Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-86D Sabre “Shark Mouth”

Published: February 2nd, 2013     
F-86D Sabre “Shark Mouth”
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

I happen to love F-86s in any shape or form, and the “D” is one of my favorites. I have built a few in the past in most scales and welcomed this one by Hasegawa in 1/72 as I never built one in this scale.

With this kit, Hasegawa chose to do it in the unusual “Shark Mouth” markings. This is a pleasant change from the usual marking as seen on most “D” models.

Upon opening the box, I was greeted with the usual Hasegawa silver plastic in four sprues, plus a clear one. The moldings were crisp with engraved panel lines. I had looked at an older kit of the “D” by Hasegawa and it seems to be the same kit, only with new decals.

Assembly was straightforward with no fit problems. The wings went on without the need of filler. One must remember to add a weight to the nose to prevent tail dragging. The cockpit was very nice; however, I think that seat harnesses could have been molded to the seat for a better look. I added some from tape.

The landing gear is great, and once it was painted aluminum and given a dark wash, it looked real. The detail is terrific.

Bf-109F-4 Jabo

Published: February 2nd, 2013     
Bf-109F-4 Jabo
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Brown, IPMS# 42302
Scale: 1/32
Company: Hasegawa

I recently built the Hasegawa 1/32 scale Bf-109 F4 “Jabo” version. This was a great kit to build. In fact, if by some miracle I win the lottery or find a decently paying job, I actually plan on picking another one up.

The decal sheet gives you three versions to build: Oberleutnant Frank Liesendahl from 10 Jabo /JG2, Unteroffizier Felix Sauer from 10 Jabo /JG53, and Oberleutnant Werner Langemann, 10 Jabo /JG53. Unlike the Hellcat I reviewed a short while ago , the decals for this kit were crisp, clean, and really well done. The white is a clean, bright white, and the Blue 1 I plan on using for Liesendahl’s aircraft looks like it will stand out when applied.

I did a build for the review. There were no real problems; in fact, just about everything fit beautifully. The cockpit interior is well detailed, and I did not find the need to add any extras since the cockpit is really nice-looking on its own. I did, however, add some PE seatbelts, since the kit decal seatbelts are not only lacking in detail, but they are silver. I used an aftermarket set to finish the interior, which really brought everything together.

SEPECAT Jaguar A

Published: January 30th, 2013     
SEPECAT Jaguar A
Reviewed by: Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kitty Hawk

History – The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet ground-attack aircraft, originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Armée de l'Air in the close air support and nuclear strike role, and remains in service with several export customers, notably the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman.

Originally conceived in the 1960s as jet trainer with a light ground attack capability, the requirement for the aircraft soon changed to include supersonic performance and reconnaissance and tactical nuclear strike roles.  A carrier-based variant was also planned for French service, but this was cancelled in favor of the cheaper Dassault Super Étendard.  The airframes were manufactured by SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l'avion Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique), a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation, one of the first major joint-Anglo-French military aircraft programs.

B-25 Interior Detail Set

Published: January 29th, 2013     
B-25 Interior Detail Set
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

Eduard has issued this interior set to upgrade the HK Models 1/32nd B-25 interior by addressing several areas. The set comes with two large photo etched frets and one small colorized fret, all of which have excellent relief on the parts and great color on the small fret. This set addresses the tail gunner position, the top turret gunner position, both exit hatches, and the rear fuselage interior, along with barrel covers for the guns.

I started construction with the tail gunner area. Both side walls have a large PE part which address the lack of molded-in detail. These were pressed into the area and when they fit well, affixed with super glue and accelerator. These are enhanced with rails which are bent and formed to look like the ribs inside the tail. The wiring detail on the tail gunner shield and additions to the tail gun sight are also included and simple to add. The area was painted Tamiya gloss silver from a decanted rattle can and then detailed. Also, the needed instrument boxes were bent and added. These look great with the preprinted detail and extra parts which look like switches.

Austro-Hungarian Albatros Aces of World War I

Published: January 29th, 2013     
Austro-Hungarian Albatros Aces of World War I
Author: Paolo Varriale
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Osprey Publishing

History

The Austro-Hungarian Army Air Service operated various types of aircraft during their combat operations against the Italians, Russians, Rumanians, and Albanians, and for the most part their equipment was not particularly state-of-the-art.  On the Italian side, while some Italian designs were used, many of the aircraft they faced were the latest designs from France and Britain, some flown by British pilots. The Austrians never had adequate resources to prosecute the war in the first place as their aviation industry had been neglected before the war, resulting in only limited successes.  They operated on a shoestring and did remarkably well, considering their limited resources.

However, the Germans provided the Austrians with a number of modern Albatros D.II and D.III fighters, and also licensed the production of the D.III by Oeffag, an Austrian firm.  The Oeffag D.III product was somewhat redesigned, which resulted in a plane that was stronger and better-performing that their German counterparts.  A total of 49 pilots became aces flying the 586 Oeffag-built Albatros D.III fighters produced in Austria during the war.

Focke Wulf Fw-190A-9

Published: January 28th, 2013     
Focke Wulf Fw-190A-9
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

Hasegawa continues to offer easy-to-build Focke Wulf 190s; the latest one is the last short-nosed 190 to be produced during the war, the Fw-190A-9.  The BMW-801TS-powered A-9 variant is identified with a larger propeller, an extra cooling fin on the fan, and a bulged canopy.  This limited edition release is the basic A-8 kit from Hasegawa with some white metal parts – the cooling fan and a wider chord wooden propeller which are all that are needed to convert the A-8 into an A-9.

The kit is molded in typical Hasegawa quality light grey plastic that is flash free with subtle panel lines.  There are four sprues of grey plastic, a sprue of clear plastic, one set of poly caps, and the two white metal parts.  I did notice that the wings had three strange holes on the upper surface.  These are easily filled.  It looks like they are for the stag antler-type antennas, so I’m sure we’ll see more variants.

B-25H/J Wheels

Published: January 28th, 2013     
B-25H/J Wheels
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

To spice up that HK Models B-25, Eduard has released its Brassin B-25 wheel set. For those not knowing, Brassin is Eduard’s resin line. It is excellently cast and comes in 11 parts, with the wheels being single pieces and the hubs coming in two parts. There is also a photoetch cover for the front wheel, depending on the configuration you are building. Lastly, there is an excellent set of masks and a nice instruction sheet. There are no air bubbles anywhere, and the resin is easy to sand. There are pour blocks on each wheel which I trimmed with a razor saw and then sanded, with no issues. I used the razor saw to get the seams out of the excellently engraved treads.

I trimmed the hubs next, and they are also cast perfectly. You will have to clean out the open spots in the hubs because they have a light film in them. Easy to do, but it does take a little time. Eduard suggests using a toothpick to punch them out, but I ended up with a knife. Take your time and the results are very much worth it.

B-25 Pilots Seats

Published: January 28th, 2013     
B-25 Pilots Seats
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

This set is a single fret of excellent relief-etched material which fixes the seats on the HK Models 1/32 B-25. So, you ask, what’s wrong with the kit seats? Not much, but research does indicate that the co-pilot’s seat was not a full seat like the pilot’s, more of a half seat. The fret includes 35 parts which allow you to build more detailed and correct seats.

Construction will be helped by use of one of the PE bending tools on the market today – I used a Hold and Fold and it is much more precise making the bends than any other way. Also, you will need some plastic rod to construct the seat mounts – two pieces of 1.2mm rod, each 26.5mm long, and for the smaller seat, two pieces of 1.2mm rod each 14.5mm long. I used stock styrene rod from the LHS.

B-25 Ammunition Belts

Published: January 28th, 2013     
B-25 Ammunition Belts
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

Eduard has issued an upgrade set to enhance the detail on the ammunition belts in HK Models 1/32 B-25J. This set includes one fret of 15 parts which replicate the detail on the ammunition belts for the rear guns, waist guns, and, if used, the nose gun.

HK Models’ detail on the gun belts is okay but does lack for some of the detail on the outside of the tracks. To upgrade this, the photoetch parts are added to the outside of each plastic part and are bent at a 90 degree angle to cover the top and sides. This gives a much better representation of the real belts.

I started by trying to glue on a belt and then bend the PE over – not too successful. In the end, I prebent all the needed parts on my Hold and Fold and glued them on in sections, using CA glue and accelerator. It was very fiddly and time consuming but yielded a nice result in the end.

Swedish Fighter Colors 1925-1954

Published: January 27th, 2013     
Swedish Fighter Colors 1925-1954
Author: Mikael Forslund and Thierry Vallet
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: MMP Books

This book looks at all of the piston engine fighter aircraft used by Sweden from 1925 to 1946 and their paint schemes. Each aircraft is covered with many period pictures, some even in color. There is a section on the operational history, a listing of production numbers, as well as a chart detailing the individual aircraft history of all aircraft of each type that served Sweden. Each aircraft section ends with color notes spelling out the colors used for each. While not in FS numbers, these callout will still prove useful to the modeler. The book is more of a history of these aircraft in Swedish service with color information included than it is an in-depth analysis of the colors used on these aircraft.

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