Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Portuguese Fighter Colors 1919-1956 Piston-engine Fighters

Published: May 16th, 2016     
Portuguese Fighter Colors 1919-1956 Piston-engine Fighters
Author: Luiz Armando Tavares, Armando Jorge Soares
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: MMP Books

The Portuguese Air Force might have been modest in size before the jet-age, but certainly was rich in the variety of fighter airplanes they flew. Their fighter aircraft inventory included French, British and American designs, some of them acquired and pressed into service through very colorful circumstances!

The book has chapters for each aircraft type in detail, including an introduction to the aircraft type and their service in the Portuguese Air Force, before having a section on camouflage and markings for the given aircraft being depicted in the chapter. After the section on camouflage styles and markings, the main feature of each chapter follows: numerous and gorgeous color profiles (sometime even 3-view) of different aircrafts, next to a historical picture of the airplane.

MK 20 Rockeye

Published: May 16th, 2016     
MK 20 Rockeye
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Video Aviation

The Mk. 20 Rockeye is an unguided cluster bomb weapon and has been used since 1968. With this kind of longevity and the fact it is used by Navy, Air Force and Marines, it is not unusual to find this under the wing of many types of planes including A-10’s, F-15E’s and many others.

Videoaviation continues it wonderful 1/32 scale armament releases with a set of 6 Mk. 20 Rockeyes. The Rockeyes are cast as two pieces – one for the tail fins and back, and the second the remainder of the weapon. Construction is simple. Sand the front and back free of their casting blocks and glue together. Putty the seam and prime and you are ready to paint. You have several options. First, you can place the RBF covers on the nose which entails a single cut and then adding the cover after painting. You also have a set of finely cast shackles that can be added. Most of the shackles had the fine tops broken off in transit, but that should not affect adding them to any kit. Lastly, you have decals for both USAF and UN versions.

Lancaster B Mk.1 'No.617 Squadron Special Mission'

Published: May 16th, 2016     
Lancaster B Mk.1 'No.617 Squadron Special Mission'
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

History

Enough has been written on the Lancaster that I’ll just cover 617 Squadron with a link from the Royal Air Force web site. It is quite an interesting history and for me very informative as other than the “Dambuster” raid I knew very little about this squadron. http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/bombercommandno617squadron.cfm

The Kit

Upon opening the box you are presented with a lot of plastic! 16 grey injected plastic sprue of various sizes and 5 sprue of clear, an 8 page fold out instruction sheet and a large, well printed decal sheet make up this kit. The plastic is cleanly molded with recessed and raised detail and not much flash to deal with. The clear parts are very clear with crisp detail and the decals look great and in register.

Mirage IIIC Landing Gear (Ita)

Published: May 16th, 2016     
Mirage IIIC Landing Gear (Ita)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Once again, extreme appreciation and thanks to Ross at SAC for sending us another of your expansive line of metal landing gear, and thanks also to IPMS USA leadership for sending it to me.

This is the standard SAC upgrade to the kit plastic. The set consists of 11 parts: Two main struts, two main strut actuators, and the remainder builds up into the detailed nose gear assembly of strut, nose gear fork, and steering actuators with shimmy dampers.

The SAC solution for stronger gear; superglue the upper strut and lower fork together, let it cure. The shimmy damper arm and the damper itself are cemented to the strut, and the extension/drag brace is glued into place. Then carefully glue the whole thing into the nose gear well.

MiG-31 Foxhound Landing Gear (AMK)

Published: May 16th, 2016     
MiG-31 Foxhound Landing Gear (AMK)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Once again, extreme appreciation and thanks to Ross at SAC for sending us another of your expansive line of metal landing gear, and thanks also to IPMS USA leadership for sending it to me.

And a special note on SAC customer service: Ross’ manufacturing team noted they had some “short shots” on their nose gear, whereby the axle itself was missing on one side. Ross offers a replacement to anyone who purchased the set with this minor defect, free of charge. GREAT service! This review set was one of those, and I noted it only when I opened the package.

This is the standard SAC upgrade to the kit plastic. As provided, AMK’s kit is, well, an example of how kits should be. Accurate and tight on construction, it almost clicks together (and in some places it does). The Complex landing gear assembly has struts in several parts, including main struts which are broken into two halves. Same for the nose gear strut. Seam filling is not impossible but a bit of a pain for struts. With the different diameter strut parts, it’s usually annoying.