Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

MiG-21PF, PFM Pitot Tube

Published: February 20th, 2013     
MiG-21PF, PFM Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

The MiG-21PF and PFM are represented in model form by the Academy kit.  This pitot tube is quite simple compared to some of the others in the MiG-21 family.

The set is simple in that it has a single turned metal barrel.  The pitot tube is scale thickness, but the thing I like the best is additional strength of the brass tube.  The instructions are quite basic and show the proper angle of the pitot tube in relation to the fuselage.  A simple .6mm hole in the kit will prep the model for the turned metal pitot tube.  Then, it is just as simple as inserting the pitot tube.  Painting instructions are included.

This pitot tube is typical quality from Master Model.  Its strength and scale thickness make this a required addition to your MiG.  Just be careful you don’t poke yourself with the tubing.

Highly recommended

Thanks to Master Model for the review sample and IPMS/USA for the review opportunity.
 

MiG-21bis Pitot Tube

Published: February 20th, 2013     
MiG-21bis Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

The Eduard MiG-21bis is a very nice kit right out of the box; however, the pitot tube could be better.   There are limitations that plastic can’t overcome, not even with the best injection molded technology.  Even so, the pitot tube sticks out so far on the MiG-21 that it’s bound to be broken off in handling.  Besides, you can get a scale thickness with brass that you couldn’t get any other way.

Master Model has set the standard when it comes to these pitot tubes.  This pitot tube is the same quality I’ve come to expect.  This pitot tube has two perfectly turned brass barrels, one that fits inside the other.  Then there is a fret of six photo etch vanes.  If you look really, really close, you will see there are super tiny holes on the pitot tubes to mount the photo etch vanes in.  This will require a steady hand and an Opti-visor with the maximum magnification to get right, but, oh, the results are worth the effort.  I would have liked to have a second fret of vanes just because they are so small that I am afraid that even with two extras they will go flying.

MG-131 Mount for the Fw-190D-9

Published: February 20th, 2013     
MG-131 Mount for the Fw-190D-9
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Designed for their Fw-190D-9, this beautiful upgrade set from Eduard is for those who want to show off the detail under the forward cowlings.  Featuring six light and dark grey resin pieces, everything is perfectly formed and blemish free.  The guns are hollowed out at the ends and the cooling slots are opened as well.  There is also a small fret of photo etch that holds seven pieces of nickel plated parts – six cowl fasteners and one windscreen oil cleaning pipe.  The oil cleaning pipe will require the most care, as it is very, very thin.

The set is contained in very secure thick plastic packaging that prevents any damage to the delicate parts.  Including the set into your build should prove no big problem as it follows the basic kit formula, except with richer detail.  You will have to mount the shelf to the vertical plastic kit piece, but the resin has larger attachment surfaces which will help ensure the proper alignment. This alignment is essential when building the Eduard Focke Wulf series.

He-219 Uhu Decals

Published: February 20th, 2013     
He-219 Uhu Decals
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

The Tamiya He-219 is the standard for 1/48th scale models of this airplane.  However, marking options have been a little sparse for this kit.  Eagle Cal has released a new sheet that covers the three basic paint schemes seen on the Uhu. This set is released in conjunction the Eagle Cals 1/32nd scale decals covering the same aircraft.  The 1/48th scale decals cover the A-0, A-7, and the A-2 versions.  To build the A-0 and A-2 versions, the modeler would be advised to get the Vector resin conversion set, also available from Eagle Editions.

The decals are printed on a 5 x 5½ inch sheet.  The decals don’t indicate who did them, but they look the same quality as Microscale.  These aircraft are as colorful as the real aircraft.  Most He-219s were fairly plain-looking, but that was norm for this airplane.  They typically hade either RLM 75 tops with RLM 76 squiggle pattern or dots over it.  The undersurfaces can be either RLM 76 or RLM 22 Black.  Some have the lower right wing painted black as well.

A-37 Dragonfly FOD Protection Covers

Published: February 20th, 2013     
A-37 Dragonfly FOD Protection Covers
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: AMS Resin

The diminutive A-37 Dragonfly by Monogram/Encore is a nice kit, but the engine intakes and exhausts leave a little bit to be desired.  One way to fix this is to hide the see-through with these covers from AMS Resin.

