Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F8F-1 Bearcat Wheel Bay

Published: June 8th, 2013     
F8F-1 Bearcat Wheel Bay
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Thank you to David Lajer of Aires / Quickboost and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for the privilege of reviewing this delightful aftermarket resin set.  The Hobbyboss F8F kit is wonderful in its own right, but replacement of the kit wheel wells with the Aires parts and the other pieces in the set allows a much cleaner and more detailed presentation.

The Package

The set is packaged in a typical blister pack, with a foam insert backing.  An engine-mount firewall and cockpit firewall are included, along with two wheel well units and a casting plug holding 6 additional detail parts.  The casting detail is very fine and crisp.  While inventorying the parts and comparing them to the instruction sheet, I noticed that the 2 rings (RP 3) on the plug were not complete.  I couldn’t find any additional loose pieces in the package.  The rings are part of retractor assemblies that I was able to easily recreate with 0.020 plastic rod later on.  A simple set of instructions is provided, showing the basic layout and arrangement of the resin and kit parts.  The resin color is medium brownish-gray, a nice contrast to the kit color.

USAAF National Insignia June 1943 – January 1947

Published: June 6th, 2013     
USAAF National Insignia June 1943 – January 1947
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: SuperScale International

Squadron and SuperScale have released a decal sheet, #481266, with USAAF national insignia for the period June 1943 to January 1947. This decal sheet does not include the red border around the circle and bars. As such, I believe the markings are only valid from September 1943 until 1947, not from June 1943 as listed in the decal sheet title.

The sheet includes decals for scale diameters of 25”, 30”, 35”, 36”, 40” and 55”. They are very shiny and printed by Cartograph (i.e. – good quality decals). The decal sheet instruction includes a location map for P-38, P-39, P-40, P-47 and P-51 aircraft.

Decals are thin, yet strong. I was able to float them onto the model and then easily relocate them for final placement until dry. They settled into the recessed panel lines with a minimal application of Micro Set. At the same time, the decals are opaque and have a vibrant color.

In just a few words: they are excellent decals.

Recommended to modelers of all skill levels.

I would like to thank Squadron/SuperScale and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

B-25G “Shark Mouth”

Published: June 6th, 2013     
B-25G “Shark Mouth”
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Academy

Academy continues to re-release the Accurate Miniatures series, which in my opinion is a very good thing. Despite their age, Accurate Miniature molds have very good surface detail and they have held up pretty well. There is virtually no flash at all. I only had to clean up two parts for a bit of flash.

Originally, Accurate Miniature released the B-25G as a conversion set for their early mark B-25. This particular re-release brings you all the parts needed to assemble a B-25G in a single box, plus decals from Cartograph. As a plus, you get plenty of spare parts from the early mark (B/C/D) B-25s.

Construction starts with the interior of the airplane. That means cockpit, bomb bay, radio equipment, storage bins, fire extinguishers, and even a chemical toilet! Sadly, most of the detail will be lost inside the model and not visible once completed. Before I started construction, I decided not to install the extra detail parts which would be located behind the landing gear. That would only increase the chances of a tail-sitter. Those missing parts won’t be visible, anyway.

P-51D Mustang Seat

Published: June 4th, 2013     
P-51D Mustang Seat
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost has added the seat for the P-51D Mustang to their line of resin aircraft accessories. This latest addition is molded in a grayish resin, smooth, seamless and bubble-free. The seat is molded in one piece and is easy to remove from the mold block.

The package doesn’t state that it is for any particular kit, so it should work well with any of the P-51D Mustang kits. I compared it with the Tamiya kit’s seat. Talk about a noticeable difference – the detail on the Quickboost part is outstanding. From the photos you can see that the Quickboost seat has the belts molded , and you can almost feel the seat material in the cushion under the belts. You will definitely want to have the canopy open for this.

I very highly recommend this product if you want a really nice and detailed seat. All that you need to do is cut off the molding block and drop it into the cockpit with a little CA glue. Quickboost can be really proud of the detail that went into it. Thanks to Quickboost and IPMS USA for letting me do this review.
 

T-45 Goshawk Landing Gear

Published: June 4th, 2013     
T-45 Goshawk Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Here’s another fine replacement landing gear set from SAC, this time for the new Kinetic Goshawk. The white metal parts are a spot-on match for the kit gear. In situations where the weight of the model could lead to overstressed and broken gear, these sets are a lifesaver (the life of the model, that is). All relevant parts are there, including both the compressed and extended nose gear struts.

A few of the smaller, thinner pieces in the package I received were slightly bent, but were easily returned to their proper shape. That just shows that care must be taken when handling some of those more delicate thin pieces, but unlike plastic, they are more easily reshaped when necessary before they reach the breaking point.

All told, another very worthy effort from Scale Aircraft Conversions. Thanks to SAC and IPMS for the review sample.
 

T-45 Goshawk

Published: June 4th, 2013     
T-45 Goshawk
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kinetic Model Kits

With the release several years ago of the Italeri and Airfix quarter-scale BAE Hawk kits, many of us U.S naval aviation fans wondered if we would finally see a mainstream kit of the T-45 Goshawk. Following on their other notable naval air kits, Kinetic Model Kits now offers this very detailed rendition of the Navy’s newest intermediate/advanced jet trainer.

MiG-21 F-13 (Fishbed C) Pitot Tube

Published: June 3rd, 2013     
MiG-21 F-13 (Fishbed C) Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/32
Company: Master Model

Master Model has produced a replacement nose pitot for the Trumpeter MiG-21 F-13 Fishbed kit.  The replacement pitot is a clean drop-in for the kit’s plastic parts.  The supplied items include a two-piece main pitot tube of turned stainless and photo etch brass vane fins.

A side-by-side evaluation (see photos) indicates an identical replacement that provides a much more realistic assembly with a significantly improved abuse tolerance.  Painting of the main tube should not be necessary, but the fins will need a quick touch with silver or red to transform the brass.  Check your references

Some assembly is required.  The photo etch vane fins are placed in tiny holes in the forward pitot section, and secured with CA glue.  The instructions suggest removing the plastic tube from the kit attachment point, drilling the appropriate size mounting hole, and inserting the replacement tube.  The tube should be firmly attached to the kit fuselage before inserting the pointed end of the pitot with the fins and fixing with CA glue.  Waiting in this case would seem to be good advice, as the vanes will be quite fragile.

F-8E Crusader Ejection Seat

Published: June 3rd, 2013     
F-8E Crusader Ejection Seat
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost has added the ejection seat for the F-8 Crusader to their line of resin aircraft accessories. This latest addition is molded in a grayish resin – smooth, seamless, and bubble-free. Noteworthy is that it is easy to remove from the mold block by taking only a couple of minutes with a saw blade.

The package doesn’t state that it is for any particular kit, so it should work well with any of the F-8 Crusader kits. I compared it with the Heller and Academy kit parts. Talk about a noticeable difference – the detail on the Quickboost part is outstanding. I left the pieces of the Academy seat unassembled in one of the photos to show the number of pieces there are. Big plus for Quickboost, the seat is only two parts. The initiator rings that are at the top of the seat are separate so that they don’t get broken before you get them.

I very highly recommend this product if you want a really nice and detailed ejection seat. All that you need to do is cut off the molding block and drop it into the cockpit with a little CA glue.

Thanks to Quickboost for the detail part and IPMS/USA for the review space.

Boeing 727 Landing Gear

Published: June 3rd, 2013     
Boeing 727 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/144
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions has produced replacement gear for the Airfix Boeing 727 kit.  The white metal replacements are a clean drop-in for the kit’s plastic parts.  The supplied items include two main gear struts and braces, and one nose gear strut.  Some SAC packages include replacement wheels, as well, but that’s not the case here.  You will need to use the Airfix shoes for your build.

A side-by-side evaluation (see photo) indicates an identical replacement that should provide a greater strength of assembly with a significantly improved weight capacity and abuse tolerance.  In some cases, painting may not be necessary.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for the opportunity to review this item.

Windsock Datafile 158, The UFAG C.1

Published: May 31st, 2013     
Windsock Datafile 158, The UFAG C.1
Author: Paolo Varriale
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Albatros Productions, Ltd.

Windsock Datafiles from Albatros Productions rank high on the list of reference/historical publications by those who build WW I scale aircraft models.  Each volume focuses on a specific aircraft and can be counted on to provide a thorough study of the subject.  The most recent volume covers a subject that may not be well know to modelers who are not well versed on the subject of Axis aircraft that served in the “Great War.”  Windsock Datafile No. 158 details the history of the Austro-Hungarian UFAG C.1…a two-seat aircraft that served in the dual rolls of aerial observation and ground attack.  It was, in fact, one of the best of its kind in service during the final year of the war, and one that became popular with its aircrews.

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