Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Heinkel He-162A "War Prizes"

Published: December 17th, 2017     
Heinkel He-162A "War Prizes"
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun

The Aircraft

The Heinkel 162 series was a last-ditch effort by the RLM to stop the destruction of Germany's industries, transportation system and energy distribution by Allied bombing. The project began in September of 1944, with the prototypes first flown in December.

The He-162A versions were mostly wood construction, with the single turbojet engine. It ended up being the fastest jet fighter flown during WW2. The wood construction turned out to be highly problematical, as the glue used was not compatible with the wood, and the second prototype flight ended with one aileron coming apart, and the aircraft crashed, killing the pilot.

Hasegawa Kawanisi N1K1-Jb Shiden (George) TYPE 11 Otsu 'Rollout'

Published: December 15th, 2017     
Hasegawa Kawanisi N1K1-Jb Shiden (George) TYPE 11 Otsu 'Rollout'
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa USA

The Imperial Japanese Navy ordered the N1K1-Jb in 1942 as an interceptor.

Hasegawa has come out with a fine representation of this Imperial Japanese Navy Kawanishi N1K1-Jb, with the Allied code name of "George". The kit decals represent three factory-fresh "George" aircraft.

Building the kit is straightforward, with little flash on the sprues and pieces. Assembly begins with the cockpit. The instrument panel uses a decal for the instrument panel over a raised detail panel. A word of caution here: ensure that the cockpit is securely attached to the side of the fuselage, as mine broke loose during final assembly. I was lucky enough to be able to re-glue the cockpit on my model.

Painting is relatively simple on this model. There are two main colors: silver and Imperial Japanese Green. I substituted aluminum for the silver color, as I felt that the Japanese aircraft would only have had the green painted on. There is also a yellow section on each wing (which I forgot to paint, and only discovered my error after I had applied decals).

T-34/76 Factory 183

Published: December 15th, 2017     
T-34/76 Factory 183
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

Background

I won't go heavily into the background of the Russian T-34 tank, suffice to say that it is a VERY strong contender for "the tank that won the war". Certainly, this was so on the Eastern Front of World War Two. It was well suited for the climatic conditions found on this battlefront, with its harsh winters and "muddy season". Its diesel engine was easier to start in cold conditions than the gasoline engines preferred by the Germans, and its wide tracks allowed it to better handle the muddy and marshy conditions found in much of Russia. It had well-sloped armor that at least in the early days of Operation Barbarossa proved a very tough nut for German anti-tank gunners to crack. And it's 76 and later 85mm main gun was quite capable of defeating the armor of most German tanks.

M1A2 Abrams U.S. Main Battle Tank

Published: December 15th, 2017     
M1A2 Abrams U.S. Main Battle Tank
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya

Background

The M1 Abrams, named for former General Creighton Abrams (commanded US troops in Vietnam following General Westmoreland, and later became US Army Chief of Staff), is the current front line Main Battle Tank of the US Army and US Marine Corps. It also serves in the Armed Forces of nations such as Australia, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. It first entered service with US forces in 1980 and has over the years since been upgraded with various enhancements, especially as battle conditions in which it finds itself have changed from a tank vs tank to "urban combat" situations.

Kurganets-25 IFV (Object 695)

Published: December 11th, 2017     
Kurganets-25 IFV (Object 695)
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:35
Company: Panda Hobby

Russia seems to be having a surge of military development these days, suggesting some expansionist policies which go far beyond the scope of a model review. What this offers for the modeler, however, is a wide range of interesting equipment never seen before. The Kurganets-25 IFV is a good example of this. Heralding back to the BMP-2 and -3 of the previous generation, this new machine seems to be the epitome of both defensive and offensive capabilities, literally festooned with sensors and targeting electronics. The spaced armor enhances survivability on the battlefield, while its armament makes it a worthy opponent for most challenges it might encounter.