Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

T-28D Trojan

Published: December 11th, 2012     
T-28D Trojan
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Roden

Roden continues its 1/48th scale family of T-28 Trojans with a “D” model. The kit comes with three sets of markings for an Air Force Training Squadron from Eglin, a CIA plane based in the Congo (both of which are light gray in color), and a Special Operation marking in SEA camouflage based in Thailand in 1960. The kit parts are found on light gray sprues with good panel lines, and there are a clear sprue, decals, and an instruction sheet.

M61A1 Vulcan 20mm Rotary Cannon

Published: December 11th, 2012     
M61A1 Vulcan 20mm Rotary Cannon
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

The word Vulcan conjures different images for different people.  If you are into Roman mythology, you think of the God of Fire.  If you like the show Star Trek, Vulcan is that red planet Spock calls home.  But if you are in the US military or build models of those vehicles, Vulcan is the 20mm Gatling gun that is so deadly on the battlefield.

First used in 1959, the M61 has adorned most of the US aircraft from the F-104 to today’s F-22.  Its 6,000 rounds per minute can chew up enemy targets, and it has also been used by the Navy in the Phalanx CIWS system and the Army as the M163 Anti Aircraft weapon.

So if you want to model an F-16 showing off the gun, or you have one of the many gunship kits to build, Master Model now has an aftermarket set for the ultimate detail.  The kit comes with 7 turned brass barrels and a center axle for the forward part of the gun.  It also includes 13 extremely tiny photo-etched brass parts that make up the round pieces that hold the barrels together and the cooling fins for the front of the weapon (2 spares included).

North American P-51D Mustang

Published: December 11th, 2012     
North American P-51D Mustang
Reviewed by: Matthew Cottrell, IPMS# 48174
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

Aircraft History

Airfix has presented us with a newly-tooled 1/72 P-51D Mustang. Nearly everyone will be familiar with the venerable P-51 Mustang, the long-range WWII fighter that finally allowed US bombers to be escorted deep into the heart of Germany. Over 8000 of the “D” model variant were produced. Armed with 2 additional .50 caliber machine guns (for 6 total) and a bubbletop canopy for enhanced visibility, it represents the ultimate wartime expression of the Mustang.

Kit Contents

Inside the box you’ll find 53 parts across three sprues, two in Airfix’s familiar blue-gray and one in clear, along with decals and instructions. The instructions are generally very clearly illustrated. However, the painting callouts are made using Humbrol-specific numbers only, and there is no key provided for matching color names to the numbers. I found this need of looking up a cross-reference for the paint colors to be perhaps the most frustrating part of the build.

Yak-38 Forger Pitot Tube

Published: December 10th, 2012     
Yak-38 Forger Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Quickboost

As with most Soviet-designed aircraft, the Yak-38 Forger has a nose pitot tube. While not as prominent as the pitot tubes on the MiG and Sukhoi bureau aircraft, the pitot is still visibly right in front and on top of the nose. As with previous detail sets in this line, Quickboost provides multiples of the same pitot, no doubt because the pitot is one of the most vulnerable parts to damage during transport and handling. This pitot tube is noticeably longer than the one provided by Hobby Boss in their kit.  After a comparison with photos of the plane, it appears that, in fact, the Hobby Boss pitot tube is too short. The Quickboost replacements are accurate in length and shape and are drilled at the tip! The part is also keyed to fit right where the kit part mounts. I have found the resin used by Quickboost to be more durable than the styrene and therefore more resistant to breakage. Highly recommended.

Thanks go to Quickboost for the review part and to IPMS-USA for the review space.

Yak-38 Forger Antennas

Published: December 10th, 2012     
Yak-38 Forger Antennas
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Quickboost

***Note: the packaging of this set indicates that it is antennas. In fact, the details are pitot tubes and angle of attack indicators.

As with most Soviet designed aircraft, the Yak-38 Forger had numerous antennas and pitot tubes protruding from the airframe. Hobby Boss has included all them in their nice kit of the Forger. But there are limitations in the injection molding process and you can only get parts so petite. A challenge is trying to get such small parts successfully off the sprue. With this set, Quickboost provides replacement pitots and angle of attack indicators. These are tiny details and I did a close comparison with the kit parts. The QB parts more accurately capture the shape of the pitots, and they are drilled at the end! This second fact alone makes the set worth the expense, since I’ve chewed up the tiny tips of plastic pitot tubes in the past. Overall, the set is not a great leap in improved detail, but is valuable for those of us who are more ham-handed. I, for one, have lost such tiny bits to the carpet monster during construction or at a model meeting or contest; it is nice to have a recourse when that happens! Recommended.

KMGU-2 Russian Submunition Dispenser

Published: December 9th, 2012     
KMGU-2 Russian Submunition Dispenser
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in December, 1979, and the ensuing 10-year conflict tested the ways and means of the Soviet military machine. As the United States military discovered earlier in Vietnam, the tactics and weapons developed for a cold war confrontation in Europe were ill-suited for a counter-insurgency. Afghanistan became the impetus for innovation. As the Soviets shifted tactics, they relied more and more on airpower, and that spawned the need for better and different weapons. One of the most effective and widely used weapons was the KMGU submunition dispenser. The dispenser was used to scatter mines not only to interdict the Mujahedeen lines of operates and supply, but also to protect the flanks of friendly ground forces. The KMGU is a reusable dispenser that can disperse either:

  • 96 (8×12) AO-2,5RT 2,5 kilogram-mass high explosive mines
  • 96 (8×12) PTM-1 anti-tank mines, or
  • 156 PFM-1S mines

In fact the system was so widely used that 20-plus years later there are still unexploded mines in the country. The KMGU can be fitted to a wide variety of aircraft, including the Mi-24 Hind.

Sopwith Camel

Published: December 9th, 2012     
Sopwith Camel
Author: Jon Guttman and Peter Bull
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Osprey Publishing

Thank you to Bruce Herke of Osprey Publishing and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me the opportunity to review this delightful description of the Sopwith Camel.  This was a very enjoyable and informative read.  I reviewed the book through the eyes of a rank novice (something I seem to be good at) when it comes to World War I aviation.  I suspect many of us may have first heard of the Camel as the form-changing doghouse of Snoopy’s fantasies.

This book strikes a very nice balance of good reading and historical data.  Design and development, technical specifications and variants, and operation history are covered in separate chapters.  Tables of technical and performance specifications are included, along with excellent color renderings of different aircraft markings and armament.  There are intriguing descriptions of tandem and monoplane versions along with naval and night fighter operations.  The Camel’s predecessor, the Comic, is frequently referred to throughout the book.  Purchases by the U. S. Army and Navy are described, and specific references to shipboard launching experiments are made.

A-4M Skyhawk PE Slats and Flaps Sets

Published: December 5th, 2012     
A-4M Skyhawk PE Slats and Flaps Sets
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney, IPMS# 2989
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

I am reviewing these as one set, because if you want to use one, you will certainly want the other.

A photograph below shows the kit slats sporting lumps of plastic where the vortex generators should be (and the same on the wing).  The slat pieces require removing these on both the slat and wing in order to use the provided templates to replace the vortex generators one at a time, using the fold and cement method.  I must say that the end result will be outstanding, but I’ll wait for my next eye exam to tackle them.  The flap set is straightforward and used directly over the kit flaps, as shown.  When utilized properly, the combination will truly enhance the scale appearance of your Trumpeter A-4.

AMC DH.2

Published: December 4th, 2012     
AMC DH.2
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1/32
Company: Wingnut Wings, Ltd

Model features (taken directly from Wingnut Wings’ website):

Released in October 2012

  • High quality decals for 5 aircraft
  • 166 high quality injection moulded plastic parts
  • 6 photo-etched metal detail parts
  • Highly detailed 17 part 100hp Gnome Monosoupape engine
  • Optional 2 & 4 blade propellers, instrument boards, undercarriage, aileron controls and ammunition stowage
  • Fine in scale rib tape detail
  • full rigging diagrams.

You know what? – it’s all true and you get a lot more.

The Aircraft Manufacturing Company de Havilland 2 (AMC DH.2) first flew in June, 1915, was sent to the front in July for evaluation, and was promptly captured in August.  This didn't deter the development, and by February, 1916, they were there to stay.  By July, 1917, they were slowly replaced by more modern aircraft but continued to serve well into 1918.

Fw-189 Wheels and Paint Masks

Published: December 3rd, 2012     
Fw-189 Wheels and Paint Masks
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A relatively new company on the modeling scene, Great Wall has released a handful of kits to date and, with reference to this review, they have two variants of the FW-189, an A1 and an A2, along with a third ski-equipped A1 version.  Aires has stepped up to the plate and has released a resin wheel set (with paint mask) for the trio of kits.  Typically, I buy a resin wheel set for a single reason and that is to obtain a set of weighted wheels for the kit I'm building.  Many of you (and you know who you are) prefer the kit’s un-weighted round wheels, and that fine, too.  In the case of the Great Wall kits, they ship with weighted wheels.  What is a modeler to do?  In this case, Aires is your answer.  Unlike the kit parts, the resin set they provide is the round, non-weighted wheels.  Problem solved.

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