Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

UC-78/T-50 Landing Gear

Published: October 21st, 2012     
UC-78/T-50 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Thanks to SAC for providing IPMS USA the opportunity to review one of their prolific product line…and IPMS USA for letting me take a gander!

First and up front, this is not a build review.  That is because there are no more Special Hobby UC-78/T-50’s out there to purchase!  (And, no, I am not paying e-bay collector prices for a kit that I would not normally build.)  I thought this gear went to a build on another aircraft called a T-50, which is a Korean trainer jet.  I’m working that review right now…and an excellent kit it is.

Mosquito Mk IV Royal Canadian Air Force

Published: October 19th, 2012     
Mosquito Mk IV Royal Canadian Air Force
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Revell, Inc.

Thanks once again to our friends from Revell in Elk Grove, IL, who continue their program of re-releasing some of the best 1/48 models out there!  Your efforts are truly appreciated by us old guys…good to see this one back.

Yes, this is the venerable Monogram kit, re-released under the Revell banner.  Consisting of 125 parts, this was as good as it got back in 1966 when it was first released.  In the box, the changes are new decals and a generic instruction sheet.  What has not changed is the model itself; it still holds its own with the newer releases from other companies, with the exception of interior details!  Box art is a bit of cut/paste; looks a lot like a Korean village below that is exploding in volcanic fashion.

J35S Draken Finnish Special

Published: October 18th, 2012     
J35S Draken Finnish Special
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

The Hasegawa quarter-inch scale Draken kit has been around for several years now, released in the markings of all of the European countries that flew it, including a number of special anniversary schemes for Swedish, Danish, and Austrian aircraft to commemorate the aircraft’s decades of service. This kit provides decals for the Finnish anniversary scheme to highlight the aircraft’s 28 years with Finland’s Ilmavoimat.

The kit itself is a relatively simple and easy build, with a fairly low parts count compared to many Hasegawa kits. One of the nicer aspects of this “special” kit is that, with the exception of decals and weapons, all the parts are included to build a Finnish Draken at any time of its service with the Finnish Air Force. That includes extra antenna, optional gun ports for dual cannon-armed aircraft, parts for late model aircraft with rear fuselage flare dispensers, and an optional chin mounted IR seeker.

Wessex UH.5

Published: October 18th, 2012     
Wessex UH.5
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Italeri

The Wessex family of helicopters has always been popular among modelers. There has been only one kit in 1/48 before and it has been out of production for a few decades, so this newly molded kit is certainly creating some positive ripples in the modeler community!

Italeri brings a brand-new mold of the Wessex UH.5. Surface detail is good, with most of the detail being recessed, but in some areas –where it should be – it is actually raised detail. The kit includes 4 sprues, nylon mesh for the intakes, and a small photoetch fret for cockpit detail plus some external detail, too. Clear parts are very transparent, but a bit thick. Decals are glossy and allow you to finish your model in 4 different finishes, either in Royal Air Force or Royal Navy service.

Construction begins with a fully rendered interior. The Wessex had a large cargo/passenger area and the detail is adequate for the scale. Of course, those AMS folks could have a field day there, but for most of the modelers careful painting and a wash would suffice. The clear parts for the windows have a bit of a loose fit. They seem to be a tad too small for the fuselage openings.

P-40 E/K Warhawk “Flying Tigers”

Published: October 18th, 2012     
P-40 E/K Warhawk “Flying Tigers”
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/32
Company: Hasegawa

Overview

Since as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the stories of the WWII fighter aces. One of the earliest images I can recall is the famous picture of Robert L. Scott sitting in his P-40 cockpit giving the A-OK sign in front of his kill marks painted under the windscreen. That picture personified the daring fighter pilots of WWII for me. The Flying Tigers were a daring group of American pilots who gave up commissions in the US military to fight as mercenaries for the Chinese government. The Chinese people gave them the name Flying Tigers since the tiger is a symbol of strength in Chinese culture. Led by crusty General Clare Chennault, the American Volunteer Group (AVG) amassed 286 victories between December 18, 1941 and July 4, 1942. On July 4, 1942 the AVG officially became the 23rd fighter group and part of the USAAF. Second to command the 23rd was the legendary Col Robert L. Scott, Jr. Col. Scott would become famous for his memoir God Is My Co-Pilot, a must-read for any WWII fighter ace fan. During his service in China, Col. Scott amassed 10 official victories, although he claims more in his book. He passed away on February 27, 2006, at age 97. The legacy of the AVG and the 23rd is really captured in the famous Shark Mouths worn by the P-40s of the group. In fact, the P-40 looks as if it was designed for just such a marking. No doubt, modelers everywhere have done one or more of these aircraft over the years.

P-36 Interior Upgrade Set

Published: October 17th, 2012     
P-36 Interior Upgrade Set
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Starfighter Decals

I bought this upgrade set at the Orlando Nationals to upgrade the Monogram P-36 which I was going to do with the Yellow Wings decals, which I have also reviewed.

