Recent Reviews https://web.ipmsusa3.org/reviews_date en The Luftwaffe’s Secret WWII Missions https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/luftwaffe-s-secret-wwii-missions <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/luftwaffe-s-secret-wwii-missions" 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/luftwaffe-s-secret-wwii-missions/img001_2.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Front 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> Will Kuhrt </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Pen &amp; Sword </div> </div> </div> <h3>About the Authors</h3> <p>Dmitry Degtev is one of the leading Russian researches of the history of the Second World War. Widely known to readers for his publications on military aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s, he has been studying the air battles of the Second World War and the history of the Luftwaffe for more than twenty years. As a result, he has assembled a huge amount of exclusive material on events and battles previously little known to the wider audience. He also has more than twelve years of experience teaching Russian and world history and currently lectures at Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University. He lives in the Russian Federation.</p> <p>Dmitry Zubov is the author of twenty-two books on military history. In his works he prefers to analyze the psychological causes of historical events. A professional psychologist, Dmitry is an Associate Professor who lectures on psychology at the Nizhny Novgorod State University. He also lives in the Russian Federation. </p> <h3>Summary</h3> <p>As the Preface states, the events in this book are "very exciting and dramatic events, not inferior to the scenarios of the best American blockbusters". Ok, Hollywood, every chapter of this book could be turned in to a thrilling big screen movie! </p> <p>This is one of those books you just can't help telling people about. I think to date I have told several dozen people about it. It is filled with spies, code names, bold missions, captures &amp; surrenders, and even double agents. The book charts in exciting fashion the formation of an organization known as the Abwehr--a secret intelligence organization of great complexity. </p> <p>One segment in the book about Spy Kids has been stuck in my mind. It sure isn't about a Disney movie. Rather, it tells how the Abwehr came up with the idea of 'recruiting' children to be spies in Russia. This in and of itself may be appalling to some people, but it was the method in which the child spies were selected which made an impression on me. If you can picture a setting somewhat akin to child gladiator fights where the strong are the victors and the weak, well...let's just say you should read the rest! </p> <p>Even intwined in all of the exciting espionage taking place, there are some moments of humor. Russians who had been trained in Abwehr intelligence schools were boarded on planes and flown secretly into Russia. The problem was they were often so nervous they had to be given copious amounts of vodka to steady their nerves. Needless to say, by the time the plane landed, they needed "assistance" to get out of the plane! </p> <p>This is a fantastic book and its stories could easily become blockbuster films, as the Preface states. It brings the reader into the world of total espionage from recruiting, training, mission planning, and plain old underhandedness. It's one of the best military books I have read to date! </p> <p> Thank you to Casemate Publishers for providing a copy of this thrilling book for review, and thank you to IPMS for the opportunity </p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/luftwaffe-s-secret-wwii-missions#comments Miscellaneous Publications Tue, 20 Apr 2021 05:04:19 +0000 William O'Malley 10997 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Mk.IV Male (Emhar kit) https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/mkiv-male-emhar-kit <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/mkiv-male-emhar-kit" 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/mkiv-male-emhar-kit/pxl_20210318_183023829.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Package" 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> Ron Bell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hauler </div> </div> </div> <p>This set consists of one photoetch fret with parts to detail and/or replace kit parts on Emhar's 1/72 British Mark IV Male tank. Mainly they are replacement parts for the kit's un-ditching beam rails, some detail parts for that beam, replacement sponson doors, pistol port covers and parts to enable the modeler to open up the driver's and commander's vision ports. There's also a piece to replace the roof top storage bin. </p> <p>The modeler would benefit from some PE folding experience, especially where the new un-ditching beam rails are concerned, as the folds are long and the pieces quite thin. The instructions for the sponson door parts leave out that you need to cut off the lower part of the kit part and glue it in place as it represents the part of the sponson below the door and the replacement parts do not take this into account. If you follow the instructions, there will be a large opening below the door. The benefit of these parts is that you can pose the sponson doors open as an interior part is supplied for the door. However, as the kit has no interior to speak of, the modeler will need to add something to the inside of the sponsons themselves. </p> <p>The replacement roof stowage bin will not sit quite right as its bottom is straight whereas the surface to which it is to be attached has a slight angle to it, so some carving into the kit part is necessary to get it to sit correctly. The new visors over the commander's and driver's vision ports are nicely done and consist of two parts, the main visor and the vision slit cover, but care needs to be taken in removing the ones from the kit part so as not to lose other detail. The beam rails are very fiddly to deal with and are in two pieces, which makes them even fiddlier. The modeler should take a good look at the kit parts, which are actually nicely done, and decide whether these parts are worth the effort. If you thin the kit parts down, I think not. </p> <p>There are a whole bunch of new covers for the pistol ports located around the vehicle. The instructions do not tell the modeler to remover the kit parts, which are molded in and a little "mushy", so the assumption is you just put the PE parts on top of the kit ones. The gain in detail is minimal, but they are easy to apply at least. The un-ditching beam's parts consist of two plates for the top and bottom and two straps for the end. There is no kit part to put these on, so the modeler has to make it himself, and while not a difficult job it's a bit fiddly as the beam is not square, but rather a trapezoid, in cross section. I added the eye bolts and chain from my stocks. </p> <p>I posed the tank with one sponson door open and one not, the driver's visor open all the way and the commander's vision flap open, but his main visor closed. You can see from the photos the differences/benefits of the PE parts and how they look in place and painted. They do add some interest to the vehicle but take a bit of effort to get them in place and in some cases aren't much better than the kit parts. </p> <p>I'd like to thank IPMS/USA and Hauler for the sample and the chance to take a look at this small scale option. </p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/mkiv-male-emhar-kit#comments Military Vehicles Details Tue, 20 Apr 2021 03:19:39 +0000 William O'Malley 10996 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Land Rover – Military Versions of the British 4X4 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/land-rover-military-versions-british-4x4 <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/land-rover-military-versions-british-4x4" 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/land-rover-military-versions-british-4x4/cover.jpeg" 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> Bob LaBouy </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Pen &amp; Sword </div> </div> </div> <h3>Publishers Notes</h3> <p>"After the Second World War many American military vehicles become surplus stock and soon found their way into the hands of farmers and land owners across Great Britain. The subsequent heavy use and the real possibility of difficulties obtaining spares led Maurice Wilks, the Rover Car Company Chief Engineer, to design and build a replacement."</p> <h3>Table of Contents</h3> <ul> <li>Introduction 1</li> <li>Design &amp; Development 3</li> <li>Camouflage &amp; Markings 17</li> <li>Model Showcase 25</li> <li>Modelling Products 41</li> <li>The Land Rover in Detail 53</li> <li>Land Rover Variants 57</li> <li>In Service &amp; In Action 62</li> </ul> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>"Since its introduction in 1945 when the Land Rover was quickly adopted by the War Department as a utility track, it has become an identifying symbol of the British military. From the jungles of South America to the frozen tundra of NATO's northern borders, this light utility truck has proved itself time and again. Indeed, such is its prowess and adaptability in the field it has been adopted by allies and former adversaries alike as the go-to truck. From firefighting to special forces transport the Land Rover is the everyman of the 4x4 world.</p> <p>Its genesis was in a world of post-war austerity, and it was this that made the Land Rover the ideal military platform. It was made from straightforward engineering and had a utilitarian arid fuss-free appearance with wonderful adaptability, all without too much damage to performance or function Its steel ladder chassis, aluminium panels and leaf-sprung construction marked this new vehicle out as something that was field-ready.</p> <p>First ordered by the British Army in 1949. the Land Rover was soon deployed to Korea with the British contingent. This baptism of fire cemented the Land Rovers reputation and what was initially intended as a temporary model for Rover proved its ability to tackle anything thrown at it."</p> <p>In 1956 the Land Rover secured its dominion m the British Army over the Austin Champ by being declared the main General Service (GS) truck."</p> <p>My reading of this LandCraft book number 7 was a pleasant surprise for me. I had only several personal experiences with the venerable Land Rover vehicles (mostly with the more common automobile like configurations that we often see on roads around us today), though I have been intrigued with 'military' versions I've traveling in the United Kingdom and across Europe. However, I had no idea about just how many versions of Land Rovers there are. These vehicles are truly ubiquitous today. As the author points out: "That some 70 percent of the original two million Series and Defender Land Rovers are still in use today prove that the Land Rover really is 'the best 4x4xfar'."</p> <p>While it seems to be a modern vehicle, Land Rovers are a reasonably 'new kid on the block' and I was initially interested in just the special operation type of Rovers, this book proved to be far detailed than I had imagined. In this book Ben Skipper develops a great modeling publication, including eight four view color renderings (including the 'Pink Panther'), 16 pages of great model photographs (with three kits described in depth), four pages summarizing all of the known model kits and decals (with detailed reviews of their strengths and shortcomings) and a unique list of what to watch for when building a Land Rover model.</p> <p>I can't say enough in summary about this book. In it's 64 pages, there are a great many color photographs and color illustrations. I was pleased to see most of the variants were outlined in this book (including the forward control vehicles) and had not realized how many special purpose vehicles Land Rover manufactures. The author also provides a great look into the many small details which might also be overlooked by readers and especially modelers.</p> <p>My thanks for this review copy and my thanks to both Casemate Publishers and IPMS/USA for my opportunity to review, read and thoroughly enjoy, and provide this review.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/land-rover-military-versions-british-4x4#comments Military Vehicles Publications Tue, 20 Apr 2021 00:09:01 +0000 Doug Cole 10995 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Desert Storm – Volume 2 - Operation Desert Storm and the Coalition Liberation of Kuwait 1991 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/desert-storm-volume-2-operation-desert-storm-and-coalition-liberation-kuwait-1991 <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/desert-storm-volume-2-operation-desert-storm-and-coalition-liberation-kuwait-1991" 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/desert-storm-volume-2-operation-desert-storm-and-coalition-liberation-kuwait-1991/front_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> Bob LaBouy </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><em>From the publisher's notes</em> on this book: "Early in the morning of 2 August 1990, aircraft of the Iraqi Air Force bombed Kuwaiti air bases, and then the Iraqi Republican Guards stormed into the country. Thus, began what would be called the 'Gulf War' - or the 'II Gulf War' or 'II Persian Gulf War' - fought between January and March 1991.</p> <p>Although encountering some problems, the Iraqi forces occupied Kuwait in a matter of a few days. However, when President Saddam Hussein of Iraq unleashed his military upon Kuwait, little did he know what kind of reaction he would provoke from the Western superpowers, and what kind of devastation his country would suffer in return.</p> <p>Concerned about the possibility of Iraq continuing its advance into Saudi Arabia, the USA - in coordination with Great Britain, France, and several local allies - reacted by deploying large contingents of their air, land and naval forces to the Middle East. Months of fruitless negotiations and the continuous military build-up - Operation Desert Shield - followed, as tensions continued to increase. Determined to retain Kuwait, and despite multiple warnings from his own generals, Saddam Hussein rejected all demands to withdraw. The USA and its allies, 'the Coalition', were equally as determined to drive out the invader and restore Kuwaiti independence. Gradually, they agreed this would have to be by force.</p> <p>Following an authorization from the United Nations, the Coalition launched the Operation Desert Storm, on 17 January 1991, opening one of the most intensive air campaigns in history. The last conventional war of the 20th Century saw the large, but essentially traditional, Iraqi Army overwhelmed by forces trained and equipped to exploit the latest technologies.</p> <p>Desert Storm reveals the whole war fought between Iraq and an international coalition, from the start of this campaign to its very end. Largely based on data released from official archives, spiced with numerous interviews, and illustrated with numerous photographs, colour profiles and maps, it offers a refreshing insight into this unique conflict.</p> <p>Volume 2 of Desert Storm tells the story of the air campaign, naval operations, the 100 hours of the land war, and the aftermath of this conflict."</p> <p>The Table of Contents provides this basic outline:</p> <ul> <li>Abbreviations 2</li> <li>Introduction 3</li> <li>1 Hammer from the Sky 3</li> <li>2 Iraq Strikes Back: The Missile Offensive and the Battle of Al-Khafi 21</li> <li>3 Desert Sabre Background and Overview 34</li> <li>4 The Left Hook - XVIII Corps 53</li> <li>5 The Liberation of Kuwait 59</li> <li>Bibliography 68</li> <li>Notes 69</li> <li>About the Authors 72</li> </ul> <p>This book was an enjoyment to read and review. As I began my review, I started with the extensive review of the abbreviations and soon found that I was quickly returning to this list, and often. Although I initially had a reasonable grasp of constituted the 1991 Middle East war in Iraq, I quickly found just how little I really knew about the war and the events leading up to war.</p> <p>In general, the narrative follows the invasion of Kuwait by daily discussion of the ground and air combat. There is also an informative description of the Iraqi organization defenses and how they were deployed throughout the combat.</p> <p>I found the tables outlining the aircraft and ships involved greatly exceeded my prior understanding. The sheer number of aircraft by operational types and numbers were truly overwhelming. The specific types of aircraft, along with numerous black and white photographs is covered in the narrative descriptions.</p> <p>There are also numerous descriptions of the allied/NATO and the Iraqi (IrAF) aircraft and their deployment as well. One of the most interesting photos included in my assorted scans shows the burned-out hunk of a MiG-25 illustrating nose section totally destroyed and literally melted away.</p> <p>Speaking of photos, without attempting to count the actual photographs, there are a large number of black and white images in this book as well, seven pages of color side-views and several color maps of the Kuwaiti battle.</p> <p>I wholeheartedly recommend this book for any members interested in the general Desert Storm and battle to liberate Kuwait</p> <p>My thanks for this review copy and my thanks to both Casemate Publishers and IPMS/USA for my opportunity to review, read and thoroughly enjoy, and provide this review.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/desert-storm-volume-2-operation-desert-storm-and-coalition-liberation-kuwait-1991#comments Miscellaneous Publications Mon, 19 Apr 2021 23:49:35 +0000 Doug Cole 10994 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org S. M. Unterseeboot U-9 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/s-m-unterseeboot-u-9 <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/s-m-unterseeboot-u-9" 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/s-m-unterseeboot-u-9/wwisub_boxtop.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> Mike Kellner </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Das Werk Scale Models </div> </div> </div> <p>When I heard a 1/72 scale World War I submarine kit was coming out, I was excited. It ended up being the U-9 class from Germany. The kit is molded in light gray plastic and comes packed in a nice large, sturdy box. In fact, it will fit back in the box all the way until the completion of the build. </p> <p>When I first saw the instructions I thought they were ruined, but they are intentionally given a distressed look with yellowed pages, coffee mug rings and scotch tape making them look as if they're really old. The hull comes in two halves plus a deck and reminds me a lot of the structure of the Titanic with its large plates and rivets. The kit's parts are very finely molded with virtually no flash. There are many options such as open and closed torpedo tubes, retracted or upright paired smokestacks, open or closed hatches, and covered or uncovered conning tower. If no glue is used, the smokestacks will fold down flush with the deck or extend into the vertical, and the conning tower can be changed at will, covered or uncovered </p> <p>Included with the kit is a 99-page book with both English and German text, covering early U-boat development and featuring many nice pictures. I thought it was interesting that Alfred Von Tirpitz originally was against wasting money on U-boats. </p> <p>I followed the instructions for building the hull, gluing in the spacers to only one half so that I could adjust the other half. I weighted mine since I make all my boats and subs float. I then used tube glue, put a dab on each one of the spacers, and taped and rubber-banded the whole deck to the hull to get a perfect fit. There is no keel on the bottom so it has a smooth hull like a boat. </p> <p>Parts C12 to C15, C19, C20, C31 and C32 are tricky; they comprise the prop shafts and their housings. After finishing my model and putting the two props on, they would probably hit each other in real life so I may not have gotten the angles right. Parts C9 and C10 were also tricky for me so caution should be taken with that two-part stanchion. </p> <p>I glued in all my side hole stanchions and posts, which was a mistake when it came to painting the model. To do it again, I would leave off parts C37 and C38 (they're poles, 2 forward and 2 aft, and C29 and 30 (stanchions), plus B30, B32, B33, and B34, the diving planes. There are three vertical locators for the diving planes and the instructions show to install them into the top two. I inquired of the company why there is a third empty hole and was told and shown a picture where the diving planes were in the upper and the very lower holes in drydock. Looking at other pictures, there were usually two diving planes on each side which reminded me of World War I biplanes, but they were in different positions in different photos. </p> <p>There are two nines on the decal sheet, different style numerals with no explanation as to which ones to use, so I just used the ones I liked. I went with boat U-9 even though the modeler also has the options of 10, 11 and 12, because I only saw the builder's plate which glues to each side of the stern for U-9 but the others are also included on a different section of sprue. U-12 is the boat they actually found sunk, and from which measurements were taken to create the model. </p> <p>The Cartograph decals were excellent and lay down nicely with Solvaset. No thread is provided so I used E-Z Line for the rigging. </p> <p>I thoroughly enjoyed this build and it went fairly quickly as I had less than 30 hours into it. It would've gone a lot quicker if I had left the aforementioned parts off which would really have streamlined masking. I hope they build more 1/72 scale subs and maybe even some small ships. </p> <p>I thank MBK-USA, Das Werk and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build and review this unique and enjoyable kit. </p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/s-m-unterseeboot-u-9#comments Ships Kits Mon, 19 Apr 2021 15:22:56 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10993 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org War of Intervention in Angola Volume 3 - Angolan and Cuban Air Forces 1975-1985 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/war-intervention-angola-volume-3-angolan-and-cuban-air-forces-1975-1985 <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/war-intervention-angola-volume-3-angolan-and-cuban-air-forces-1975-1985" 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/war-intervention-angola-volume-3-angolan-and-cuban-air-forces-1975-1985/helion_aaw_50_angola_cover_front.jpg.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>Helion produces books on many aspects of Military History from the Late Medieval period through to the present day. Helion was established in 1996, and since then they have published almost 1,200 books, with 100 or more new titles coming out every year. The 'Africa@War' series covers African military history since 1945.</p> <p>Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business - during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa - he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. That resulted in specialization in such Middle Eastern air forces as of those of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, plus various African to and Asian air forces. In addition to authoring and co-authoring about 50 books - including about three dozen titles fors Helion's @War series - and well over 1,000 articles, Cooper is a regular correspondent for multiple defense-related publications.</p> <p>Adrien Fontanellaz, from Switzerland, is a military history researcher and author. He developed a passion for military history at an early age and has progressively narrowed his studies to modern-day conflicts. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Pully-based Centre d'histoire et de prospective militaries (Military History and Prospectives Centre), and regularly contributes to the Revue Militaire Suisse and various French military history magazines. He is co-founder and a regular contributor to the French military history website L'autre cote de la colline, and this is his tenth title for Helion's '@War' series.</p> <p>Jose Augusto Matos is an independent researcher in military history in Portugal with primary interest in operations of the Portuguese Air Force during colonial wars in Africa, especially in Guinea. He is a regular contributor to numerous European magazines on military aviation and naval subjects, and has collaborated in the major project 'The Air Force at the end of the Empire', published in Portugal in 2018. Recently he has written two books in Portuguese, one on the former Portuguese regime's relations with South Africa and the other on the attack against Guinea-Conakry in 1970.</p> <p>Helion's latest book in the Africa @ War series is a square back soft cover includes 80 gloss paper pages. This Volume 3 follows up on Adrien Fontanellaz' and Tom Cooper's earlier Volume 1, Africa@War 31 and Volume 2, Africa@War 34, Volume 1, both published in 2019, covers the Angolan and Cuban Forces at War, 1975-1983. The cover features a color photograph of Mig-21 and Mig-17Fs lined up on the tarmac. . The cover color side-view by Tom Cooper of the first on twelve MiG-23MLs that were operated by DAA/FAR (the Revolutionary Air Defense and Air Force, flown by Cuba).</p> <p>I counted one color picture (front cover) and 86 black and white photographs and drawings. There are also 19 aviation color side profiles by Tom Cooper and Luca Canossa; and 3 color side AFV profiles by David Bocquelet, along with 8 black and white maps, one color map, and eleven tables.</p> <p>War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3 covers the air warfare during the II Angolan War from 1975-1985 - through narrating the emergence and operational history of the Angolan Air Force and Air Defense Force (FAPA/DAA) as told by Angolan, Cuban, Russian, and South African sources. This (at least) four part series updates the previous accounts of this war by including newly available sources that provide more insight. These Angolan and Cuban sources depicts an entirely different portrayal of the air war over Angola. This volume shows the development of the Angolan military from 1975 to 1985. What the reader gains is insight into the political machinations of the Cubans, Russians, South Africans, and of course the CIA. That's not to mention the various Angolan parties, all fighting for control. The fun part of this book is all the different players and their associated acronyms. Luckily, this addressed at the beginning with a list of Abbreviations. I found myself referring back to this list again and again, just trying to understand all of the players involved in this war. The sections include:</p> <ul> <li>Abbreviations</li> <li>Introduction</li> <li>1 - Who-Was-Whom in Angola, 1975 - 1985 <ul> <li>The End of Portuguese Rule</li> <li>Operation Carlota</li> <li>MPLA's First Victory</li> <li>Differences in Military Thinking</li> <li>The Mess of 1976 - 1981</li> <li>Table 1 - FAPA/DAA, FAPLA and FAR Terminology</li> </ul> </li> <li>2 - People's Air Force <ul> <li>Portuguese Origins</li> <li>Pioneers</li> <li>Starting From Scratch</li> <li>Table 2 - Ex-Portuguese Nord N.2501/2502 Noratlas Transports in Angola</li> <li>Mercenary Air Raid</li> <li>Cuban Military Intervention</li> <li>Communists to the Rescue</li> <li>Establishment of FAPA</li> <li>Table 3 - FAPA, February 1976</li> <li>Castro's Micro-Management</li> <li>Mishap at Cela</li> <li>Del Pino's Adventure [Page 16]</li> <li>Fishbeds Over Huambo</li> <li>Hunt for Svimbi</li> <li>Destroying UNITA</li> </ul> </li> <li>3 - Which Way Next? <ul> <li>Training, Training - and More Training</li> <li>Table 4 - FAPA, October 1978</li> <li>DAA Component</li> <li>Table 5 - DAA, Anti-Aircraft Units, 1977 - 1978</li> <li>FAPA/DAA</li> <li>New Nests</li> <li>Radar Core</li> <li>Table 6 - 1st Radar Battalion, FAPA/DAA, 1979</li> <li>Expanding Transport Capacity</li> <li>Excessive Attrition</li> <li>Cooperation with Airlines</li> <li>The Workhorse</li> <li>Western Aircraft</li> <li>Strategic Disagreement</li> <li>Searching for Their Own Way</li> </ul> </li> <li>4 - Bad Start <ul> <li>Wrong-Footed [Page 29]</li> <li>Pechoras</li> <li>IFF Problems</li> <li>People's Supersonic Jets</li> <li>Peculiarities of the Soviet and Cuban Training System</li> <li>Bitter Complaints</li> <li>Old MiGs for Mission Olivo</li> <li>Protea and Other Catastrophes</li> <li>First Clash with Mirages</li> <li>Second Clash with Mirages</li> <li>Color Illustrations [Page 36v]</li> </ul> </li> <li>5 - Pretoria's Forges <ul> <li>Counterproductive Arms Embargo</li> <li>SADF's Weak Spots</li> <li>Table 7 - Known FALA Battalions</li> <li>Growing UNITA</li> <li>Of Strelas and Stingers</li> </ul> </li> <li>6 - Bitter 1983 <ul> <li>Cangamba Shock</li> <li>Nunda's Cavalcade</li> <li>South Africa's Next External</li> <li>FAPLA's Regulars</li> <li>A Venomous Gecko</li> <li>Table 8 - Major Equipment of Standard SA-8b SAM Site</li> <li>Askari Derailed</li> <li>Armoured Battle of Cuvelai</li> <li>The End of One Brigade, Survival of Three Others</li> <li>Lusaka Accord</li> </ul> </li> <li>7 - Aftershocks <ul> <li>Battle of Sumbe</li> <li>The Switch</li> <li>Hinds for Angola [Page 52]</li> <li>Fighter Jets for FAPA/DAA</li> <li>Peculiarities of MiG-21bis</li> <li>Silver Bullet</li> <li>Reorganization of the FAPLA</li> <li>Table 9 - Known FAPLA Brigades of 1983 - 1989</li> <li>Endless List of Problems</li> </ul> </li> <li>8 - Controversial Strategies <ul> <li>Aircraft on the 1st Strategic Front</li> <li>Operation FAPLA 10 Years of Victories</li> <li>Floggers</li> <li>Peculiarities of the MiG-23</li> <li>What's in the Flogger? [Page 63]</li> <li>Radar Core to the Rescue</li> <li>Table 10 - FAPA/DAA, ORBAT, Late 1985</li> <li>Table 11 - FAPLA/DAA, Commanders, 1976-1989</li> </ul> </li> <li>Bibliography</li> <li>Notes</li> </ul> <p>I found many sections of this story very interesting, but one stood out. After several battles that were lost, the Russians finally decided to provide modern equipment instead of outdated, worn out aircraft, and shipped Hind-Ds to the Congolan military. This was a major improvement over the Alouette IIs and IIIs that had been the standard. The Hind-D brought Angola with an improved ability to fight with the heavily armed gunship. What I was surprised to learn though was that although the Hind-D was great in a cold environment at sea level, it struggled in Angola's heat and high elevation. Angola's geography range from 3,000 feet to 6,000 feet. The Angolans quickly found out that the Hind-D was very underpowered. Any operations had to use a rolling take-off and the Hind-D could not hover.</p> <p>Adrien Fontanellaz, Tom Cooper, and Jose Augusto Matos present an easy read that is well supplemented with photos, maps and tables. Although I had very little awareness of the conflict in this area, I was able to read this easily over four nights. There are several first person accounts that provide additional insight. The modeler is well served as there are plenty of good action photographs of armored vehicles and aircraft that is well supported with Tom Cooper's color aircraft side profiles and David Bocquelet's armor color side profiles. Volume 4 on the War of Intervention in Angola: Angolan and Cuban Air Forces, 1985 - 1988 is forthcoming in June 2021, but first, I will need to go back and get the first two volumes: Angolan and Cuban Forces at War, 1975 - 1976; and Angolan and Cuban Forces, 1976 - 1983.</p> <p>If you own one the previous releases in the Africa @ 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/war-intervention-angola-volume-3-angolan-and-cuban-air-forces-1975-1985#comments Aircraft Publications Mon, 19 Apr 2021 14:57:36 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10992 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Foreign Planes in the Service of the Luftwaffe https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/foreign-planes-service-luftwaffe <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/foreign-planes-service-luftwaffe" 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/foreign-planes-service-luftwaffe/frontcover.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> Hub Plott </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Pen &amp; Sword </div> </div> </div> <p>This book covers the many captured foreign aircraft that were put into service and tested by the Luftwaffe. The book has twelve chapters.</p> <p>Chapter one has many pictures of aircraft taken from Czechoslovakia and absorbed from Austria. Many Fiat, Avia, Letov are featured in the accompanying photos.</p> <p>. Chapter two has great photo coverage of planes from Poland, Norway, the Netherlands. Many of these were put into Luftwaffe service especially in the training role.</p> <p>&nbsp;Chapter three covers the aircraft taken with the fall of France. These included all types of home manufactured aircraft such as Bloch, Dewoitine, LeO and Morane as well as American made aircraft used by the French such as Hawk 75 (P-36) and North American models 57 and 64 trainers. Also included are the many British aircraft, both those serving with the French as well those left behind by the British when forced to retreat.</p> <p>Chapter four continues the influx of British aircraft as the fighting with Britain continues as aircraft that were forced down or crashed were collected for repair and research. By mid-1940 to mid-1941 many of the major frontline British types were being test flown after repairs. Spitfires, Hurricanes, and Wellingtons were just a few of the examples tested at Rechlin.</p> <p>Chapter five covers the aircraft taken from Yugoslavia, Greece and the USSR. Some of the more modern aircraft were taken over by the Luftwaffe or given to the new Croat AF but many were scrapped.</p> <p>Chapters six and seven cover further British aircraft acquired and those used in Vichy France along the Mediterranean. In addition, when the Allies invaded North Africa, the Germans moved into Southern France and commandeered almost 1900 Vichy AF aircraft even though a number escaped to Morocco, Algiers and Tunisia.</p> <p>Chapter eight covers the first American aircraft to fall into German hands. The first B-17 on 12 December 1942. Several others are shown although many of those like a P-39 in North Africa probably were not able to be flown back across the Med.</p> <p>Chapter nine covers when Italy surrendered to the Allies. The Italian AF aircraft in those areas controlled by the Germans were immediately impressed into service with the Luftwaffe or used by the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana.</p> <p>Chapters ten and eleven cover from Normandy through the end of the war in Europe. Many US types and the remains of other captured aircraft are shown.</p> <p>Chapter twelve is the conclusion where it is all brought together. Again, photos of aircraft from all those who fought the Reich are shown.</p> <p>This is a great photo book supplemented with brief but informative text. All photos except the cover are in B&amp;W but the modeler will find many interesting markings to give them inspiration. The treasure of this book are the many photos. I can recommend this to anyone with an interest in WWII, WWII aviation as well as the modeler, all will find something of interest within the covers. The author is to be commended for what I am sure was a long and difficult period of research to find this information and all these photos. My thanks to Casemate for the review sample and to IPMS for the opportunity!</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/foreign-planes-service-luftwaffe#comments Aircraft Publications Mon, 19 Apr 2021 14:45:57 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10991 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Operation DANUBE: Soviet and Warsaw Pact Intervention in Czechoslovakia, 1968 (Europe at War No. 7) https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/operation-danube-soviet-and-warsaw-pact-intervention-czechoslovakia-1968-europe-war-no-7 <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/operation-danube-soviet-and-warsaw-pact-intervention-czechoslovakia-1968-europe-war-no-7" 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/operation-danube-soviet-and-warsaw-pact-intervention-czechoslovakia-1968-europe-war-no-7/czech_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> Marc K. Blackburn </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>Several years ago, I had the pleasure of spending a week in Prague. Relatively untouched by the Second World War, I had a delightful time. While I had a general knowledge of what happened in 1968, I was not thinking about the sacrifices that the inhabitants of the city made. This volume fills that gap. Hellion Publishing has created a host of series that examine conflicts around the world, including Europe. This particular volume provides an overview of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968. As with other Hellion offerings, it follows a standard design and format. The text provides context and details of the intervention. Given what happened in 1968, I have never seen many of these photographs, so anyone with an interest in Soviet vehicles and equipment, it is a treasure trove of information. They also include a small selection of color photographs, profiles of equipment that took part in the intervention, and a map. Finally, it has a complete bibliography for those who would like to follow up with this tragic but important event.</p> <p>While Czechoslovakia was considered part of the eastern bloc and Warsaw Pact, tied to Moscow and the Soviet Union, for many westerners, they would have been painted in the same broad brush strokes, in fact Czechoslovakia had a different pedigree than many of their neighbors. Before the beginning of World War Two, the country was a parliamentary democracy that was swept up in appeasement and the Munich agreement. In the aftermath of the war, it became part of the Communist Bloc. It seems the best way to characterize what was going in Czechoslovakia is that the government, led by Aleksander Dubcek, did not want to abandon Communism, but retool it to meet the needs of his country. This meant abandoning Soviet doctrine. The Soviet leader at the time, Leonid Brezhnev was not against change, but in the background was the Soviet reaction to what had occurred in Hungry in 1956 - a popular uprising against Soviet rule. In the case of Czechoslovakia, it was change from above.</p> <p>As with most revolutions, there were tensions that Dubcek had to navigate - conservatives who did not want to rock the boat and progressives who wanted to push for wider reforms. There was a sense, in particular since the Soviet Union seemed to tolerate these changes, that they could move forward. In fact, conservative elements in both governments put a break on these reforms. There were two things that defined the reaction to Dubcek's reforms - at its core, the Soviet Union was about maintaining control over its allies in the Warsaw Pact. In the end, there was absolutely no interest in allowing Czechoslovakia express any independence. Taking advantage of the split with the party, the Soviets and their Allies planned an intervention, though it took time to build a consensus over a plan for action. Given that the United States was at the height of their involvement in Vietnam, the chances of a western move to counter a Soviet/Warsaw Pact intervention was not going to happen. Dubcek was willing to work with and negotiate with the Soviets and their proxies, but once it became clear that there was really not going to be a change, the Soviets invaded.</p> <p>Overwhelming force, the 1968 version of shock and awe, was planned and went forward without a hitch. With a combined force of Soviet and Warsaw Pact Forces, the combined force was able to quickly overrun the country and secure the major cities and airfields. It was a well planned and executed operation. There was little bloodshed. The country was secured. There was still civil unrest, despite the presence of Soviet troops and the establishment of a hard line regime in Prague, the seeds of the undoing of the Soviet Empire would be put in place. There was a cadre of leaders who would carry the spirit of independence forward to what would eventually lead to the velvet Revolution. Ironically, when Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union, his reforms were inspired by the efforts to move forward with change in Czechoslovakia. Bottom line, while the Soviets had a resounding military victory, the seeds of change were sown.</p> <p>Hellion is filling a gap with this work specifically and this series generally. While the occupation of Czechoslovakia did not trigger a wider conflict with NATO, it did lay the foundation for change. My thanks to IPMS and Helion &amp; Company for giving me the opportunity to review this book.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/operation-danube-soviet-and-warsaw-pact-intervention-czechoslovakia-1968-europe-war-no-7#comments Military Vehicles Publications Mon, 19 Apr 2021 14:16:22 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10990 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org CR.42 LW with German Pilots https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/cr42-lw-german-pilots <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/cr42-lw-german-pilots" 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/cr42-lw-german-pilots/germcr42-0.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>ICM has lately really gotten into making combo kits, and this one, which combines their excellent CR. 42 Night Raider with their equally excellent German pilots set, is one of the latest. I will review each item separately, so let's start with the airplane.</p> <p>As most of you already know, the Italian CR. 42 biplane was perhaps one of the most elegant aircraft of its day. Late in the war, however, its obsolescence as a front-line fighter was painfully obvious, and both the Italians and Germans saw its potential as a night intruder for harassing the enemy under conditions where it was unlikely to encounter much, if any, aerial resistance. This involved some modifications, such as adding bomb racks, extending the engine exhausts and cutting down the landing gear spats to deal with rough field conditions.</p> <p>Assembly begins with the interior, and ICM has done a nice job creating the delicate aluminum framework of the original as well as the interesting split control panel. As with all ICM kits of this scale, no attempt has been made to include seat belts, so those will either have to be found elsewhere or scratched. All dials on the various bits of control panel are reproduced in decal form, and certainly simplify the painting process. Realistically, there isn't anything else you may want to add except for the belts. </p> <p>The engine assembly is a model in and of itself, and looks fine as is, although it's a simple enough task to add some wiring for better effect. You can elect to show the cowl flaps open or shut, and you also have the option of leaving a number of panels open. I opted to leave them ALL off just to show the quality of the molding. </p> <p>Biplanes offer a number of challenges, one of which is how best to paint the struts with a minimum of masking. I discovered, that if one takes a little time, all of the interplane struts can be assembled onto the upper wing exclusively in such a fashion that they will essentially snap into place onto the fuselage and lower wing after painting, which saves an enormous amount of masking. There is also a relatively limited amount of rigging for a biplane, and this can be tackled in any number of ways - your choice. Nothing too difficult for the average modeler. Be sure to punch out the mounting holes for the bomb racks on the lower wings before assembly, however.</p> <p>Assembly of the fuselage and various appendages is extremely precise and required next to no putty to finish the job. About the only thing that might require a bit of care is the attachment of the extended exhaust pipes, which are braced with a couple of very thin struts. Fortunately, there is a complete second set of these included in case yours snap.</p> <p>If everything is assembled properly, you'll find that the engine virtually clicks into place on the fuselage, which permits you to paint this subassembly separately if you so wish. </p> <p>The fun part of this kit has to be in the painting. If you're comfortable with an airbrush, you'll find this a great kit to test your skills on. Two decal options are provided, and as is typical with ICM, are a breeze to put on and set with virtually no film. You will, of course, have to scrounge tail swastikas from another source.</p> <p>Although I'm not a big fan of what the Germans did to this elegant aircraft in the name of efficiency, I have to admit the final product is really interesting to look at. I don't have anything in my collection quite like it. All in all, a wonderful kit with few, if any, vices.</p> <p>The German pilot set is, I believe, one of the first pilot sets released by ICM some years back. Unlike most of their newer sets, the three figures depicted do not, technically, work as a vignette. Basically, what you get is three pilots in three different uniforms standing around looking Teutonic. The fact that they all have basically the same face doesn't help either (triplets?). Your best bet is to display them with three different aircraft rather than all together.</p> <p>That being said, they are truly lovely figures in their own right, with beautiful detail and good, natural poses. They assemble easily with little putty, paint up exceptionally well and really look the part when complete.</p> <p>Once again, ICM has come up with a lovely combo kit featuring top-notch kits. As I stated in a previous review, I think ICM is missing an opportunity by not providing additional decal options for their regular CR. 42 kit, which would make this set even more desirable. Still, it's a bargain for such excellent kits. Highly recommended.</p> <p>As always, my thanks to ICM for releasing such wonderful models, and to IPMS/USA for entrusting me to build and review them. Stay safe, everyone, and happy modeling!</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/cr42-lw-german-pilots#comments Aircraft Kits Mon, 19 Apr 2021 05:11:07 +0000 William O'Malley 10989 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org 3cm Flakvierling 103/38 https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/3cm-flakvierling-10338 <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/3cm-flakvierling-10338" 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/3cm-flakvierling-10338/1.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> Bob LaBouy </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Das Werk Scale Models </div> </div> </div> <h3>This Kit</h3> <p>The kit's guns are described as <em>"The Mk 103/38 was a late-war, four-gun installation of the Mk 103 3cm gun from Rheinmetall Borsig. The Mk 103 was an electrically fired, recoil and gas-operated automatic cannon designed to be used as a dual-purpose weapon against air and ground targets.</em></p> <p><em>The Mk 103 had a rate of fire of 280 rounds per minute using high explosive (HE) rounds, and 420 rounds per minute when firing Armor Piercing rounds.</em></p> <p><em>The experimental Mk 103/38 four-gun installation proved troublesome dur to (the) fact that the mount was originally designed for the smaller 2cm Flak 38, and heavy vibration took its toll on both the equipment and the crew aiming the weapon."</em></p> <p>This kit provides a gun mount which can be rotated 360@ and the gun elevation is capable of linking with the gun sight. The kit contains approximately 106 molded parts on 2 sprue trees, and a decal sheet. This is a simple, yet satisfying, quick and easy build, which is almost a novelty in the modeling world (with numerous kits marketed with several thousand pieces).</p> <h3>The Build</h3> <p>I am impressed with most of the surface detail, including the raised details, rivets, etc. The instructions are also clearly printed in color to further delineate the parts and their relationship.</p> <p>The instruction sheet 15 pages with 14 steps needed to complete the build, painting and decals. A variety of model paints are called out in the instructions, providing an English common name, the RAL (Reichs-Ausshuss fur Lieferbedingungen) number and six paint manufacturers (Tamiya, Mr Hobby, Ammo by Mig, Vallejo, Humbrol and Mission Models).</p> <p>Construction required only a minimal amount of sanding and clean-up. I chose to use the AK Real Colors acrylic lacquer paints and briefly experimented while using Vallejo surface primer on the base and then no primer with the Real Color acrylic lacquer (which is a new product for me, and I am rapidly become a fan of); the result of my highly unscientific experiment impressed me and leads me to believe these acrylic lacquer paints do not need to be primed first (saving an entire preliminary step required with the acrylic paints).</p> <p>There are a few hints as to where one might allow this flak gun moveable, though I glued the kit in a 'fixed' configuration and displayed it in a slightly raised position.</p> <h3>Painting</h3> <p>As mentioned above, I used Vallejo Desert Sand Surface Primer #70.613 for most of the surface areas on the model base prior to learning that this was not necessary. My choice of the four-color schemes was one from an unidentified unit in the Ardennes, from September 1945. This required only two colors: the overall Dunkelgelb RAL 7028 (AK Real Color #RC 060) and Schokoladenbraun RAL 8017 (AK Real Color #RC 068) for the small amount of camouflage.</p> <p>I painted the overall guns in flat black (Mission Models MMP-047), with the barrel flash suppressors in gun metal (Mission Models MMM-010), and silver (Mission Models MMC-001). Following the painting, I applied a small amount of burnt umber oil wash to pick out some of the raised surface details and rivets and dry-brushed gun receiver areas with AK True Metal steel (AK 457).</p> <h3>Decals</h3> <p>There is a small sheet of decals of which I only used two small decals for the flak gun mount. There are a variety of small decals to complete which ever paint scheme you choose, including several artillery insignias.</p> <h3>Overall Evaluation</h3> <p>This kit provided a great break in the long line of more challenging aircraft and armor kits I normally find myself bogged down with. This kit was truly a pleasure to complete. It well engineered, the instructions thoughtfully laid-out and should not prove a difficult build for a wide range of modelers, from the beginners to the more experienced. It builds up as a very interesting and unique vehicle in my collection of German WW II flak and artillery pieces. Kudos to Das Werk, which has in my opinion, continued to build some of the more obscure and less built kits, and I applaud their efforts on our behalf.</p> <p>I am most appreciative for the opportunity to build this kit and want to thank MBK-USA and Das Werk Model company.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/3cm-flakvierling-10338#comments Miscellaneous Kits Fri, 16 Apr 2021 19:49:44 +0000 Doug Cole 10988 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Su-27UB Flanker-C https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/su-27ub-flanker-c <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/su-27ub-flanker-c" 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/su-27ub-flanker-c/img_2722_1.jpeg" 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> Dan Brown </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kitty Hawk </div> </div> </div> <p>The Su-27 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1985 and the primary role was long range interdiction of American bombers. Originally, this airframe was developed as a single seat fighter under the the designation, SU-27K. This was later adapted for use by the Navy for carrier trials and entered active service in 1991. While the carrier trails were ongoing, a two seat trainer version was developed, starting in 1989. This new kit by Kitty Hawk is the third in a batch of recent Su-27 releases and covers the two seat version of this important fighter.</p> <p>The basis for these releases is the new tooled kit from Kitty Hawk released in 2017. Several new sprues add parts to cover the many options available for this kit. The kit comes in a large and very colorful box that features an image of the aircraft in standard rule camouflage. Included in the box are 10 sprues of very light grey styrene, 1 clear sprue, 1 PE fret, separate parts for the main fuselage and four variously sized decal sheets. Many of these parts will not be used in the build as there are a ton of extra parts and weapons included from previous versions.</p> <p>Before I get into the main build of this kit I do need to mention a couple fo things about the instructions. First is that there are a large number of errors in the instructions. I will do my best to call them out as I proceed through the build but take care when following through the instructions. There are errors in which parts it calls for and some parts are never mentioned at all. You may need to refer to instructions for previous versions of this aircraft in order to complete the build. Lastly, several of the final steps address adding weapons to this aircraft, however not all versions covered by this kit would have weapons would be mounted. So check you references.</p> <p>The first few steps are dedicated to the cockpit interior. The detail here is up to Kitty Hawk's normal standards. Fine moldings with plenty of detail. There are also a surprising number of callouts for paint colors. I stuck to these callout for the most part but deviated for the overall color, choosing to paint it using an old bottle of Model Master Interior Blue/Green enamel. This color is a great match for the unique Soviet interior color. I also chose to paint the PE seat belts a grey color close to FS36375. The straps for the pilots feet in Step 3 were painted NATO black with silver buckles. </p> <p>I had very few problems with the fit of these parts. My only issues were with the straps for the pilots feet, the clips on these were difficult to fit over the pins on the sides of the pedals. In Step 5, the detail that Part A4 attaches to is missing and the fit of Part H4 is a little vague. My only major issue with the instructions here is that the kit includes great decals for the cockpit details but it in no way mentions them or shows were they go. The locations for them are easy to figure out using references and location of the molded dials. </p> <p>Next up are two interior structures. First is what appears to be the avionics bay. There isn't much to say here, the detail and the parts are fine. Based on references, this is an area that would benefit from some extra detail and it is one of the first areas that you can display open depending on how you build the kit. Next is the front wheel well, again the fit and the detail is fine. I chose to paint all of the wheel wells and the intakes for this aircraft Tamiya XF-83.</p> <p>Steps 8 and 9 start the engines and intakes. You will need to skip ahead to Step 11 to get the parts in Steps 8/9 to align. This is by far the easiest way to make sure everything is square. The engines are built in Step 10 and installed in Step 11. This kit does provide a fair amount of detail for engines that will never be seen. There are two small hatches on the upper fuselage that can be left off to show the front part of the engines. There was a pretty serious seam that runs the length of both engines. It is unlikely that you will be able to see this seam on the completed build but if you intend to display the engines separately it could be a problem as the seam is difficult to correct. </p> <p>I used Model Master Metalizer Burnt Iron and Chrome Silver to paint the engines. One minor complaint is that the instructions do not provide accurate painting guidelines for the engines. It does call out the colors used, but it has no reference to what goes where and the color guide later in the instructions does not match the colors called out in Step 10. Refer to your references if you plan to display the engines.</p> <p>I had no issues installing the engines at this stage. In Steps 12 and 13, there are the first two errors in the instructions. Parts C61 and C60 are swapped in the instructions. In Step 14, I ran into the first major fit issue. I could not get the upper and lower fuselages to mate correctly. I ended up having to slowly laminate the fuselage from back to front, moving slowly to allow for cure time between clamping. After completing this process, I still needed a fair amount of filler to hide some seams on the front of the fuselage. </p> <p>The last error on this page is in Step 15, here you will be assembling the pilot's instrument shroud and it lists Part F10 for use here. There is no Part F10 and this version doesn't have an F sprue. Also I had issues with PE5 for the heads up display. It was too wide for the glass parts, but luckily there is plastic version of this part on Sprue C. I skipped Step 16 until after it was time to install the canopy.</p> <p>Steps 17 and 18 cover the build of the intakes. This kit has two options for displaying the FOD cover, screen up or down. I chose to build the kit with the FOD screens down but it is nice to have the option for either. There is one notable issue here with the molding of the left intake housing. On the Su-27 there are round cutouts for the wheel wells and on this kit the left side intake housing is incorrectly molded. There is a square opening where there should be a round one. You will need to reshape the opening in Part A44 to fit and this may require filling/sanding to correct as well. </p> <p>In Step 19, it is time to install the intake assemblies. I had some pretty serious fit issues here. Neither of the intake assemblies fit particularly well to the fuselage. Quite a lot of Mr. Surfacer was needed to fill the gaps. There was also a larger gap towards the back of these parts where they connect to the rest of the engine. This required a more aggressive combination of Mr. Surfacer and Bondo Spotting putty to fill. </p> <p>In Step 20, I left the cannon and the cannon cover off until after final painting. The barrel of the cannon sticks out slightly and complicates the painting process. This step also covers, attaching the mounting point for the radar, Part C31. This part is designed to be able to displayed open or closed which is a nice option. However, the fit of this part to the rest of the fuselage is not great and the mounting point very weak. It is only attached at the hinge point at the top and it broke off several times while handling. In Step 21, I left all of the PE parts off until the final assembly.</p> <p>In Step 22 there are three more options for display. First there is the speed brake, which can be displayed open or closed. I chose to build the kit with the speed brake closed and the fit was not great. It needed a fair amount of Mr. Surfacer to fill some gaps. Next there are the hatches that cover the engine, these can be left off to show the engine. Lastly, there is the parachute cover which can also be displayed open or closed. I had no fit issues here. </p> <p>In Step 22-24 there are some fit and design issues that I need to mention. I left the afterburner cans off until the final assembly but I ran into an issue at that time. When installed there was large gap between them and the fuselage. I managed to remedy the issue by trimming 1mm off of the engines before reinstalling the cans. Steps 23 and 24 build up the landing gear. I ran into one major issue here. For some reason the main landing gear was molded without axles. This was an issues in previous versions of this kit as well. </p> <p>I drilled holes into the landing gear and super glued short pieces of 2.1mm aluminum rod as replacements. Once assembled these were left off until after initial paining. In Steps 23 and 24 there are two swapped parts, C13 and C14 must be reversed while building the landing gear. There is one more thing to note, in Step 25 the landing gear are swapped. Step 23 needs to be swapped with 24. </p> <p>There are a few more misprints in Step 26. This step covers the addition of the wings, flaps and ailerons. The fit here is great and I had no issues bedsides the instruction errors. I did leave the Parts D4/D7 off until final assembly to make painting easier. The first printing error is with Parts D1/D2, these parts need to be swapped to fit correctly. Also, Part D5 needs to be Part D15 and Part D6 needs to be Part D18. </p> <p>I skipped Parts D27 and D28 until after initial painting but I had no issues with these parts or the instructions. I also skipped over all of the steps from here until I reached Step 35. All of these steps deal with detail parts that need to be added after final painting. There were no issues with the detail or fits of the parts in these steps. </p> <p>Steps 35 through 40 cover the last few major details. In Step 35 the radar system is built and it is a nice little addition that you can display with out adding too much detail. Step 36 covers the build of the canopy. There was a minor mold seam a crossed the center of the glass that needed to be buffed out. I used wet sanding with micro abrasion pads and then buffed the scratches out with Turtle Wax plastic buffing compound. I had no issues with the fit of any of the parts here. </p> <p>In Step 37 the canopy is installed and the fit is decent but not perfect. With the way that the instructions are written it doesn't appear that the kit was designed for the cockpit to be displayed open. However, Part A3 appears to be long enough that with careful gluing, the canopy should be able to be left open. I chose to build the kit with the cockpit closed. </p> <p>Next up are the large double tails. These are well molded and designed but I had some issues while installing them. The fit to the main fuselage is a bit rough and required some filling to hide the joint. I had no fit issues with the rest of the parts in Step 40 but there is one final misprint. Part F3 doesn't exist as there is no F sprue. Instead the part should be Part H18. I left all of the clear parts off until final assembly but one thing to note here is with Part GP10. This is the IR sensor and to replicate the look of the real sensor I painted the inside of the part Tamiya X18 Gunmetal.</p> <p>Next up is paining, this kit contains decals and instructions for a wide range of aircraft. There are 6 total sets of markings: Su-27UB, bort 64, Soviet VVS, Su-27UB, bort 65, Russian VVS, Su-27UB, bort 10, Russian VVS, J-16, bort 28/11128, PLAAF, J-16, bort 11137, PLAAF, Su-27UB, bort 14, Soviet VVS, Su-27UB, bort 23, Russian Knights aerial demo team, Su-27UB, bort 74, Ukrainian Air Force, Su-27UB, bort 52, Russian VVS and Su-27UB, bort 389, Sukhoi Test/Demo aircraft. Many of these aircraft have special markings that are reflected in the decals. I chose to build the Russian Knights scheme with the following colors. Tamiya XF-2 Flat White, XF-22 for the landing gear, Tamiya NATO green for the wheel hubs, X-4 for the Bright Blue, and X-14 for the Sky Blue. There is no masking guide to assist in painting this option but it is not difficult. Lastly there is section around the cannon that was masked and painted Model Master Metalizer Steel. </p> <p>Su-27s have very distinctive sections of exposed metal for the engines. I used a number of Model Master Metalizer paints in attempt to replicate this section. The base was Stainless Steal, panel edges were highlighted with Magnesium and light coats of Jet Exhaust were streaked from front to back. The burner cans were treated the same way with an over spray of Burnt Metal. </p> <p>After a gloss coat it was time to add the decals. The large decal sheets are well printed with no errors and good register. One of the decal sheets for this kit is an extensive set of stencils. Based on my references, the Russian Knights aircraft had no stencils. So I can't say how they performed. The rest of the decals performed well over a couple coats of PFM. The large sunrise decals on the tail are impressive and responded well to Micro Sol but some of the detail near the top of the tail required cutting the decals and touching up afterwards with paint. </p> <p>The only issues I had with the rest of the decals was with the large decals for the tops of the wings. The complicated shape of the center part of the fuselage makes fitting the decals very frustrating. They also seem a little short, I had to shift them aft to get them to line up and the front no longer lined up where I wanted. Also decals 41 and 48 are way too short, I had to rebuild the ends from decal scraps to ensure that they were long enough.</p> <p>After the decals cured and an overcoat of PFM was applied. I added all of the details left off earlier and I had no issues with the fits of these parts. The PE parts and other probes are very fragile and tiny so be careful when fitting them. The last part of this build is to build and install the stores. This kit does contain a very nice set of weapons, tanks and pylons. The details are good but I only used the pylons so I can't comment on the fit of these parts. The instructions give no guidance on what each aircraft can or should carry. Based on my references the Russian Knights aircraft carried a full load of pylons but no weapons. Check your references for exactly what pylons to add where, the instructions are not clear here. </p> <p>This is an interesting kit. With some effort you will have a wonderful version of this awesome aircraft. From what I can tell it is one of the best kits of this aircraft in 1/48 scale and I am certainly happy with the results. However the fit issues, missing axles and errors in the instructions do hold it back a bit. I would definitely recommend this kit to any experienced modeler that is interested in a larger scale of a modern Russian aircraft. But due to these issues I can't recommend this kit to a beginner; there is too much trouble shooting and fixing required to make the kit accessible. </p> <p>My thanks to Kitty Hawk and IPMS/USA for giving me the opportunity to review this kit. </p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/su-27ub-flanker-c#comments Aircraft Kits Fri, 16 Apr 2021 16:20:50 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10986 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle - A Comprehensive Guide https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/mcdonnell-douglas-f-15-eagle-comprehensive-guide <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/mcdonnell-douglas-f-15-eagle-comprehensive-guide" 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/mcdonnell-douglas-f-15-eagle-comprehensive-guide/1_cover.