Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-111E Upper Heyford Decal Sheet

Published: April 16th, 2011     
F-111E Upper Heyford Decal Sheet
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Squadron Products

The first order of business:  Extreme thanks to Squadron Mail order/MMD for providing IPMS/USA yet another review item. These folks are one of the oldest and most well-known plastic model kit distributors in the world, and we appreciate their providing us with review items!

This sheet highlights one of my favorite aircraft; the "Aardvark", or F-111. Designed for use on the new Hobbyboss kits, it would be equally at home on the Academy versions.

The markings on this sheet are for three aircraft of a unit that I used to track while assigned to  17th AF in Sembach, Germany; the 20th FW from Upper Heyford in the UK. They used to fly down and "practice bomb" us on occasion... quite a "free" airshow, and guaranteed to soil your pants if you didn't see them coming in full afterburner.

B-24 Liberator Units Of The CBI

Published: April 15th, 2011     
B-24 Liberator Units Of The CBI
Author: Edward M. Young; Series Editor Tony Holmes
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Company: Osprey Publishing

This 96-page book---#87 in the Osprey Combat Aircraft Series---follows Osprey's usual 7-1/4" x 9-3/4" format, and is comprised of six chapters:

Spitfire Mk II Conversion and Decals

Published: April 14th, 2011     
Spitfire Mk II Conversion and Decals
Reviewed by: Dan Mackay, IPMS# 47000
Scale: 1/72
Company: 3D-Kits

I'm a big Spitfire fan and I was really excited to review this new item from 3D-Kits. The decal sheet provides marking for four Spitfires. You get two identical sprues containing all the parts needed to convert two Spitfire Mk I's to Mk II standards. This set reminds me of the old Airform conversion set for 1/72 Spitfires from the mid-seventies, but much better. The parts are flash free and very nicely molded. A new seat, control column, Rotol propeller, blunt spinner and teardrop shaped Coffman starter fairing complete the conversion parts. This conversion is intended for Airfix (old and new tool), and Tamiya Spitfire kits. Although it may also fit the aging Hasegawa, Heller, and Revell kits as well (I don't have these kits handy and could not verify). The new parts are direct replacements for kit parts. However I found that the new seat will require a little adjustment to fit the Airfix kit to get an acceptable result. The decals options are as follows:

P-40N "Natural Metal"

Published: April 14th, 2011     
P-40N "Natural Metal"
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

Editor's note: The kit's title is "Natural Metal"; however the author opted to use a different scheme for reasons explained in his text.

History

The P-40 history is covered in plenty of detail. The P-40N was the last and most produced version of this iconic fighter. In 1943 the 49th Fighter Group was stationed in the Southwest Pacific. They had been flying the P-40E, but they were getting very war weary. Enter the P-40N. The N model was assigned to the flight leads. One of those was Lt. Sammy Pierce. At that time he had three kills from flying the P-40Es. In keeping with his practice of naming his aircraft after a feature film, the P-40N was emblazoned with "Kay The Strawberry Blonde". The crew chief side had "The Hialeah Wolf" on the right side.

Kit

Scooter Bandits TA-4J Adversaries Part 1

Published: April 13th, 2011     
Scooter Bandits TA-4J Adversaries Part 1
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw, IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/48
Company: Afterburner Decals

Classic Airframes created quite a stir when they released their TA-4J in 1/48 scale. At long last, decal manufactures had a great excuse to make some of the very colorful markings found on the two-seat Skyhawk!  Afterburner Decals wasted no time, and quickly released this sheet. Now, we all know that Hasegawa very soon after released their version of the TA-4J, but fear not as even though this sheet was printed for the Classic Airframes kit, they fit the Hasegawa kit just fine. For those that have noticed, the Classic Airframes kit looks to be a modification of the Hasegawa A-4 kit, thus both TA-4J kits are virtually identical in size and shape. In fact, for this review, I used a Hasegawa kit.

Opening the package, you will be confronted with three beautifully printed; full color, front and back instruction sheets with four-view profiles of each aircraft represented. Colorful is an understatement, as there is a couple that would be a challenge to even the best airbrush master. Out of the bag, you get markings for: