Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Camouflage & Markings: The Battle for Britain-RAF May to Dec, 1940

Published: June 30th, 2015     
Camouflage & Markings: The Battle for Britain-RAF May to Dec, 1940
Author: Paul Lucas
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Guideline Publications

I am a “History of the Battle of Britain” enthusiast, and as an offshoot of that enthusiasm I am a follower of all things “RAF”. When given the opportunity to review Guidelines Publications new “Camo & Markings” book I jumped at the chance.

As an enthusiast of the “historical aspect”, I found this publication to be superb. As a scale modeler I found this book to be an excellent reference for colors and markings of the RAF. You will not be disappointed!

To begin, you will note that the title of this book is, “The Battle For Britain” and not the more common, “The Battle of Britain”. The author provides a narrative in which he summarizes the main political, economic, and social history of the time, explaining a revisionist view that the aerial combat we call the “Battle of Britain” was more a battle of existence for Britain as an independent and sovereign nation, and perhaps, therefore, more correctly labeled as a battle of ownership for Britain. As a scale modeler, I most certainly overlook this aspect of the information I collect about the Battle of (For) Britain, but I found this discussion engaging and illuminating.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 37, Issue 4

Published: June 30th, 2015     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 37, Issue 4
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33643
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

As Gary Hatcher states in the editorial, the dust is settling from the transition in editors and they are striking a balance between modelling, reference and history with modelling having the lead. This edition is chocked full of detailed articles on all types of planes.

The lead article is a test shot build of IBG's RWD 8 PWS by Karl Robinson. The final results are great and as this is their first aircraft, Polish manufacturer IBG comes out strong with this  kit and bodes well for the future. Karl shows off his rigging skill as well.

Richard Mason previews Revell of Germany's 1/72 C-54 Skymaster with shots of the sprue and a history of the plane itself. The kit has a full interior and it builds similar to the RoG C-17. The kit looks great and I can't wait to see it show on American shelves.

Kinetic's new Mirage IIIE in 1/48th scale is built by Rick Greenwood. Mr. Greenwood details building the cockpit, the wings and also the options with the kit including the dropped flaps and the all of the weapon options. The finished kit looks great and the decal options are fantastic.

WWII USMC Seated Fighter Pilot Gregory "Pappy" Boyington

Published: June 29th, 2015     
WWII USMC Seated Fighter Pilot Gregory "Pappy" Boyington
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Ultracast

Ultracast has issued a figure than can be used in Tamiya's 1/32 F4U-1a Corsair and they picked one of my favorite subject, Pappy Boyington. The kit comes in seven well cast tan resin pieces- two arms, two legs, torso, head and chin strap. The castings are excellent with minimal to no mold lines. And the sculpt is by Mike Good and is superb. 

I started the build by freeing the pasts from the casting blocks with a razor saw. A few scrapes with the back of a knife and the seams were gone. I added the arms and the legs and had small gaps. I used Squadron white putty to fill in the seams and smoothed with a lacquer thinner. Once dry, I primer with Alclad gray primer. 

I started with the flesh which is only the face. I have started using Scale 75 paints and really like them. I built up layers over a base coat and probably over did the creases some. The eyes are meant to be slits like he is looking into the sun and I could got them a little narrow. 

AGM-88B HARM

Published: June 29th, 2015     
AGM-88B HARM
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

The AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) was developed to replace the AGM-45 Shrike and the AGM-78 Standard ARM.  Unlike the Shrike and the Standard ARM, the HARM was designed from the outset as a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) weapon, not an adaption of an existing weapon.  The HARM system includes the missile, the LAU-118 launcher and HARM specific avionics in the launch aircraft.  HARM has the ability to detect, acquire and select a radiating threat and once launched operates in a “fire and forget” autonomous capacity, freeing the launch aircraft to maneuver or to attack another target. The HARM proved its lethality during operations over Iraq during both Desert Storm and Desert Fox.  It was used by the F-4G, A-6, A-7, Tornado and the EA-6B and is currently carried on the F-16CJ, F-18A/C/D/E, EF-18G and other aircraft. 

F4F Wildcat Landing Gear

Published: June 29th, 2015     
F4F Wildcat Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Tamiya’s Wildcat has been around for a while and it is an excellent kit. Scale Aircraft Conversion has produced a set of metal landing gear to use on the kit. The set includes all the gear parts including the portions up inside the nose. A new tail wheel is also included. The metal parts are well made and are drop in replacements for the kits parts, but are made of metal. The metal is stiff but retains its malleability. Some cleanup will be needed to free it from the molding sprues and I recommend a razor saw for this work.

Several modelers have asked me “why metal gear”? I agree, that this kit is not particularly heavy and my answer is twofold. First, have you ever lost a part? I have and while you can get the parts for most kits, getting these sturdier parts is much easier and it may be cheaper that the alternative of buying an entire sprue to get a part or two.