Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Aviation Records in the Jet Age

Published: April 23rd, 2017     
Aviation Records in the Jet Age
Author: William A. Flanagan, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret)
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Specialty Press

Lt. Col. William A. Flanagan, aka Bill "Flaps" Flanagan, was an SR-71 RSO for five years, flying out of Palmdale. Bill was inspired to join the US Air Force due to a Northrop YB-49 trading card. Later on in his career, he became the 14th pilot to fly the Northrop B-2. He flew combat McDonnell F-4 Phantom IIs in Vietnam followed by an assignment in Europe under NATO. Next up for Bill was his experience as a test pilot for Lockheed where he was part of a task force for upgrades to the SR-71 Blackbird. Now he is a docent at Blackbird Airpark, in Palmdale, California, currently home to not only a SR-71A, a D-21B, a unique Lockheed U-2D, but a Lockheed A-12 Blackbird. Bill has been done a multitude of videos, including:

F-106 Pitot Tube

Published: April 22nd, 2017     
F-106 Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Master Model

Master Model of Poland produces small brass parts for detailing models, be they aircraft or ships. They have parts for aircraft in 1/32, 1/35, 1/48, 1/72, and 1/144, mostly pitot tubes, refueling probes and gun barrels.

This product is a single pitot tube for a Revell 1/144 F-106. The instructions are quite simple. 1) Cut off the kit pitot. 2) Drill a hole for the brass part. 3) Install the brass part, using CA glue. 4) Paint the part.

This Master Model pitot was welcome because I had broken the pitot on my F-106, and replaced it with a piece cut from a straight pin. The replacement was too short and way too thick. The Master part fixes both of these shortcomings.

I was able to bypass part of the instructions because I pulled the pin replacement out with a pair of fine nosed pliers. This left a hole in the nose which was slightly larger than I needed to put the Master Model part in. I used gel-type CA, which also acted as a filler for the oversized hole.

The new pitot went in, the CA filled the extra diameter of the hole, and I managed to keep the new part pretty straight.

Me 262A-1/2 'Last Ace'

Published: April 22nd, 2017     
Me 262A-1/2 'Last Ace'
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Academy

The Me 262 continues to be a popular aircraft, both with modelers and with model manufacturers. I admit to being a fan of the aircraft and its sleek lines, so I was excited to see that last fall Academy released a special edition of its Me 262 kit with markings for 7 different aircraft. The kit is marketed as the Me 262A-1/2 and unlike some other kits, it actually does contain the parts necessary to build either of these variants of the jet.

F-14A Tomcat Instrument Panels

Published: April 20th, 2017     
F-14A Tomcat Instrument Panels
Reviewed by: James Corley, IPMS# 35138
Scale: 1:48
Company: Eduard

Having awaited the Tamiya Tomcat since they were at the museum - measuring the real things (and having to keep quiet about it until they announced it) I was very satisified with the excellent kit they produced. FANTASTIC!! I was even luckier when I found that the Eduard instrument set was available for review.

This set is designed for the Tamiya Tomcat and it fits the kit parts wonderfully. The instructions call for minimal scraping of the raised details Tamiya provides. The only part I had to actually remove was the RIO radar sunshield, but I used a brand new #11 blade and was able to use it instead of the etch piece Eduard provided.

The only part that didn't look quite right, when compared to photos, was #8. The triple fold worked fine, but the part seemed to be larger than the kit part (H34) it went on, and the edges overhang some.

All told, I spent about 3 hours using this set to greatly enhance the look of the kit cockpit. (I have attached a photo of the kit panels to compare).