Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot A

Published: January 5th, 2011     
Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot A
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Trumpeter

First comment

Thanks to Stevens once again for providing yet another superlative Trumpeter kit for IPMS to review. The best we can do for appreciation is to buy kits they offer; and this one is worth every dime!  I'll go on record as saying this was the best Trumpeter kit I've built.

On the porch

"Hey, that's a big box". It's also a heavy box. Postman is rolling around on the lawn in pain kind of heavy. I go out and do a clean-and-jerk lift.... And it's off to the workbench!

Grumman EA-6B "Prowler" Part 2

Published: January 4th, 2011     
Grumman EA-6B "Prowler" Part 2
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney, IPMS# 2989
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kinetic Model Kits

This being the second Kinetic kit I've had the pleasure to build and review, I have found several similarities in the offerings. First, the instructions could use some tweaking, in that I found some misnumbered parts. It would be of major benefit to the builder to keep his reference material close at hand. Secondly, during construction I encountered what I felt was a major fit issue with the wing to fuselage joints. My kit required completing the attachment in 4 steps with cyano acrylic and accelerator to close gaps in the wing roots (interestingly, I have since had an opportunity to read other build reviews of this subject and their experience didn't seem as pronounced as mine. Maybe it was something I did wrong.)  In any event, these two issues are the only negatives to an otherwise exceptionally nice kit. Third and last, this kit, like the F84F from Kinetic, suffers with extremely fat trailing edges, so get out the wood rasp.

Fiat CR 42CN/J11 Falco

Published: December 31st, 2010     
Fiat CR 42CN/J11 Falco
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

The Aircraft

When the Germans were bringing out the Bf-109, the British had the Hurricane and were bringing out the Spitfire, and the USA had the P-40 and P-39, Fiat introduced the last biplane fixed gear fighter produced in any large numbers. Although the Falco was pretty much outclassed in speed, it was structurally very strong and highly maneuverable. It remained in service through 1944.

The CR 42 remained in production through 1942, and participated in the Battle of Britain. They were used by the Luftwaffe on the Eastern Front and by Italy as night fighters, even though they had no radar or radio. While I'm still doing some research, apparently a Gladiator and CR 42 were in combat in December of 1940, probably the last biplane dogfight.

A6M2 Zero IJN (2 options)

Published: December 30th, 2010     
A6M2 Zero IJN (2 options)
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The Aircraft

The A6M2 Zero-sen was the best carrier-based fighter in the world from 1940 to 1942, when more powerful Allied aircraft came on the scene. Fairly fast, very maneuverable, capable of a good rate of climb, it was dominant in the Pacific at the beginning of World War II. One of the markings for the Minicraft A6M2 is from the Soryu at Pearl Harbor, the other is for the "Akutan Zero" which crash landed almost intact in the Aleutians, and was flown by the US Navy for evaluation.

The Kit

Two sprues of light gray plastic and a clear canopy. The wing and horizontal stabilizer are each one piece, with 2 fuselage halves, and a separate cowling. The landing gear is one-piece, with the wheels and gear legs molded onto the doors. A separate set of doors for "gear up" are provided, along with a bladeless prop hub. The prop is one piece, and the tail wheel assembly is all one part. There's a one-piece fuel tank provided.

The kit is not a new mold, with fine raised panel lines and no cockpit. Nevertheless Minicraft picked a very good example of the Zero for this kit.

Hawker Hurricane from 1935 to 1945

Published: December 30th, 2010     
Hawker Hurricane from 1935 to 1945
Author: Dominique Breffort
Reviewed by: Robert DeMaio, IPMS# 45186
Company: Histoire and Collections

Editor's note:This publication appears to be superseded by "Hawker Hurricane from 1937 to 1950" with same ISBN Number.

The Planes and Pilots book series published by Casemate on the British design and built Hawker Hurricane is number fourteen of the group. This eighty-three page book covers a decade of time, and Mr. Brefford's attempt to cover reference material to attract both the historian and modeler is well done. He tells how Sir Sydney Camm was appointed Chief Engineer at Hawker and how the Hurricane aircraft became the direct decedent of the Hawker Fury. In just a few beginning pages are details covering the aircraft from design, prototype and beginning operational service status.