Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

M346 Advanced Fighter Trainer

Published: June 29th, 2019     
M346 Advanced Fighter Trainer
Reviewed by: Keenan Chittester, IPMS# 37021
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kinetic Model Kits

This is the first injection-molded 1/48 kit of the M346 Advanced Fighter Trainer, which first flew in 2004. It is currently used by the air forces of Italy, Israel, Poland and Singapore. It was originally a joint venture between Aermacchi and Yakovlev, and you can definitely see the similarity to the Yak-130 Russian trainer.

The kit is molded in a medium gray plastic and contains just over 270 parts. The molding is truly top notch, which is one of the hallmarks of the new Gold range of kits from Kinetic. This was the first kit produced in their new manufacturing facility. There is a small photo etch (PE) fret that contains seatbelts, the HUD frames, rearview mirrors for the inside of the canopy, various vents on the fuselage, and the small winglets. The clear parts are very nicely done with two different options for the canopy: one with the explosive cord molded into it and the other without. And happily the canopies do not have a seam running down the middle! Hooray!

MiG-23 Flogger in the Middle East

Published: June 29th, 2019     
MiG-23 Flogger in the Middle East
Author: Tom Cooper
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Helion & Company

Tom Cooper, born in Vienna, Austria, in 1970 is a military aviation historian that has focused on Post-WWII Middle Eastern air forces. Tom traveled extensively though his military service and subsequently in his transportation business. Through his travels, Tom Cooper has established contacts and identified sources that have permitted him to bring a unique look to Asian and African military aviation. Mr. Cooper has written more than 400 articles and has authored (or co-authored) over 25 books, including the excellent six-volume Arab MiGs series published by Harpia and distributed by Casemate. Aiming to deliver a complete picture, Tom is also an accomplished illustrator and color profiles are included in his books and articles. To find out more, check his Linked In page.

Tempest Mk.V Engine

Published: June 28th, 2019     
Tempest Mk.V Engine
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Eduard has released a great Brassin Engine set for its new tooled Tempest Mk.V which in its self is a great kit. This Brassin set is full of Resin parts and Photo etch sheet.

In the box is:

  • Approx. 77 resin parts
  • 1 photoetch detail set
  • 1 instruction booklet

Construction

Stage A 1 - 4 is the assembly upper part of the engine, the only points to note here are that the location hole in R105 for part R100 is a little too small so needs to be opened out. Also the location hole for Parts 95 and 96 in part R105 is not the same shape so needs work. You will also need some wire to add in at points for various wires, I used very fine soldering wire which is very easy to form to the shapes needed.

Stage B 1 - 8 was very easy with no issues at all. Now when I came to stage B 9 I found that a part was missing R131. So due to time I decided to scratch build a replacement. So the part in the pictured build is one I made. The assembly here was difficult and that maybe due to my part not being 100% correct. Stage B 10 was also very easy.

Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Part 2 - Cockpit and Fuselage

Published: June 27th, 2019     
Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Part 2 -  Cockpit and Fuselage
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1:32
Company: Zoukei-Mura

Zoukei-Mura's latest release in 1/32 scale is the wonderful Ki-45 Toryu (Nick). This twin engine 2-seat, heavy fighter was used by the Japanese Army in WWII. In Part 2, I will get the cockpit and gunner position built and the fuselage assembled.

The cockpit on this kit (like all ZM kits) is a jewel. There are 60 well molded parts with several options depending on which option you are building. The two major changes for Option B (my choice) are that there is no upward firing guns between the pilot and gunner and also, there is no back seat for the rear gunner position. Another note- much of this will not be visible when the build is done unless you use the clear parts.

Construction begins by adding the floorboard and fuel tank to the main wing strut. The front and back cockpit bulkheads are added. This is a phenomenal piece going full width for support of the wings and also includes the landing gear wells also. More on that later.

Nakajima Ki-34 "Thora"

Published: June 23rd, 2019     
Nakajima Ki-34 "Thora"
Reviewed by: Brian R, Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Croco Models

History

After Nakajima obtained a production license to manufacture Douglas DC-2 airliners in 1935, the Japanese airlines decided to sponsor the development of a smaller airplane to serve routes that they perceived the DC-2 to be too large for. The result was the development of the AT-1, an eight passenger twin engine aircraft which closely resembled a scaled-down DC-2. The prototype first flew in 1936, and was of all metal construction except for the control surfaces, which were plywood. Power was originally provided by Nakajima Kotobuki 2-1 radial engines of 580 hp. with fixed pitch wooden propellers. Production models used the Kotobuki 41, rated at 710 hp, with variable pitch metal props. These were designation AT-2.

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