grey plastic, one clear sprue, a small photo-etch fret, canopy masks, and decals for five early MiG-15s.  The parts are crisply molded with recessed panel lines, and the clear parts are very clear and fairly thin, with only a little distortion on the main canopy.  

Upon initial inspection, it may seem like you can build any mainline MiG-15 variant, ie early MiG-15 and MiG-15bis.  However, there are some key differences between the MiG-15 and MiG-15bis.  Here are a list of parts that cover both variants (MiG-15/MiG-15bis): 

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