Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Metal Landing Gear for the Valom B/RB-45A/C Tornado

Published: March 30th, 2018     
Metal Landing Gear for the Valom B/RB-45A/C Tornado
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC)

IPMS/USA thanks Ross and his Team at SAC for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with one more of many monthly releases, with extremely useful and well-thought out landing gear additions for the modeling crowd out here in the modeling world. And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it for review.

This review is for the SAC landing gear released for the 1/72 Valom B-45 series. (Yes Mrs Robinson, there was an aircraft named "Tornado" before the "Tornaaaahhhdo" in the European sense.) This SAC gear is extremely simple, much like the kit itself. As a note, the Valom B-45 kits are easier to build than the other 1/72 B-45s out there as well... even though it is also a short run style kit, the quality is much more refined. SAC's set is comprised of six parts... and are quick additions.

B-52D/F Stratofortress

Published: March 30th, 2018     
B-52D/F Stratofortress
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Models

History: The B-52 is arguably the best bomber ever made. First deployed in 1955 as a high altitude "atomic bomber" later versions of it are still in use today.

The kit: Inside the box you will find 8 sprues of light grey and clear injected plastic. An 8-page instruction manual and a nice sheet of decals. Basically, only the fuselage halves and sprue F are new to this kit as everything else comes from, and is marked, for the B-52H kit. The one minor hitch here is that the very fine panel lines in the wings do NOT match those on the fuselage as these are more Matchbox like. The decal sheet is very nice and in register.

Aircraft Clear Display Stand

Published: March 26th, 2018     
Aircraft Clear Display Stand
Reviewed by: Jarrod Booth, IPMS# 44739
Scale: NA
Company: Minicraft Models

Minicraft recently released a second decal scheme for their Beech Bonanza F-33 kit. Along with the Bonanza model, this display stand was looking for a home and a kind word on the IPMS Review Corps list.

This stand is packaged in an industrial strength clear plastic bag with a cardboard fold-over label stapled to the bag top. There are four parts of clear plastic, attached to the sprue with somewhat discrete attachment stubs. With care the parts can be removed with minimal stub marks left. These can be polished out, or the base can be painted.

The parts fit easily together. The vertical shaft slides into the round base and fits securely without glue. This shaft can be cut down to any desired length. Make sure you insert the solid end of the shaft into the base. The top has a hole drilled for the ball joint. Remember this also if shortening the shaft. I left mine as is.

P-51D Mustang

Published: March 23rd, 2018     
P-51D Mustang
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1:144
Company: Minicraft Models

When Phil Peterson sent out an announcement that there were new items for review, I went to the list with only a certain amount of excitement. There are very few 1/144 scale items available for review, and that's my scale. I was glad to find a new 1/144 item from Minicraft. A P-51D Mustang. I sent an immediate email begging and pleading for this kit. And I got it. And I'm glad I did.

About 17 years ago, I met a fellow in Vandalia, Illinois who was a member of the maintenance crews for the 52nd Fighter Group in Italy. He had a photo which was taken in late 1944 of the Group's P-51 Mustangs lined up. The planes all had a yellow tail with the individual aircraft ID letter on the tail. They were lined up to spell VICTORY. There's a book called "Spitfires and Yellow Tail Mustangs" which is a history of this group. I made a copy of this photo, and kept it for all these years. A few years back I started the project of building all 7 of these planes. I finished 2 before I lost interest.

Gloster Gauntlet

Published: March 21st, 2018     
Gloster Gauntlet
Author: Alex Crawford; Illustrator: Krzysztof Wołowski
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

This is volume one in the Orange Series from MMP. The Gloster Gauntlet was the last open-cockpit fighter of the RAF entering into service in February 1935. In addition to the RAF, it saw service in the Commonwealth with the South African Air Force, Southern Rhodesian Air Force, and Royal Australian Air Force. Foreign users were Denmark and Finland.

The book is broken down into 10 main segments beginning with an Introduction and Development and Production chapters. The original Gauntlet design with the 450hp Bristol Mercury IIA engine but due to this engine's unreliability the Gauntlet lost out top Bristol's own design, the Bulldog. Five years later after steady design improvements and multiple engine installations the Gauntlet now being 40MPH faster than the Bulldog won a production contract.

The Gauntlet served the RAF well for about 3 years before in 1938 being removed from frontline service. 616 Squadron still had Gauntlets at the outbreak of WWII!