Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Sea Harrier FRS.1/FA.2 Exhaust Nozzles

Published: January 16th, 2021     
Sea Harrier FRS.1/FA.2 Exhaust Nozzles
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo - IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1:48

Czech manufacturer Aires released a resin drop-in set for the Kinetic Sea Harrier in 1/48 scale.

Parts are cast in a cream-colored resin, with good surface detail (including rivets and panel lines) and no part lines. The parts are free of any surface defects or bubbles.

Attachment points of the pouring blocks are thin and easy to remove. More importantly, they are located in an area that will be hidden away when fully assembled, making any minor clean up error invisible in the final model.

Parts are designed to be drop-in replacements to their plastic counterparts, so no concern about fit or modification of the receiving plastic.

Please note that while the exhausts nozzles do look very similar, there are two that go in the front and to that go in the back. There are some small 'ribs' on top of the exhaust that would help you tell them apart.

If you want to try out a resin upgrade for the first time, this is an excellent set as it requires no modification of the original parts and the attachment points of the pouring stabs are hidden away once the parts are installed in the model.

Sea Harrier FRS.1/FA.2 Wheel Bay

Published: January 16th, 2021     
Sea Harrier FRS.1/FA.2 Wheel Bay
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo - IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1:48

Czech Manufacturer Aires Hobby Models has released an aftermarket set to replace the Sea Harrier FRS.1/FA.2 wheel bays. The Sea Harrier has two main wheel bays (nose and ventral) and this kit provides you parts for both. As an 'extra' you even get the interior part of the SHAR air intake -the area just behind the cockpit area- molded in resin.

All parts are molded in cream-colored resin. The parts are free of surface defects and/or part lines.

All parts are superbly molded, with a level of detail that plastic simply cannot replicate, including superbly detailed air compressed tanks, hydraulic fluid tanks and valves. You even get individual electrical wires molded into the resin. Detail painting will pay off.

Pouring stabs are of moderate size and removal of them might take a bit of effort. Likely plastic parts modification would be needed, mainly on the ventral bay.

The set also includes wheel bay covers. Sadly, my review sample had the attachment points of the covers snapped, probably due to rattling of the parts inside the plastic blister.

Fokker Dr1 Triplane

Published: January 15th, 2021     
Fokker Dr1 Triplane
Reviewed by: Chris Gibson - IPMS# 49143
Scale: 32nd Scale
Company: Meng Model

It has been 102 years since the end of WW1 and we still have a fascination with the daring young men and their flying machines. It is amazing that 11 years after the Wright brothers first flew, we had airplanes dogfighting over the battle-scarred fields in Europe. Some of those aircraft were simple single wing models that resembled kites, others were single seat bi-planes and 2 seat cockpits with a pilot and gunner and others were huge 100 + foot wingspan bombers. Then there were the Triplanes, England's Sopwith came out with the first triplane and the German Fokker soon followed with their Dr-1, of which Manfred von Richtofen, also known as the Red Baron, had made his mount until he was killed in action on 21 April 1918

I am doing the review of the Meng Fokker Dr-1 of the plane that the Red Baron flew. The Meng Fokker Dr1 and the Roden Dr-1 are the only plastic models that you can get in 1/32 scale. Wingnut Wings was supposed to have been ready to release its version until the outbreak of Covid-19 hit and shut down the company. In their absence it looks as though Meng models had somehow acquired the molds from Wingnuts and so by a round-about way it was released.

Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II

Published: January 15th, 2021     
Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Scale: 72nd Scale
Company: Tamiya

History

Designed to replace such aircraft as the USAF F-16, A-10, the Navy's F/A-18, and the Marine Corps ASV-8B STOL aircraft, Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter was accepted by the armed services and three versions have been produced so far. Those versions are the USAF F-35A, the Marine Corps F-35B VTOL aircraft, and the Navy's F-35C carrier fighter. A number of foreign countries have ordered the type. The Marine F-35B provides vertical as well as horizontal thrust. The F-35 is capable of several missions, including air superiority, ground attack, and interception duties. The Marine Corps unit VMFA-121 Green Knights was the first unit to receive F-35's in 2012, and they have since been issued to USAF and Navy units. Currently, F-35A's are being used as fighter trainers at Luke AFB, Arizona, where I see them flying almost every day. They are most impressive to see and hear in the air.

References

There are many sources of information on the F-35 series on line, and since it has become a standard fighter for our armed forces, information should be readily available.

Osprey Combat Aircraft Series 133, Vickers Wellington Units of Bomber Command

Published: January 15th, 2021     
Osprey Combat Aircraft Series 133, Vickers Wellington Units of Bomber Command
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821

If not for the continued support of companies such as Osprey, IPMS USA would not have the excellent review opportunities we do. Thanks very much to our stateside distributor of these great books, Mr. Wellington. Was not he the guy who's Army someone else's' Army, named Napoleon, at Waterloo? (Answer: yes) And where is "Waterloo"? (Answer: Belgium). I've seen that battlefield from both the air and ground (flew over it in an H-53C in a typical European Rainstorm) and it's not very big as battlefields go. And not once did I associate it with a bomber. Until I put two and two together and got seven (new math). Oh, and it's not a set of waterproof rubber boots ("Wellingtons", or "Wellies" as the Brits call them) either.

Fast forward to 2018: Airfix releases a really GREAT Wellington... and then this book shows up. I have always liked the Wellington, and when I learned RAF Mildenhall (my first European posting) was home to the first RAF bombing raid on Germany in WWII, and interest to this Geodetic framed wonder was cemented.