Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Strumpanzer Ausf.l Als Befehlspanzer with Zimmerit

Published: December 11th, 2015     
Strumpanzer Ausf.l Als Befehlspanzer with Zimmerit
Reviewed by: James Binder, IPMS# 49206
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

The Strumpanzer Ausf.L als Befehlspanzer was a command and control infantry support motorized gun based off the Panzer IV chassis. It was used at the Battles of Kursk, Anzio, Normandy, and was deployed in the Warsaw Uprising. It was known by the nickname Brummbär by allied intelligence but a name which was not used by the Germans. Just over 300 vehicles were built and they were assigned to four independent battalions. Dragon has released a model of this tank in 1/35th scale with its new Zimmerit molds, DS Tracks and PE side skirts. I had not built a tank in many years and when I saw this new kit come up for review I thought it would be a nice way to renter the world of armor modeling. Dragon gives you 20 sprues of grey plastic with certain parts having the Zimmerit molded in, 2 clear sprues, 3 sheets of photo etch parts and two vinyl single piece “DS” tank tracks.

U.S. Military Policeman w/Motorcycle

Published: December 5th, 2015     
U.S. Military Policeman w/Motorcycle
Reviewed by: Timothy Rentz, IPMS# 42010
Scale: 1/35
Company: Miniart

The Kit

The plastic motorcycle parts are on a single sprue, the figure on a separate sprue, plus a sprue of clear parts, a set of photo etched parts, and a decal sheet with markings for the motorcycle and uniform patches for the figure. The instruction sheet is very nice: Large, clear, and in color.

The parts are all very cleanly molded, no issues with flash, sink holes or ejector pin marks, and the detail is crisp. The kit also includes plastic jigs for bending the photoetched parts.

The Build

Following the instructions, the build begins with bending the photo-etched parts. The spokes for the wheels are no problem, but the fender supports for the front wheel assembly were a bit challenging. In order to get the proper curve where the supports attach to the front fender, I used a small paintbrush handle, pressing into the cutting matt to get the proper curvature. I couldn’t get a sufficiently curved bend using the jig alone.

The engine and frame go together smoothly, although some care may be needed to ensure that everything lines up squarely.

Bedford MWD Light Truck

Published: December 4th, 2015     
Bedford MWD Light Truck
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

Airfix continues to knock out quality 1/48th kits as they continue surging ahead making a wide variety of kits. Their newest offering is a 1/48th version of the Bedford MWD truck. A 4x2 vehicle that entered service right before the war started, the Bedford saw service in France in 1940 and would continue to service with the RAF and the British Army after they re-entered the continent in June, 1944. The kit provides parts, decals, and paint schemes for two vehicles – the early version that served in France in 1940 and the later version that served with the RAF in 1943.

VZ-9 Avrocar

Published: December 4th, 2015     
VZ-9 Avrocar
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1:144
Company: Brengun

The VZ-9 Avrocar is marketed as a “what if” kit, but to my surprise there actually WERE two of these things built and “flown”.

The idea originated in the early 1950s as a U.S. Air Force project, built by AVRO Canada, for a high-speed, high performance fighter with high speed and maneuverability. The performance didn’t pan out, and the U.S. Army took over the project with the idea of having something like a high speed, highly maneuverable helicopter. The two prototypes were built in 1958 and 59. The project was abandoned in 1961.

One of the prototypes is on display at the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

For a more in-depth history, the Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_VZ-9_Avrocar has a more complete look, as well as a very interesting photo of the prototype. The thing has a red line down the centerline, with US AIR FORCE on the left side, and US ARMY on the right side. If I had looked closely at this picture before I did the build, this is the one I would have chosen.

Aichi B7A2 Attack Bomber Ryusei Kai (Grace)

Published: December 4th, 2015     
Aichi B7A2 Attack Bomber Ryusei Kai (Grace)
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1:48
Company: Hasegawa

History Brief

Given the codename "Grace" by the Allies, the Aichi B7A Ryusei was a large and powerful single engine, two-seat carrier-borne torpedo-dive bomber. It was produced by Aichi Kokuki KK for the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service during the Second World War. The B7A first flew as a prototype in May 1942, but problems with the experimental NK9C Homare engine and airframe issues delayed the type and it didn’t enter into production until two years later in May 1944. Despite the plane's weight and size, it displayed fighter-like handling and performance, it even outperformed the A6M Zero which was in service at the time. Not only was it was a fast, agile and highly maneuverable machine, it could also carry a single 800 kg bomb, two 250 kg bombs or six 60 kg bombs at once.

Rest on Motorcycle

Published: December 3rd, 2015     
Rest on Motorcycle
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

As the late Yogi Bera said, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.” In case you read my previous review on the MiniArt Harley Davidson WLA (kit 35080), some of this may look familiar as the kit includes the same motorcycle, but with a relaxed soldier onboard. The motorcycle and rider are both rendered well in this kit, which will add a unique model for those interested in a World War II motorcycle with a distinctive figure. Although I would recommend the motorcycle to more experienced builders, the kit is very nice overall once constructed, and will look great in any collection.

Kagero Destroyer

Published: December 3rd, 2015     
Kagero Destroyer
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/350
Company: Tamiya

Thanks ahead of time to Tamiya USA for providing IPMS USA this review kit, and thanks also to the reviewer corps leadership for sending it to me to build and review!

This kit was originally released by Tamiya back in 2006 as the “Yukikaze”, which was the only survivor of the Japanese Kagero-class “A” of Destroyers in World war II. This new release of the kit is the lead ship Kagero itself. Kagero definied in English translates to “Mirage” or “Heat haze”. The net has a lot on it; I just found it interesting to read the history.

Tamiya has, to my mind, an excellent sales process. The kit box captures your attention; a professionally-painted rendering of the actual ship in action, side-view diagrams of the craft, pictures of the assembled model with or without full hull, photographs of the metal parts, and a feeling that “you really want to buy this model” ensues. It works…

Mittlerer Einheits PersonenKraftwagen (m.E.Pkw) K fz 12 (Early Version)

Published: December 3rd, 2015     
Mittlerer Einheits PersonenKraftwagen (m.E.Pkw) K fz 12 (Early Version)
Reviewed by: Len Pilhofer, IPMS# 49932
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

The Einheits-PKW (German for 'standard passenger cars') were supplied to the Wehrmacht between 1936 and 1943 in the three versions Leichter Einheits-PKW, Mittlerer Einheits-PKW and Schwerer Einheits-PKW (light, medium and heavy passenger car). These vehicles were supposed to replace the civilian vehicles previously procured by the Reichswehr with cross-country mobile vehicles that conformed with military requirements while simplifying logistics and maintenance by using standardized components. The program achieved neither of these goals. (Source: https://www.wikipedia.org) However, if your goal is to build a very highly detailed model in 1/35 of this vehicle (the Kfz 12 version included a tow bar), then this Bronco kit definitely delivers.

Dan Fink Metalworks Speedwagon

Published: December 3rd, 2015     
Dan Fink Metalworks Speedwagon
Reviewed by: Jim Stepanek, IPMS# 48016
Scale: 1:25
Company: Revell, Inc.

The Dan Fink Metalworks Speedwagon is a wonderful car and Revell has made a terrific kit.

Engine

The small block Ford engine goes together very well but has no alternate parts. I guess because the kit represents an actual car. Parts fit and looks good when completed.

Interior

Interior has separate side panels that can be easily detailed due to the excellent engraving.

Body

The body panels fit like they’re supposed to fit without issues. The fenders, tub and hood are separate pieces. Fenders, hood and grille are probably from the Revell ’32 Ford 5 window coupe kit. I chose to use HOK majik blue pearl while the wood panels were hand painted in a 4 step process.

Chassis

I think the chassis/frame parts were used from another kit – possibly the ’32 Ford 5 window coupe. Nothing wrong with that because it builds just wonderfully.

This really cool kit to work on and Revell needs to be commended for their craftsmanship. Thank you also to IPMS for allowing me to review this kit.

Pilot BAC Lightning

Published: December 1st, 2015     
Pilot BAC Lightning
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/48
Company: Plusmodel

One of my favorite aircraft is the BAC (English Electric) Lightning and having a few in my stash I jumped at the opportunity to have this pilot figure.

This resin figure is very well detailed and molded with very little flash as is the norm with PlusModels products.

I do not normally get figures as I am not very good at painting faces so avoid it at all cost normally. But this figure was so good so I decided to do a full paint job as best as I could. When finished, I was pleasantly surprised how it turned although the quality of the figure was the reason it looks good not my painting skills when it comes to figures.

This is an excellent figure and I will get more by PlusModel.

Thanks go to Plus Models for providing this kit to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.