Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Su-33 Flanker D – Correct Nose

Published: August 27th, 2012     
Su-33 Flanker D – Correct Nose
Reviewed by: Clare Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

The Su-33 Flanker D is an all-weather-carrier based air defense fighter based on the Su-27.  The airplane had a production run of 24 units.

Hasegawa has produced a kit of this interesting aircraft for modelers.  As usual, Quickboost has added several items to improve the accuracy of the basic Su-33 Flanker D kit.

The first part is a correct nose cone.  The attached photo shows the Quickboost part compared to an Su-27 from my collection.  The new cone is the correct shape for the model and is interchangeable with the kit part.  It is molded in cream colored resin.  It is smooth, seamless and bubble-free.

I highly recommend this product if you want a really superior-looking model. Since this part is interchangeable with the kit parts, it can be recommended for all levels of modelers.

Scale Aircraft Modeling, Vol 34 Issue 07

Published: August 26th, 2012     
Scale Aircraft Modeling, Vol 34 Issue 07
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Guideline Publications

SAM, or more precisely Scale Aircraft Modeling, is an excellent monthly publication focusing on modeling scale aircraft. No surprise there. And if you are a long-time fan of SAM, then it is also no surprise that I state that SAM is one of the best modeling magazines focused on aircraft that money can buy.

Averaging just under 100 pages, SAM is filled with “build” articles featuring some of the newer kits on the market, as well as projects based on old favorites. In the Sept issue (Vol 34, Issue 07), a number of featured articles spans subject matter from World War I to modern jets, both military and civil.



Starting with a WWI subject, Lukasz Kedzierski builds up the Roden 1/32nd scale Nieuport Ni.24bis. Lukasz finished the kit in Polish markings. This kit is labeled as an intermediate-level build. The images show a fully detailed cockpit and a stunning metal cowling.

For an equally stunning paint scheme, Chris Fleet chose an EMB-312 turboprop trainer by A2Zee Models. This is a resin kit, and that might be a bit of a challenge for those who have never experienced the joy of working with resin. The model is finished in Brazilian markings.

FE.2b early Part 4

Published: August 25th, 2012     
FE.2b early Part 4
Reviewed by: Michael Scott, IPMS# 43177
Scale: 1/32
Company: Wingnut Wings, Ltd

Attaching the wings. The lower wings were first and to ensure everything was in alignment, I cleaned the mating surfaces of paint, did a test fit, and applied the Gunze liquid cement. Getting everything properly lined up, I taped the wings down to the work surface to dry. Don’t do this.

Having painted all of the wing and cabane struts with Tamiya tan acrylic, and after that was dry using the basic Wingnut Wings technique for replicating wood that is found on their website, I applied burnt sienna oil paint with a sponge, then removed a great deal of that with a stiff bristled chisel brush to get in some wood grain effects. These have to dry for at least a couple of days, if not more, depending on your locale’s environmental conditions. I suspect there is a liquid agent that would speed up the drying time of oil paint and I’m going to look into this.

EA-6B Prowler, VAQ-135 Black Ravens 2010

Published: August 25th, 2012     
EA-6B Prowler, VAQ-135 Black Ravens 2010
Reviewed by: Matthew Cottrell, IPMS# 48174
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

Aircraft History

The EA-6B Prowler is an electronic warfare aircraft operated by the US Navy and Marine Corps since 1971.  With a crew of 4, the Prowler can take on several roles, such as jamming and electronic intelligence gathering, or even an offensive role when equipped with the HARM missile.  There have been several upgrades throughout the Prowler’s life, culminating in the current ICAP III version.  Today, the Navy has begun to replace their Prowlers with the EA-18G Growler.  However, the Prowler is expected to continue to fly with the USMC until 2017.

Mitsubishi A6M-5c and J2M-3

Published: August 22nd, 2012     
Mitsubishi A6M-5c and J2M-3
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

History

The 352nd Flying Group was apparently activated in Japan on 1 August 1944 as a day and night fighter group, and operated from Omura Air Base in Japan until the end of the war.  They used the A6M5 Zeke 52, N1K2-J George, and J2M3 Jack in the interceptor role.  Apparently, their aircraft were marked with distinctive tail codes denoting their unit, and Hasegawa has seen fit to issue a “two-in-one” kit of two of the three types they operated.  I was able to find very little information on the unit history, and none is provided in the kit instructions or box art.  Thorpe’s book on Japanese Navy Camouflage and Markings only provides the dates and types operated. Osprey’s Imperial Japanese Navy Aces, 1937-1945, mentions the unit as having operated defending the Sasebo, Nagasaki, and Omura areas, but not too successfully against high flying B-29’s.

