Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Fire Bombers In Action (Videobook)

Published: September 26th, 2010     
Fire Bombers In Action (Videobook)
Reviewed by: Chuck Bush - IPMS# 42838
Company: Specialty Press

Frederick A. Johnsen has been a fire bomber enthusiast since childhood. He saw his first, a TBM Avenger, in 1961 and was hooked. Mr Johnsen has been an Air Force historian, NASA public affairs officer and is currently the director of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, California. He has written over 20 aviation books and articles for numerous periodicals.

Fire Bombers In Action is an 8.5 x 11", 144 page, softbound book containing 120 black and white and 114 color photos. It includes a 60 minute DVD (more on that later.)

The book has 5 chapters. History of Air Tankers covers the program in a general way, Order Of Battle discusses the individual aircraft used through out the years, with pictures and specs on each type. Canadian Twist covers the air tanker program in Canada. The Mechanics Of Aerial Firefighting looks at all aspects of the program from base ops to the formation of a school for tanker pilots. Chapter five is Tanker Tales: Crew Stories is the shortest chapter. All chapters are lavishly illustrated.

Kyushu Q1W1 Tokai "Lorna"

Published: September 26th, 2010     
Kyushu Q1W1 Tokai  "Lorna"
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

History

Once the Japanese Pacific "empire" had expanded to its greatest extent in mid-1942, the Navy General Staff realized that their supply lines -- basically consisting of slow, plodding "marus" usually sailing independently and not in convoy -- were extremely vulnerable to American submarines, which patrolled almost unopposed throughout the empire.

The Japanese considered the submarine mainly a weapon to be used against enemy warships. But American submarines were used primarily as commerce destroyers like the German U-Boats, and took such a toll of Japanese shipping that more and better aircraft were required for anti-submarine duties. In 1942, the Watanabe Tekkosho, later Kyushu Hokoki, was assigned the task of developing a specialized aircraft for this role. A design was quickly developed, the Q1W1, which appeared as a three-seat twin engine monoplane emphasizing endurance over speed.

P-38 Lightning Wicked Women Decals

Published: September 25th, 2010     
P-38 Lightning Wicked Women Decals
Reviewed by: Robert DeMaio - IPMS# 45186
Scale: 1/48

Two aircraft are represented on this sheet of decals for the P-38J aircraft for the 9th Air Force, and as the title sheet suggests, nose art of wicked women. One set for the 402nd Fighter Squadron, 370th Fighter Group flown by Lt. Ian B. Mackenzie with D-Day invasion stripes. His nose art is the "Vivacious Virgin II". The second choice is for the 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group flown by Lt. Charles B. Ray sporting "San Antonio Rose" for his nose art.

These are very nice decals produced for the P-38 Lightning. There are two complete sets of decals here including the stenciling. Three sets of national insignia are provided, one being in a faded blue. There is no need to cut around the solid color decals and some of the stenciling, since there isn't any to be found. The decals are thin and shouldn't sit in the water too long to soften up.

Air War Over Kursk: Turning Point in the East

Published: September 25th, 2010     
Air War Over Kursk: Turning Point in the East
Reviewed by: Phil Pignataro - IPMS# 17254

Whenever "Kursk" is mentioned, my thoughts turn to the massive tank battles that took place between the German and Soviet armies in July/August 1943. This book reminds us above that battlefield, a fierce air campaign was also taking place. After their disastrous defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943, the German High Command believed the Soviets, despite their victory, had been gravely wounded and unable to replace lost men and equipment. Thus, they planned a large summer offensive aimed at a narrow front near the town of Kursk, located about 250 miles south of Moscow. The code name for this plan was "Zitadelle."

The author delves deeply into the planning and execution of this battle from the perspective of not only the commanders on both sides, but also of the participants. He explains how the Luftwaffe was to take the place of supporting artillery for the tank columns and how the Soviet Air Force was unable to adequately respond during the early stages of the battle. The chapter titles give a good idea what takes place in the book:

F-102A Delta Dagger

Published: September 25th, 2010     
F-102A Delta Dagger
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48

Back in the late 1980's, I was stationed at Sembach in Germany. Having left England behind in 1986 due to reassignment, the word on aircraft modeling was mostly about what Revell and Italeri were up to. Everything in the shops was Revell or R/C related, and my only link to what was happening in the rest of the static scale world involved the Squadron shop flyers. A friend from Miami sent me a letter saying "sign up for the "Golden Eagle Society" newsletter... the word here is there are going to be 1/48 PBY's, F-89's and F-102's from a major manufacturer..." I signed up, saw the newsletter, and was thinking to myself, "Yeah, right". But at the same time I had high hopes; we had, in the space of a few years since 1982, seen the F-106 from Monogram, along with the consummate A-10, A-37, and the A-6 (the latter under the Revell label, but it was a Monogram kit based on the stock number lettering tab on the runners). Ah, if wishes were to only turn true... When I returned stateside in 1990, lo and behold, within the space of three years we had all three. Wa-hoo! Nothing like insider information.