Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

A-10 Thunderbolt II – 21st Century Warthog

Published: January 16th, 2013     
A-10 Thunderbolt II – 21st Century Warthog
Author: Neil Dunridge
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Company: Reid Air Publications

The anticipation of Neil Dunridge's new book A-10 Thunderbolt II 21st Century Warthog was very high among modelers and enthusiasts alike.  They certainly were not disappointed.  From the eye-opening front cover to the awesome back cover, the author documents the A-10's present life at home and in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The author presents his material in chapters – each chapter a unit flying the A-10.  The chapters include seven active U. S. Air Force units, three Air Force Reserve units, six Air National Guard units, and a chapter on the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center.

MiG-21 PF, PFM Pitot Tube

Published: January 16th, 2013     
MiG-21 PF, PFM Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Clare Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

One of my favorite aircraft to model is the MiG-21.  The airplane was the most important fighter of the old Soviet Union for many years and was exported virtually around the world.  The number of interesting color schemes abounds.

We have all seen a great number of reviews of impressive parts from Master Model and have purchased a few, so I jumped at the chance to review their new MiG-21 Pitot Tubes.  The subject of this review is a solid, milled replacement for the plastic pitot tubes from Fishbed D and F models.  These MiG-21 PF and PFM models were a part of the second generation Fishbeds and were widely exported.

The attached photo shows a comparison of the Master Models part against an old Airfix MiG-21 model.  A day and night difference.  The instruction sheet does a great job of showing how to modify the kit to accept the Master Model part, how to align the new part, and how to paint it.

These parts are highly recommended and will greatly improve the appearance of any of the noted MiG-21 models.  A big thanks to Master Model for supplying the sample and to IPMS for allowing me to do this review.

British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II: Prototypes, Research Aircraft, and Failed Production Designs

Published: January 16th, 2013     
British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II: Prototypes, Research Aircraft, and Failed Production Designs
Author: Tony Buttler
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Hokoki Publications

History

We are all familiar with the success stories of British World War II aircraft. but the author of this work examines the careers of some of the types that either didn’t make it to the production line or were never intended for service use.  The author has made a life study of British aviation history, having worked in the industry for many years, and he has published numerous articles and books on the subject.

Many of the aircraft covered in this publication were produced by companies that produced relatively few successful military designs, such as Blackburn, Folland, Miles, Martin-Baker, and Saunders-Roe, while other types were developments of in-service models, such as the Hawker Typhoon/Tempest series, the DeHavilland Mosquito, and the Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire.  There are thirty five chapters in all, each covering a specific type.  Some relatively unknown types appear, such as the Hillson “Bi-Mono” and “Slip Wing” projects, and another particularly fascinating type, to this reviewer at least, the Folland Fo. 108 and Fo. 116 engine test beds, planes that were designed exclusively to test engines of various types.

MiG-21 Czech Stencil Decals

Published: January 16th, 2013     
MiG-21 Czech Stencil Decals
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Eduard has given us several MiG-21 offerings, which allows us to build just about any MiG-21 in any country’s service.  Right after their release of their MiG-21 in Czechoslovak service, they released this decal sheet that is just stencils in Czech.  And there are a bunch of them.  I started to count them, but gave up.  There are 132 different stencils, and there are anywhere from two to eight of each of them.  Markings are included for all of the pylons and external tanks, as well.  Even though the markings are tiny, when you put them under magnification, they are readable.  And, they are super-thin.  You can barely see the carrier film.

A 5.7” x 8.2” placement chart is provided and it will cause you to go cross-eyed trying to follow the tiny lines and numbers.  These are very high quality decals, and are highly recommended.

My thanks to Eduard for the review sample and IMPS/USA for the review opportunity.
 

Hs-129B-2 Winter Camouflage Limited Edition

Published: January 16th, 2013     
Hs-129B-2 Winter Camouflage Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

The Henschel Hs-129 was a purpose-built ground attack plane which was designed for destroying tanks and attacking enemy emplacements. It wielded several versions of a 30mm cannon and had an armored cockpit and engines to allow for close air support of troops.

Hasegawa has reissued its excellent Henschel Hs-129B-2 kit with the needed decals to make two winter camouflage schemes. The kit comes with nine gray sprues and a clear sprue and a new set of decals. There is also a small poly cap sprue which is used to hold the propellers onto the engine faces. The panel lines are great and the kit is flash free.

