Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

XB-35 Flying Wing

Published: October 27th, 2012     
XB-35 Flying Wing
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Scale: 1/200
Company: Cyber-Hobby

Several months ago, Cyber-Hobby came out with a kit of the Northrop YB-49 in 1/200 scale.  They have now followed up on that with a new kit of the Northrop XB-35, again in 1/200 scale.  With a wing span of 172 feet, this would be a very large model in 1/72 scale and still a good-sized one in 1/144 scale.  With 1/200 scale, the XB-35's wing span is a manageable 10.32 inches in width.  There are 70 parts with no flash in their usual light grey styrene and another 8 parts in clear.  A few of these parts may or may not be used, depending on which propellers you use, or if you build a flying version or one on the ground.  The two largest parts are the upper and lower wing halves, followed by the four propeller nacelles, but you are given a complete interior even if 90% of it will never be seen.

German Machine Gun MG-15 (7.92 mm)

Published: October 26th, 2012     
German Machine Gun MG-15 (7.92 mm)
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

Master Model sells all different kinds of products which are designed and produced in Poland. These are fine quality likenesses of different weapons, both Allied and Axis, from machine gun barrels to pitot tubes to gun barrels to attack probes, and they even make gun barrels for ships. They are all beautiful works of art and will enhance any model because of their almost perfect likeness and detail to scale. All major scales are represented and all fit perfectly.

In this case, Master Model has included in this set two machine gun barrels, two etched sights, and a small photo etched sprue containing more sights and collars. The parts are small, especially in this scale, so care must be taken in handling; a steady hand sure comes in handy. Some experience in gluing photo etch parts with CA glue would help, but by no means must one be an expert. Time, forethought, and patience are the trick. Their products run the gambit from early to modern warfare replicas.

Please take a look at their website to see what I’m talking about, if you haven’t already.

Seversky P-35 Decals, 1937-38

Published: October 23rd, 2012     
Seversky P-35 Decals, 1937-38
Reviewed by: Howie Belkin, IPMS# 16
Scale: 1/32
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

Major Alexander de Seversky, a Russian ace with 13 kills during WWI, defected to the U.S. in 1918, founding the Seversky Aviation Corp. in 1931 on Long Island, NY.  Alexander Kartveli emigrated in 1928, joining Seversky as his Chief Engineer.  The Seversky/Kartveli team would become the Republic Aviation Corp. which would gain fame with the P-47 Thunderbolt whose lineage was directly traced back to the P-35 as both a combat pursuit fighter and a racer, setting speed records and participating in the Bendix and Thompson Trophy races. If your model collection strives to include landmark or significant historical aircraft, then I would state that it is incomplete without a P-35.  Without the powerful P-35 impressing the military and sustaining the Seversky Aviation Corp. through the turbulent 1930s, there never would have been the P-43, P-47, and subsequent series of jets that served lengthy careers destroying our enemies and saving our pilots’ lives.

Lockheed F-94C Starfire

Published: October 23rd, 2012     
Lockheed F-94C Starfire
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kitty Hawk

This kit of the F-94C Starfire is a new release by a new company, Kitty Hawk. If this is any indication of future releases, I can’t wait.

I just love the whole line of early Lockheed fighters beginning with the P-80 and the T-33. This is the last of their subsonic fighters and the first one to be radar-equipped. The F-94 is actually an interceptor. It was armed with missiles that fired from four doors on the front of the nose. This was not too successful, as the firing of the missiles often caused an engine flameout. The “C” model added two rocket pods to the wings, and they were back in the interceptor business.

Now, on to the kit. To begin with, the F-94 is a big plane. All of the kit parts are nicely molded. The cockpit is especially well detailed with some perfectly fitting photo etched side consoles. The one failing in the cockpit is the seats. They are pretty basic. I replaced them with True Detail seats from Squadron.

C-124 Landing Gear

Published: October 21st, 2012     
C-124 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/144
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Thanks once again to SAC for providing IPMS USA the opportunity to review one from their prolific product line…and IPMS/USA for allowing my ham-fisted efforts to continue with the reviewer corps!

This is almost a no-brainer.  Roden’s C-124 is an excellent kit.  Short-run issues aside, it looks and carries itself like “Ol’ Shaky.”  Ask Bondo Phil about his time with the ‘124 – to have crewed (and survived) those birds, even when you knew about plug fouling, engine fires, and general issues on early large aircraft, was a testament to their strong lower gastro-intestial system.

The nickname unfortunately translates to its “sit” on the ground.  Even in this minute scale, Roden has engineered the gear to look correct in appearance and substance – and in plastic, it’s just not enough.  The nose gear in particular will fail over time.  So, what to do?

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.

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