Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony)

Published: March 28th, 2017     
Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony)
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1:48
Company: Tamiya

History Brief

Allied code named "TONY", the Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien was officially adopted by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1943. It was different than its Japanese aircraft contemporaries, mainly because of its liquid-cooled Ha-40 engine in a slender fuselage with a long thin wing. Needless to say, it was and still remains an extremely attractive aircraft. Our subject featured an elongated nose to accommodate two 20mm cannons, plus it had 12.7mm wing mounted machine guns. With a production run of 1,360 units, it was the most produced Hien variant.

The Product

My sample arrived in the standard Tamiya box featuring attractive cover art. Inside I found an all new tool kit featuring a superb, highly accurate rendering. All parts are well packaged and free of flash and ejector marks.

The highlights according to Tamiya include;

Macchi 202 Folgore

Published: March 26th, 2017     
Macchi 202 Folgore
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Eduard has released a boxing of the very good 1/48 Hasegawa Mc. 202, which is enhanced by the addition of two photo-etch frets (one pre-painted), resin parts and a paint mask. Not only that, but you get Cartograph-printed decals with markings for 6 colorful Folgores. It is an amazing offering.

Like most airplane model construction starts with the cockpit and with two photoetch-frets it means you are going to have quite the detailed “front office”. Some plastic parts need to be modified, removed or replaced, including parts of the cockpit floor, cockpit sides and instrument panel.

Note that on the left cockpit side there is a wheel –mounted on top of PE box. If mounted as indicated in the instructions -or at least on where I think the instructions indicate it- there is interference of the wheel and the seat. I really don’t know what the problem was if it was the instructions or me.

Soviet Fighter Pilot with Seat for I-153

Published: March 26th, 2017     
Soviet Fighter Pilot with Seat for I-153
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1:48
Company: Aerobonus

Aerobonus and Aires continue their excellent pilot releases with this 1/48th scale Soviet fighter pilot for the ICM I-153. The set comes in four parts: the head, body molded to the seat, and two arms. Casting is flawless with crisp detail and no air bubbles or imperfections.

Assembly is straightforward for the arms and head, cutting them easily from the pour block. The seat and body are not difficult but here’s a trick. Remove the head and arms and cut the pour block back to give access to the legs. Slowly trim them loose with a sharp knife and multiple score cuts or gently with a saw. Once done, cut the seat free and you and lightly sand the few seam lines and glue on the arms. I kept the head separate for painting. I used a slight dab of filler on the arms and a light sanding and primed the entire set with Alclad gray primer. I let this dry overnight.

F-105 Pitot

Published: March 26th, 2017     
F-105 Pitot
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1:144
Company: Master Model

Here’s another of those handy little add-ons to save a model from the “shelf of not quite right models”. In this case it’s a replacement for that pitot tube which got broken off (or was never there) on a current project or a long-finished model.

I recently reviewed Master’s pitot for a 1/144 F-104 which didn’t have a pitot tube. This one is for a 1/144 F-105 where I had manufactured a pitot, but it wasn’t quite right. The pitot I manufactured was from a straight pin, and it was too short and too thick. The Master Model part took care of this.

I used a pair of small pliers to pull the old pitot out of the nose of the F-105. This left a hole ready to accept the new part, except the new part was much smaller than the old one. I filled the hole with gel-type CA, let it set for a couple of minutes, then put the new pitot in place. This was fine, except the nose cone didn’t match up with the new part. I used white glue as a sort of filler to get the parts to match up.

When I was satisfied with the assembly, I painted the new pitot and filler flat black.

Aircraft Paints

Published: March 25th, 2017     
Aircraft Paints
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Company: MCW Finishes

This review covers the following MCW Military Paints:

  • MIL-1102 Lichtblau RLM76
  • MIL-1105 Grauviolett RLM75
  • MIL-1010 Graugrun RLM74
  • MIL-5003 40% Flat Clear – Flat

The paints are available at $7.50 per bottle.

What modeler can’t use some more paint? It’s just like kits. You can’t have too many. I have always been ready to try a new brand of paint just to see if it is easier to spray than whatever happens to be my chosen paint at the time. Since I have yet to find a flat coat that I like, I was especially anxious to review the flat coat and I had a couple of Luftwaffe subjects close at hand, so the RLM 74/75/76 combination was a real no-brainer. Here’s the catch, though. These are high-gloss lacquer paints! If you are an environmentalist or have emphysema like me, this may not be your favored choice. They are PPG Lacquer made. Maybe a little background is needed first before we fire up the masking tape and the compressor.