Classic Warbirds No. 13 – D-Day to Berlin

Published: January 15th, 2013     
Classic Warbirds No. 13 – D-Day to Berlin
Author: Malcolm Laird
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Company: MMP Books

This book is number 13 in the Classic Warbirds softcover series.  As the title From D-Day to Berlin indicates, it covers the European Theater from mid 1944 to the post-war occupation.  It is basically a reprint of book No. 5 – From D-Day to Victory! Fighters in Europe 1944-'45 with some added material.

The book is formatted into nine chapters covering various aspects of the air war as described by the individuals involved at the time.  While most of the material involves New Zealand and Australian personnel, their stories are just as exciting as any others.  Many of these stories are told in the first person, which makes for exciting reading.

F-35B Lightning II

Published: January 15th, 2013     
F-35B Lightning II
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk Models continues their great releases with an F-35B Lightning II. The F-35 is a development from the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) program and is a short/vertical takeoff and landing plane with bomb, cannon, and missile capability. This version, the “B”, is designed for use by the US Marine Corps and various overseas navies. It does not include a tail hook or foldable wings like later versions.

The kit itself is in dark gray plastic with no flash and excellent panel lines. There are six sprues plus separate parts for the upper and lower fuselage and a forward cockpit piece. There is also an excellent clear sprue which is very thing and crisp. Last are two decal sheets and the instructions.

Fokker D.VII (Fokker-built) Decals, Part 1

Published: January 15th, 2013     
Fokker D.VII (Fokker-built) Decals, Part 1
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/32
Company: Wingnut Wings, Ltd

With the recent release of Wingnut Wings’ multiple 1/32 Fokker D.VII kits, it’s not surprising that they also quickly offered a number of decal sets with markings for aircraft other than those provided in their kits.  Fokker D.VIIs were built by three manufacturers: Fokker, Albatros, and OAW, and this set (#30006) provides markings for five Fokker D.VII fighters that were built by the Fokker works.

Kugisho E14Y Glen – The Aircraft that Bombed America

Published: January 14th, 2013     
Kugisho E14Y Glen – The Aircraft that Bombed America
Author: Ryusuke Ishiguro & Tadeusz Januszewski
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: MMP Books

Available in the USA from Casemate Publishing at http://www.casematepublishing.com

This book looks at the only enemy aircraft actually to drop bombs on the continental United States, the Kugisho E14Y “Glen”. We are given the history of its development and its technical details, as well as the details of the two bombing missions over the Oregon coast and other operations across the Pacific. It should be noted that the Japanese were the only nation to use submarine-based aircraft in any quantity.

This book begins with a discussion of the first Japanese experiments with submarine-based aircraft, as well as the aircraft preceding the E14Y in service. A nice overview of the E14Y follows, with discussions of its operations for the IJN. One thing of interest is the joint operations of both Japanese and German submarines from the base at Penang (part of modern Malaysia). It even appears that there was a possible exchange between the Axis powers with an E14Y being traded for an Arado Ar-196.

EA-18G Growler VAQ-132 Scorpions

Published: January 14th, 2013     
EA-18G Growler VAQ-132 Scorpions
Reviewed by: Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

History –The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialized version of the earlier two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet.  The EA-18G replaces the EA-6B Prowlers in service with the United States Navy.  Production for the EA-18G began in 2007 and the aircraft entered operational service in late 2009.

The first Growler for fleet use was accepted by VAQ-129 "Vikings" at NAS Whidbey Island, in June 2008.  At the time, the Navy planned to buy approximately 85 aircraft to equip 11 squadrons.  The EA-18G completed operational evaluation in late July 2009.  In August 2009, EA-18G Growlers from Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) and Electronic Attack Squadron 132 (VAQ-132) completed their first at-sea carrier-arrested landing aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).  The first deployable EA-18G squadron was VAQ-132 "Scorpions," which reached operational status in October 2009.

The EA-18G was first used in combat during Operation Odyssey Dawn, enforcing the UN no-fly zone over Libya.  The five EA-18Gs of VAQ-132 were redeployed from Iraq to Italy to support Libya operations.

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