Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-4C/D Air National Guard Part 3

Published: June 17th, 2014     
F-4C/D Air National Guard Part 3
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

Caracal Models is an Austin, Texas based firm that offers high-quality decals and detail parts for scale modelers. Their subjects include a variety of military aircraft from post-World War II to the present. I have purchased several of their decals sets on my own, and their offerings are typically well-researched and interesting subjects not usually addressed by other manufacturers.  The usual 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales are well represented.  Shipping/mailing to US customers is free.  If there is a subject that is not currently covered you would like to see done, visit their website at www.caracalmodels.com, and drop them a line via email or snail mail, and while you’re there, sign up for their email list to be notified of new issues.  Ordering can be done on site via Paypal, or through various on line hobby suppliers and select local hobby shops.  Those of us in Texas cough up an additional 8.25% for maintaining the Republic.

This particular sheet is a continuation of Caracal’s Air National Guard F-4 Phantom II series.  The options on this decal sheet are:

Messerschmitt Me109 Part 4

Published: June 16th, 2014     
Messerschmitt Me109 Part 4
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

I like the way Lifelike does their decals.  They pick a type of aircraft and give you markings for several variants of that aircraft, rather than four or six of one type.  This sheet contains markings for four Me109s.  They are an Me109G-6/AS from 10 (N) Moskito/JG300, a high-altitude version with a yellow comet on the nose, a Bf109E-3 flown by Oblt. Hasselmann, the Geschwader Adjutant of JG26, an Me109G-2/Trop belonging to Heinz Bär when he was Kommodor of I/JG77, and an Me109G-5/AS of Maj. Günther Specht, Kommodor of II/JG11.

The instruction sheet is in full color, with side views of the aircraft showing the camouflage and decal placement.  The decals are thin, in register, with what seems to be accurate colors. 

So, as you can see, one sheet gives four fairly widely varied versions of the 109 with four different kinds of markings.  No waste here.  Recommended.

My thanks go to Lifelike Decals for providing the sheet and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

Messerschmitt Me109 Part 3

Published: June 16th, 2014     
Messerschmitt Me109 Part 3
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

I like the way Lifelike does their decals.  They pick a type of aircraft and give you markings for several variants of that aircraft, rather than four or six of one type.  Personally, I don’t think I’ll be doing four Bf109E-1s, but I might do an E-1, an F-2, a G-6, and a G-6/R2.  That’s what’s on this sheet.  You get markings for four different variants of the Bf109 (or Me109, depending on when).  The Bf109E-1 is from 2/JG77 with a yellow lightning bolt on the side of the fuselage.  The Me109F-2 is Oblt. Hans Philipp from 4/JG54 with a prominent green and grey camo sprayed on the fuselage sides.  The Me109G6 is flown by Uffz. A. Kellmayer of 7/JG52, an aircraft that previously belonged to Eric Hartmann.  The last aircraft is an Me109G-6/R2 with an oversprayed grey and dark green camouflage from I/JG300.  This one is a reconnaissance version.

The instruction sheet is in full color, with side views of the aircraft showing the camouflage and decal placement.  The decals are thin, in register, with what seems to be accurate colors. 

Ki 27 Type 97 Fighter Nate '1st Flight Regiment'

Published: June 15th, 2014     
Ki 27 Type 97 Fighter Nate '1st Flight Regiment'
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

History Brief

During the early summer of 1935 the Imperial Japanese Army issued requests to Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Nakajima to competitively build advanced fighter aircraft prototypes to replace the Kawasaki Ki-10 fighter biplane. Before the end of 1935 Nakajima responded with the Ki-27,  a single-seat monoplane fighter derived from the company's ‘Type P.E.’ aircraft.

Of the three contenders Nakajima’s nimble Ki-27 was by far more maneuverable than the other two but was not as fast and had a slower climb rate than the Kawasaki. Finally, after further testing in late 1937 the Nakajima was ordered into production as the Army’s Type 97 Fighter Model A or Ki-27A. Later production aircraft introduced further refinements, including an improved cockpit canopy, these carried the designation Ki-27B.

F3H Demon - Digital Volume 1

Published: June 10th, 2014     
F3H Demon - Digital Volume 1
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Detail & Scale Inc.

Thank you to Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak for bringing back a tremendous resource for the modeler, and introducing a new digital format.  Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to test out this new and exciting way of researching the F3H Demon. 

Overview

This review of an exciting new format of a familiar product will take two parts, 1) content coverage and 2) how effective and useful the digital e-book format is from a modeler’s perspective.  I certainly would expect the first question a reader would ask is, "Why do I want an e-book format?"  I like reading through traditional books as much as anyone else, with the page-by-page discovery of storyline or new information.  I also have tons of books in my library, mostly residing on stoic-looking bookshelves.  This new publication format provides many advantages for the modeler, with few disadvantages, as described below.

P-47 Thunderbolt in Action

Published: June 9th, 2014     
P-47 Thunderbolt in Action
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

P-47 Thunderbolt in Action is the third ‘In Action’ book about the P-47 published by Squadron MMD.  The first one (number 18) was printed in the early 1970s and the second one (#1208) was printed in 2007.  The latest, authored by David Doyle, adds considerably to the material provided in the first two.  It presents, in word and pictures, the full story of the legendary Thunderbolt from inception to production and wartime service.  I happen to know David personally and have come to expect anything he authors to be thoroughly researched and well written…and the latest P-47 Thunderbolt in Action is no exception.

Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalbe (2nd Edition)

Published: June 9th, 2014     
Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalbe (2nd Edition)
Author: Robert Peczkowski
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Review

The Me-262 requires little if any introduction, however reference material for it is always sought after. This book is intended to cover all the marks and variants of the single seat “A” series, including some obscure prototypes.

The book is very logically broken down in a section that describes the technical characteristics of the airplane, the production blocks, and several tables with details covering prototypes from Werk Numbers, to Me-262 aces.

The next section has period B&W pictures and 1/72nd scale drawings of all the different variants of the A series, including details on their armament, if applicable.

After that there are no less than 58 color profiles, including a few top/bottom views of the Me-262 in the fighter and bomber configuration, plus color profiles of captured examples and post-war examples in Czech service.

USAF T-38A Talon - Part 2

Published: June 7th, 2014     
USAF T-38A Talon - Part 2
Reviewed by: James Binder, IPMS# 49206
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

First off, I would like to thank both Caracal Models and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review these decals.

Caracal Models has released their second set of decals for the Wolfpack 1/48 T-38A Talon. As you will see in my review for the Trumpeter T-38A, they can also be used on Trumpeter’s version with no modification. This sheet of decals includes nine separate options for the T-38A Talon.

IL-10 Oil Radiator

Published: June 7th, 2014     
IL-10 Oil Radiator
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/48
Company: Quickboost

The Special Hobby IL-10 is one of those relatively obscure kits that one would never think you’d find many after marked parts for. While the kit has its own particular set of build issues, it does come with a fairly complete package of resin detail parts. The level of detail on those parts varies widely, and the oil radiator is a prime candidate for substitution with something better.

As with everything that I’ve received from Quickboost, their replacement IL-10 oil radiator is highly detailed and crisply molded with no flash or surface imperfections anywhere to be found. The screen mesh that makes up most of the surface of the radiator is nicely represented; it’s a far cry better than the smooth surface of the kit’s resin radiator part. The radiator can be prominently seen on the aircraft‘s belly, so this new part enhances the realism factor considerably.

There are several other parts of the IL-10 kit that could benefit from the Quickboost treatment. Hopefully they’ll see this as an opportunity to continue to upgrade a deserving subject.

T-38A Landing Gear

Published: June 7th, 2014     
T-38A Landing Gear
Reviewed by: James Binder, IPMS# 49206
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions