Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F4D-1 Skyray Part 1

Published: November 24th, 2012     
F4D-1 Skyray Part 1
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney, IPMS# 2989 and others.
Scale: 1/32
Company: Fisher Model and Pattern

Being a fan of large scale planes (1/32 and above), I was excited when Paul Fisher from Fisher Model and Pattern announced an impending 1/32 F4D-1 Skyray. No one else would have the tenacity and devotion to make one, and as a fan of US Navy planes, this was a dream come true for me. The plane itself has not been made in 1/32 before and is a welcome addition. This is going to be a multi-part build. In this part, we'll take a look at what you get in the box and then dive right into a full build in subsequent parts.

For those not having built a Fisher kit, they are cast in resin with photoetch detail added, and this kit is no different. The parts are cast in a light gray resin that holds detail well. There are approximately 157 parts to the kit. The windscreen and the canopy are molded in clear resin, as are the seeker heads for the missiles.

F-18E/F Hornet Landing Gear

Published: November 24th, 2012     
F-18E/F Hornet Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

New to the Scale Aircraft Conversions line is a set of gear for a Revell F-18E/F. The set comes in five pieces with the three main gear and two small retraction links all cast in sturdy white metal. I included pictures of the gear with its plastic counterparts and the detail is good. One issue I have had building F-18 kits in 1/48 or larger scale is there sometimes is a tendency to sag based on the way the main landing gear are configured. The attachment points on this gear have a key the attaches it to the fuselage via three points of contact and, being white metal, this should prevent any long term issues. I included some shots of them on the Revell kit for reference and fit is very good.

One thing to note – these are for the Revell kit.  They could be made to fit the Hasegawa offering but don't bother, just purchase set 48005, the correct gear set for Hasegawa kits.

Another nice replacement set for Hornet fans. My thanks to Ross McMillan of Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this product.
 

The Curtiss SB2C in French Service

Published: November 23rd, 2012     
The Curtiss SB2C in French Service
Author: Phil H. Listemann
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Philedition

This book looks at the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver in French Service. In need of aircraft after WWII, the French Navy received the first 56 of what was to be a force of 110 Helldivers in 1949. Already considered obsolete by the US and not so affectionately nicknamed “Son of Bitch 2nd Class” by US personnel who operated it, the French Navy set about putting it to use in Indo-China.

This book is a brief overview of Helldiver operations by the three Flotille so equipped. Each is presented in a short “newspaper article” style, followed by some very brief coverage of Helldiver use by second-line units. The text section concludes with a listing of aircraft and personnel lost on operations.

There are some nice operational photos within, and two very nice color shots. The profiles are well done, covering twelve examples. All are dark sea blue with white markings and would be quite boring if not for the French roundels and tri-color tail stripes.

RQ-7B Shadow Drone

Published: November 22nd, 2012     
RQ-7B Shadow Drone
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

The RQ-7 Shadow is a UAV used by the US Army and Marine Corps for surveying the battlefield for damage assessment and just about anything else. It is made to be compact and portable. It is launched by a pneumatic track and recovered with arresting gear similar to what’s used onboard aircraft carriers. Academy has offered a great diorama of this UAV. I could call it a kit but it comes with a base, two choices of pneumatic launchers, and two complete figures, so the term diorama is accurate. Also included are two sheets of decals – one with markings for the UAV and the second with digital camouflage for the figures.

Assembly is a snap in that the entire UAV is 27 pieces. I needed a little filler around the sides of the fuselage, but that’s it. Be careful of the two tail booms! They are petite and accurate but very thin and can be bent or broken. Attaching the v-shaped tail gives some strength. I did leave the wheels off for ease of painting. The engine was built separately and contains almost a third of the total kit parts, and is a good representation of the 38HP Wankel engine that powers the full-size UAV.

AIM-7M Sparrow Missiles

Published: November 22nd, 2012     
AIM-7M Sparrow Missiles
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw, IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

For most modelers, we all will spend lots of time and energy detailing the aircraft to the max, yet when we get to the ordnance, we are left wanting by the kit-supplied items. Eduard comes to the rescue within their Brassin line and provides a great set of Sparrows for your latest detailed build.  Designed and molded with the latest technology, they will satisfy the need for detail.

A Little History

The AIM-7 Sparrow family was birthed out of a late 1940’s project to develop an aerial beam-riding rocket out of the HVAR used during WWII.  Douglas quickly discovered the size of the HVAR was inadequate for the needed electronics, so the body was enlarged.  The result was the AAM-2 Sparrow I, which made its first “interception” in 1952, and was carried onboard Skyknights and later F3H-2M Demons and F7U Cutlasses.  It use was limited, but it did pave the way for further development.

T-28 Trojan Engine

Published: November 21st, 2012     
T-28 Trojan Engine
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Scale: 1/48
Company: Quickboost

The Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine was developed in 1927 from an earlier engine dating back to 1925.  The R-1820 entered production in 1931 and became one of the most widely used aircraft engines ever.  Aircraft builders liked it because of its excellent fuel economy, durability, low cost maintenance, and low weight/horsepower ratio.  Since its introduction the R-1820 has powered thousands of military and civilian aircraft both past and present.  One of these aircraft is the North American T-28 Trojan.

Quickboost has released a new R-1820 recommended for use in the 1/48 Roden North American T-28D Trojan (Kit #450).  This engine is molded in a medium gray resin.  It is smooth, seamless and bubble free.  Clean up is minimal.  The cooling fins on each cylinder are very well defined and much more complete than those found on the kit engine.  This is evident in the comparison picture below.

F/A-18C Special Edition – Chippy Ho! 2009

Published: November 21st, 2012     
F/A-18C Special Edition – Chippy Ho! 2009
Reviewed by: Clare Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Academy

History

The F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engined aircraft designed for both fighter and attack missions.  The initial versions, the A and B (two seat) entered operation in 1981.  The F/A-18C was a visually similar but had a number of improvements related to avionics and weapon carrying capability.  It started production in 1987 and has proven successful in the various roles.  The Hornet participated in Operation Desert Storm and proved very successful in combat situations.  The Hornet is also operated by the Air Forces of Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland. 

The subject of my model is the CAG airplane of VFA-195, Dambusters.  They are based at the Naval Air Facility Atsugi and the scheme shown existed in April, 2009.  I tried to find out the origin of the name “Chippy Ho”.  The best answer that I got was VFA-195’s call sign is ‘Chippy’ and sometime in its early dogfight history someone spotted their VFA-195 adversary and instead of calling Tally Ho, they called Chippy Ho and the rest became a very unwritten history.

S-2E Tracker Exterior Details

Published: November 20th, 2012     
S-2E Tracker Exterior Details
Reviewed by: Fred Wilms, IPMS# 42113
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Items in the Box: The items are made from photo-etched sheets, two in quantity, made from metal.  The assembly instructions are a fold out sheet, printed both sides.

Construction: The build is very basic, as I followed the instruction sheet.  Many tiny parts are noted on the photos enclosed.

Finish:  None.  Same as exterior of aircraft.

Conclusion:  The items went on the model well.  Care must be taken as the parts are tiny.  I would like to thank IPMS and Eduard for allowing me to review this product.

F6F-3 Hellcat Propeller with Tool

Published: November 20th, 2012     
F6F-3 Hellcat Propeller with Tool
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Attached to the front of the powerful Pratt & Whitney 2000 horsepower R-2800 that moved the Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat was a thirteen foot, one inch Hamilton Standard propeller.  This new release from Quickboost provides a replacement for the kit-provided propeller, and is a nice upgrade for the Cyber Hobby kit.  The detail set comes with a single runner with the four parts attached, as well as the tool used to set the proper pitch on the propeller blades.  If you have some experience in working with resin, this will be an easy upgrade to put to use, and if you have little or no experience with resin, this could be a good item to start with.

F6F-3 Hellcat

Published: November 20th, 2012     
F6F-3 Hellcat
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Cyber-Hobby

Cyber-Hobby has recently entered the model aircraft community, and their latest offering is that of a 1/72 scale F6F-3 Hellcat.  The kit builds up reasonably well, with good fit for most of the parts, and options such as extended or retracted landing gear, open or closed canopy, and extended or retracted wings.  Cyber-Hobby also does a nice job of including the markings for six different squadrons, and in the case of VF-27, there are markings for three different planes with the legendary “cat mouth” motif.  The kit itself contains 124 light gray parts spread across seven sprues, as well as 5 clear parts on a single sprue and 4 photoetch pieces on a single fret.  The directions are on eight pages (a single sheet of paper with three folds), and are printed in black and blue.  The kit will make a great addition to the collection of any modeler who is interested in the venerable Hellcat in this scale.

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