Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Spitfire Mk. VII/VIII

Published: July 8th, 2013     
Spitfire Mk. VII/VIII
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

Introduction

This Spitfire kit is a limited edition by Hasegawa and features new wingtip and canopy parts, plus decals for three RAF. planes. The Mk. VII and Mk. VIII versions had extended wingtips – rather pointed, actually – that allowed them to meet the Luftwaffe aircraft that had an operational advantage at higher altitudes. One of the therr schemes included on the decal sheet is that of Pierre Henri Clostermann, a French ace who scored over a dozen victories while flying the Mk. VII. It is Clostermann’s markings that were chosen for this review item.

The Clostermann scheme, as previously mentioned, is one of three sets of markings on the decal sheet. The three selections are:

Hannover CL.II Part 2

Published: July 8th, 2013     
Hannover CL.II Part 2
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/32
Company: Wingnut Wings, Ltd

As with most kits, the Hannover CL.II’s instruction book focuses first on assembling the cockpits, and the assembly sequence, although involved, is very straightforward.  But, before anything is assembled, the instructions guide the builder to paint the sidewalls and all of the various cockpit components according to the color callouts provided on pages 4 thru 7.  Because there is much to be seen in the Hannover’s cockpits, painting the small details will require some time and patience.  However, I personally found the experience to be both educational and enjoyable.  In my opinion, building a first Wingnut Wings kit probably will prove to be a very different experience for model builders who are accustomed to assembling other mainstream plastic model kits.  Looking inside a WNW kit box, a builder will find both a plastic model kit and an education rolled up in a brilliantly engineered package.  There is no doubt that a finished product will be the goal, but the building process may prove to be the real reward if the builder is open to learning new techniques, willing to follow precise assembly sequences, and not in a great hurry to reach the finish

Fokker D.VII Landing Gear

Published: July 8th, 2013     
Fokker D.VII Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Jim Coatney, IPMS# 46815
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) has been producing drop-in white metal landing gear replacements for a growing range of kits since 1990. White metal offers substantially more strength than the styrene kits parts, which is a useful benefit for kits that are heavy or where the gear is especially fiddly. In this case, we are looking at the main gear and tail skid that fit the Eduard 1/48 Fokker D.VII.

Eduard does a nice job making the kit’s landing gear struts to scale, but this also means that they are very thin and fragile. In addition, Eduard’s attachment points are often very shallow and benefit from pinning the struts in place to strengthen the join. Up step the SAC replacement struts.

Bf-109F Mechanical Guide

Published: July 8th, 2013     
Bf-109F Mechanical Guide
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Model Art

Model Art Modeling Magazine is one of the finest periodicals on the market. Each issue is a gold mine of high quality illustrations and imaging. In the case of this publication, the entire magazine focuses on the Bf-109F.

The book features six sections, each focusing on a different aspect that is of interest to a hobbyist.

Color profiles

Some of the profiles featured color call-outs, identifying the RLM colors, by RLM number, being displayed. These profiles are also quite detailed as to markings, including some stenciling, that one will find on the airframe.

Cockpit color illustrations of a Bf-109F-2 with color images of actual components from unrestored Bf-109Fs

Some of these images are of bits and pieces of unrestored airframe, control surfaces, or simply parts that I cannot identify. While not of particular use to the modeler, it is still fascinating to see such equipment in its natural and unrestored condition. In some cases, the components are in very good condition and the modeler will be able to use the images as a guide for painting these parts when building the Bf-109F.

F6F Hellcat Engine

Published: July 7th, 2013     
F6F Hellcat Engine
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost has added the engine for the Eduard F6F Hellcat to their line of resin aircraft accessories. This latest addition is molded in a grayish resin – smooth, seamless, and bubble-free. Usually, the mold blocks are small and very easy to remove. These are a little more involved but not too bad, only larger. There is one on the back of the engine that needs to be given a little more attention to remove straight and be sanded smooth.

Comparing the Quickboost engine with the Eduard engine, you can see that the Quickboost engine has fewer parts than the Eduard one. Both seem to be detailed, but resin usually can better represent details than plastic. Basically, it’s up to the modeler to decide what he wants to do.

I very highly recommend this product if you want a nice and detailed engine for your Eduard Hellcat.

