Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

A-37 Dragonfly Gun Barrels

Published: August 15th, 2012     
A-37 Dragonfly Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Quickboost

With the release of the Encore (upgraded Monogram) A-37 there is renewed interest in this little dragonfly.  The kit is really nice, despite its age.

Perfectly molded in light grey resin these two gun barrels have the shrouded miniguns inside of thinned fairings.  The addition of these little jewels will add to the look and aid you from having to clean up a seam on the shroud.  This will ensure the shroud is round.  You’ll also have hollowed out gun tubes inside of the shroud.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review copy.  You can obtain yours by contacting www.modelchoice.net or your local hobby shop or online retailer.

RCAF Beaufighter Decals – Canadians in Costal Command #1

Published: August 15th, 2012     
RCAF Beaufighter Decals – Canadians in Costal Command #1
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Scale: 1/32
Company: SkyGrid

This Beaufighter decal set is one of the latest from Canadian-based Aviaeology – SkyGrid Studio’s line of model-related products.

Upon first opening up the standard ziplock plastic bag that holds the decals and instructions, I was immediately impressed with the quality of the decals.  There are 4 sheets included in this set, covering 4 aircraft (3 of which have multiple variations).  In addition to the individual aircraft markings, a full set of national markings and stencil data is provided for one aircraft.  These decals look first-rate, with little to no carrier film except where absolutely necessary.  The decals themselves have a glossy finish and appear quite thin, but with good color density.

The Me 262 Stormbird From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It

Published: August 15th, 2012     
The Me 262 Stormbird From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It
Author: Colin D. Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis (forewords by Jorg Czypionka and Barrett Tillman)
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Company: Zenith Press

Although I must admit that my all-time favorite aircraft will always be the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, right next to it in second place is the legendary Messerschmitt 262 Stormbird (also known as the Schwalbe {Swallow}).  In my stash of unbuilt kits are several boxes containing various versions of the plane, and yes, there may a double or two present.  I have seen and photographed the Me 262 that is kept at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum on more than one occasion, and have several books in my personal library on this legendary fighter.  Anyway, I normally start my reviews talking about the history of the item I am assessing, but thought that I would instead talk about my interest in the topic before delving into the contents of this book.

De Havilland Sea Venom FAW.21

Published: August 15th, 2012     
De Havilland Sea Venom FAW.21
Reviewed by: Jack Wade, IPMS# 45604
Scale: 1/72
Company: Cyber-Hobby

This new injection molded plastic kit is a great example of modern engineering that exhibits fine surface detail and great fit of parts.  It is a builder’s kit, to be sure, and it was indeed a pleasure to build.  The design of the parts is excellent and thoughtful allowing easy construction and clean up for a smooth finish.  For example, the sprue attachment points are on the inner mating surface of many of the major components which makes cleaning up these areas as easy as it can be.  Design features allow the wings to be posed folded, flaps posed up or down, the tail hook posed up or down and there are separate parts for posing the landing gear in the retracted or extended position (although this  is not addressed in any way in the instructions).  Slide molded parts provide for hollow details and single unit pieces that don’t require assembly and clean up of two halves.  Overall, the kit is cleverly designed and simple to build. 

Mirage 2000 “My First Kit”

Published: August 15th, 2012     
Mirage 2000 “My First Kit”
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Italeri

This kit is one of a series which Italeri recently released.  The idea is a great one, getting young people and adults interested in modeling by supplying everything you need in one box, including a DVD with video instructions.

The kits in the series are:

  • Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon in 1/72 scale.
  • BO-105 Police Helicopter in 1/32.
  • HMMWV Fire Department Cargo Truck in 1/32
  • Mirage 2000C in 1/72.

The kit is the same mold as used by Revell for their Tiger Meet Mirage 2000.  That being said, it’s a good choice for this type of model, as it is not a snap-kit, but it isn’t incredibly difficult either.

I started by putting the DVD in my DVD Player.  It wouldn’t read the DVD.  The problem is that there are 6 zones for DVD media; Europe is Region 2, and the US/Canada are Region 1.

MHU-191/M Munition Transporter

Published: August 15th, 2012     
MHU-191/M Munition Transporter
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1/32
Company: Aires Hobby Models

The MHU-191 is a welcomed addition to the 1/32nd scale community of accessories.  It is a very BASIC and easy to build resin kit.  The kit was contained in a sealed cellophane bag and consisted of 4 resin parts carriers and a decal sheet.  All parts were well protected and not damaged.

The total time it took me to unwrap, clean up, assemble, and paint the model was about 10 minutes.  The parts separated from their carrier with very little effort.  There was minimal flash and it only took a few passes with the back side of my razor knife to clean.  I prewashed all parts and used ACC glue to assemble.  The front wheels and draw bar are adjustable for different angles.

F4F Wildcat Aircraft Pictorial 4

Published: August 15th, 2012     
F4F Wildcat Aircraft Pictorial 4
Author: Dana Bell
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Classic Warships Publishing

Authored by the well-known and respected Dana Bell, and published by the equally well known “Classic Warships Publishing”, this publication is a “must have” for Wildcat fans, modelers, and historians. It is a recent release, having been published in March of 2012.

In 72 pages, this publication traces the general history of the Wildcat, through its development and use throughout World War II. The reader interested in the historical aspects of the Wildcat will find charts showing the serial numbers for airframes sorted by contract order, paint and camo schemes (shown in color drawings and including both US and British markings, and squadron markings for the aircraft stationed on ships of the Escort Carrier Force. These Squadron markings are, again, shown in color drawings. Additionally, a very thorough and detailed listing covers the Wildcat Units flying off carriers. The information includes the naval designation of the ship, the theatre of operation, the Squadrons involved and the month and year in which the squadron served on board that specific vessel.

RCAF Mosquitoes Decals; Canadians in Fighter Command

Published: August 15th, 2012     
RCAF Mosquitoes Decals; Canadians in Fighter Command
Reviewed by: Dan Mackay, IPMS# 47000
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aviaeology

Aviaeology provides well researched decals on four RCAF 418 squadron Mosquitoes that covers the changing markings during the service careers of these aircraft. Each subject is complete with narratives on time period and painting suggestions. The instructions and diagrams are provided on four photo copied sheets, but an email request to Aviaeology will get you a promptly sent color PDF of the instructions which will prove helpful. The PDF can be printed or sent to your tablet for reference in your model workshop, you can magnify the profiles as recommended by Aviaeology to identify the subtle shades and the finishes of these Mosquitoes. You also get a tutorial of the bombs and the racks used with complete painting guides for them. Listed below is a breakdown of the subjects.

Ju-87B-2 Stuka Decals

Published: August 15th, 2012     
Ju-87B-2 Stuka Decals
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

Eagle Editions’ newest release in their EagleCals line covers 2 Junkers Ju-87B-2 Stukas.  1 decal sheet measuring approximately 5 ¼” x 7 ¾” is included, along with a 5 ½” x 8 ½” folded instruction sheet that opens out to 4 times its size.

One of the two subjects is the famous “snake” Stuka flown in North Africa by 5./St.G. 2 in 1941, while the other is of an interesting winter-camouflaged Stuka from an unknown unit in Russia that carries a face within its white camouflage.

Side profiles of both aircraft are included in the instructions – these are produced in full color, and the artwork is done by noted artist Thomas A. Tullis.  In fact, according to Eagle Editions’ web site, Tom creates the profiles as well as the decal artwork for all this company’s decal sheets.

Japanese Aircraft in Foreign Service, Volume 1

Published: August 15th, 2012     
Japanese Aircraft in Foreign Service, Volume 1
Author: Jacek Jackiewicz & Seweryn Fleischer
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Kecay

This is the first of a three-volume set being published by Kecam.  This first volume covers Japanese aircraft operated by Japan’s allies during World War 2, as well as those captured by opposing forces (other than the US, UK, and Commonwealth countries), and those pressed into service by various countries in the immediate post-war period.

The book is in a softcover format, with thick stock covers and pages finished in a high-quality satin finish.  Black and white photos, as well as extremely well-done color profiles, appear on almost every one of the 128 pages.  There are even a few rare color photos in some sections.

The authors dive right in to the topic, with the inside front cover having a table of all Japanese aircraft operated by the subject countries.  Aircraft purchased, seized, or otherwise obtained by various Chinese forces, Thailand, Kwangsi, Manchuria, Korea (North and South), Nanking, Indonesia, the Soviet Union, and France are all listed.

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