Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Fw-189 Wheels and Paint Masks

Published: December 3rd, 2012     
Fw-189 Wheels and Paint Masks
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A relatively new company on the modeling scene, Great Wall has released a handful of kits to date and, with reference to this review, they have two variants of the FW-189, an A1 and an A2, along with a third ski-equipped A1 version.  Aires has stepped up to the plate and has released a resin wheel set (with paint mask) for the trio of kits.  Typically, I buy a resin wheel set for a single reason and that is to obtain a set of weighted wheels for the kit I'm building.  Many of you (and you know who you are) prefer the kit’s un-weighted round wheels, and that fine, too.  In the case of the Great Wall kits, they ship with weighted wheels.  What is a modeler to do?  In this case, Aires is your answer.  Unlike the kit parts, the resin set they provide is the round, non-weighted wheels.  Problem solved.

Douglas A-4B/4P Skyhawk

Published: December 2nd, 2012     
Douglas A-4B/4P Skyhawk
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

Airfix has been busy lately coming out with newly tooled model kits, and the A-4B/4P Skyhawk continues that trend.  The A-4 Skyhawk was a very successful light attack design by Douglas for the US Navy (and foreign buyers) and had a very long and effective career.  There are many books that will go into great length on the development and history of this aircraft, so I will only deal with the build of this model kit.  73 parts are molded in a soft gray plastic (two more are clear parts), so be careful and don't sand to aggressively.  Some have mentioned that the recessed panel lines are too deep, but what I found on my model was the fuselage lines got less deep towards the top and bottom of the fuselage and I had to rescribe these to match the rest of the fuselage, but it only took about 15 minutes to do so.

T-28 Trojan Landing Gear

Published: December 2nd, 2012     
T-28 Trojan Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

One of Scale Aircraft Conversion’s latest releases is a nice metal landing gear set for the Monogram 1/48 T-28 series. I was currently reviewing the Roden T-28D and, miraculously, this was a nice fit on that kit, too. The set contains the three gear struts, the additional part for the front gear, and the gear door attachment linkages for the bottom gear doors. All the parts are well cast in white metal with small seams which are easily sanded off.

Fit is excellent, as you can see from the pictures. I can say that having the front landing gear in metal is good as there is a fair amount of weight in the kit to keep it on its gear and metal is much more stable.

This is another great set from SAC for a reasonable price. Recommended especially with the weight over the nose gear. My thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for the review sample and to IPMS/USA for the change to review it.
 

F/A-18E/F ECS Exhausts, Late and Early

Published: December 2nd, 2012     
F/A-18E/F ECS Exhausts, Late and Early
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Quickboost

  • QB 32130  Late exhausts  $8.50
  • QB 32131  Early exhausts  $8.50

Quickboost has a pair of great detail sets for the Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E/F kits. The parts reviewed here are the ECS (Environmental Control System) exhausts which are located on the back of the new Hornets. There are two sets. First is a late version which is a direct replacement of the kit parts. Simply sand the kit parts smooth and sand off the casting block and attach. The Quickboost parts have more of a correct angle to them and deeper intakes and are very well cast.

The second set allows you to backdate the kit to one with the early set of ECS exhausts. In this case, a little surgery will be needed to allow the part to sit into the kit. There is a picture included to show the needed cuts. The casting is again flawless.

Jaguar GR1 Pitot Tube and Angle of Attack Probe

Published: December 1st, 2012     
Jaguar GR1 Pitot Tube and Angle of Attack Probe
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

THE KIT

You get two finely done brass parts in a plastic envelope, which is inside another plastic envelope.  Good plan – loose parts of this size would be a disaster, not to mention impossible to find.  I liked the instruction sheet, it was simple, to the point, and uncluttered.

ASSEMBLY

I had some problems with this project.  I had originally planned to replace the pitot on my Jaguar T.2 with this pitot.  Wrong part, I had to build a Jaguar GR1.  And then the paint job.  I had run out of RAF Operation Granby Sand paint, and didn’t have any around.  So I decided to mix my own.  Been a while since I mixed paints, and I got it entirely too reddish the first try.  Threw it out and retried.  Much closer on the second try.  I am proud and happy that the RAF decided to go single colour on their Jaguars.

J2M5/6 Type 33/31 Raiden

Published: December 1st, 2012     
J2M5/6 Type 33/31 Raiden
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Sword Models

The J2M5/6 Raiden interceptors were introduced into combat in small numbers by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the last year and a half of the war and proved to be good defense against American B-29 missions over the Japanese homeland.  There were less than 50 operational J2M5s and only two J2M6s, and they served in units along with J2M3s (since there were only two J2M4 prototypes).  Sword’s new kit offers a better way of reproducing these aircraft in 1/72 scale than modifying one of the older Hasegawa J2M3 kits.  The J2M5 and J2M6 were similar in appearance, with the same style of bulged top canopy, but they differed in a significant way…the J2M5 had a mechanical driven supercharger that decreased power by approximately 30%.  The J2M5 did have a smaller under-cowl air intake scoop than the J2M6 and Sword provides both air intake options, so either version can be built.

F-14A Exterior Set

Published: December 1st, 2012     
F-14A Exterior Set
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Recently, Eduard released photoetched detail sets for the 1/72 scale Hobby Boss F-14A, and these included both an interior as well as an exterior set.  Upon opening this set, you will find a single, bare metal fret of photoetched parts along with a single sheet of directions.  The items in this set, as one would assume from the title, are made to enhance the exterior of an F-14A Tomcat, and they do this most impressively by adding detail to the landing gear, gear doors, access covers, engine inlets and outlets, missile launch rails, and the missiles themselves.

The fret contains 66 numbered items, and like the interior set, some of these items contain multiple parts.  As a word of caution, only a couple of the small access panels have additional parts available, so be cautious in handling the pieces once removed from the safety of the fret, as there are no back-up parts.  I found it useful to mix medium and thin viscosity cyanoacrylate (CA) glues to install the pieces as this allowed some working time while still flowing easily.

F-14A Interior Self-Adhesive Set

Published: December 1st, 2012     
F-14A Interior Self-Adhesive Set
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Recently, Eduard released photoetched detail sets for the 1/72 scale Hobby Boss F-14A, and these included both an interior as well as an exterior set.  Having been fortunate enough to receive both sets for review, I will begin with my evaluation of the interior detail set.  Upon opening this set, you will find two frets of photoetched parts, one being pre-painted and self-adhesive, the other being unpainted metal with no adhesive, along with a single-sheet page of directions.  This was my first experience with an Eduard self-adhesive detail set, and I greatly enjoyed the encounter.  I will mention here that if you are modeling on a budget and needed to choose between the interior and exterior sets, that I would recommend the interior set.

Douglas C-118 Liftmaster

Published: December 1st, 2012     
Douglas C-118 Liftmaster
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

The Aircraft

The C-118 was the military version of the Douglas DC-6A.  Probably the most famous C-118 was President Truman’s VC-118, named “Independence,” which still resides at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

I am lucky enough to know a crew member from a C-118.  Bill Mathay was an Air Force Navigator who served in World War 2, Korea, and even passed through Vietnam during the war there.  In the late 1950s, Bill was stationed at PACAF Headquarters, Hickam AFB, Hawaii.  Bill told me that he was very impressed by the comfort of the C-118 and the size of the passenger compartment windows compared to the other planes he flew in.

Meteor I vs V-1 Flying Bomb 1944

Published: November 28th, 2012     
Meteor I vs V-1 Flying Bomb 1944
Author: Donald Nijboer, illustrated by Jim Laurier and Gareth Hector
Reviewed by: Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Company: Osprey Publishing

History

During World War II, a total of 10,500 V-1 missiles were launched against Britain, of which over 3,900 were destroyed by air and ground defenses. Overall, the attack and subsequent damage could have been much worse, for by the end of the war the Germans had manufactured close to 32,000 flying bombs. The Allied defenses put forward to guard against the V-1 included 23,000 men and women with aircraft, guns, radar, and communications networks installed on coastal sites.

The average speed the V-1 was 350 mph and their average altitude was 3,000 to 4,000 ft. Fighter aircraft required excellent low altitude performance to intercept them and enough firepower to ensure that they were destroyed in the air rather than crash and detonate. Most aircraft were too slow to catch a V-1 unless they had a height advantage, allowing them to gain speed by diving on their target.

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