Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Su-27/Su-30 Pitot Tube

Published: January 13th, 2013     
Su-27/Su-30 Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

A while back (a couple of years?), I built ICM’s 1/72 Su-27 for a review.  I can’t remember the reason, but I wound up using a cut-off straight pin for the pitot on the kit.  Well, here’s the fix for that.

I had to pull the pin out of the nose of the ICM kit, then clean up the end of the nose where some CA had built up.  Then, all that was necessary was to insert the new pitot, check its fit, remove it, put some gel-type CA on the pitot, and insert it.  I kinda lucked out here, as the hole for the straight pin was as large as I needed for the new pitot.  Master Model also gives the correct angle for the pitot, which is lacking in the kits.

After the CA had set, a matter of minutes, I painted the new pitot.  DONE!!

OVERALL EVALUATION:

Highly recommended.  It’s an easy fix, it fits nicely, and I had zero problems with this add-on.  I’ll have to pick up another one of these to fix the Hasegawa Su-27 on the shelf next to the ICM kit.

Fairey Swordfish Mk. 1 Floatplane

Published: January 13th, 2013     
Fairey Swordfish Mk. 1 Floatplane
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

History

The Fairey Swordfish, while appearing to be outdated at the beginning of World War II, actually became one of the outstanding airplanes used by the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.  While most were land- or carrier-based with wheeled undercarriages, a significant number of Swordfish Mk. I’s were operated as twin-float seaplanes, mainly from battleships and cruisers, or from shore bases such as Gibraltar, where they were used for fleet reconnaissance, gunfire spotting, and anti-submarine patrol.  Probably the most famous action in which Swordfish floatplanes took part was the April, 1940, Second Battle of Narvik, where they spotted gunfire for HMS Warspite, resulting in the destruction of seven German destroyers, plus the sinking of the submarine U-64 with bombs.

The Kit

The Airfix Swordfish kit was originally issued back in the sixties, and it certainly was crude by modern standards.  Two other kits have been issued of this aircraft over the years, including the Frog landplane/seaplane combination, and the Matchbox Mk. III which can only be built as a landplane, although it can be easily backdated to a Mk. I or Mk. II.

Tu-144 Landing Gear

Published: January 12th, 2013     
Tu-144 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

I recently built and reviewed ICM’s 1/144 Tupolev Tu-144 “Charger”. (Review here: http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/tupolev-tu-144d-charger) When the opportunity came to review the SAC metal landing gear for this plane, I jumped at the chance.

The white metal landing gear is obviously far stronger and better suited to large models than the injection molded parts you get in a kit.  I have a number of finished models on the shelf or in storage which could use a new set of gear legs.  And I thought I’d save the Tu-144 from this fate.  There’s only so much you can do with CA and sprue to fix broken gear, especially with missing parts.

I first took photos of the landing gear on the model as it was.  There might be a set of instructions for the kit somewhere in my workroom.  Or not.  I bet on the latter, and took reference photos to show where the parts went.

F6F-5 Hellcat “Pacific Aces”

Published: January 11th, 2013     
F6F-5 Hellcat “Pacific Aces”
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Brown, IPMS# 42302
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

I recently received the Hasegawa 1/48 scale F6F-5 Hellcat “Pacific Aces” version. This is a very nice kit, and I was actually impressed by the details, especially in the cockpit. From my research, this is a re-release of their previous F6F-5 with a new set of decals covering a few late war aces. The two planes you have the option to build are ‘White 115’ of VF-83 from the USS Essex which was actually flown by three different Ensigns (Donald McPherson, Bill Kingston Jr. and Lyttleton Ward), and ‘White 12’ of VF-31 from the USS Cabot flown by Lt. J.G. Ray Hawkins.

Windsock Datafile 156, Early AVRO 504 Biplanes

Published: January 11th, 2013     
Windsock Datafile 156, Early AVRO 504 Biplanes
Author: Colin A. Owers
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Albatros Productions, Ltd.

Windsock Datafiles from Albatros Productions are very familiar to most of those who have been building WW I aircraft models for some time.  And, a number of those who have been awakened to that era by the recent introduction of 1/32 scale kits from Wingnut Wings, Roden, Special Hobby, and others have discovering the value of collecting these publications.  Number 156 in the series has just been published and it is the second Datafile about the AVRO 504.  However, it is a companion to the earlier title because, unlike Datafile 28, this volume focuses attention on the types that preceded the 504K.

Modelling Luftwaffe Jets and Wonder Weapons

Published: January 11th, 2013     
Modelling Luftwaffe Jets and Wonder Weapons
Author: Brett Green
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is the newest title in Osprey Publishing’s Modelling Masterclass series.  Written primarily by Brett Green (author of several other Osprey books and webmaster of the Hyperscale website), this book covers several model builds of Luftwaffe jets, as well as some historical information.

The book itself is in a very sturdy format.  The covers are thick, glossy, and hard, and they enclose over 180 pages of text and photos.  The pages are spiral bound, so this book lies completely flat when opened to any page – a very nice feature if you are using this reference at the model desk.  All the pages are of medium-weight paper, and in a satin finish.  All the model photos are in full color, and there are also many black and white photos in the historical sections.

There are 7 chapters in this book, as well as tables at the end listing references and available kits of the subject.

F9F Cougar Walk Around

Published: January 11th, 2013     
F9F Cougar Walk Around
Author: Ken Neubeck
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

Squadron has done it again.  They have provided us with another volume included in their outstanding Walk Around series.  This particular one deals with the F9F Cougar and all its variants.  It is written and laid out in the typical Squadron Walk Around fashion.

The book introduction starts with a brief but comprehensive history of the development and deployment of the Cougar.  There are tables that show the differences between each version and a section on the different nose and canopy variations.  The rest of the book is high quality black & white and color photos with captions.  The majority of pictures are color.  All photos have a very comprehensive caption that explains what you are looking at.  I would say that half the photos are from display aircraft and the other half from archive photos.

SR-71A Blackbird, “Gravestone” Limited Edition

Published: January 9th, 2013     
SR-71A Blackbird, “Gravestone” Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287 and others.
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

Background

Conceived originally as a high-altitude, high-speed interceptor to counter an anticipated Soviet strategic bomber threat (YF-12) and a strategic reconnaissance platform replacement for the U-2 (SR-71) in 1959, Lockheed’s “A-11” platform has become one of the most recognizable and awe-inspiring aircraft designs of all time. Setting and holding world speed and altitude records for decades, the SR-71 variant came to symbolize America’s manned strategic reconnaissance program from the mid 1960’s until its retirement in the mid 1990’s – when, ironically, it was retired in favor of the more cost-effective U-2.

The Kit

S-3 Viking In Action

Published: January 7th, 2013     
S-3 Viking In Action
Author: Brad Elward
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

Lockheed was awarded the contract for development of the S-3 Viking in August, 1969. The S-3 started being delivered to squadrons in 1974 as a replacement for the S-2G. The phase-out of the Viking began in late 2003, with the last Viking squadron VS-22 disestablished in January, 2009.

Squadron/MMD printed their first In Action series book in 1971. This one follows in the long line of its predecessors. The book covers the S-3 Viking from development through the disestablishment of the last Viking squadron. There is a great mix of color and black and white photos, along with plenty of good captions. In addition, included are pages of colored drawings.

I highly recommend this to fans of ASW or Naval aircraft. Squadron again has done a great job with printing of this book and presenting this information to aircraft fans.

I would like to thank Squadron, Squadron Signal Publications, and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this fine book.

Jian Ji-2 and Ji-5

Published: January 7th, 2013     
Jian Ji-2 and Ji-5
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: Cyber-Hobby

History

On November 1, 1950, a new jet fighter appeared in the skies over Korea to counter the B-29 bombing raids which, up until then, had gone unopposed. This was the MiG-15’s debut and the beginning of a long and distinguished career for the entire MiG jet-powered series. Although the MiG was effectively countered by the F-86 Sabre, it wasn’t because it was lacking in performance. In fact, it had a better rate of climb, service ceiling, and heavier armament. The difference came down to the training and attitude of the UN forces.  A number of Soviet “volunteers” managed to make ace in their MiG-15s. The MiG-15 had some issues with maneuvering at high speed that limited its Mach number. Then entered the MiG-17 which wrapped a redesigned airframe around the same engine. With a redesigned wing platform, the MiG-17 was more than capable of taking on the best America had to offer. This was proven in the skies over Vietnam where numerous Vietnamese pilots attained ace status against more sophisticated aircraft.

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