Molded in light grey resin, these four pieces are beautifully formed.  They simply have to be painted red and added to the intake and exhausts.  You may want to add Remove Before Flight tags which aren’t included but readily available.  Because they are tapered, these are easily added after the model is done so if you already have a built kit, don’t fret, you can add these at any time.

These simple plugs are easy to add, inexpensive, and they do what they are designed to do, cover the intakes and exhausts.

Highly recommended

Thanks to AMS Resin for the review set and IPMS/USA for the review opportunity.

Fw-190A Stencil Decals

Published: February 19th, 2013     
Fw-190A Stencil Decals
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

It comes as no surprise that I love the Eduard Fw-190A series of kits.  Having had the pleasure of building quite a few of them, I have often remarked at the quality of the decals.  These decals are printed by Eduard and typical of Eduard’s quality; these decals are actually as good as any other aftermarket decal in the world.  They rival the quality of Cartograf.

The stencil decal themselves are all contained on a 4” x 3 ¾” decal sheet.  The decals are crisp, perfectly printed, and in perfect register.  They are suitably thin with minimal carrier film.  One of the nice things is that the decals have wing walk areas in grey and black.  There are options throughout the sheet, like the two different versions of black and two white versions of Nicht anfassen on the sheet.  The landing gear servicing stencil is also provided in two styles.

I’ve used these decals on all the kits that have included them and they go on perfectly.  They are well printed and react well with Microsol and Solvaset.  They settle down in the recesses of the model perfectly.

Bf-109E Stencil Decals

Published: February 19th, 2013     
Bf-109E Stencil Decals
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Eduard’s Bf-109E is a very nice kit.  One of the nicest things about the kit is this additional decal sheet.  Printed by Eduard, the actual sheet is a 3” x 4” sheet of decal film.  There are decals for one complete airplane with all the stencils being included.  You get three Nicht anfassen decals for the ailerons in white and black.  I thought that there should be at least one more for the elevators but Eduard indicates that they are carried on the elevators so that may be an error on my part.

The instructions are on a double-sided half A4 page sheet and are very clear in showing you where the decals belong.  Remember that sometimes the stencils were oversprayed and not every aircraft carries every stencil.  I really liked that Eduard provides you with red and black wing walk areas.

Supermarine Attacker F.1

Published: February 19th, 2013     
Supermarine Attacker F.1
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: Trumpeter

It seems amazing to me that Trumpeter is the fourth model company to market a 1/48 scale plastic kit of the Supermarine Attacker F.1 (the others being Classic Airframes, Falcon, and Magna Models).  Amazing because this aircraft’s single most significant reason for mention in the history of aviation is the fact that it was the Fleet Air Arm‘s first jet fighter.  It was not particularly successful in that role…it was just the first.

Bf-109E-3 and Detail Sets

Published: February 17th, 2013     
Bf-109E-3 and Detail Sets
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Brassin Detail Sets

Eduard’s Bf-109E series has released all the variants of the Emil.  This is the first time, other than the Royal Class, that the E-3 version is available.  The Profipack release is typical Eduard quality with the suitable extra items, such as photo etch and masks.  While a good deal and adequately detailed right from the box, what happens when you add all the Brassin items designed for the kit?  Well we are going to find out.

I built a Hasegawa 109E with the Verlinden detail set way back when.  I remember the poor fit of everything.  I hoped this wasn’t going to be a repeat of that laborious process.

Lockheed-Martin TR-1A

Published: February 16th, 2013     
Lockheed-Martin TR-1A
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Dragon Models

The Aircraft

The TR-1A is/was a development of the famous U-2.  The U-2 is a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft with multiple sensor arrays, allowing photo, radar, electronic, and signals intelligence.  The original U-2A was developed for the CIA by Lockheed, using a fuselage from the F-104 and extra-long, glider-like wings.  This allowed the U-2 to fly at altitudes well above those which could be reached by any other jet aircraft.  The U-2’s ability to fly over any area with impunity ended with the development of the Soviet SA-2 Guideline SAM, which shot down Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union in 1960 and Major Rudolf Anderson Jr. over Cuba in 1962.

The TR-1A was put into production in the 1980s as a tactical reconnaissance aircraft.  It is identifiable by the two large sensor “superpods”, one on each wing.  It is identical with the U-2R, and all TR-1s have been redesignated as U-2Rs.  The U-2R is larger than the original U-2.

There were only two operators of the TR-1, the USAF and the Nationalist Chinese.  The U-2 is supposed to go out of service in 2014.

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