Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Focke Wulf Fw-190A-5/6/8 Priller Combo

Published: December 27th, 2012     
Focke Wulf Fw-190A-5/6/8 Priller Combo
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

History

This kit is another in the new Hasegawa series which reissues older kits with slightly modified molds, depicting several historic aircraft, usually of the same general type. This issue, which includes two complete kits, can be built as an FW-190A-5, A-6, and A-8, but it would also be possible to do an A-7 variant if you used different markings.

B-25J 345th BG Air Apaches Decals

Published: December 27th, 2012     
B-25J 345th BG Air Apaches Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

Eagle Editions has released a 1/32 scale sheet for the pending HK Models B-25 “Strafer” which represent the 345th Bomb Group, the Air Apaches. For those who don’t know, the Air Apaches were a Bomb Group based in New Guinea in WWII who flew the B-25J. They flew missions against shipping, ground emplacements, and flak positions using the B-25 bomber not only for its intended purpose but also for strafing almost anything. One thing they also had was very distinctively marked ships. The tails were marked with stylized Indians and the planes marked as bats, parrots, and many other things with great nose art. A modeler’s dream come true.

HK Models’ B-25J Strafer is reviewed here at http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/b-25j-strafer . The kit is now arriving in the US and these decals give the builder three markings for this kit:

B-25H Decals

Published: December 27th, 2012     
B-25H Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

Eagle Editions’ newest decal release is three choices for the yet-to-be-released HK Models’ 1/32nd B-25H. This version of the B-25 will have a 75mm canon in the nose along with the remainder of the cheek guns, turret, and all the aft guns. The H version also required a cockpit design due to the shorter nose and length of the canon which made the designers relocate the topside gun turret more toward the nose. This accounted for the visual changes to the exterior. The plane was designed to strafe and hit targets with its forward facing guns and cannon. In practice, the slow fire rate of the cannon compared to the guns meant that the previous strafe versions ended up doing the same or more damage.

HK Models has announced a 1/32nd B-25H due in 2013 with a part number of 01E00. It will have the corrections needed and will be based on their fantastic B-25J series which has the B-25J "Strafer" reaching the US currently. Eagle Editions has issued markings early for these kits of:

Hs-129 Landing Gear

Published: December 27th, 2012     
Hs-129 Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions continues their prolific run at supplying modelers well cast metal gear with this latest offering for the Hasegawa Hs-129 kit which has been freshly released in a winter camouflage screen. The Hs-129 was the WWII Luftwaffe equivalent of the A-10 Warthog. The Hs-129 was small for a 2-engine attack plane with a wingspan of slightly over 46 feet. Consider that a P-51 had a wingspan of 37 feet for only one engine – this was a small plane!

Browning M2 Machine Guns

Published: December 26th, 2012     
Browning M2 Machine Guns
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw, IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

The Browning M2 heavy machine gun needs no introduction.  Serving the US Military for over 70 years, it is only out-lived by another Browning design, the Colt 1911. Several generations of fighting men and women all over the world have used the simple and effective design in all climes of combat.  Though there have been several medium machine gun designs that have come and gone, the M2 proves that “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude, and has remained the main HMG in US inventory.  It is hard to believe that the same gun mounted on Shermans during WWII also serves on the Stryker and Abrams today.

As prevalent as it is, achieving the detail of the M2 in 1/48 has been a challenge.  Most plastic kits represent the gun as a “stick on a box”, and some resin has been marginally better, offering at least an attempt at the cooling jacket, feed and ejection ports, and trigger mechanisms.  Some white metal offerings did better, but again offered marginal improvement, mostly having to do with the classic method of scratch-building a master, and then casting copies.  Detail was limited to a person’s eyesight, tools, and materials of choice.

B8V20 Russian Rocket Launcher

Published: December 26th, 2012     
B8V20 Russian Rocket Launcher
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw, IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models

Guided rockets are nice when you need to place some hurt on a specific spot, but when the need is an overwhelming amount of firepower in a small area, nothing beats the classic unguided rocket.  Most nations still have podded unguided rockets in their inventory, including the US and the former Eastern Bloc, as they are cheap and effective.  The B8V20 is a podded launcher that holds 20 80mm S-8 Series rockets.  They are commonly found on attack helicopters such as the Mi-25 Hind, Mi-28, and Ka-50 Hokum, but also have been fitted to the Mi-8 Hip and others.  Other variants of the pod include more aerodynamic shaping with a cone on the front.

Sukhoi Su-30MKK Flanker G

Published: December 22nd, 2012     
Sukhoi Su-30MKK Flanker G
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Trumpeter

THE AIRCRAFT

The Su-30 is a two-seat version of the Su-27.  The mission is long-range all-weather strike fighter.  Think F-15E vsx F-15C in the US inventory.  The MKK is currently operated by the Peoples Republic of China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Venezuela.  There’s going to be a wonderful aftermarket decal sheet for this kit!

There’s also a newer version, the Su-30MK2, which has maritime strike capability added.

There’s also a suspiciously similar aircraft called the J-16.  China claims this is all-Chinese technology, but the Russians aren’t so sure.

THE KIT

When I opened the box, I was impressed with how well Trumpeter had packed the parts.  The fuselage halves (top and bottom) had a rubber ring holding them together, a piece of foam protecting the rear “stinger,” and sprues around the wingtips to prevent damage during shipment.  Also, several of the delicate parts were wrapped in the foam, including the clear parts.

Blue Moon Over Cuba

Published: December 20th, 2012     
Blue Moon Over Cuba
Author: William B. Ecker USN (ret.) & Kenneth V. Jack
Reviewed by: David Pruitt, IPMS# 44770
Company: Osprey Publishing

Fifty years ago, the world stood at the edge of the abyss and stared nuclear annihilation in the face.  During a two-week standoff, there was a very real chance that the US and the USSR could initiate a nuclear World War III over missile sites placed in Cuba.  For the most part, written accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962, are told from the diplomatic or political point of view.  These usually involve President Kennedy and his advisors struggling to find a diplomatic solution to persuade the Soviets to remove the missiles that were being placed on the island nation of Cuba, just ninety miles from the southern coast of the United States.  Blue Moon Over Cuba offers a different perspective…one from treetop level at high speed.  It is the story of Operation Blue Moon, undertaken by the Photographic Reconnaissance pilots of VFP-62, also known as the Fightin’ Photos.  It is based on the memoirs of US Navy Captain William B. Ecker, the commanding officer of the squadron.  The book recounts the dangerous missions during which the pilots, flying RF-8 Crusaders, photographed the missile sites in great detail.

Spitfire Mk. IXe

Published: December 19th, 2012     
Spitfire Mk. IXe
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Eduard

The Aircraft

The Spitfire is the British fighter from World War II.  Sure, there were Hurricanes, Tempests, Typhoons, Mustangs, Mosquitoes, and Meteors, but there were more Spitfires than any of them.  More to the point, there have been injection molded kits in 1/144 of the Spirfire I and 5, but this is the first Mark IX.  Kami de Korokoro has a resin Mark IX.

The Kit

You get two of every part, but there are two types of wing – one full-span, one with clipped wing.  There are six marking options, three for clipped, three for full wings.  These are shown on the back of the box and with 4-view drawings in the instructions. 

Construction

Like most 1/144 fighter kits, this one is pretty simple.  Two fuselage halves, a one-piece wing, horizontal stabilizers left and right, and the canopy, and it was ready to paint.  Notice that there’s no cockpit interior.  That’s an add-on that I didn’t have.  It’s Eduard stock number 144006, available for $7.99.

Messerschmitt Bf-110E Wheels

Published: December 19th, 2012     
Messerschmitt Bf-110E Wheels
Reviewed by: Timothy Funnell, IPMS# 48350
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Another finely detailed aftermarket upgrade from Eduard on their Brassin product line, these 1/72 wheels are made of resin and are more detailed than the kit parts. They come packaged with an instruction sheet and wheel masks for easy painting. The wheels fit perfectly onto the landing gear of the new Eduard kit. All you need to so is detach the excess resin and, with a little cleanup, you’re all set. I would have liked to use these on the new kit but that would defeat an out-of-box review. The only thing I would have liked to see was tires supporting a load. But what the heck, these are pretty darn good as they are.

I would like to thank Eduard and Steve Collins of IPMS-USA for the chance to review this product, and thanks to you for reading this article.

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