Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

MiG-21 Seatbelts STEEL

Published: April 13th, 2017     
MiG-21 Seatbelts STEEL
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

The MiG-21 (NATO code name "Fishbed") has the distinction of being the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in history. It has served in the Air Forces of more than 60 countries around the world and continues to fly for a number of countries even today. Early versions of the MiG-21 were equipped with the SK-1 ejection seat while later versions were equipped with the KM-1 ejection seat.

One of Eduard's newest lines of photo-etch is a series of seat belts and harnesses for a number of aircraft made out of photo-etched steel instead of brass. This set provides complete harnesses and ejection handles for two ejection seats. Based on the instructions for this set, it appears it is designed for the later KM-1 seat, so it would be appropriate for later versions of the MiG-21.

Dallachy Strike Wing Beaufighters… 144, 455, and 489 Sqns

Published: April 13th, 2017     
Dallachy Strike Wing Beaufighters… 144, 455, and 489 Sqns
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aviaeology Decals

Aviaeology is very well known for their extensively researched decals covering a gamut of Canadian WWII subjects. This set continues that fine tradition by covering 1/48th scale Beaufighter Type TF.X's from RAF Dallachy. RAF Dallachy is a closed air base located north of Edinburgh, Scotland on the North Sea. It was home to the RAF in WWII where it was used to harass and sink enemy shipping. The three squadrons covered in this set are Canadian (No. 144), Australian (No. 455) and New Zealand (No. 489) all flying the Beaufighter. The decal sheet covers 16 aircraft from these squadrons with markings for all planes but only National markings for one complete plane.

Let's take a look in the package. There are four separate decals sheets included. Two are standard size and include national; markings as well as plane markings and several detail decals. There is a separate set of decals that are smaller rounding out the sixteen options and a last small sheet with the flags for the Australian planes. The decals are well printed and have great alignment and opacity.

Me-163 Komet

Published: April 12th, 2017     
Me-163 Komet
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun

The Aircraft

The Me-163 was the first (and only) rocket powered fighter used in combat. It was also the first aircraft to ever fly at 700 mph, in 1944. As an interceptor, the 163 was less than outstanding, with only about a dozen Allied aircraft shot down, for a loss of 9 Komets.

The rocket engine used "C-Stoff", hydrazine hydrate and methanol and "T-Stoff", hydrogen peroxide. These were interesting to me because they are "hypergolic". This means that they need no ignition source. Just mix the two chemicals in the combustion chamber and they burn. This proved very interesting when there was a hard landing and fuel lines leaked. There were also incidents when a fueled Komet would blow up just sitting on the tarmac waiting for the pilot to arrive.

The Kit

This is a double kit, containing two of everything in one plastic zip lock bag. The decal sheet has enough markings for three aircraft. Only one set of instructions, but that's enough.

244th Sentai Part 3 Decals

Published: April 11th, 2017     
244th Sentai Part 3 Decals
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/48
Company: Lifelike Decals

History

The 244th Sentai was formed in 1942 from the 144th Sentai with their primary mission being homeland defense. The squadron received the Ki-61 in 1943 and gained fame as an elite bomber interceptor unit. Detachments of this unit also served on Okinawa but the majority stayed in Japan for defense. A very good web site dedicated to this squadron can be found here http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~s244f/ and you will need to translate it as it is in Japanese.

Lifelike decals have issued or re-issued decals for the Ki-61s of the 244th Sentai as parts 1,2 & 3. Initially produced for the Hasegawa kit, they could also be used on the Otaki kit. Now that Tamiya has released their kit you now have one more, and a really nice one, Ki-61 kit to choose from.