Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Finnish Tank Crew

Published: July 21st, 2017     
Finnish Tank Crew
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

Over the relatively short time that MiniArt has existed, I have been consistently impressed by the imagination and daring of their figure releases. They have released wonderful civilians, troops and tank crews, often filling gaps no other manufacturer has been able to do. I've had wonderful results from their French and Italian tankers, and look forward to getting their Hungarian tank crew soon.

MiniArt has done it again with this current release, filling a void that has been in the armor field for quite awhile. On examining the contents of the box, you get five full figures, two of whom are in relatively typical light grey overalls, two in what can only be described as "pseudo-Russian" uniforms, and a single figure who really seems to exemplify the Finnish, with a mix of a Russian-style black leather jacket, Finnish riding pants and very local-looking boots.

Harrier GR.7/9

Published: July 20th, 2017     
Harrier GR.7/9
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Company: Eduard

History

The British Aerospace Harrier II was a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) jet aircraft used previously by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and, between 2006 and 2010, the Royal Navy (RN). The aircraft was the latest development of the Harrier Jump Jet family, and was derived from the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II. Initial deliveries of the Harrier II were designated in service as Harrier GR5; subsequently upgraded airframes were redesignated accordingly as GR7 and GR9.

Under the Joint Force Harrier organization, both the RAF and RN operated the Harrier II, including routine operational deployments on board the navy's Invincible class aircraft carriers. The Harrier II participated in numerous conflicts, making significant contributions in combat theatres such as Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The type's main function was as a platform for air interdiction and close air support missions; the Harrier II was also used for presence projection and reconnaissance duties. The Harrier II served alongside the Sea Harrier in Joint Force Harrier.

Heinkel He-162D

Published: July 16th, 2017     
Heinkel He-162D
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
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.

The He-162A also suffered from weakness in the horizontal and vertical stabilizers on the tail. The He-162D's V tail was supposed to solve this problem.

There were also stability problems with the He-162A, which the forward-swept wings might have taken care of.

All of these improvements were a moot point, as the He-162D never got into production.

T-54-2 Model 1949 Soviet Medium Tank

Published: July 16th, 2017     
T-54-2 Model 1949 Soviet Medium Tank
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

Background

As production ramped up, it was discovered that the T-54-1 Model 1947 had a number of technical issues. This lead to relatively few vehicles being produced, and production ceasing quickly, to be replaced as the problems were sorted out with a modified variant, the Model 1949. This second variant had a different turret configuration than its predecessor, the fender mounted machine guns of the Model 1947 were deleted, and the fender mounted cylindrical fuel tanks (as seen on late model T-34/76 and T-34/85 tanks) were replaced by a rectangular design.

This is the second T-54 kit from MiniArt that I have had the great pleasure of reviewing for IPMS/USA. The first, MiniArt Kit #37003, was of the T-54-1 Model 1947, the first production variant of this important Soviet Cold War warrior. For this review, see here: T-54-1 Review

Husky MKIII VMMD

Published: July 15th, 2017     
Husky MKIII VMMD
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: Panda Hobby

First released by Panda-Hobby in 2015, this is a good kit of an interesting and very unusual vehicle. The parts have some fit issues, but are generally okay. There are not a huge number of parts (220) and there is not a lot of detail to the vehicle, which simplifies assembly.

Background

The Husky VMMD was first developed for the South African Defence Force in the 1970s to clear military convoy routes of mines. Formerly called the Chubby System, the Husky uses ground penetrating radar to locate mines and IEDs. Driven by a single occupant, the vehicle can withstand explosions and is easily repairable due to its modular construction. The Husky VMMD has been used extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq.