Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

AH-6M/MH-6M Little Bird Night Stalkers

Published: May 20th, 2019     
AH-6M/MH-6M Little Bird Night Stalkers
Reviewed by: David Horn, IPMS# 44962
Scale: 1/35
Company: Kitty Hawk

Aircraft and History

The AH/MH-6M is the latest variant of the Army's light observation helicopter with the original design dating back to 1963 as the Hughes OH-6A Cayuse (nicknamed "Loach"). The term "Little Bird" was given to the enhanced version of the OH-6 with the AH-6 versions armed and MH-6 versions for carrying three commandos per side developed in 1980 and used by the newly formed 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. This highly versatile airframe was used effectively in many conflicts with the most notable being "Operation Gothic Serpent" (better known as "Black Hawk Down" and "Battle of Mogadishu").

Vickers Vildebeest Mk. III

Published: May 18th, 2019     
Vickers Vildebeest Mk. III
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Special Hobby

HISTORY

The Vickers Vildebeeste design originated as a result of Air Ministry Specification 24/25 for a land based torpedo bomber to replace the Hawker Horsley, with the first prototype flying in April, 1928. The plane was of all metal construction with mainly fabric cover. Power was provided by a Bristol Jupiter VIII radial engine. Development continued, with the first production models flying in 1932. The design was upgraded over the years, with 9 Mk. I's (Bristol Pegasus), 30 Mk. II's (Bristol Pegasus IIM3), 150 Mk. III's (A Mk. II with provision for a third crew member) and 18 Mk. IV's, (825 hp. Bristol Perseus radial enclosed in a NACA cowling). In 1931, Vickers developed a modified Vildebeeste as a general purpose type to replace the Westland Wapiti, and this aircraft, which was essentially similar to the Vildebeeste Mk. II, emerged as the Vincent, with additional fuel replacing the torpedo equipment.

DH 100 Vampire FB Mk.52 Over Northern Sky

Published: May 18th, 2019     
DH 100 Vampire FB Mk.52 Over Northern Sky
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/72
Company: Special Hobby

The De Havilland (English Electric) Vampire was conceived in 1941 and first took to the sky in 1943. According to Wikipedia it was used by over 30 nations and was last flown operationally by Rhodesia in 1979. Given the longevity of the Vampire, and its interesting twin boom look I took on the challenge of this build and review.

U-2A Dragon Lady

Published: May 17th, 2019     
U-2A Dragon Lady
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: AFV Club

The U-2 is one of those historic planes that many people have heard of whether they are fans of planes or not. From the shooting down of Francis Gary Powers to its long service of gathering intelligence, it has always interested me. AVF Club has issued their first kit of this iconic plane as the U-2A Dragon Lady.

Inside the box, there are eight grey sprues with petit panel lines and no flash, easily the equivalent of top-flight manufacturers. One crystal clear sprue is provided along with a large decal sheet and a nice picture of the box art. There are three options in the box for markings:

  • Air Force Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, 1960
  • National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 1958
  • 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Laughlin AFB, 1959
  • 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Laughlin AFB

The first three planes are natural metal with black glare panels. The AFTC plane also has orange markings and I chose this one for its interesting markings. The last plane is overall Light Blue, FS36473. Color call outs are listed for 6 different paints which is nice.

RQ-7B Shadow UAV

Published: May 15th, 2019     
RQ-7B Shadow UAV
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1:72
Company: Brengun

Wikipedia strikes again!: The AAI RQ-7 Shadow is an American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the United States Army, Australian Army, and Swedish Army for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and battle damage assessment.

Launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, it is recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Its gimbal-mounted, digitally stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera relays video in real time via a C-band line-of-sight-data link to the ground control station (GCS).

The RQ-7 Shadow is the result of a continued US Army search for an effective battlefield UAV after the cancellation of the Alliant RQ-6 Outsider aircraft. AAI Corporation followed up their RQ-2 Pioneer with the Shadow 200, a similar, more refined UAV. In late 1999, the army selected the Shadow 200 to fill the tactical UAS requirement, re-designating it the RQ-7.