Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

SE.5a Propeller Four-Blade

Published: July 9th, 2017     
SE.5a Propeller Four-Blade
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Eduard has issued a four-bladed resin propeller to upgrade the propeller in their SE.5a kit. The upgraded propeller includes resin and photoetch parts with much finer detail than the kit propeller.

The Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5 was introduced in 1917 with a 150 HP V8 Hispano-Suiza 8A engine with two-bladed counter-clockwise (left) rotating propeller. The SE.5a was an improved version of the SE.5 and was one of the fastest fighters of WWI. The SE.5a aircraft was originally produced with a 200 HP

Hispano-Suiza 8B gear-driven engine ('Hisso'), with a counter-clockwise (left) rotating four-bladed propeller. The gear-driven engines proved unreliable, and were quickly replaced with the 200 HP Wolsely Viper direct drive engine with clockwise rotating (right) two-bladed propeller.

In their recently issued SE.5a kit, Eduard includes both the Hispano-Suiza 8B and Wolsely Viper engines, as well as right & left two-bladed propellers, and a left four-bladed propeller. The propeller reviewed here is the four-bladed upgrade to the kit propeller. The counter-clockwise (left) four-bladed propeller is for the Hispano-Suiza 8B engine.

USMC F-4B/N VMFA-531 "Gray Ghosts"

Published: July 9th, 2017     
USMC F-4B/N VMFA-531 "Gray Ghosts"
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Academy

Extreme appreciation to Academy and their USA distributor Model Rectifier Corporation for sending out this new version of their venerable F-4B/N kit, and the usual cheerleading wave of thanks to the IPMS USA leadership for sending it to me.

This kit sat a while in the link. I've built two of the Academy F-4's, a "B" and a "J", and had impressive results from even MY feeble modeling skills. Kits like this take a bit of time to construct, but are well worth it in the end.

What's in the box are the same parts from the previous Academy Rhinos, with the exception of single color gray plastic, with no white, black, and gray parts.

Yes, also clear parts. The decal sheet is new, for two plain-Jane gull gray over white F-4B's from the Vietnam era for VMFA 531, The "Gray Ghosts". The last version is the overall Light Gull Gray scheme with a Dark blue fin and markings. Yep, I went for some original color!

F-100 Super Sabre Pitot Tube

Published: July 9th, 2017     
F-100 Super Sabre Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Master Model

Master Model of Poland produces small brass parts for detailing models, be they aircraft or ships. They have parts for aircraft in 1/32, 1/35, 1/48, 1/72, and 1/144, mostly pitot tubes, refueling probes, and gun barrels.

This "add-on" is a single pitot tube. It's very fine turned brass. The detail is so fine that I had to use my magnifiers to determine that there are three different diameters on the pitot, getting smaller at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the length.

The instructions are to the point:

  • Remove the kit pitot from the mount.
  • Drill a hole in the mount.
  • Glue the new pitot in the hole using CA
  • Put the mount under the F-100's intake.

I was able to skip step 4, as the kit pitot was already mounted under the nose.

Otherwise, things went very much as planned.

I did manage to get the Master pitot mounted slightly off left and right, but the brass part is easily bendable. When I was working on typebar typewriters, back in the last century, we never referred to bending a part. It was always called "forming". So I formed the pitot to straighten it out.

MiG-29 Landing Gear

Published: July 7th, 2017     
MiG-29 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1:72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Earlier this year Zvezda released a new kit of the MiG-29 (9-13), known as the Fulcrum C under the NATO naming standards. The kit has since also been released under the Revell label. Scale Aircraft Conversions released a replacement set for this MiG-29 kit. The set is comprised of five parts, two main landing gear legs, a two piece nose strut, and the nose strut retraction actuator. The two side braces on the lower part of the nose gear strut are well molded but will require care in removing them from the casting tree as they are easy to bend since they are so thin.

As with Scale Aircraft's other sets, the parts are drop in replacements for the kit parts. As shown in the photographs, the replacement parts are identical to the kit parts, but will add some rigidity to the landing gear when compared to the kit parts. After removing a slight molding seam on the parts, I polished them using a wire wheel in my battery operated Dremel tool at low speed. This works very well and results in a nice uniform finish to all of the parts.

Su-33 Flanker D Landing Gear

Published: July 7th, 2017     
Su-33 Flanker D Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1:72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Shortly after Trumpeter released its new Su-33 Flanker D kit, Scale Aircraft Conversions released a replacement set for the kit landing gear. The set is comprised of five parts: two main landing gear legs, the nose strut, the nose strut retraction actuator, and the scissor link for the nose gear strut.

As with Scale Aircraft's other sets, the parts are drop in replacements for the kit parts. After removing a slight molding seam on the parts, I polished them using a wire wheel in my battery operated Dremel tool at low speed. This works very well and results in a nice uniform finish to all of the parts.

Assembly of