Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

YF-23 Black Widow

Published: December 20th, 2013     
YF-23 Black Widow
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Hobby Boss

Northrop's YF-22 was the direct competitor to the F-22 Raptor that the Air Force elected to purchase.  Two prototypes were built- one in gray and the other in black.   Hobbyboss has released the first quarter scale kit and it is a beauty.  The kit is 94 parts with the upper and lower fuselage being one large piece each. Engraving is good.  Most of the parts go toward the landing gear bays and landing gear. There is a clear canopy and windscreen. No option for opening it is available. There is a small decal sheet and full color paint guide in the kit representing the gray prototype only.

Construction starts in a nicely detailed cockpit and includes a separate throttle, rudder pedals and stick. The seat is decent- the belts are molded in and acceptable for injection molded. The area behind the seat is also well represented. The front landing gear bay is added tot eh bottom of the cockpit. I bypassed building and adding the landing gear to the bay at this point as it fits well and can be added later.

Aces of Jagdstaffel 17

Published: December 19th, 2013     
Aces of Jagdstaffel 17
Author: Greg VanWyngarden
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Osprey Publishing

Jagdstaffel 17, better known as Jasta 17, was one of the premier German fighter squadrons of World War I. It began as Kampfstaffel Metz, and later became known as Jasta 17.   Although not as famous some of the other units, it nevertheless produced its share of aces, and three of its members were knights of the Orden Pour le Merite, holders of the coveted Blue Max.  Julius Buckler, with 35 confirmed victories, was the highest scoring ace of Kampfstaffel Metz.  Other standouts included Oblt Bruno  Loerzer, Hermann Goring, Jacob Wolff (who was  48 years old when he scored his last victory, and was also Jewish), Vzfw Christian Donhauser, and a number of others who either transferred in and out of the unit, or served briefly until becoming casualties.

Although this book is a history or the unit, it reads like a novel and tells the story very well, illustrating the writing skills of the author. When I started it, I had difficulty putting it down, and in keeping with my practice of never going anywhere without something interesting to read, I carried the book around for quite a while until it was finished.

Aces of Jagdgeschwader 3 'Udet' (Aircraft of the Aces)

Published: December 19th, 2013     
Aces of Jagdgeschwader 3 'Udet' (Aircraft of the Aces)
Author: John Weal
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Osprey Publishing

Review

Osprey Publishing keeps providing modelers and aviation aficionados with plenty of reading and reference material. The latest installment of their “Aircraft of the Aces” is devoted to those that flew with JG3. I have to say that I like a lot the most recent books of this series, in which they cover both the history and aces of a single unit.

JG 3 is a very relevant unit to both the modeler and historian, as it participated in all major Luftwaffe campaigns and some of the most significant battles of the war, including the Battle of Britain, Battle for Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Normandy, Ardennes and Berlin. Not only that, it also flew all the marks of the Bf-109 (from the early –Es to the late –Ks), plus the Fw-190, both radial and inline versions. In addition to that their aircraft wore all different camouflages, from Western Front to Eastern Front (snow camouflage) to Desert and Mediterranean camouflages.

The book is divided chronologically in the following chapters:

A-1 Skyraider Pylons for Underwing Stores

Published: December 16th, 2013     
A-1 Skyraider Pylons for Underwing Stores
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Quickboost

The A-1 Skyraider was known for its ability to carry a “world of hurt” on its underwing pylons. Quickboost has provided a set of pylons for the Tamiya kit that significantly enhance the appearance of an already well-detailed kit. Specifically, the QB parts replace the pylons provided by the Tamiya kit.

Quickboost provides an illustration that clearly indicates the Tamiya kit parts that are replaced by the QB items. QB realizes that some of the parts they provide are very delicate and need additional support in order to arrive on the modeler’s workbench in one piece. QB parts # 5 (sway braces) appear, at first glance, to have “flash” on them. Upon closer inspection you will identify that “flash” as extra support material, protecting the arms of the sway brace. It is not difficult to remove this support material but some caution needs to be exercised in order to prepare the part for placement on the model.

F-15C Eagle Cockpit Set

Published: December 15th, 2013     
F-15C Eagle Cockpit Set
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Thanks to Aires for this stunning bit of resin; Even though this was a second generation F-15 model from Hasegawa, this kit is over 20 years old and has been in need of an upgrade to the cockpit.  Aires provides just what is needed to strengthen the presentation of this model.

Once again it is easy to see the level of detail Aires provides; how they do it is beyond my abilities, but they do.  The basic cockpit tub is a phenomenal casting; all the required details are there.  The same goes for the avionics bay located aft of the cockpit. As a reminder, this aircraft is pre-MISP (an avionics upgrade to bring AAMRAAM and other capability to the jet), so the black boxes and other bits are appropriate for the Icelandic markings.  (If I remember correctly from my time at 17th AF in USAFE, the 56th birds received their jets from the 36th at Bitburg before MISP started; someone correct me if my old memory has faded that much).

Sepecat Jaguar Wheels and Paint Masks

Published: December 15th, 2013     
Sepecat Jaguar Wheels and Paint Masks
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aires Hobby Models

A quick “thank you!” to Aires for providing us with this set; once again the excellence of your products is readily apparent!

This is a very simple swap out for the Hasegawa Jaguar wheels.   As you see in the side by side pictures, the outside rim detail is much more refined than the almost 30 year old wheels in the kit. The brake assembly on the back side (which is not on the kit wheels) is just phenomenal for this scale. 

The masks are olive green and semi-flexible.  My past experience with these masks are that they work very well… when you use them correctly!  (Mask the tire, not the wheel.)  That may seem obvious, but I’m getting older, ya know.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this upgrade is well beyond my ability to reproduce; particularly for the four main wheels and brakes. The masks add another helpful dimension for those of us who just can’t quite thin the paint correctly and preventing the rims from looking like someone took a two-inch brush to paint the tires. 

These wheels are a worthy acquisition for your Hasegawa Jaguar kit.

MHU-191 M Munition Transporter with Aero 58 Adapter

Published: December 15th, 2013     
MHU-191 M Munition Transporter with Aero 58 Adapter
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Aerobonus

Thanks to Aires for catering to the AMS in all of us; we appreciate your support!

This will save a lot of scratchbuilding time for those who are into dioramas or weapons; the MHU-191 M munition transporter with aero 58 adapter  is used for transporting weapons; unfortunately I could not find what type of weapon is used with this adaptor; I did find this excerpt from a Naval ordinance  Manual:  “The Aero 58A skid adaptor holds a single weapon of up to 30.5 inches in diameter; it can be used wihtthe MHU-125/# platform skid and MHU-126/M munitions trailer”. 

Bottom line:  it’s Navy, use it accordingly!

An excellent diorama accessory in the Aerobonus range; pretty soon we’ll have to build additions to our homes to handle the miniature flightlines and flight decks we are building! 

Thanks again to Aires/Aerobonus and to IPMS USA for this review item.

F-35A Lightning II

Published: December 15th, 2013     
F-35A Lightning II
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Company: Italeri

Thanks very much to Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) for providing IPMS USA this kit. Up front, I determined to send this item as part of an effort to provide some of the “New kits” to our deployed personnel in harms way, through our POC at IPMS USA, and full credit definitely goes to our long-time supporters at MRC. That means this will be an “In-box” review of this kit.

I was at Edwards AFB, CA about two months ago and observed (mostly heard) firsthand the test birds flying.  Extremely interesting to watch and noisy, as they are claimed to be louder than the F-22 if that is possible!  Nonetheless, a great opportunity and I was pleased to actually see them fly. 

EA-18G VAQ-135 Black Ravens Limited Edition

Published: December 15th, 2013     
EA-18G VAQ-135 Black Ravens Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Matthew Cottrell, IPMS# 48174
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

Aircraft History

The EA-18G Growler is an electronics warfare aircraft developed in the 2000s for the US Navy as a replacement for the ageing EA-6B Prowler.  It shares 90% of its components with the F/A-18F Super Hornet, saving time and money in development, construction and maintenance for the fleet. The Growler has been in operational service since 2009, and saw combat for the first time over Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011.  In addition to the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force has also recently announced plans to acquire 12 EA-18Gs.

Mosquito Oil Radiators

Published: December 15th, 2013     
Mosquito Oil Radiators
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost

Product

The oil radiators come packaged in the typical clear cellophane and a cardboard insert that Quickboost has become known for. The parts are cast in a light gray resin and are very sharp features. The parts are designed to be used on any of the excellent Tamiya 1/72nd Mosquitos.

Application

When removing the parts from the pour block, use care as the resin is very thin. Don't worry about getting the part cleaned up real good at this point, you can do that once it is attached to the model to give it some extra support. Next you will need to trim the kit part. There is several raised straight lines that will have to be removed (see photo). Once they are removed and the area is smoothed out you attach the resin. I used Gator grip glue to attach the parts as it gives you time to set the part. Once the part was set I finished cleaning it up.

These two pieces are a vast improvement over the kit part. I highly recommend these if you are looking to improve the already nice Tamiya Mosquito.

I would like to thank Aires - Quickboost and IPMS/USA for allowing me the opportunity to review this set.