The Monogram P-36 has been around for a long time, first released in 1967.  While it’s not a new kit, it has decent shape and fit.  But the interior is just a seat and an instrument panel.  Starfighter Decals, part of Mark’s Models and Toys, comes to the rescue with resin parts.

You get wheel wells, a seat, cockpit sides, a floor, an instrument panel, and a stick.

Mark Tutton made the masters for the resin parts, and he’s done a good job. Everything in the cockpit went together well, and I’m happy with how it looks.

The instructions call for an aluminum interior, or possibly interior green.  Since the 77th Pursuit was at Moffett Field when they had this aircraft, and they were there in late 1939 to mid 1940, I chose the green.

Multi Aircraft Series Special Decals #1

Published: October 17th, 2012     
Multi Aircraft Series Special Decals #1
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

Yellow Wings Decals specializes in the “between the wars” period, 1930-1942, when there was a lot of aircraft development and the American military aircraft were incredibly gaudy.  I’ve heard that the yellow wings on these aircraft were to make them easier to find when they made emergency landings or crashed somewhere off the field.

The Aircraft

This is the first of a series of special decals which will include more than one aircraft type.  This set is for:

  • TBD-1 Devastator. VT-8, USS Enterprise 1940
  • P-36A Hawk, 77th Pursuit, Moffet Field, California, 1939-40
  • SBD-1 Dauntless, US Marines, VMB-2, San Diego 1940
  • F3F-1 Flying Barrel, VF-7, USS Wasp 1940

I picked up this review decal sheet at the IPMS Nationals in Orlando.  When I got the sheet home, I discovered that I only had a Dauntless.  I got the P-36 and Devastator from local friends, and bought the F3F from the LHS, who had to order it for me.  Thanks Suzanne.

F/A-18E Super Hornet VFA-147 Argonauts Limited Edition

Published: October 17th, 2012     
F/A-18E Super Hornet VFA-147 Argonauts Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Matthew Cottrell, IPMS# 48174
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

Aircraft History

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a similar, yet fundamentally different, follow on to the F/A-18A-D “legacy” Hornets.  Entering production in the late 90s, the Super Hornet, or “Rhino” as it is known in the fleet, improves upon many of the “legacy” Hornets’ shortcomings, most notably fuel capacity.  The Rhino also increases power and payload over the Hornet, as well as offering updated avionics.  Visually, it’s distinguished from the “legacy” Hornet by large squared-off stealthy jet intakes replacing the previous oval-shaped intakes, as well as the aft fuselage and wings being bulkier and larger overall.  Ultimately, the Rhino is positioned as a money saving jack-of-all-trades for the US Navy, replacing the roles served by venerable aircraft such as the F-14, A-6, S-3, KA-6D Tanker, and in the guise of the EA-18G, the EA-6B.

Kit Contents

B-25J "The Strafer"

Published: October 16th, 2012     
B-25J "The Strafer"
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1/32
Company: H-K Models Co.

This is the second release of the HK Models B-25J series.  The first was the Glass Nose version which was thoroughly covered by Ed Kinney's excellent review.  This version is "The Strafer", which has the solid nose containing eight .50 cal machine guns.  This version relies on most of the parts provided in the glass nose version and includes several new part trees of gun nose.  The same engine, wing, landing gear, tail, and fuselage parts are used and you get new nose details and decals.

We will start the build by following the instruction sheet with a few exceptions.  There are 38 steps and I did deviate from the order on a few.  I omitted several parts during the assembly because I incorporated several aftermarket products.  These include the upper turret photo etch set (reviewed previously – 32-075), tail gun photo etch set (reviewed previously – 32-074), and clear parts mask (32-079), all by Profimodeller; Eduard's cockpit interior set (32-748) and seat belt set (32-746); and new decals from Kits-World War Birds Decals (KW132047).  I also used Ernie Gee's metal gear set due to the heavy weight of the finished model.

B-239 Buffalo Finnish Air Force Aces Combo

Published: October 15th, 2012     
B-239 Buffalo Finnish Air Force Aces Combo
Reviewed by: Gary Telecsan, IPMS# 34779
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

This kit is a re-release of the original B-239 in Finnish Service of some years back, only doubled and with new decals.  Each of the two planes comes with 8 sprues and 52 parts, 12 of which are for optional versions.

Assembly is straightforward in 8 steps: cockpit, fuselage, wings, main assembly, landing gear, engine, props, and canopy.  I encountered no issues with fit and very little need for filler.  The only issue needing fixing was that the anti-roll device stood a little proud of the turtleback and this affected the fit of the canopy.  Optional parts are for the propeller style, cuffed or not, and canopy windscreen, as parts are provided for both the telescopic and reflector gun sight versions.  You need not pick a color scheme until step 7, and speaking of same, there are decals and schemes for 3 aircraft.

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