Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Russian Tactical Aviation Since 2001

Published: December 2nd, 2017     
Russian Tactical Aviation Since 2001
Author: Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Komissarov
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Hikoki Publications

Growing up during the Cold War which encompassed the red scare and fight against global communism, photos and information on aviation in the USSR was pretty skimpy! A short video of a plane flying over a parade in Red Square or a few grainy, slightly out of focus black and white photos Were all there was. A little bit more was available on export models as they were used by Soviet Client states and thanks to the September 6, 1976 defection of Viktor Belenko flying his Mig-25 to Japan a bit more was available on that aircraft.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and communism much more information is readily available to the modeler and aviation historian on Russian aviation designs and tactics. The authors are the go to folks for this information. I have had the pleasure of reviewing several of their books and like past volumes, this one does not disappoint!

French Secret Projects 2: Cold War Bombers, Patrol and Assault Aircraft

Published: December 1st, 2017     
French Secret Projects 2: Cold War Bombers, Patrol and Assault Aircraft
Author: Jean-Christophe Carbonel
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Crécy Publishing Limited

Jean-Christophe Carbonel was born in 1959 and wrote his first modelling article in 1977. He graduated from the University of Paris I: Pantheon-Sorbonne in 1979 and followed up with a diploma from Sciences Po in 1981. He currently is a senior auditor at Le Groupe La Poste. His first solo work in English language was in 1991 for the British magazine Collecting Scale Models. He admits that part of his knowledge of the English language came from reading the Airfix instruction sheets, which were, at the time still English-only. Since then, he has pursued a writing career specializing in model kit history and in the history of aviation projects, prototypes, and early experimentals. Jean-Christophe has more recently specialized in French designs of all eras. Writing for various magazines on both sides of the Channel, French Secret Projects 2 is at least his thirteenth book. You can check him out at his LinkedIn page, .

MiG-21 Fishbed Landing Gear

Published: November 29th, 2017     
MiG-21 Fishbed Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/144
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC)

Many already know that Scale Aircraft Conversions has been pumping out replacement, white metal landing gear sets for some few years now. I believe that this endeavor (Scale Aircraft Conversions) began as a way to provide you, dear modeler, with a sturdier option than what was being supplied by the kit manufacturer. While kit supplied landing gear and struts may have been to scale they were sometimes unable to handle the actually weight of the completed model.

To help solve that issue, Scale Aircraft Conversions has an extensive line of landing gear sets for an extensive number of kits. Adding to that line is a new one designed for the Eduard's series of MiG-21's in 1/144th scale. Scale Aircraft Conversions includes two complete sets of landing gear with this offering. Which is a good thing as there are two complete kits in Eduard's boxing of the 1/144th scale MiG-21.

Seatbelt Soviet Union WW2 Fighter STEEL

Published: November 28th, 2017     
Seatbelt Soviet Union WW2 Fighter STEEL
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

This set is part of Eduard's growing line of Steel seat belts sets. The set consists of 3 sets of seat seatbelts and shoulder harnesses for Yakovlev World War II fighters and 3 sets for Lavochkin World War II fighters. The set will particularly useful for dressing up the cockpit of an older kit. I had an old Italeri La-5 kit that has been in my stash for quite some time, so I pulled it out to see how the belts worked.

As with Eduard's brass etch, the Steel belts are attached with superglue. I used a gel superglue with a medium setting time to allow me to get the parts where I wanted them before it set up. I found it easiest to first tack down one end of the belt or harness then let it dry and harden before attempting to shape it. Once the first attachment point is dry, the belts are then bent and shaped to fit the seat and as the Steel belts are more pliable than brass etch is, they are much easier to bend and shape to reflect a used or slack seatbelt/harness, you just need to use tweezers to twist and bend the strap into the shape you want. The paint on the belts and harnesses held up well despite bending and I did not need to do any touchups.