Recent Reviews https://web.ipmsusa3.org/reviews_date en Sd. Kfz. 173 Ausf. G2 Jagdpanther https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/sd-kfz-173-ausf-g2-jagdpanther <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/sd-kfz-173-ausf-g2-jagdpanther" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/sd-kfz-173-ausf-g2-jagdpanther/box_top_photo.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Tim Wilding </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meng Model </div> </div> </div> <p>The Jadgpanther was a Heer (German Army) tank destroyer based on the Panzer Mark V Panther tank chassis. They had an 8.8cm anti-tank gun installed in a fixed superstructure that replaced the Panther's turret and 7.5cm gun. This Meng Model's Jadgpanther is the last production run made from November 1944 to May 1945.</p> <p>Meng packages this kit in a large, sturdy box with very nice box art and an AK-Interactive paint chart of the required colors to finish this kit. Inside this box are 10 tan colored sprues of plastic, one clear plastic sprue, one photo-etched sheet, one metal side skirt sheet, a sprue of poly caps, a small decal sheet, metal tow cable and a small length of chain for the boom. A bonus for this first edition run is a metal barrel. The instructions are a 26-page booklet with all color printing. There are 38 building steps. I like how Meng has the parts you need to add in each step a tan color and the unfinished kit in a grey. This makes it easier not to miss parts. The history of the vehicle in on three aged tan card stock sheets that are three holed punched on top, like they go on a hanging clipboard. There are over 1000 parts with about 650 being the tracks. You have to decide what version (A, B or C) you are building before you start since there are different steps for some. Three full color painting schemes are at the end of the booklet.</p> <p>Construction starts on the road wheels and lower hull, like most other armor kits. I did go ahead and drill the 20 holes in many different hull parts. I just looked ahead in the instructions and drilled them all while I had my pin vise out. The road wheels have poly caps in them, so they can be removed easily. The lower hull is built from flat pieces, but has internal supports, so everything lines up well. I did have a very small gap under the front plate, but a little pressure helped seal that. There are details on the bottom of the hull too. The suspension arms have some play in them, and I left them unglued. This helped line the wheels up later and them I glued in place.</p> <p>The upper hull is a sub-frame that the armor plates and engine deck glues to. This has guide pins that line up with holes in the lower hull that almost snap in place. But this caused gap problems with the rear plate and the upper hull. Also, the front joint between upper and lower hull had a small gap. I used lots of glue to soften the plastic and pressed parts together hard to fill these gaps. This was a big sloppy and I wish these parts fit better.</p> <p>The next construction step is the tracks. Be prepared to spend about 10 hours on these. Each track link has three sprue attachment points that need to be cleaned. The problem is that the sprue gates are the concaved parts of the tracks. I had to uses a knife to carve away the cut nubs, then use a rounded metal file to get it all out of these concaved areas or the tracks will not fit together. Then there is flash on the other side of the track links that need to be removed or the links will not join properly. I used a small square metal file for that. There are two hollow guide horns that need to be glued to each link. The sprue gates are on the bottom of these horns, but still need to be filed down or they will not fit correctly on the links. You have to do 87 links per side - 174 total, plus 12 more for the extra tracks on the side storage area. That is 372 guide horns that need to be added. There are also extra cleats that can be added to every other track link. After I spent a week and about 12 hours doing about 120 track links, I decided to take a shortcut. Since I was using the side skirts, I skipped making the upper run of links. I made the links just long enough to wrap around the sprocket and rear idler. Building the tracks was very tedious and it almost killed my motivation to work on this kit. Luckily, I went on a weeklong vacation to the beach after finishing the tracks. Meng does offer a working track and running gear option you can buy. This might be a better option then the kit supplied tracks.</p> <p>The rest of the build went well. The front plate needs a lot of pressure to get it to fit in place correctly. This plate needs to line up perfectly or the side armor will not fit well. The exhaust system and engine deck builds nicely. The instructions do have the round photo-etched screens marked incorrectly. Screen 27 is the smaller one and needs to go where 26 is shown going. Screen 26 then goes where 27 is supposed. There is a lot of photo-etched parts on the rear deck and side skirt brackets. I like how Meng has clear tape on both sides of the photo-etched sheet. I could cut pieces off and not sorry about them flying off into the unknown. There are some long, half-rounded plastic left over from the push pin molding process. These will interfere with the interior construction, so they need to be removed.</p> <p>There is just a little interior detail. The gun breach is included and inside of hatches are detailed. The two top hatches and rear superstructure hatch can be opened and closed. I included these details so I can add figures later. The antenna mount has just a nub for an antenna, so I cut this off and replaced with wire. The crane was easier to build on the vehicle unlike the instructions would have you built it off. To get the angles of the supports correct, it needs to be on the vehicle. I did not glue in on, so I could remove it of painting. There is a metal chain for the boom and a photo-etched chain for the block and tackle. This photo-etched chain was a pain to get wrapped around both blocks correctly. Then I used burnishing fluid to darken it so paint would stick to it. After a couple application, the chain started falling apart. I replaced it with black sewing thread. The tread was so much easier to work with.</p> <p>I left the road wheels, tracks and side skirts off for paint. I found it worked best to paint the wheels, lower hull and tracks, then install them. I installed the side skirts next and masked off the lower hull. You can not add the road wheels or tracks after installing the side skirts, since they block the top part of the wheels. I only decals supplied are the crosses, so I added some numbers from my spares. The kit decals are very nice and thin.</p> <p>Overall, this kit was enjoyable to built, but the tracks really will try your patience. I would like to thank Meng Models and IPMS for the opportunity to build this new kit.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/sd-kfz-173-ausf-g2-jagdpanther#comments Military Vehicles Kits Sun, 20 Sep 2020 13:04:44 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10621 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org 4-Wheeled Armoured Cars in Germany WW2 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/4-wheeled-armoured-cars-germany-ww2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/4-wheeled-armoured-cars-germany-ww2" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/4-wheeled-armoured-cars-germany-ww2/cover.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="4-Wheeled Armoured Cars in Germany WW2 " width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Allan Murrell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> MMP Books </div> </div> </div> <p>This is a thin book but very large format, and the images &nbsp;are of&nbsp; a very high quality of the various 4 Wheeled German armoured cars of WWII.</p> <p>The book covers the Kfz.13, Kfz. 14, Sd.Kfz. 221, 222, 223, 247, 260 and 261.</p> <p>The most widely used 221, 223 and 223 take up most of the book. The photos and descriptions are great and very detailed.</p> <p>I found this book fascinating and will be using some of the Photos as inspiration for a few kits in my stash. This this a fantastic reference for all armour modelers.</p> <p>I highly recommend this book.</p> <p>Thanks to MMP Books and Casemate Publishers for providing this book for review and to IPMS USA for allowing me to review it.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/4-wheeled-armoured-cars-germany-ww2#comments Military Vehicles Publications Sat, 19 Sep 2020 22:01:06 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10620 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Chernobyl #2 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/chernobyl-2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/chernobyl-2" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/chernobyl-2/cher2_1.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Chernobyl #2" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Gino Dykstra </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ICM </div> </div> </div> <p>Once again ICM is modeling one of the worst man-made disasters of the 20<sup>th</sup> century - the catastrophic explosion and meltdown of the Number 4 nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in 1986 - an event that would impact most of the world in one fashion or another.&nbsp; That ICM has the boldness to create such a fascinating look at recent history in model form says a lot about this company's choices of subject.&nbsp; The fact that they are continuing with this series says even more.</p> <p>In the Chernobyl #1 set, we explored the sealing of the area and the first radiation checks by local authorities.&nbsp; In this set, we confront the conflagration itself, with firefighters taking the first steps to control the resultant fires caused by the explosion of the reactor.&nbsp; This set combines a large fire engine, four new firefighter figures, a bit of debris and a picturesque backdrop that duplicates the cover of the box.</p> <p>First up is the assembly of the fire truck itself, which went together with few difficulties.&nbsp; Full engine and underbelly detail is included, as well as the rear control piping for the onboard water tank.&nbsp; Unfortunately, none of the equipment lockers or cab doors are designed to open, which is rather a shame as I would have liked to make a somewhat more active diorama that I was provided with.&nbsp; However, the truck itself is a complex enough build, as it comes with all the external equipment found on such a machine.&nbsp; A note here - one of the firefighters is carrying the rescue hook, which is also provided on the fire engine itself.&nbsp; If you want to be strictly accurate to the diorama, you'll want to cut off the brackets and install them separately.&nbsp; I also noted that one of the firefighters on the kit box seemed to have nothing really to do and was holding his arms in an odd manner.&nbsp; Checking up on a hunch, I discovered that the figure is really meant to be unloading the small personnel ladder, as the arms were at exactly the right position for this.&nbsp; So if you want to use this figure in the same manner I did, don't install the smaller ladder on the truck either.&nbsp; In order to paint the cabin first, I chose to leave the roof off initially, although the water cannon mounts to this.&nbsp; With careful assembly, however, you can assemble this and simply slip the cab roof under it when you're done with the interior, as I did.</p> <p>Painting the fire engine exterior is an involved affair, as it has an interesting two-tone finish plus a black chassis. &nbsp;The kit doesn't provide any masks, so care should be taken at this point as it's easy to screw it up. There were also some discrepancies between the kit cover and the instructions, as the instructions show the wheels with white sidewalls.&nbsp; Inspection of a number of online pictures dissuaded me from adding this feature, as it is apparently rare.&nbsp; I chose to keep weathering to a minimum, as most fire departments maintain their machines in meticulous order.&nbsp; In keeping with the topic of the kit, the markings for the 2<sup>nd</sup> and 6<sup>th</sup> Fire Departments from the nearby city of Pripyat are included.&nbsp; These are the departments which initially responded to the emergency.&nbsp;</p> <p>Moving on to the figures, four firefighters are included - one manning the hose, one adjusting the hose pressure, one carrying the rescue hook and the last one removing a ladder from the fire engine.&nbsp; All are well molded with excellent equipment and clear face shields - four raised and four lowered, so you have a range of options.&nbsp; Because of the complexity of the firefighting equipment, you might want to do the assembly in stages.&nbsp; For the three figures with oxygen systems, for instance, I found it easier to put these on the figures before installing the heads.&nbsp; I also painted the helmets separately and attached them after the rest of the figures were painted.</p> <p>The painting instructions were surprisingly poor, and I once again resorted to the internet to see Russian firefighters in all their glory.&nbsp; I noted that there is no mention anywhere of the reflective strips that almost all firefighters worldwide wear on their gear, and which were clearly visible on all the pictures online.&nbsp; These added a little additional interest to the figures.&nbsp; It is also good to note that even with Russian firefighters, there's a fair amount of variation in the protective gear colors.&nbsp; These seemed to be close to what I could find in relation to Chernobyl.</p> <p>Small bits of rubble are included with the figures, and I am sorry to say that literally every piece came with an annoying pin mark right in the middle of the most awkward location possible.&nbsp; A little filling and sanding fixed these, but really . . . quite annoying.&nbsp; If you're going to go whole hog on a diorama for this, you might supplement these with appropriate chunks of plaster or molded brick.</p> <p>Lastly, in setting up the scene, ICM supplies a small piece of rubber tubing to attach the firefighter handling the hose spout to the truck.&nbsp; This piece of rubber was far too stiff to permit any drape, so I simply substituted a piece of appropriate solder bent to a natural shape as substitute.</p> <p>The diorama backdrop is brilliantly printed and does a wonderful job of depicting the hellscape that confronted these brave firefighters.&nbsp; With all the pieces from the kit appropriately arranged, a lovely full scene was the result.&nbsp; Fascinating!</p> <p>All in all, this is a remarkable kit with excellent quality and value, plus the sheer audacity of the concept itself leaves me somewhat agog. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this period in history (or who lived through it).&nbsp; You will not be disappointed.&nbsp; My thanks to ICM for continuing the knock my socks off and to IPMS/USA for letting me take another shot at this incredible series.&nbsp; Stay safe, everyone, and happy modeling!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/chernobyl-2#comments Figures & Dioramas Kits Sat, 19 Sep 2020 21:36:49 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10619 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Building the Spitfire https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/building-spitfire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/building-spitfire" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/building-spitfire/img_0433.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Cover" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Scott Hollingshead </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Model Aircraft Magazine </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are in the market for a single, thorough modelers guide to the venerable Spitfire, this new offering from Model Aircraft Publications LTD would certainly fit the bill.&nbsp; With photos and text of scale model builds of the plane in 1/72, 1/48, 1/32, and 1/24 scale, this book covers 17 variants of one of the most famous fighter planes of WWII.&nbsp; For fans of the Spitfire looking to create their own in plastic, I would consider this a must-have book.&nbsp; While the company currently shows this as a pre-order item with a June 2020 release, I have recently seen it available through an online retailer here in the USA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The book begins with an eight-page introduction of the plane, and then moves into the 24 builds by various modelers, as compiled by Andy Evans.&nbsp; As mentioned, all four of the most popular modeling scales are covered in this book from the diminutive 1/72 scale to the incredibly large 1/24 scale.&nbsp; Manufacturers including Airfix, Ari, Eduard, Hasegawa, Pacific Coast, Revell, Tamiya, and Trumpeter are all represented. &nbsp;The reviews run from three to six pages in length, with the majority being four pages long.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Introduction has sections covering the background, design and the Merlin engine, armament, operation, overseas operations, Griffon engine Spitfires, and the Seafire, which tell the story of this famous plane.&nbsp; All of the builds are beautifully done with great photography and a convenient table showing the kit manufacturer as well as the kit number. &nbsp;The variants covered include (as listed in the individual reviews) the FR.IX, FR.XIV, FR.18, Mk.IIa, Mk.Va, Mk.Vb (covered in three reviews), Mk.VII, Mk.VIII, Mk.IX, Mk.IXc (covered in two reviews), Mk.XIc (covered in three reviews), Mk.XIV (covered in three reviews), Mk.XIVc, Mk.XVIe, Mk.22, PR.XIX, and Seafire F.XVII.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The hits of this book for me are the array of variants of the plane, including four different popular scales, and showing the products of eight different manufacturers.&nbsp; As mentioned, the photography is all very good, and the work displayed is top-notch by all of the contributors.&nbsp; My only personal miss for the book would be "more cockpit" (yes, in reference to the Saturday Night Live skit).&nbsp; Seven of the reviews include photos of the cockpit prior to installation in their aircraft, but I would have enjoyed seeing a few more.&nbsp; Again, this is just a personal preference.</p> <p>Overall, I would highly recommend this book to any modeler looking for an all-inclusive book on building the Spitfire.&nbsp; I would like to thank the folks at MA Productions LTD for providing this book to the IPMS-USA for review, and I appreciate having been afforded the opportunity to write this appraisal. &nbsp;As always, thanks to you the reader for taking the time to read my comments.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/building-spitfire#comments Aircraft Publications Sat, 19 Sep 2020 21:22:07 +0000 Doug Cole 10618 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Eurofighter Typhoon – Flying with Air Forces Around the World https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/eurofighter-typhoon-flying-air-forces-around-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/eurofighter-typhoon-flying-air-forces-around-world" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/eurofighter-typhoon-flying-air-forces-around-world/1_cover.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Eurofighter Typhoon – Flying with Air Forces Around the World" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Paul R. Brown </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> HMH Publications </div> </div> </div> <p>This is a new publication from Duke Hawkins Books and is the sixth volume of a series of books that they have recently published highlighting modern jets.&nbsp; This volume focuses on the Eurofighter/Typhoon.</p> <p>When the book was published, the Eurofighter/Typhoon was operated by 7 countries - England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman and the volume includes at least one photograph of a jet from each country.&nbsp; There is text scattered throughout the book, however, to be honest, most of it is expanded captions discussing the photographs that it accompanies.</p> <p>The strength of this book are the stunning photographs in it. &nbsp;I counted 290 images.&nbsp; All the photographs are in full color and are beautifully reproduced.&nbsp; The photographs are from several photographers and include not only excellent air-to-air shots, but also quite a few photos of the aircraft on the ground.&nbsp; While the Eurofighter/Typhoon is almost always painted in grey, there are a few variations on this theme.&nbsp; There are also a lot of photographs showing the markings of individual aircraft and several eye-popping air-to-air shots of anniversary or Tiger Meet schemes.</p> <p>For modelers, the bulk of the photographs are detail photographs of the aircraft and include not only the standard ones of the cockpit and landing gear, but also shots of things like the area under the canopy with once the canopy has been removed, the underside of the canopy and the inside of the engine bays when the engines have been removed.&nbsp; There are also several photos of the aircraft undergoing maintenance with panels removed showcasing the internal workings of the jet for those of you who cannot resist a bit of super detailing.&nbsp; There are also a couple of pages of a RAF Typhoon fresh out of maintenance, but before it was repainted, showcasing some of the different materials used in construction of the aircraft.</p> <p>My only gripe with the book is that I would have liked a few more photographs illustrating the weapons carried by the Eurofighter/Typhoon as it has now been in service for around 20 years and has participated in a number of combat actions in recent years.</p> <p>This is an outstanding book and a must for anyone itching to detail up a Eurofighter/Typhoon - highly recommended.</p> <p>Thank you to HMH Publications for this excellent book and to Casemate Publishing for providing the review sample.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/eurofighter-typhoon-flying-air-forces-around-world#comments Aircraft Publications Sat, 19 Sep 2020 21:14:08 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10617 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org The 3rd SS Panzer Regiment by Pierre Tiquet https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/3rd-ss-panzer-regiment-pierre-tiquet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/3rd-ss-panzer-regiment-pierre-tiquet" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/3rd-ss-panzer-regiment-pierre-tiquet/cover.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Cover" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Allan Murrell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Casemate Publishers </div> </div> </div> <p>This book covers the complete history of the 3<sup>rd</sup> SS Panzer Regiment - part of the Totenkopt Division. The subject is approached from the men's stories, profiles, battles and weapons used.</p> <p>The "first person" accounts are the highlight of this book. It is written in such a way that it draws you in and you are there experiencing what they did. I must admit I enjoyed this so much and learnt a lot about the feeling, day to day routines as well as the battles. The soldier's profiles are another great way to help you understand who these people were.</p> <p>The regiment was formed in late 1942 in France but was transferred to the Eastern front and was involved in many major campaigns and battles in this part of the war.&nbsp; The chapters are broken down well and each covers major events and periods in the regiment's history.</p> <p>The illustrations, photos and documents are impressive and significantly added to understanding the whole period in history for these men.</p> <p>I cannot recommend this book enough. &nbsp;It is a treasure trove of information and photos for everyone with an interest in WWII. I must again say that the "first person" accounts really do make this book such a incredible read!</p> <p>Thanks to Casemate Publishing for providing this book to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/3rd-ss-panzer-regiment-pierre-tiquet#comments Figures & Dioramas Publications Sat, 19 Sep 2020 19:40:10 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10615 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org F-102 Delta Dagger Units https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/f-102-delta-dagger-units <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/f-102-delta-dagger-units" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/f-102-delta-dagger-units/osprey_ca_132_f-102_delta_dagger_cover_front1.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="F-102 Delta Dagger Units" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Frank Landrus </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Osprey Publishing </div> </div> </div> <p>Peter E. Davies has published 37 aviation books, over 20 of them for Osprey. He has also contributed to magazines such as Aeroplane Monthly, Aviation News and Aircraft Illustrated. He concentrates mainly upon combat aircraft of the Cold War and Vietnam War. Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives in New Hampshire. He attended Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, from 1974-78, and since graduating with Honours, he has been working professionally in the field of Fine Art and Illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon. He lives in the US.</p> <p>Illustrator Jim Laurier, a native of New England, provides the color profiles. Jim has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and has been featured in hundreds of aviation books. Jim prefers working in oils on canvas and has specialized in Vietnam War era aircraft. He currently lives in New Hampshire. You can find his art work at <a href="blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.aviationarthangar.com/jimlaurier.html</a> . Check him out!</p> <p>Osprey's 132<sup>nd</sup> book in the Combat Aircraft series is a square back soft cover including 96 gloss paper pages. &nbsp;The front cover features a color painting by Gareth Hector of a Green Mountain Boys F-102A (37<sup>th</sup> FIS, F-102A-35, 54-1400) on a practice intercept mission out of Ethan Allen AFB. &nbsp;I counted 28 color photographs and 194 black and white pictures. Jim Laurier contributes the 30 color side profiles in the Color Plate section.</p> <p>Peter E. Davies opens up with the development of the delta wing concept, starting in Germany with the Lippisch DM-1 glider.&nbsp; Dr. Alexander Lippisch was captured and became part of <em>Operation Paperclip</em>, and eventually became a consultant with CONVAIR.&nbsp; An outcome of this was CONVAIR winning a USAF interceptor contract in 1946 that eventually led to the XP-92A.&nbsp; This ended up being an experimental demonstrator for the delta wing concept, but generated enough interest to lead to the F-102.&nbsp; Peter E. Davies covers in detail all the bugs that had to be solved for this 'interim' interceptor, including the revelation of 'area ruling'.&nbsp; Although originally perceived as a stepping stone to the ultimate interceptor, that would eventually lead to the F-106 Delta Dart, there were 1,000 F-102s built as compared to the 342 Delta Darts.</p> <p>Peter E. Davis follows up with the F-102's service career.&nbsp; The Deuce entered service with ADC (Air Defense Command), replacing F-86Ds, F-94Cs, and F-89s.&nbsp;&nbsp; Interdiction of Bears, Badgers and Coots was the primary order of business as the Deuces played tag. Six squadrons also were deployed to Europe, with the USAFE.&nbsp; It did see service in Vietnam, ostensibly to intercept Il-28 Beagles, but they also served as bomber top cover and even dabbled into ground attack.&nbsp; The contents include:</p> <p>Acknowledgements</p> <p>Chapter One - A New Shape</p> <p>Delta Data [Page 09]</p> <p>Chapter Two - Daggers Drawn</p> <p>Fire Control</p> <p>Interim Interceptor [Page 22]</p> <p>T For Two</p> <p>Punching Out</p> <p>Chapter Three - Sharpening the Dagger</p> <p>Fighting Falcons</p> <p>ADC Entry</p> <p>Pilot Prepping</p> <p>Colour Plates [Page 36]</p> <p>Chapter Four - Caging the 'Bear' [Page 55]</p> <p>Gin and Giuk</p> <p>USAFE</p> <p>Chapter Five - On Guard With PACAF [Page 71]</p> <p>IR Advantage</p> <p>MiG Clash</p> <p>Chapter Six - On Guard at Home and Away</p> <p>'Deuces' Deploy</p> <p>Supersonic Night Interception</p> <p>ANG Build-Up</p> <p>Chapter Seven - Latter Days</p> <p>The Hunter Hunted</p> <p>European Deuces</p> <p>Appendices:</p> <p>Colour Plates Commentary</p> <p>Index</p> <p>One of the sections I really enjoyed was with the Texas ANG (Air National Guard).&nbsp; Based close to Convair's Fort Worth plant where B-58 Hustlers were manufactured provided some exciting training opportunities.&nbsp; Intercepting Hustlers was good training for both the B-58 crews as well as the F-102 pilots.&nbsp; The Hustler crews learned quickly how to defeat the Deuce's missile locks. A first person account from Lt. Col. Trojcak revealed the solution was to go to manual control to get a good lock.&nbsp; Of course, all the B-58 had to do was light its afterburners and the F-102 could not keep up.</p> <p>Peter E. Davies provides a very readable text with plenty of photographs. &nbsp;The color side profiles from Jim Laurier are aptly described in the Appendix. I was able to read the book easily over two evenings. I really enjoyed the operational accounts and the inclusion of first person perspectives that Peter included.&nbsp; If you own one the previous releases in the Combat Aircraft series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.</p> <p>My thanks to Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.</p> <p>Highly recommended!</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/f-102-delta-dagger-units#comments Aircraft Publications Sat, 19 Sep 2020 17:16:19 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10614 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org A-26C-15 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/26c-15 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/26c-15" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/26c-15/a-26c-15_invader_icm_48283_48th.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Dick Montgomery </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ICM </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2019 ICM introduced their newly tooled A-26/B-26 collection. The B-26B-50 kit and the A-26B-15 kit have now been joined by the A-26C-15 released in 2020. The A26B-15 Invader, kit # 48282, and the B-26B-50 Invader, kit # 48281, are available, but my "A-26/B-26" experience is limited only to the A-26C-15, and at every turn, this kit was extremely impressive.</p> <p><strong>Packaging:</strong> The box is a very sturdy cardboard box. The box "lid" flips up when a tab is freed from a holding slot. The parts within are safe and secure in a large baggie. The clear parts are contained in a separate baggie which prevents any contact with other parts runners, keeping the "glass" in pristine condition, and there is a lot of glass because the A-26C-15 is the "glass-nose" variant. The box art is an exceptional example of aviation art and particularly useful during the construction phases of the project as well.</p> <p><strong>The decals:</strong> The decals are of high quality. Color registration is excellent, the printing is so clearly done that one can read the text on the decals that display verbiage. The decals are "thin" and sturdy. I know they are sturdy because I managed to mangle and tangle one of the stencil decals that are placed on the prop blades. I had to "unroll" it after I failed to apply it properly to the prop blade. In the end, after much poking and prodding, I got the decal to lay out nicely and it went on the prop quite easily after I had developed a lighter touch with the tweezers. My fault and not the fault of the decal. A significant feature of the decals is that the backing film does not extend beyond the outside borders of the marking. For example, the "star and bar" insignia for the wings and fuselage did not require any trimming. In fact, I did not trim the exterior lines on any of the decals. I was somewhat apprehensive about the four "wing walk" decals (basically each is a rectangle of clear carrier film outlined with a black rectangle of four lines that form the rectangle. I was considering the wisdom of removing the clear carrier film inside the area surrounded by the black lines but having seen how well the "star and bar" decals behaved during application, I chose to apply the "wing-walk" decals as they are presented on the decal sheet. In the end, the clear film simply disappeared upon gently squeezing them unto the wing surface with an absorbent cloth. The decal sheet does not identify the company that printed the decal sheet, but their work is quite impressive.</p> <p><strong>The instructions:</strong> A downloadable PDF of the kit instruction booklet is available at<br /> ( <a href="https://www.scalemates.com/kits/icm-48283-douglas-a-26-15-invader--1259719" rel="nofollow">https://www.scalemates.com/kits/icm-48283-douglas-a-26-15-invader--1259719</a> ) for those who wish to preview the project.&nbsp; The 24-page booklet includes the usual items such as a brief history of the aircraft, technical specifications of the aircraft, and a paint chart that includes color ID numbers for Revell and Tamiya paints. Page 1 also includes the 9 icons that you will see throughout the booklet and their meanings. For example, a question mark within a square translates to "optional", and the image of the business end of a drill bit indicates that a hole must be opened. All 9 icons are easy to interpret. Pages 2, 3, and 4 are illustrations of the parts runners, with each part on the runner identified by its part number. Also, those parts which are not to be used on the A-26C-15 are highlighted in a pink color.</p> <p>The construction sequence that is presented in the instruction booklet is important. There are some bits of advice that I can share regarding that sequencing. First- make a list of parts that should/could be painted prior to their removal from the parts runners. You will find that construction progresses more rapidly, and more enjoyably, if you have painted the interior parts, engine parts, and landing gear parts prior to assembly. In many cases you will find that when the parts are removed from the runners and assembled, that the gates (the connection point between the part and the runner) are easily removed, and in many cases, will not be visible when joining parts during assembly. Secondly- decide if you wish to display the finished project in gear up/down, bomb-bay open/closed, canopy w/ hatch opened/closed. Two canopies are provided in this kit. One is in the standard configuration with no hatch opened, making the canopy a single part. The second canopy has the "hatch" piece as a separate part so the hatch can be glued in the open position. Either way, the cockpit is easily visible. As for the bomb-bay, I modeled my project with the bomb-bay doors opened and the landing gear extended. There is no way to view the bomb-bay unless one picks up the model, and woe be onto the judge/guest that attempts such a foolish action! The bomb-bay is very superbly detailed and is impressive, but the opening simply cannot be "inspected" without handling the finished model. Were I to build another of ICM's A-26/B-26 offerings it would be with the bomb-bay closed.</p> <p>I cannot be sure about this next point, but in Step 25 on page 9, my notes indicate that the part labeled, H1-6, is, in fact, &nbsp;H1-5. The illustration of Runner # H1 on page 4 identifies that part as H1-5. Supporting that notion, there is no step on the instructions that refer to part H1-5. Frankly, it is of little importance. The illustrations of part H1-5 and H1-6 within the assembly "steps" are very clear and accurately "picture" the correct parts. Lastly, while no painting masks are provided, ICM does provide, on page 22, masking templates. It does not take much time or effort to use those templates to "manufacture" your own masking materials.</p> <p><strong>Assembly: </strong>In my view, during the assembly of the kit, the excellent design and engineering of the parts, and the thought and planning that went into the manufacture of this kit will become evident. My experience with ICM kits is sparse, and those that I have built are rather old kits, but I found that the A-26 puts this kit among the "Elite", when considering which manufacturers produce superior products. &nbsp;For example, one of the images that accompanies this review shows the unpainted fuselage with the main wings in place. It should be noted that the wings are not glued to the fuselage in the photo but are merely dry fitted. In fact, the fit was so precise that no putty was used to fill the usual seams along the wing roots, because there were no seams to fill! You will notice other areas have some putty applied and that is due mostly to my being a bit heavy-handed during assembly.</p> <p>On pages 6 and 7 of the instruction booklet, the steps direct the modeler to attach various internal parts to the fuselage halves. In Step 13, four bulkheads (parts B6, B9, B3, and the subassembly glued together in Step 8) are attached to the left fuselage half. This is an example of superior engineering. Not only do these bulkheads provide strength and alignment assistance when the fuselage halves are assembled, but B3 and B5 provide support arms which extend about 2 inches outward, on either side of the fuselage halves, upon which the wings are "slid" into position. There are no concerns about achieving the proper dihedral of the wings, and no worries about having to fill seams along wing roots.</p> <p>Throughout the assembly phase I found that the locating pins/holes that ICM molded into the kit were such that when dry-fitting the parts, I could "feel" the connection of the parts take place as the pins and holes aligned. This engineering also appeared when attaching the gear doors and bomb-bay doors to the nacelles and fuselage. It was possible to "feel" when the correct position for the part had been achieved. Another example of the quality of the engineering and molding can be seen by dry fitting some "glass" pieces in place. The canopy for the cockpit and the canopy for the turret gunner's position fit so well that the parts could be dry-fitted, and the model flipped upside down, and the "glass" remained in place.</p> <p>There are a few recommendations that I present for consideration. It is not necessary to attach the machine gun barrels into position until after the model has been assembled and painted. The barrels can be clipped off the arm to which they are molded, and then inserted into the holes in the turrets after assembly, painting, and decaling. The chance of breaking off a barrel is diminished. Another recommendation involves the cylinder blocks of the engines. The engines look great when assembled but only the front of the forward set of cylinders is visible after assembly. Do not spend time worrying about the small seam that appears along the joint line when assembling the cylinder blocks. It is not visible when the model is finished. Of course, one could open some of the paneling on the cowl to display their handiwork if one wished. It would be advisable to drill some rather tiny holes on the tail to make it easier to attach the antenna rigging when that time comes. Those two holes could be drilled at any point after the fuselage halves have been joined. A point about the landing gear; the landing gear plus tires are not attached to the nacelles until Step 81, and that is after the nacelle halves have been assembled and glued to the wings. In other words, you must carefully insert the assembled gear into the wheel wells, find the four locating holes into which the locating pins should fit and then apply glue. Were I to build a second A-26 I would assemble the landing struts, leaving the tires off, and dry-fit the gear struts into the nacelles prior to gluing the nacelle halves together. I would then test fit that sub assembly onto the wing and if the nacelle and wing fit properly, I would glue the gear struts in place in Step 55 and not wait to Step 81. The danger, of course, is that the gear struts might be damaged in the intervening steps. As I saw it, the most difficult assembly task was to get those assembled gear sub-assemblies to fit into the assembled nacelles in Step 81. But then that was "just me" and your experience may be vastly different. And another comment about the nacelles. The instructions indicate that in order for the finished model to rest on its gear rather than drag it's tail on the ground, is to add weight into the front portion of the nacelle. The instruction indicate that 100 grams of weight should be added to each nacelle. I used BB's mixed into a "clod" of Silly Putty. And, indeed, when tested, the model sits on its gear. One last comment about assembly, more of a suggestion, would be to determine which of the three variations provided for with parts and decals, you will decide to model prior to beginning the project. There are subtle differences in what parts are used for each of the variations.</p> <p>I found this kit to be of superior quality as evidenced by the excellent "fit" of the parts, the order of assembly suggested by ICM, the exquisite detail molded into the surface of the instruction panel, the wings, and the fuselage. I chose not to use after-market seat harnesses. The kit does not provide parts or decals of seat harnesses and, for review purposes, I do not add after-market or scratch-built parts. The instructions are clear and well laid out. The decals are superior. Well Done to ICM! Thanks to ICM for providing this review sample to IPMS/USA</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/26c-15#comments Aircraft Kits Sat, 19 Sep 2020 14:08:36 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10613 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Kargil 1999-South Asia's First Post-Nuclear Conflict https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/kargil-1999-south-asias-first-post-nuclear-conflict <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/kargil-1999-south-asias-first-post-nuclear-conflict" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/kargil-1999-south-asias-first-post-nuclear-conflict/helion_aaw_14_kargil_1999_cover_front.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Frank Landrus </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Helion &amp; Company </div> </div> </div> <p>Sanjay Badri-Maharaj, from Trinidad, received his MA and PhD from the Department of War Studies, Kings College London. His thesis was on India's Nuclear Weapons Program. He has written and published extensively, including two books - The Armageddon Factor: Nuclear Weapons in the India-Pakistan Context (2000) and Indian Nuclear Strategy: Confronting the Potential Nuclear Threat from both Pakistan and China (2018). He has served as a consultant to the Ministry of National Security in Trinidad and was a visiting International Fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. This is his first instalment for Helion.</p> <p>Helion's latest book in the Asia@War series is a square back soft cover includes 88 gloss paper pages. The front cover features a color (or possilby colorized) photograph of a 155mm FH77 Bofors howitzer in firing position along with stocks of 155mm shells overlaid over a color map of the Battle of Kargil theatre of operations (Page 40 viii).&nbsp; The color side profile by Tom Cooper is of an IAF Mirage 2000TH armed with a single Paveway II and a pair of Matra R550 Magic Mk.IIs.&nbsp; The rear cover features a color side profiles by Tom Cooper of an IAF Mil Mi-17 of the 129<sup>th </sup>Helicopter Unit, the 'Nubra Warriors'.&nbsp; I counted three color pictures and 68 black and white photographs. There also nine aviation color side profiles by Tom Cooper; seven armor color side profiles by Jerry Bocquelet; four uniformed figure illustrations by Anderson Subtil.&nbsp; There are eight black and white maps, one full color map, and 26 tables.</p> <p>The 1999 Kargil conflict in Kashmir was the first battle that the citizens of India lived through the eyes of the Indian media.&nbsp; Journalists and photographers brought home the battle with violently graphic stories and images.&nbsp; Sanjay Badri-Maharaj brings this conflict to the western world with the first recounting of Kargil in the English language.&nbsp; Sanjay kicks off this tome with an introduction to the history and politics that led to this war.&nbsp; Notably, this was the first, and only instance to date, where both parties were nuclear states.&nbsp; India and Pakistan had both deployed nuclear weapons, possibly by the late 1980s.&nbsp; The division of British India into two independent states in 1947 resulted in the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, dividing the territories into non-Muslim and Muslim faiths.&nbsp; This partition itself was controversial, and the tension and open conflict have not disappeared.</p> <p>Sanjay Badri-Maharaj covers the organizational structure of both India and Pakistan and provides Orders of Battle for both.&nbsp; A good discussion of India's and Pakistan's nuclear delivery capabilities follows. Politically, there was a last stab at peace, but militarily, the dice had already been cast.&nbsp;&nbsp; Interestingly, Pakistan surprised the Indian Intelligence operations with a tactical and operation plan that Pakistan utilized to invade Indian territory without any reaction from India.&nbsp; India did recover and pushed the Pakistanis back across the border, but it came at the cost of thousands of casualties. Fortunately, nuclear weapons were not used in this conflict, but the fact that both sides had deployed nuclear weapons to the battlefield shows how close it really came.&nbsp; India and Pakistan never acquitted anywhere near their complete forces to this conflict. Sanjay Badri-Maharaj does cover the air components of both sides, but this battle was really an infantry battle assisted by artillery.&nbsp; The sections include:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Abbreviations <ul> <li>Introduction</li> <li>Political Background</li> <li>A Rivalry Based on Partition</li> <li>The 1948 Kashmir War</li> <li>1971 India-Pakistan War</li> <li>The 1972-1999 Period</li> <li>Political Situation in 1999</li> <li>Loss of Time</li> <li>Sharif Administration in Pakistan</li> <li>21 February 1999: Lahore Declaration</li> <li>Contents of the Lahore Declaration</li> <li>The War at the Top of the World and the War that Never Was</li> </ul> </li> <li>Indian and Pakistan Armies of 1999 <ul> <li>Organizational Structure</li> <li>Table 1: Typical Battalion Structure of the Indian Army</li> <li>Table 2: Typical Brigade Structure of the Indian Army</li> <li>Table 3: Typical Division Structure of the India</li> <li>Table 4: Nominal Structure of the Indian Army</li> <li>Table 5: Indian Army ORBAT</li> <li>Table 6: Typical Strike Corps Structure of the Indian Army</li> <li>Indian Combined Arms: Armour</li> <li>Artillery</li> <li>Infantry [Page 18]</li> <li>Table 7: RAPID Structure of the Indian Army</li> <li>Special Forces</li> <li>Para Special Forces Battalions</li> <li>Table 8: 50<sup>th</sup> Parachute Brigade, 1999</li> <li>Table 9: Para SF Battalions of the Indian Army, 1999</li> <li>Air Defense</li> <li>Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Warfare</li> <li>Unmanned Air Vehicles and the Army Aviation Corps</li> <li>The Pakistani Order of Battle</li> <li>Table 10: Pakistan Army ORBAT, 1999</li> <li>Status of Pakistani Combined Arms</li> <li>Armour</li> <li>Artillery</li> <li>Table 11: Composition of the 9 Crops HQ &amp; Force Command Northern Area, Pakistan Army</li> <li>Table 12: Nominal Composition of the Army Reserve North &amp; South, Pakistan Army</li> <li>Infantry</li> <li>Air Defense</li> </ul> </li> <li>Rival Air Forces <ul> <li>Table 13: Primary Fighter-Bombers of the IAF, 1999</li> <li>Indian Strike Assets</li> <li>Strengths and Weaknesses of the IAF's Strike Force</li> <li>Table 14: Primary Fighter-Bomber Bombers of the PAF, 1999</li> <li>Pakistan's Strike Assets</li> <li>Weaknesses of Pakistan's Strike Force</li> <li>Strategic Air Defense Assets</li> <li>Strategic Air Defenses in India</li> <li>Indian Air Defenses: Sensor Network</li> <li>Manned Interceptors</li> <li>Table 15: IAF Order of Battle, 1998-1999</li> <li>Table 16: PAF Order of Battle, 1998</li> <li>Strategic Air Defenses in Pakistan</li> </ul> </li> <li>Nuclear Factor <ul> <li>India</li> <li>Table 19: India, Consumption of Weapons Grade Plutonium</li> <li>Table 20: Pakistani Nuclear Capability in 1999</li> <li>Pakistan</li> <li>New Missiles Add to the Delivery Options</li> <li>Table 22: Pakistan's Ballistic Missiles, 1999</li> <li>Pakistan's Nuclear Delivery Capability</li> <li>Available Warheads</li> <li>Nuclear Weapons During the Kargil War</li> </ul> </li> <li>War Plans <ul> <li>Possible Theatres of Operations</li> <li>India's Thinking Prior to Kargil: Conceptualizing a War Scenario</li> <li>Pakistan's Pre-Kargil Military Thinking</li> <li>Pakistan's War Plan: Kargil</li> <li>Pakistani Planning and Execution</li> <li>Defending Pakistani Positions</li> <li>The Detection</li> </ul> </li> <li>Color Profiles [Page 40 v]</li> <li>Intelligence Failure</li> <li>Orders of Battle in Kargil <ul> <li>Indian Army Order of Battle [Page 46]</li> <li>Table 23: Indian Army ORBAT, Kargil, 1999</li> <li>Indian Air Force Order of Battle</li> <li>Table 24: Indian Air Force ORBAT, Kargil, 1999</li> <li>Pakistani Army Order of Battle</li> <li>Table 25: Pakistan Army ORBAT, Kargil, 1999</li> <li>Pakistan Air Force Order of Battle</li> </ul> </li> <li>Operation Vijay <ul> <li>Forces in Kargil</li> <li>Understanding the Kargil War</li> <li>Discovering the Infiltration</li> <li>Scale of the Infiltration</li> <li>The Build Up</li> <li>Retaking Tololing - A Turning Point</li> <li>Initial Assaults</li> <li>Appalling Conditions</li> <li>Rushed Assaults with Tragic Consequences</li> <li>Building Up - Artillery Inducted</li> <li>Tololing Ridge</li> <li>The Final Assault</li> <li>Recapturing Point 5203</li> <li>Batalik Sector</li> <li>Point 4875</li> <li>Capture of Point 5140</li> <li>Taking Three Pimples and Point 4700</li> <li>Retaking Tiger Hill: The Beginning of the End</li> <li>Pakistani Withdrawal and Clearing Operations</li> <li>Zulu Spur</li> <li>Losses - A Bloody Balance Sheet</li> <li>Gunner's War [Page 67]</li> </ul> </li> <li>Operation Safed-Sagar - The IAF's Campaign <ul> <li>First Blood</li> <li>Environment and Air Power</li> <li>Operations Commence</li> <li>First Losses [Page 72]</li> <li>Enter Mirage 2000</li> <li>Lack of Laser-Guided Bombs</li> <li>Mirage 2000 in Action</li> <li>Strike Missions and Innovation</li> <li>Effectiveness</li> <li>Table 26: Combat and Support Sorties Flown, IAF, Kargil War</li> </ul> </li> <li>Diplomatic Endgame</li> <li>Conclusions</li> <li>Bibliography</li> <li>Notes</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I really liked Sanjay Badri-Maharaj analysis of India's and Pakistan's nuclear development and capabilities.&nbsp; Pakistan had been supplied United States F-16s that had been "promised" to have been not-nuclear capable.&nbsp; Of course, if President Clinton had denied the F-16 sale to Pakistan, France was all too willing (And did) to sell Mirage III and V nuclear capable aircraft.&nbsp; India had several options for aircraft delivery in the Jaguar, MiG-23, and MiG-27; but it was the Mirage 2000 that India focused on for this role.&nbsp; Both India and Pakistan also had nuclear missile delivery systems that easily could have played a role as well.</p> <p>Sanjay Badri-Maharaj leads the reader through an interesting journey in this battle between India and Pakistan. &nbsp;Although the actual conflict did not last long, there are some very interesting first person reports included. &nbsp;I really appreciated that Sanjay Badri-Maharaj introduces the background of both the military and the political policies that were involved.&nbsp; The contemporary photographs support the text, and they certainly give you a good perspective of the events described. &nbsp;Check out the picture on Page 72 that show the crew messages chalked on to the bombs for their enemy.&nbsp; If you own one the previous releases in the Asia@War series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.</p> <p>My thanks to Helion &amp; Company, Casemate Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.</p> <p>Highly recommended!</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/kargil-1999-south-asias-first-post-nuclear-conflict#comments Aircraft Publications Sat, 19 Sep 2020 13:53:32 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10612 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org WWII British Ground Personnel (1939-1945) https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/wwii-british-ground-personnel-1939-1945 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/wwii-british-ground-personnel-1939-1945" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/wwii-british-ground-personnel-1939-1945/brtgrd_0.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Gino Dykstra </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ICM </div> </div> </div> <p>It wasn't so long ago that 1/32<sup>nd</sup> aircraft modelers were pretty hard pressed to find pilot or ground crew figures for dioramas they wished to make.&nbsp; ICM has rather single-handedly addressed this issue, and has been busy churning out wonderful sets to complement your 1/32<sup>nd</sup> scale aircraft collection.&nbsp; One of the latest of these is their WWII British Ground Personnel set.</p> <p>This simple set consists of three ground crew figures, who seem to be specifically tailored to their excellent Gloster Gladiator aircraft kits.&nbsp; One is ostensibly removing the tail locks and testing the rudder, another is working on the engine and a third is preparing to prep the propeller.&nbsp; All three are useful additions to a good diorama, although obviously not all at once.</p> <p>The figures couldn't be simpler, each consisting of legs, torso, arms and head (one with separate cap) along with a tiny tie-back bow for each.&nbsp; Because of their simplicity, it appears that some swapping of parts would be a relatively easy proposition for the sake of variety.&nbsp; Assembly is, of course, equally simple, with just a bit of putty to blend the overalls together effectively.</p> <p>The poses as presented are quite good, and fit the Gladiator models perfectly.&nbsp; However, if I were making these strictly for myself, I would replace the heads, as the molded features are not particularly distinctive, unlike some of their other sets.&nbsp; On the other hand, by the very nature of the poses you won't be seeing much of any of their faces if properly placed.</p> <p>Painting is a very straight-forward process as you'll be using a pretty limited palette.&nbsp; This doesn't mean that you can't have some fun with the shading and so on, as the drapery of the figures is really first-rate.&nbsp; My only real niggle is with the engine mechanic, as it would have been nice if they'd included a tool box, although this is readily obtained from other sources.</p> <p>All in all, this is a really nice set of figures which can be used to enhance any British aircraft diorama.&nbsp; They are simple to build and to paint and can be modified with only a bit of work.&nbsp; Once again, ICM is helping modelers broaden their horizons without breaking the bank.</p> <p>My hats off to ICM for continuing this wonderful line of figures and to IPMS/USA for the chance to add these to my Gladiators.&nbsp; Simply wonderful!&nbsp; Keep modeling, friends, and stay safe out there.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/wwii-british-ground-personnel-1939-1945#comments Aircraft Details Sat, 19 Sep 2020 13:41:13 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10611 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org USMC F-35B VMFA-121 “Green Knights” https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/usmc-f-35b-vmfa-121-green-knights <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/usmc-f-35b-vmfa-121-green-knights" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/usmc-f-35b-vmfa-121-green-knights/f-35b_box.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> David Horn </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Academy Models </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>Aircraft and history:</strong></p> <p>The F-35B is a single engine, single crew multi role fighter/attack aircraft that has stealth capabilities, supersonic speeds and the ability to land vertically. The F-35B is the first operational aircraft that is Short takeoff &amp; vertical landing (STOVL capabilities. In 1993, a request to develop a new fighter/strike aircraft for the USAF, Navy, Marines and multi national air forces under the term of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The JSF competition battle was between the Boeing X-32 and Martin X-35. In 2001, Lockheed Martin was the winner with the X-35 which will become the F-35 Lightning II.&nbsp;&nbsp;The F-35B became operational with the USMC 31 July 2015.</p> <p>Final development, flight test and production went into full swing after the F-35 won the competition. Three versions have been developed for the United States. The F-35A (USAF version) is designed for conventional take off and landing. A Navy version, F-35C is similar to the USAF version with an increased wing area and carrier capable landing gear and arresting system. The next version, F-35B was a major technological leap by incorporating short takeoff and vertical landing capability. This ability was accomplished using a lift fan located right behind the cockpit which is powered by a drive shaft connected to the front of the engine. Transition from level flight to vertical flight is accomplished by vectoring the exhaust, lift fan and roll nozzles in the wings. A complex set of doors open above and below the lift fan and doors below the engine nozzle open to allow the exhaust nozzle to rotate down for lift. Two small doors open under the wings exposing roll control fans that are driven by the engine.</p> <p>Common to all airframes is advanced avionics with imagery projected on a helmet mounted display providing situational awareness, infrared imagery, weapons targeting and the ability to virtually see through the aircraft in all directions. The F-35B does not have an internal gun like the F-35A does however a multi mission pod can be carried on the aircraft centerline carrying a 25mm, 4 barrel rotary gun and only 220 rounds. Bombs and missiles can be carried internally in a weapons bay as well as external hardpoints under the wings when stealth is not required.</p> <p><strong>Kit:</strong></p> <p>Compared to Academy's F-35A, the F-35B box is considerably larger, comparable to a 1/48 scale kit. The larger box is required for all the extra options for the F-35B on larger sprues than the F-35A kit (7 sprues each kit). The level of detail and fine mold features is amazing for any scale let alone 1/72 scale. The Radar Absorbent material (RAM) detail on the fuselage is slightly raised and Academy's solution to the different color for RAM are decals saving the modeler time masking the airframe. More about that later. Weapons bay, cockpit and engine air intake detail is very impressive. The intakes are full run including the engine auxiliary intake and lift fan detail. One item that is missing, but is included on Academy's F-35A kit is a pilot figure. I made a copy of the figure from my F-35A kit in my stash. The modeler gets a good variety of weapons to mount on the aircraft from precision guided bombs, AIM-9X sidewinders, AIM-120 missiles and a gun (multi mission) pod.</p> <p><strong>Build:</strong></p> <p>The first thing to decide is which configuration to build. In flight, hover, on the ground, weapons bay opened or closed, external pylons or stealth mode. If mounting weapons pylons, gun pod or radar reflectors, you will need to drill holes ad directed. I planned on building mine in hover with the addition of a clear rod to suspend the model from a base. Provisions for the clear rod will be added in this build. One thing I noticed at the end of the build is the gun pod will not fit if the inner weapons bays are open with the AIM-120 missiles mounted. After your decision is made on configuration, you are instructed to assemble the lower fuselage. I delayed that portion until the engine intake with bypass duct was assembled and painted (note a couple ejector pin marks to be filled). The reason for this is that the forward lower intake portion is part od the weapons bay molding. I wanted to make it easy to fill any seams when the intake assembly is joined to the weapons bay. The intake and weapons bay assembly can now be put in the lower fuselage. Reliefs for the intake are located where the white portion meets the fuselage color.</p> <p>Next item to work on is the cockpit which detail is good for 1/72 scale. There are options to apply decals however you may need to remove the raised detail to add the decals. This is not mentioned in the instructions. The seat, throttle, stick and instrument panel can be left off until later and easily installed after the upper fuselage is attached. Right behind the cockpit is the lift fan which is installed on a small section of lower fuselage and nose landing gear. Make sure the fan and ducting is painted before assembly since the guide vanes prohibit painting at a later time. In either flight configuration, the exhaust can be installed at a later in the build and the engine bay is the same so installing just the bay in the fuselage will save you the difficulty of masking around the exhaust. Now the upper, lower aft, lower forward fuselage and engine bay can be assembled.</p> <p>Moving on to installing wing flight control surfaces and radome as instructed on step 7 then I skipped to step 13 to add the remaining flight surfaces (rudder and elevator). Each of the flight controls are rigidly attached and did not pose a problem handling the build and damaging these surfaces. Once step 13 was complete, I completed the cockpit, added a pilot figure and closed it up in the canopy. Note that there is a very delicate canopy framing that goes inside the clear canopy. Take extreme care removing this from the sprue and attaching it inside the clear canopy. The remaining sub-assemblies were made following instructions for later installation after painting &amp; decaling was completed. I did modify the landing gear by cutting the oleo struts and extending the landing gear as it would be for in flight.</p> <p><strong>Painting and Decals:</strong></p> <p>I have been looking into what the "true color" of the F-35 is for years and I still have a few questions. From what I have learned is the closest match to the primary color is gray, 36170 per AMS-STD-595 (formerly Fed-STD-595C). It has been called "Have glass" for the reflectivity seen in the paint as well. The paint may not follow AMS standards (secret mixture) and just be close to 36170, it may be officially 36170 or something else I am not 100% sure. Bottom line is paint your model to where you are happy with the results. With that in mind, I took the scenic route in painting this F-35B.</p> <p>Academy has a nice feature (which is probably the reason for the larger box) of providing a duplicate door for nearly ever part of the aircraft. A complete set for in flight and hover/gear down doors are provided. This really helped when painting since I used the "in flight" doors as masks during painting saving a bunch of time. First I tested four different brands of paint that claim to be 36170 or F-35 paint. One was completely off the charts incorrect and one was close but I could not get a decent texture. Down to the last two, I opted to the darker gray after looking at a few photos. After paint was applied, it did look a little dark but not too bad. The radome was painted using a different brand of 36170 which was a lighter shade. Academy provided a nice but time consuming fix for painting all the RAM areas which is typically a little lighter than the primary 36170 color. There are about 50 RAM decals to apply and you need to work in stages. Three days later (can only work an hour or two a night) all the RAM decals were applied. What I noticed is the sharp contrast between the darker main color and very light RAM decals that did not match any reference photos out there. I was really getting concerned on what to do at this point and not happy with the base color. Since all the RAM decals were on and only a couple of the unit markings, I took a leap of faith and the results were better than I could ever expect.</p> <p>The solution to reducing the contrast between the RAM and base color was simple. Using the same color used on the radome (which was a different brand of 36170 than the base color), I sprayed a light mist of paint over the entire model including the RAM decals. This lightened the primary base color slightly while darkening the RAM color. Controlling how much paint you applied determined the contrast of colors. On my next F-35, I will use this same technique from the start. Having spent an afternoon next to a F-35C in a hangar last year, I had a good perspective on RAM to 36170 contrast should be. Looking online, I do see quite a bit of contrast variations, especially in different lighting angles. Bottom line, build your F-35 as you like, there is a lot of variations to settle with. As for the brands of paint that made the cut was MCW Gray #2141 (darker color but had the brownish tone I liked) and final top coat MRP-280 "Camouflage gray 36170.</p> <p>The remaining decals went on without any issues and the decal quality is nearly perfect. There are a few areas that decals are not called out in the instructions (RAM and stencil decals).&nbsp; There are raised areas (probably RAM) surrounding the landing gear and weapons bay doors that there are not any decals for. Looking at the real aircraft, the outer portions of these doors are hard to tell color differences.</p> <p><strong>Final assembly:</strong></p> <p>After the finish and airframe decals are completed, time to finish the little details. Jumping back to step 8, adding the landing gear (modified for in flight). The gear has nice detail including the wheels. During the lower fuselage assembly, the landing gear struts were assembled then removed from the airframe and painted. The landing gear is easily installed at this point. Installation of the internal weapons bay missile pylon is something Academy needs to look at and is probably the few areas that was an issue. On the real aircraft, the missile pylon has a hinge point for when the inner weapons bar door opens. The position of the pylon rotates too far down placing the missile fairly low and forcing the weapons bay door to nearly vertical. The issue this causes in that the multi mission (gun) pod to be a tight fit between the doors. Looking at reference photos, while hovering, the inner weapons bay doors are at about 45 degree angle from horizontal. On the kit, (I assume the same on the real aircraft) the inner doors can be either fully open or between 45 degrees to fully closed. The lower lift fan doors will hit the weapons bay doors. To fix mine, I bent the missile pylon so the AIM-120 was further outboard and hung the bay door about 45 degrees. If the missile pylon can be made in two pieces to rotate the missile further inside the weapons bay, this would help. The other issue in the weapons bay was mounting of the bombs. The GBU-31 barely fits in the weapons bay and locating pins (3) need to be removed to install the bombs. The external weapons went on without any issues.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong></p> <p>The Academy F-35B has been one of the most enjoyable builds I have ever completed. From extreme attention to detail to fit of parts is impeccable. I would almost call this a "shake &amp; bake" kit but there are some areas to can be a challenge so I recommend this kit for experienced modelers, especially if opening the weapons bay, landing gear extended or in "hover" configuration. Academy really raised the bar with this kit by giving the modeler a potential contest show stopper. There area a few areas that aftermarket companies should step in and make to enhance this kit more but this kit offers a lot more than other brands in this scale. Some suggestion to aftermarket companies, exhaust nozzle actuator details for when in hover, extended landing gear oleo strute for "hover" and correction of the AIM-120 launch rail inside the weapons bay. It is really hard to Academy to make this any better for modelers. Many thanks to MRC/Academy for providing this kit to IPMS for review.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/usmc-f-35b-vmfa-121-green-knights#comments Aircraft Kits Fri, 18 Sep 2020 20:04:22 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10610 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Gun Truck “King Cobra” https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/gun-truck-king-cobra <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/gun-truck-king-cobra" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/gun-truck-king-cobra/afv_club_viet_nam_gun_truck_box_art.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Eric Christianson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> AFV Club </div> </div> </div> <p>AFV Club has released their third version of a 'Gun Truck' employed by hard-pressed convoy security forces in Viet Nam.&nbsp; This time around we meet the 'King Cobra', sporting three 50cal M2 'Ma Deuce' machine guns mounted on a fully equipped M113 APC hull, sans wheels and track, thrown right up into the bed of a M35 5-Ton truck, all black and bad.&nbsp; I took one look at the box top and I knew I had to build it.</p> <p>The Viet Nam gun trucks have a fascinating history; borne of necessity, built with Southern ingenuity, and purpose-made to rain hell on its adversaries if attacked.&nbsp; While they were never officially sanctioned by the U.S. Army, an estimated 300 to 400 trucks were transformed in this way.&nbsp; Only a single gun truck, the '<em>Eve of Destruction</em>', survives today, permanently on display at the Army Transportation Museum in Fort Eustis, VA.</p> <p><strong>Opening the box</strong></p> <p>The enormous, and sturdy, AFV Club kit box is relatively heavy and filled to the brim with parts and extras. The plastic is soft and in places, very thin, but I did not find any warpage or damage in shipping. &nbsp;There was some flash but nothing significant and what is there is limited to the smallest parts.&nbsp; Each substantial truck tire comes in two, crisply-molded halves made of plastic - which was a pleasant surprise, actually.&nbsp; I would much rather clean up an easy seamline than fight trying to paint and weather poly-whatever 'rubber' tires.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of note: online and box-top images of the completed model show detailed, heavy fabric striations in the driver's compartment 'canvas' cover.&nbsp; The cover included in the kit (Part M2) lacks any such detail, reflecting a hardtop configuration for the M35 cab.</p> <p><strong>The contents of the box include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>24 sprues in soft, light-green plastic, packaged separately.</li> <li>APC Hull Body, packaged separately.</li> <li>1 length of string for securing the M113 to the truck bed via two stanchions.</li> <li>1 very small photo-etch sheets of mostly straps and belts and very small details.</li> <li>1 small bag containing two gun mounts in dark grey resin</li> <li>2 small sprues of clear parts containing headlights, mirrors and windows.</li> <li>1 medium-sized sheet of decals with markings for one vehicle.</li> <li>1 24-page black and white instruction booklet with 48 steps, including a single back color page showing a 5-view decal placement and paint guide.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The Instructions</strong></p> <p>The side-bounded instruction booklet, unfortunately, does not contain a list of unused parts - an omission which is compounded by the fact that the parts map is printed on one half of one page - far too small to read the numbers (on 24 sprues!).&nbsp; In fact, it is difficult to even make out the shape of many of the parts.&nbsp; I would humbly suggest that AFV Club either use an entire page for a legible parts map, or re-task this half-page space for a more useful purpose.&nbsp; In addition, in many places in the instructions, the part numbers are super-imposed directly over the main image which makes it a challenge to keep track of what has been added and what still needed to be attached.&nbsp; It would be better to pull the part numbers away and to the sides of the main images to help the modeler visualize the assembly steps.</p> <p>On the plus side the instructions contain color call-outs for Gunze Sangyo (lacquers and acrylics), Humbrol, Revell and Lifecolor, and the decal placement instructions are supplied in a beautiful, five-view CAD image.&nbsp; Also, AFV Club thoughtfully includes a short, fascinating history of many of the gun trucks used in Viet Nam.</p> <p>Sprues and parts are color coded in the instructions, so I was able to set aside the (13) sprues for the M113 while I focused on the truck, which greatly streamlined the assembly process - this kit has a lot of parts!<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Things to consider before starting</strong></p> <p>On the plus side, the pieces of armored 'glass' can be carefully dropped into place after assembly and painting - thank you, AFV Club - this makes things so much easier.&nbsp; Likewise, the plastic wheels can be painted and weathered separately, and attached at the very end.</p> <p>On the negative side, inexplicably, two of the three gun mounts are provided as very thin, delicate resin parts that broke immediately - one by using too much force to open up the too-small hole required for the M2 mounting post (it shattered and was unrepairable), and the other when the top-heavy truck gently rolled onto it's side (on to a small towel, nonetheless - a towel placed there to protect this very part in case the truck rolled over).&nbsp; I was able to repair that one, gluing two pieces along a razor thin edge.&nbsp; What surprises me is that AFV Club produces some of the finest moldings in the industry - why choose resin here?&nbsp; It's a shame, since the guns up top are the heroes of the model; what everyone looks at first.&nbsp; My ever-supportive wife claimed, as the second stand broke again at the end of the build, that "the (cobbled-together gun mounts) gave the finished model a look of authenticity true to the vehicle's heritage".&nbsp; Bless her heart.</p> <p><strong>The Build</strong></p> <p><strong>The Lower Chassis, Running Gear and Main Deck</strong></p> <p>Assembly begins with the lower chassis designed with two main rails that run the length of the truck and numerous other parts set at 90 degrees along the length of the rails.&nbsp; A nicely detailed engine and transmission sit down on top of this latticework, as well as the three articulating axles. There are a lot of parts and a lot of opportunities to get things wrong, so go slowly.</p> <p>The fit of parts B23 and B24 in Step 7 is vague at best.&nbsp; Make sure you are holding the axle with the correct orientation and the larger image on the bottom of Step 7 should help.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>In Step 9 there are several parts in the right-hand image whose placement is vague at best.&nbsp; I figured out what went where by attaching the two rods (Parts C19 and C50) to the triangular plate (Part C31) using slow-drying, black-bottle Testors cement.&nbsp; That gave me time to swivel them and the plate around to see where things fit once I attached one end of Part C19 to the chassis to anchor the assembly.&nbsp; In the end, everything ends up fitting fine.</p> <p>I canted the front axle to turn 'right' before cementing it in place, and left the wheels off until the end of the build.&nbsp; The six brake drums work fine for supporting the heavy model during assembly.</p> <p>In Step 13, a tool rack that sits on top of one of the fuel tanks can be painted and attached at the end, if desired.</p> <p>AFV Club includes four water cans in the kit, I assembled and used two, putting the others in my spare parts box.</p> <p><strong>The Driving Compartment and Truck Bed</strong></p> <p>The pieces of armored 'glass' can be dropped into place after assembly and painting, although care must be taken to ensure that they don't drop inside the cab - this mostly is the case with the windows in the doors.&nbsp; A rear-cab split window (Part N6) is not mentioned in the instructions (??), and is inaccessible after the M113 is added.&nbsp; I painted the edges of all the thick pieces of glass black so that light didn't refract off the surfaces when in place.</p> <p>The fit of the seven-part cab and six-part hood is <em>flawless</em>; each piece set into pre-engraved slots which need very little cement.&nbsp; AFV Club should be commended for absolutely nailing this oft-challenging task. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Separate decals are provided for each dashboard dial, etc., with a nice paint &amp; placement image in Step 16.&nbsp; You might want to take a picture of your work, however, since the thick, armored glass, while transparent, limits visibility to the cab area to almost zero.</p> <p>The placement (or purpose) of Part C9 in the bottom right image of Step 19 is a mystery - but if you work out the angles and fit, you will find that it can only go in one place - hopefully the right place.</p> <p><strong>Caution</strong>: the two small PE sheets are both labeled 'G' and contain parts that are numbered identically between the two.&nbsp; I was about to apply CA glue to four brackets for the cab (Parts G5 in Step 17) when I realized they were the wrong G5 parts - the correct ones were on the other PE sheet.</p> <p>The truck bed is solid and, once you remove the upper wooden slats from the four sides, comes together quickly and easily, with two minor exceptions.&nbsp; First, the locating holes for placing the bed on the chassis, and the male parts that go into these holes do not quite fit.&nbsp; I suggest you simply remove the male parts and glue the bed down with some weight to keep it in place.&nbsp; Secondly, there are two chain runs, one on each side of the flip-down door that were simply too small for my big, meaty hand to manipulate.&nbsp; Since the APC forces the door to be down anyway, I left them off.</p> <p><strong>The M113 APC</strong></p> <p>The novel aspect of this version of the gun truck is that it contains a fully equipped M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.&nbsp; On page 10, there is a clean break between building the truck and building the APC.&nbsp; In fact, you can remove all truck-related stuff from your workbench - the next 12 pages are dedicated to this 'reworked' AFV.</p> <p>Nor surprisingly, AFV Club chose to go to one of their many M113 offerings for most of the sprues needed in this kit.&nbsp; The final result is quite literally a fully-detailed APC minus the track and wheels, leaving the bottom of the hull placed directly on the bed of the truck, just as you might imagine happening in some backlot of a maintenance facility, sticky hot with red clay soil and an old lifting crane.&nbsp; Grab a bucket of black paint, some guns and ROLL.</p> <p>Assembly starts with the highly detailed interior.&nbsp; All hatches fully open, including the large rear door, so what is offered inside will go a long way for someone to super-detail this kit.&nbsp; Of specific interest are the three significant crew stations, complete with articulating seats that are small models in themselves.&nbsp; Radios, benches, stowage racks, control panels, fire extinguishers, etc., line the walls around the three stations.&nbsp; Stencils and decals are included, along with detailed painting instructions.</p> <p>The fit of everything is superior, with the only hiccup encountered when dropping the main roof down into the various grooves and notches provided.&nbsp; The (now) reinforced hull was a little narrow along the sides, preventing the top to fit snugly into where it needed to go.&nbsp; I cut two cross members to fit tightly in between the sides to hold them slightly apart until the glue started to set, when I removed them from the interior.&nbsp; I attached clamps at the rear on both sides to force the corners into place.</p> <p>One easy issue to address - do not attach Parts D33 to the interior of the roof (Step 38) until after the roof is in place, (Step 39).</p> <p><strong>Machine Guns and Mounts</strong></p> <p>AFV Club kits have beautifully rendered M2 50cal machine guns, but getting them together has always been a challenge for me.&nbsp; I don't know if I just can't interpret instructions, or the fit and design is poor, or what.&nbsp; The ammunition box connection points never seem to sit right, and when they do, they block other parts from fitting.&nbsp; I've probably built a dozen of these now and every one of them has been a 'load-the-glue-on-and-move-the-parts-around-until-it-looks-like-a-gun' affair. In the end, I have decent looking guns, but close inspection reveals a mess.&nbsp; In addition - these particular guns have shields, which, in one case, required a plastic shim to extend the gun base backwards from the shield so the ammunition box could fit in behind.</p> <p>I suggest that you use slow-drying Testor's 'Black Bottle' cement, which allows ample drying time for coaxing these parts into place.</p> <p>The last sequence in the instructions guides you through assembling two stanchions that supposedly keep the APC from rolling backwards off the truck bed.&nbsp; The hasps (Parts P5) are not deep enough to allow the rings on the end of each stanchion to find purchase, and once they are attached, they barely stand off the surface of the APC hull, unlike the image in the instructions.&nbsp; I decided to leave them off. Sometimes you just gotta say 'done'.</p> <p><strong>Painting and Finish</strong></p> <p>Except for priming and pre-shade coats, I used Tamiya paints throughout, thinned 50/50 with Gunze Leveling Thinner.&nbsp; I've come to really like airbrushing this paint mix and although not as healthy as the new acrylics, I can depend on the consistent results I achieve every time I pick up the airbrush.</p> <p><strong>Paint it Black</strong></p> <p>I would normally start by applying a coat of (rattlecan) Krylon Flat Black Paint/Primer for my dark, primer/pre-shade coat, but this is an unusual case - the entire model is black!&nbsp; Since I wanted to break up the monotone look of just plain black, I painted the cab and truck front end with Tamiya X-18 Semi-Gloss Black, the chassis and truck bed using Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black, and the M-113 using Alclad Gloss Back Primer.</p> <p><strong>Drivers Compartment and Cab</strong></p> <p>I painted the interior of the driver's compartment, spare water cans and odds and ends using Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab mixed with XF60 Dark Yellow 80/20.&nbsp; The exhaust stack received Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminum, and the yellow identification stripe on the hood Tamiya XF-3 Flat Yellow with a couple of drops of Tamiya X-6 Orange to deepen the bright yellow to a more 'school-bus' shade.&nbsp; I painted the inside of each headlight Molotow Liquid Chrome before pushing them into their receptacles.</p> <p><strong>On-Deck Equipment and Guns</strong></p> <p>After the primer had degassed, I attended to the pioneer tools and guns.&nbsp; The shovel and sledge hammer heads were first painted Tamiya NATO Black, and then detailed with Uschi Chrome powder.&nbsp; The shafts were painted using Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow, and then, when dry, covered with MIG Brown Wash Oil paint from a tube.&nbsp; I let this sit for a few minutes and then rubbed most of the oil off with a clean brush, leaving enough residue to simulate wood grain and dirt.</p> <p>The machine guns were painted Tamiya XF-84 Dark Iron, and then detailed with Vallejo Saddle Brown and Uschi Chrome metallic powder.&nbsp; I painted the ammunition boxes AKI Real Color RC094 IDF Sinai Grey 1990, a somewhat faded version of my go-to-and-out-of-production Pactra Artillery Olive, the color I've always used for this application. Both parts then received a brown wash.</p> <p><strong>Decals and Photo Etch</strong></p> <p>With painting finished, I hand-painted a coat of Future on the (NATO Black) chasses where the various stenciling went, and relied on the glossy surfaces of the other areas to take their decals as is. &nbsp;Once the Future was dry, I went about applying the decals using the Red and Blue MicroSol and MicroSet products. &nbsp;The decals were very thin and surprisingly stubborn once on the surface.&nbsp; Patience prevailed, however, and I was able to coax them into place.&nbsp; The long (Snake) decals gave me the most trouble as they tended to fold back on themselves during application.&nbsp; I followed this with a second, sealing coat of Future to help hide the edges of the decals.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Finish</strong></p> <p>I weathered the wheels using a mixture of Mig African Earth, Dark Mud, and Europe Dust pigments applied as a thin slurry thinned with Mona Lisa thinner.