F3F-3 Landing Gear

Published: August 22nd, 2012     
F3F-3 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Russ continues to deliver bits and pieces which are, when you think of it, invaluable!  Most heavy thanks to him for providing IPMS USA yet another of his great works.

This set provides metal duplicates of the original plastic landing gear for a kit which has been with us since 1959.  (I have a box with the Gulfhawk kit; it proves, along with the decal sheet with manufacturing data, that this kit is just a year younger than I am!).  The kit was re-released by Monogram (and later by Revell) in 1964, 1973, and 1999, both as the Gulfhawk and the standard F3F.  The kit has cut-down Gulfhawk wings for both releases…to which Mike West has a replacements for the proper wingspan in resin, or you can use internet resources to cut/paste two kits to get the same result with a LOT more work!

DH-2 vs. Albatros D.I/D.II - Western Front 1916

Published: August 21st, 2012     
DH-2 vs. Albatros D.I/D.II - Western Front 1916
Author: James E. Miller
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Osprey Publishing

History:

The DeHavilland DH-2 appeared during 1915 to counter the devastating attacks of the Fokker E-III Eindekkers, which were the first true fighter planes with reliable fixed armament firing through the propeller arc.  When the DH-2’s first appeared, they achieved air supremacy over the German Fokker fighters and two-seat observation types.  Powered by a somewhat unreliable 100 hp. Monosoupape air-cooled rotary engine swinging a two- or four-bladed wooden propeller located behind the pilot, the plane was seen by the British as the answer to the monoplane scouts, since they could mount the machine gun in the nose and the pilot could operate it either on a swivel mount or, more likely, on a fixed mount where the plane could be aimed directly at the target.  No interrupter gear was necessary.  Visibility was excellent, but the pilots almost froze to death at higher altitudes as there was no engine-generated heat that reached the cockpit.  Also, any debris that flew out of the cockpit was likely to go through the prop arc, shattering the prop and causing an immediate forced landing.

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado

Published: August 21st, 2012     
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado
Author: Capt. Richard Hoffman, USN (Ret.)
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Ginter Books

This is the first Ginter book I have had the pleasure of reading or reviewing.  It is in the standard format of a softback book with card covers and is approx. 8 ½” x 11” in size.  The text and photos are all printed on glossy, high quality paper.

There is a detailed history of the development of the PB2Y, followed by an in-depth operational history.  This operational history includes details of many combat missions.  High quality black and white photos are present on every page.  There are also drawings and pages reproduced from technical manuals.

After the technical development section, the operational history is broken down into sections on the US Navy, the Naval Transport Service, service as an “Admiral’s Barge,” and the RAF.  There are even a few pages dedicated to the Coronado’s Seaplane Tenders.

Following this is a list of every Coronado by Bu.No., its USN acquisition date, posting, and date struck off the records.  This is followed by a list of Coronado accidents and casualties.

A-26 Invader Decals, Invading Esquire Girls Part III

Published: August 21st, 2012     
A-26 Invader Decals, Invading Esquire Girls Part III
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw, IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/48
Company: Bombshell Decals

With most aircraft of WWII and the Korean War, nose art was common, though, if you are like me, you have been disappointed at times with the kit decals and their depiction of the nose art.

So along comes IPMS member Michael Kloppenburg, a graphic designer by trade, and his brand of decals!  Bombshell Decals has done a small but steady stream of some fantastic decal work with nose art that looks almost as good as the real deal.

Bombshell’s latest releases cover six A-26 Invader aircraft spread over three separate releases.  I have always liked the look of the A-26 Invader with its sleek blend of bomber and attack aircraft.  Needless to say, I was instantly drawn to these new decals from Bombshell.  The two aircraft covered in this set are

B-25J Mitchell No. 16 & 18 NEI Squadrons Decals

Published: August 20th, 2012     
B-25J Mitchell No. 16 & 18 NEI Squadrons Decals
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/32
Company: Dutch Decal

Dutch Decal has been producing decals of all aircraft from the Dutch Air Forces. The company started in 1986 and the decals that were produced caught on mainly for their quality and uniqueness and, according to Dutch Decal, their “sheets are silk screen printed with English instructions often in colour and if possible with photographs alongside the illustrations”.

This particular decal sheet was designed for Wingscale’s B-25, but due to lots of political mayhem (which I won’t get into), a new company called HK Models produced the B-25J kit. The decals will still work with this kit due to the fact that the dimensions have not changed.

Included in the package are the decal sheet and a two-page booklet (front & back) containing not only the placement of the decals but also the paint schemes for two squadrons of the Netherlands Air Force. Also contained on this decal sheet are eight different squadron numbers and four different squadron insignias. The carrier film is very close to the decals, so trimming won’t be necessary. The colors are excellently reproduced as well, each being in perfect registry.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer