Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Mitsubishi J2M5 Raiden (Jack) Type 33

Published: June 21st, 2015     
Mitsubishi J2M5 Raiden (Jack) Type 33
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/32
Company: Hasegawa

The J2M Raiden (Allied code name Jack) was designed by Jiro Horikoshi (of A6M Zero fame) and built by Mitsubishi for the Imperial Japanese Navy as a land-based point interceptor. It was designed to counter high altitude bombers. It relied more upon speed, climb-rate, and armament over maneuverability to perform this task. Initial production aircraft suffered from numerous problems with its Mitsubishi Kasei 13 engine, which in turn delayed production until solutions were found. The Kasei 13 was eventually replaced with the Kasei 23a engine on J2M2 and J2M3 production aircraft. The J2M5 Type 33 aircraft, represented by the model under review here, featured an enlarged cockpit and canopy and a Kasei 26 supercharged engine, giving this variant more speed at high altitudes with a consequent lowering of effective range. The J2M Raiden was the preferred bomber destroyer of IJN pilots late in the war, but due to its technical development problems the aircraft series did not see large scale production, a total of only approximately 500 being produced from 1942 to the end of the war.

ANG F-101B Decals Part 2 - Texas, Minnesota and North Dakota ANG

Published: June 21st, 2015     
ANG F-101B Decals Part 2 - Texas, Minnesota and North Dakota ANG
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Caracal Models

Caracal Models has built a reputation in the last several years for releasing outstanding decals for new and older kits which have superb artwork and printing. The set here is their second release and a re-release of their popular Air National Guard set, Part 2 for the Monogram 1/48 F-101B Voodoo.

The set contains a single sheet of full instructions with the cover showing the five options. The inside page includes four profiles-one of each aircraft.  The back page covers the fifth profile as well as top and bottom markings along with color call outs which for these aircraft are primarily ADC Gray (FS16473). There are two decal sheets; the first of which contains superb and colorful markings along with wing walks, slime lights and ejection seat warnings. The second smaller sheet contains stars and bars along with the USAF name. There are enough markings for one plane included. The sheets are perfectly printed by Cartograph and my experience using Caracal on three other projects shows them to be the best around as far as application.

The marking contained in the sheet are:

Warpaint Series 100 - Republic F-84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F Thunderflash

Published: June 19th, 2015     
Warpaint Series 100 - Republic F-84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F Thunderflash
Author: Charles Stafrace
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Company: Guideline Publications

This softcover publication is 80 pages of useful information about the swept-wing F-84F and RF-84F jets from Republic Aircraft.  It’s also Warpaint’s 100th book, so they’ve put a flashy block at the top of the front cover with a large 100 to let you know.

The F-84F and its stable mate the reconnaissance RF-84F were supposed to be Republic’s answer to the fact that the earlier F-84s could not compete evenly with the MiG-15s they met in the skies over Korea.  Engine development and reliability issues meant the aircraft wasn’t fielded until after the end of the conflict.  Even then, the aircraft was somewhat underpowered and required a very long takeoff roll, ensuring the nickname of ‘Hog.’  This also contributed to the aircraft being utilized more as a fighter/bomber than a pure fighter.

Panavia Tornado GR.1/IDS/ECR Landing Gear

Published: June 19th, 2015     
Panavia Tornado GR.1/IDS/ECR Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Mike Howard, IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

SAC produces replacement metal landing gear for many aircraft kits in many different scales. The replacement gear can be a big help in larger, heavier kits that may require lots of weight in the nose area to allow them to sit correctly or for gear that is inherently fragile in its design.

This set is for the newer mold Revell of Germany Panavia Tornado kits (GR.1/IDC/ECR), a great kit by itself, with excellent detail and engineering.  The SAC gear, for this application, gives the builder a comparable level of excellent detail (see the side-by-side photo of the assembled and painted parts and try to decide which is kit and which is SAC) and one less step in the assembly process of the main gear legs. The one detractor I found in using the SAC main gear legs is that the attachment block/peg was not properly molded on either gear leg, so proper alignment and location would be left to the Mk. 1 eyeball of the builder.

F-4B Ejection Seats (Late)

Published: June 19th, 2015     
F-4B Ejection Seats (Late)
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
<