I would like to thank Quickboost and IPMS USA for the chance to do this review.

A-4B Skyhawk Gun Barrels

Published: July 7th, 2013     
A-4B Skyhawk Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost has added the gun barrels for the Airfix A-4B to their line of resin aircraft accessories. This latest addition is molded in a grayish resin – smooth, seamless, and bubble-free. They are easily removed from the mold block, taking only a couple swipes with a saw blade to remove.

Comparing the Quickboost gun barrels with the Airfix barrels, you can see that the Quickboost barrels are more to scale and have the ends drilled out. If you tried to drill out the Airfix barrels, you would have quite a job ahead of you and could possibly destroy one or both.

I very highly recommend this product if you want a really nice and detailed set of gun barrels. All that you need to do is cut off the molding block and drop them in place with a little CA glue. It’s a very easy upgrade to do.

I would like to thank Quickboost and IPMS USA for the chance to do this review.

TSR.2 Landing Gear

Published: July 7th, 2013     
TSR.2 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions makes various landing gear sets out of lead-free white metal. Some come with the wheels attached, if needed, while others might have the wheel bay included to help with added weight, but most only come with the new landing gear struts. This offering is for the Airfix TSR.2 and is a welcomed addition because, in 1/72, this is a large model that can get a little heavy on its plastic gear.

The detail of the metal parts is crisp and looks flawless. The advantage to these parts is their strength, so they shouldn’t warp with time under the kit’s weight. They will also hold up well while you work with it – no accidentally snapping plastic gear struts apart. To attach the new landing gear, you will need to use CA glue. On SAC’s website they recommend a thicker “gap filling” CA glue so you can position them the way you want and then use an accelerator to bond the parts instantly.

I highly recommend this product. I have had models where the landing gear has broken under the aircraft’s weight and how disappointing it is to see your kit leaning in the display case. It’s good to know that there is a solution for this.

P-47 Thunderbolt .50 Browning M2 Barrels

Published: July 7th, 2013     
P-47 Thunderbolt .50 Browning M2 Barrels
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

Master Model is a company that makes turned brass aftermarket parts, specifically pitot tubes, refueling probes, gun barrels, and antennas.

The first thing I would like to point out is how good the packaging and instruction sheet are. The packaging consists of a zip-lock type bag while the part is in a smaller bag, keeping it from moving all over and getting lost as you work. The instruction sheet is very clear and easy to understand, detailing a mere 3 steps. Cut off original part, drill a hole (0.8 mm), glue in the new metal part. Just be careful drilling the hole, especially in 1/72. The bottom of the sheet has a 1/72 scale template of the barrel spacing on the wing. I just laid the wing down over it and adjusted the distance as I glued the barrels in with CA.

When compared to the kit part, there is no comparison. The kit gun barrels look like thick sticks of plastic, while the Master Model parts are a complete work of art with drilled-out barrels. Once you use a couple of Master Model’s pieces, you will be completely spoiled and never want to use the kit gun barrels again.

Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik

Published: July 5th, 2013     
Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Tamiya

History

The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik has the distinction of being produced in the largest numbers of any combat aircraft anywhere in the world, and its developmental history is well known to most modelers and historians.  Conceived in 1938 as an armored, close support and anti-tank aircraft, its designers wanted the plane to be a two-seater with a rearward firing machine gun for defense.  Politicians changed the design, however, replacing the rear gunner with an additional fuel tank and more protective armor.  Although the center section of the aircraft was essentially an armored shell, the wings, rear fuselage, and tail unit were made of wood.

P-61B Black Widow “Last Shoot Down 1945”

Published: July 3rd, 2013     
P-61B Black Widow “Last Shoot Down 1945”
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Great Wall Hobby

History Brief

The Northrop P-61 was the US military's first operational aircraft designed specifically as a night fighter interceptor. Our subject, the P-61B, was the second major production variant derived from the type. The most noteworthy improvement to the already large and infamous twin engine beast was an upgraded radar necessitating an additional 8 inches of length to the forward fuselage. This was added just in front of the nose gear bay and behind the radome.

The Black Widow depicted in the kit, “Lady In The Dark”, is historic in that it claimed the last aerial kill of World War II.