Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-22 Raptor Exhaust Nozzles

Published: February 20th, 2011     
F-22 Raptor Exhaust Nozzles
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Aires now offers a resin a replacement exhaust set for the Revell F-22 Raptor. This set has very well detailed resin pieces molded in the standard Aires grey resin, and are flash and bubble free; as well as a small photoetch set. They also include a 3-page, blue paper diagram, which is a real help.

The resin pieces include the burner cans, turbine faces and nozzles. There is also a small photoetch for the turbine fans and which really will make the exhaust detail just pop out at you when looking at the model from the rear, especially when it is compared to the original kit parts. One thing about the F-22 is that the exhausts are a very distinctive and major feature.

The biggest improvement in this set over the kit parts is that you get one-piece exhausts, doing away with a seam. Also, the thrust augmenters are one piece, another seam you don't have to deal with.

Bf 109F-4 Canopy Mask

Published: February 19th, 2011     
Reviewed by: David Goudie, IPMS# 6340
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

Masking to paint a kit canopy can be a pretty complex and time consuming thing. Not to mention possible (probable) paint bleed under the mask to mess-up the clear areas. Eduard has a solution for this in the form of a sheet of die-cut masks for specific aircraft. This set is for the Hasegawa 1/32 scale Bf 109F-4.

You get a small (1-7/8" x 2-5/8") rectangle of a very thin, tough material on a peel away surface. The die-cuts are almost invisible and I had to hold them at an angle to my light source to actually see the individual pieces. That is precision!

The instruction sheet shows a drawing of the masks and arrows point to their individual locations on a drawing of the kit parts. You just slip a sharp pointy thing under a corner of a mask piece, lift and peel, then apply in place. A quick burnish with a finger or such and move on to the next piece. A little care and they may be savable for another kit.The thinness of the material and the precision of the cut will ensure that you get a very fine, precision paint line.

B-24D LIBERATOR, PLOESTI RAIDER

Published: February 18th, 2011     
B-24D LIBERATOR, PLOESTI RAIDER
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/72
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The B-24D was the first mass produced model of this aircraft which entered service early in 1943. Along with turbocharged engines and increased fuel capacity, there was a total of 10 machine guns. It was one of the heaviest aircraft in the world at over 59,000 lbs, on par with the British Bombers like the Lancaster and Halifax. Because of its ability to carry large loads of bombs and its capability to fly long distances it was chosen for "Operation Tidal Wave", its most famous mission, which was a low level air strike on nine oil fields at Ploesti, Romania on August 1, 1943. It was to be a strategic mission to destroy these oil fields in order to reduce the amount of fuel and oil for the German war machines. This turned out to be one of the most costly missions of men and machines. Over 600 crewmen were killed and 50 B-24's were downed on this mission. This mission was to become known as "Black Sunday".

Bf 109 E Cockpit

Published: February 14th, 2011     
Bf 109 E Cockpit
Reviewed by: Gary Telecsan, IPMS# 34779
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

This set consists of 11 resin and 19 photoetch parts, and one sheet of film from which 4 parts are to be cut. There are two more each of photoetch and resin than are shown on the instructions, but there was no issue with assembly. The set is intended to replace the cockpit floor, seat, sidewalls and instrument panels which come with the Academy kit. I confirmed that it will also fit the Tamiya E-3, and with some more drastic surgery, could be made to fit even the Hobbycraft kit.

The first pictures are of the packaging and the set's parts and then a shot of the kit's fuselage halves, from which you will have to remove t