Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Kawasaki T-4, Blue Impulse

Published: February 7th, 2011     
Kawasaki T-4, Blue Impulse
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/100
Company: Platz


The Kawasaki T-4 came out in the late 1980s as a replacement for the Lockheed T-33s and Fuji T-1s in the intermediate trainer role. One of the reasons for the T-4 appears to be that it is built in Japan from mostly Japanese sources.

The T-4 is the third aircraft flown by the JASDF's Blue Impulse demonstration team. The first two were the F-86 and a Mitsubishi T-2.


The box contains two sprues of bright white plastic, with a clear sprue which has enough clear parts to do two kits. This makes perfect sense when you remember that Platz 1/144 kits are "twofers", 2 kits in one box. All parts are cleanly molded with no flash. As I did the assembly, I noted that there are no warps, mold flaws or short shots anywhere. The decals are by Cartograf of Italy.

F-86F-30 Big ED Photo Etch sets

Published: February 6th, 2011     
F-86F-30 Big ED Photo Etch sets
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

Set Contents

  • 1 X 32239 Exteriors
  • 1 X 32643 Interior S.A.
  • 1 X 32501 Remove Before Flight
  • 1 X JX093 Express Mask

History Brief

The North American F-86F-30 Sabre was America's finest fighter during the Korean conflict. I've had the opportunity over the years to talk to a few F-86 pilots who also had a turn with the Mig 15. The Sabre was always their first choice. One pilot said to me comparing the F-86 to her Russian counterpart is like comparing a sports car to a pick up truck. The only problem was no one knew that back then.

The Sabre had a wingspan of 39 ft and a length of 37 ft. Her max speed was 688mph and cruise at 513 mph at sea level with a ceiling of 48,000 ft. She sported a single J47-GE-27 engine with no afterburner and packed six .50 cal M-3 machine guns, she also carried bombs and rockets. In the first few weeks after showing up in Korea the Sabre clearly demonstrated that she was the superior fighter claiming an 8:1 kill ratio over the Mig.

P-39N Airacobra

Published: February 6th, 2011     
P-39N Airacobra
Reviewed by: Greg Perry, IPMS# 45865
Scale: 1/33
Company: Halinski

The P-39 was a marvel of engineering with a mid-mounted engine and a primary gun firing through the propeller hub. Because the US Army Air Corps wanted to save money, the supercharger originally fitted to the prototype was removed. This decision almost doomed the aircraft. The US no longer wanted it for a fighter role and the British summarily dismissed it altogether. Many of the airframes went to the Soviets under a lend-lease agreement where they found their niche as ground attack aircraft and low altitude fighters. This particular kit represents one of those lend-lease aircraft.

For the uninitiated, Halinski paper models are often referred to as the "Tamiya" of paper models. They are that good. Anyone who thinks paper models cannot rival plastic needs to experience one of these before making a conclusion.

F-22 Nozzles

Published: February 6th, 2011     
F-22 Nozzles
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A huge "thanks!" to our friends at Aires; they continue to provide IPMS USA with plenty of review opportunities for upgrades to our favorite aircraft...!

P-47D-30 Thunderbolt Dorsal Fin Conversion

Published: February 6th, 2011     
P-47D-30 Thunderbolt Dorsal Fin Conversion
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

The latest addition to the Quickboost line of resin accessories is a dorsal fin conversion for the Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt. The first P-47s had a "razorback" canopy configuration with a tall fuselage spine behind the pilot which resulted in poor visibility to the rear. The British came up with an idea to use bubble top canopies on some of their aircraft to fix this problem. The USAAF liked this change and started to implement it to their fighters which included the P-47. To fit the bubble top canopy to the P-47 they cut down the rear fuselage which was found to cause yaw instability. To fix the yaw problem they introduced a dorsal fin extension in the form of a narrow triangle running from the vertical tail plane to the radio aerial. This change was also implemented in the field on earlier bubble tops. This is where the Quickboost part comes into play.