Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Air National Guard F-16C Special Edition

Published: May 16th, 2011     
Air National Guard F-16C Special Edition
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34766
Scale: 1/72
Company: Academy

The F-16 Fighting Falcon began life as part of the U.S. Air Force Lightweight Fighter Program (LFP) in January of 1972 as the General Dynamics entry in the competition. The evaluation YF-16 first took to the air on 8 February 1974. Sharing an engine with the F-15 Eagle gained the favor of the plane with the Air Force. The Falcon has a unique ejection seat that is reclined in the cockpit, and utilizes a fly-by-wire system to aid in flight. Due in part to a multi-stage improvement program or MSIP, the F-16 was upgraded to the C and D variants, which began replacing the A and B variants in 1983.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk XII

Published: May 16th, 2011     
Supermarine Spitfire Mk XII
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

The Spitfire certainly needs no introduction; it's quite simply one of the most versatile and beautiful propeller driven fighters of all time. Because of that fact there has been no shortage of kit manufactures willing to produce any number of variations of this venerable design. Enter Airfix a name long associated with British aircraft models. This time we get a new release of the Spitfire Mk XII in 1/48 scale. In brief, the Mk XII was powered by the Rolls Royce Griffin engine and as a result sports some cowling bumps and a big prop spinner not seen on other variants. Couple the Griffith engine with clipped wings and you get a Spit designed to fly fast at low altitudes to counter low flying Luftwaffe fight bombers and later, V-1 buzz bombs, but enough of the history, lets have a look.

The Kit

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIe

Published: May 15th, 2011     
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIe
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/32
Company: Tamiya

Introduced in the latter half of 1944, the Mk. XVIe variant of Supermarine's legendary design was optimized for low-altitude operations, featuring a Packard-built Merlin 266 powerplant, clipped wings, teardrop canopy, packing a pair each of 20mm cannon and 12.7mm machine guns, and toting either a pair of 250-lb bombs or a single 500-pounder. The Mk. XVI was the last Merlin-powered Spitfire variant to roll off the assembly line, and saw service with the RAF and a number of other nations into the 1950's.

Mi-24 Mask

Published: May 15th, 2011     
Mi-24 Mask
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

I was just getting to the paint job on my review of the Zvezda Mi-24V. I had already painted the sand color when the postman delivered a package which saved me hours of work and possibly saved my sanity also. The Eduard mask set is a really great time and labor saving addition to the project.

Mask layout

Mi-24V/VP Hind E

Published: May 15th, 2011     
Mi-24V/VP Hind E
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Zvezda

THE HELICOPTER

The Mi-24 has been in service with the Soviet/Russian air forces since 1972. The design is interesting in that it has three engines; another tri-motor to add to the list. The 24 has undergone a number of redesigns, and the early versions had a much different cockpit setup. The Russian Air Force has announced that it will replace its 250 Mi-24s with newer more capable helicopters, starting in 2015.

The Mi-24 is nicknamed "crocodile" by the troops. The Mujahedeen in Afghanistan called it "Shaitan-Arba" (Satan's Chariot)". The Hind is unique in that it can carry 8 troops and weapons at the same time. Huey gunships had to have the seats removed to allow for ammunition and extra fuel storage. The crews didn't think much of carrying the passengers, as they became a liability if the pilot had to do extreme maneuvers and return fire.

Hinds have been involved in 21 different conflicts, ranging from Soviet Afghanistan from 1979 to the present (the Polish contingent currently has 5) to the current Libyan Civil War, where both sides have a few.