&nbsp; Once dry, I brushed off the excess and worked the pigment around a little using a stiff paintbrush.&nbsp; Once I had those right, I attached them to the truck and attached the three gun mounts and other breakable items (rear view mirrors, tool rack, etc., to prepare for weathering.</p> <p>Dark pen washes would disappear into the black background, so I mainly stayed with the same colors I used for the tires, applying them wet individually and mixed, and adjusting them after they had dried.&nbsp; If I put too much on, I adjusted those areas by using a thicker black wash, essentially starting over.&nbsp; I left the cab and hood sections shiny since these areas would have been cleaned off and shined more often by the proud crewmembers.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>No doubt about it, this kit was a challenge to build, and to finish.&nbsp; AFV Club has a solid reputation for offering unusual, highly accurate injection-molded kits.&nbsp; There kits have a lot of parts, and sometimes dealing with that level of detail can be maddening.&nbsp; I have often said that AFV kits are not for the faint of heart, and I mean it.&nbsp; You have to know what you're doing, you have to have a lot of patience, and you need to know how to slow down.&nbsp;</p> <p>I have been building AFV Club kits for years, and I have often complained about the lack of positive locator pins or holes or other (common) assists found in other kits, such as interior ridges and/or insets that may not have existed on the real thing, but could be included, out of sight, and would really help modelers.&nbsp; Well, I'd like to think that AFV Club has finally heard my message, but more likely has simply decided to add more design features that assist in buildability.&nbsp; Whatever the case, the complex, multipart truck cab and front end literally fell together; each piece inserted into the other along inner edges and corners.&nbsp; Complex pieces could only fit a single way, etc., etc.&nbsp; I would like to heartedly commend the company for adding these features to their design process.</p> <p>I am more than satisfied with the end result, and all that busy detail looks great on the finished model.&nbsp;</p> <p>The number of small parts, the complicated assemblies and use of photoetch and resin leads me to recommend this kit to experienced modelers only.&nbsp; Go slow, pre-fit everything, and above all, have fun!</p> <p>I would like to sincerely thank AFV Club for providing this kit for review, and to IPMS USA for giving me the opportunity to build it.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/gun-truck-king-cobra#comments Military Vehicles Kits Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:48:24 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10609 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Model Building Guide #11 Lockheed P-38H Lightning Reference Gallery https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/model-building-guide-11-lockheed-p-38h-lightning-reference-gallery <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/model-building-guide-11-lockheed-p-38h-lightning-reference-gallery" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/model-building-guide-11-lockheed-p-38h-lightning-reference-gallery/11_p-38h_gallery_flyer.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Michael A. Turco </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Richard Marmo </div> </div> </div> <p>This 50-page reference document presents a nice pictorial history of the P-38H in the Pacific theater of WWII.&nbsp; While all but two of the photographs are black &amp; white, this shouldn't be a problem for modelers trying to duplicate the color scheme since all those shown were olive drab over gray.</p> <p>This e-document allows a reader to navigate from a thumbnail list at the front or scroll through full-size photographs.&nbsp; The photos reveal the irregularities of the camo painting, the painted-on number designations, and general weather-beaten condition of the Lightnings in the Pacific.&nbsp; While the author admits the variable quality of the photos due to wartime limitations, there are some sharp, up-close ground and mid-air shots of the plane from various angles.</p> <p>The author was not able to identify the individuals in photo #19.&nbsp; While I have yet to ID the women, I submit that the fellow in the photo is actor Gary Cooper.&nbsp; Cooper was too old and unfit for duty at the time, but he toured SW Pacific as a morale booster.</p> <p>This work is both an interesting read from a purely historical viewpoint as well as a valuable resource for someone who wants to build a specific P-38H from the Pacific theater.</p> <p>My thanks to Richard Marmo, IPMS #2 and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review these pictures. The timing couldn't be better with Tamiys hew P-38H hitting the shelves</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/model-building-guide-11-lockheed-p-38h-lightning-reference-gallery#comments Aircraft Publications Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:37:48 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10608 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Spotlight on Ilyushin Il-2 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/spotlight-ilyushin-il-2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/spotlight-ilyushin-il-2" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/spotlight-ilyushin-il-2/il2-0.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Cover" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Gino Dykstra </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mushroom Model Publications </div> </div> </div> <p>The Ilyushin Il-2, commonly known as the "Sturmovik," was a ground attack aircraft used by the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War (World War 2) in great numbers.&nbsp; In fact, it was the most produced aircraft of all back then, with almost 37,000 being made during the course of the war.&nbsp; Simple, sturdy and heavily armored, it played a crucial role on the Eastern Front fighting against the Axis, destroying innumerable vehicles and tanks and greatly blunting the force of Hitler's attacks on the homeland.</p> <p>This new volume by MMP Books in their "Spotlight On" series is a wonderful reference for modelers.&nbsp; It begins with a quick overview of the camouflage specifications for aircraft of the Soviet Union, and then follows with page after page of profiles.&nbsp; In fact, the book is almost entirely dedicated to color profiles and plan views.</p> <p>This slim 42-page hardbound journal features 34 different aircraft in a bewildering range of schemes for both the early single and the later dual-seat versions, including one with a torpedo!&nbsp; All are beautifully rendered and displayed in vivid color.&nbsp; If there isn't something here you can use on your next build, you're a tougher audience than I am.</p> <p>Plainly speaking, this is very much a modeler's reference, with enough ideas and information to make your next project something special.&nbsp; I certainly intend to use this reference when I finally gird my loins enough to tackle the Trumpeter 1/32<sup>nd</sup> kit.&nbsp; The only question, of course, is with so many choices, which to choose?</p> <p>I can gleefully recommend this volume for any modeler interested in WW2 aviation, and I suspect the others in this range would prove to be equally useful.&nbsp; My thanks to MMP Books for releasing this useful text and to IPMS/USA for a chance to add it to my library.&nbsp; Excellent!</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/spotlight-ilyushin-il-2#comments Aircraft Publications Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:38:50 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10607 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org US WASP (1943 – 1945) https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/us-wasp-1943-1945 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-region-pr-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/us-wasp-1943-1945" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square imagecache-linked imagecache-review_cover_square_linked"><img src="https://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/review_cover_square/reviews/us-wasp-1943-1945/wasp_0.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Box Art" width="150" height="150" class="imagecache imagecache-review_cover_square"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-review-author-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Review Author:&nbsp;</div> Gino Dykstra </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ICM </div> </div> </div> <p>The Women's Airforce Service Pilots organization was a unit during World War 2 in which women became trained pilots in order to test or ferry aircraft to war zones, the whole intent being to free more male pilots for combat roles.&nbsp;&nbsp;Formed from the Women's Flying Training Detachment and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, the WASPs merged these two into a single unit in 1942 and carried out their various duties until 1944.&nbsp;&nbsp;Despite their service, WASPs were accorded no military standing and did not receive any of the benefits accorded male members of the Army Air Corps.&nbsp;&nbsp;Thirty-eight members of the unit died while transporting military aircraft or cargo, towing targets for live anti-aircraft training, or performing any of a number of other high-risk training missions in the service of their country.&nbsp;&nbsp;In 1977, thirty-three years afterwards, the survivors were finally granted veteran status.&nbsp;&nbsp;In 2009 the unit was collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their selfless duty.</p> <p>ICM has once again come out with a figure set unlike anything else on the market.&nbsp;&nbsp;In this case, they provide three beautifully sculpted figures of women pilots and support staff in casual poses which can be employed in a variety of dioramas or stand as individual display pieces.&nbsp;&nbsp;All three figures are very well detailed with distinctive features and character.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Assembly is relatively straight-forward with a couple of exceptions, one being the pilot with the parachute harness, which took me a bit of fiddling to figure out.&nbsp;&nbsp;Unfortunately, ICM no longer shows multiple views of their figures in the instructions, instead offering a sort of "low rez" version of the box art.&nbsp;&nbsp;This means that you're sometimes stuck piecing things together from guesswork.&nbsp;&nbsp;I THINK I got mine right, but without further visual reinforcement I can't be sure.</p> <p>The only other place requiring a bit of patience and putty was the office woman's dress, which did not fit well and required some persuasion to come together.&nbsp;&nbsp;Putty is definitely required in any case.&nbsp;&nbsp;No other problems with assembly were encountered, however.</p> <p>When it comes to painting, I discovered online that the range of uniforms used is a lot broader than what is presented on the box art, so I took liberties and used some of the online information to paint them up in more than the fairly drab khaki shown.&nbsp;&nbsp;I love the differences among the figures, in that you can clearly see that the woman with the parachute is an "older hand" than the other two women.&nbsp;&nbsp;All three positively exude character and I can hardly wait to find a suitable setting for each of them.&nbsp;&nbsp;Outstanding!</p> <p>All in all, I can't think of anything about this set I didn't like with the exception of the somewhat vague instructions.&nbsp;&nbsp;This is a unique set that I am really charmed with.&nbsp;&nbsp;I cannot recommend them highly enough.</p> <p>My thanks to ICM for constantly pushing the modeling frontier, and to IPMS/USA for a chance to add these lovely ladies to my collection.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Everyone be safe and happy modeling!</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/us-wasp-1943-1945#comments Figures & Dioramas Kits Fri, 18 Sep 2020 03:10:08 +0000 William O'Malley 10606 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org