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 Novosad </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> MA Publications, Ltd. </div> </div> </div> <h3>The Author</h3> <p>Andy Evans is a full-time author who has contributed to several magazines including Aircraft Illustrated, Air World International and Military Magazine. His previous books include BAe/McDonnell Douglas Harrier [Crowood 1998].</p> <h3>The Publication Contents</h3> <h4>Glossary</h4> <p>Here the author begins with a page of terms associated with the F-15. Many are familiar, while other are new to me.</p> <h4>Introduction</h4> <p>The intro pages are essentially a recap of the F-15 features, series, weapons and brief combat history.</p> <h4>Chapter 1 Flight of the Eagle</h4> <p>This chapter reviews the developmental history of the F-15 beginning with the F-X (Flighter-Experimental) Project. Several in-flight images of the First F-15A model and included. It was interesting to note the F-15 project included no prototype aircraft: The F-15 was ordered off the drawing board.</p> <h4>Chapter 2 Wings of the Eagle</h4> <p>Here we see the aircraft from the F-15A series to the F-15D. And again the pages include several, full-color images of the aircraft, with one especially striking in-flight photo on page 23. Detailed combat histories are included.</p> <h4>Chapter 3 Striking Eagles</h4> <p>Initially the F-15 was classied as an air superiority fighter. In the late 1970 McDonnell Douglas and Hughes Aircraft collaborated on a privately funded project to develop an air-to-ground capable aircraft. The F-15E Strike Eagle was the result.</p> <h4>Chapter 4 International Eagles</h4> <p>The various nations that currently fly the F-15 are detailed in this chapter, and again the pages offer several full-color photos, with many close-up views of weapons and airframe details.</p> <h4>Capter 5 Specialized Eagles/Colour Side Pofiles</h4> <p>Here we have special versions and color schemes such as the tri-color F-15S/MTD in flight and on static display. There are six pages of color profiles for USAF, Israeli, Royal Saudi and Singapore Air Force F-15's. Each profile include the paint FS numbers used for the camouflage schemes.</p> <h4>Chapter 6 Modeling The F-15</h4> <p>This chapter covers various F-15 scale models built by modelers such as Alan Kelly, Jos Jansen, Dawid Branski, Danumurthi Mahendra, Toby Knight, Mario Serelle, Pascal Klasen, and Christian Gerard. I was not familiar with the names of these modelers, but the skills reflected in their builds of the F-15's in various scales by various manufacturers is noteworthy. Very inspirational work that adds to the value of having this publication in any reference library. .</p> <p>The first build featured is the 1/48th scale Academy F-15C/D by Alan Kelly. This model is finished using the Two Bobs aggressor decals. The article features detailed views of the various components. Although Alan notes the Academy kit is not without its challenges it is very nicely done and has a striking paint scheme, a real tribute to this modeler's skill.</p> <p>The next model is the Tamiya F-15C in 1/48th scale by Jos Janson and is finished using various decals. The builder's comments are lmited to the paints and finishing techniques use. Another very nice build.</p> <p>Next we have a 1/48th scale Revell F-15E Strike Eagle by Dawid Branski. Dawid begins his build with the removal of the raised seam on the clear canopy, followed by the necessary polishing to remove scratches. Dawid continues with the build offering a good deal of information on painting and weathering his model. The result is another striking model (no pun intended)</p> <p>Danumurthi Mahendra details a 1/72nd scale Academy F-15C MSIP II. Details for the assembly, painting and weathering information is included.</p> <p>A 1/48th scale Revell F-15E is detailed by Toby Knight. Several aftermarket accessories are incorporated into the build, along with applications of various paints and weathering techniques.</p> <p>Next we have Mario Serelle walking us through his build of the 1/72nd scale F-15I Ra'am by Great Wall Hobby. The use of a black primer base and marbeling is shown, resulting in another stunning build. Several details are included in the photos.</p> <p>The 1/48th scale Hasegawa F-15D is detailed next by Pascal Klasen. Once again the builder describes methods and materials used for another fine build.</p> <p>Last, Christian Gerard builds the Great Wall Hobby Spangdahlem F-16C. This build features open access panels and scratch-building excellence by the modeler. Great close-up images of various details are included.</p> <p>This chapter by itself will be found extremely valuable for the scale modeler. Each build article is worth reading and taking note of techniques and materials used by the builder. All of the modelers are excellent builders using a variety of techniques and materials. Very informative reading.</p> <h4>Appendix I Walk Arounds</h4> <p>This chapter delivers on its title. The many close up images will be found by scale modelers as very useful. Exhausts, wheels and landing gear, underwing stores and weapons, ejection seat, cockpit, the Vulcan cannon port and Remove Before Flight streamers placement are featured. Each photo is numbered including a brief description is also noted. The close-up views are very informative and useful.</p> <h4>Appendix II Technical Diagrams</h4> <p>Several line diagrams with explanatory notes are illustrated in this chapter.</p> <h4>Appendix III Understanding the Subject</h4> <p>Line drawings for the various F-15 series ae included here with aircraft feature notations.</p> <h4>Appendix IV F-15 Variants</h4> <p>Each F-15 variant is shown here with a brief description of each.</p> <h4>Appendix V F-15 Specifications</h4> <p>Physical dimensions, weights, performance, ranges and service ceilings are noted. Information on armament, weapons, radar, countermeasures and avionics are also included.</p> <h4>Appendix VI Kitography</h4> <p>Model kits, decals and accessories are listed here. This chapter will be very helpful in preparing a shopping list for added accesories for any F-15 model project.</p> <h4>Appendix VII Eagle Gallery</h4> <p>After seeing all the excellent images of Eagles in the preceeding chapters the author closes with many additional images with several depicting various camouflage schemes.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>All the images in this publication are full color, with the exception of the line drawings and the technical information included in Appendix II Technical Diagrams. Many of the up close images show details and colors that will be valuable to the modeler interested in detailing their F-15 models. These color images really add to the appeal of this book.</p> <p>This is an excellent reference for the scale modeler, and is one you will not want to loan to any one of your modeling friends with the risk of never getting it back. I have the old Tamiya F-15C, the Hasegawa F-15E and the Great Wall Hobby F-15B/D that will be built and detailed using this publication as a reference.</p> <p>My thanks to MA Publications and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication. This is a real gem for any modeler's reference library. Very highly recommended.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/mcdonnell-douglas-f-15-eagle-comprehensive-guide#comments Aircraft Publications Fri, 16 Apr 2021 16:07:31 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10985 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org DaVinci Series "G.E.T." Clock https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/davinci-series-get-clock <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/davinci-series-get-clock" 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/davinci-series-get-clock/acy18185_lg.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Product Package" 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> Dave Morrissette </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>Academy continues its excellent series of DaVinci kits with the G.E.T. Clock. G.E.T. is listed as (G)ear system rotation, (E)scapement mechanism, (T)ourbillon movement. From their web site description, this clock is "Inspired by the principles of Leonardo Da Vinci, the G.E.T. Clock has incorporated the mechanism of the real time pieces. An escapement is a device in a clock or watch that controls the motion of the gear train and transmits the energy from the movement to the pendulum or balance wheel. A tourbillion is a portion in a mechanical watch and is used to increase the accuracy by minimizing errors due to the effects of gravity." Building models and learning is a good thing!</p> <p>The kit comes molded in three colors- brown, black, and clear red. The kit consists of 51 parts including the metal shafts. The entire kit is held together with a series of twist pins and pressure fits. The kit instructions state that no tools are needed but I did use a sprue cutter to free the few parts on sprues.</p> <p>Total build time was about 45 minutes and a lot of that was making sure things moved. The instructions are excellent and very visual. A great example is that when you need a metal shaft, a picture of the exact size is adjacent to the "description", so you just need to match the part to the picture. As I was building, I did glue two parts - the backing piece holding the two swing arms and the two main supports with a little swipe of Tamiya Thin. They probably don't need it but safety first.</p> <p>To get the clock working, you load the two buckets with quarters, lift the arms and then let go. The clock moves and the parts look just like a watch movement. There is a great video here:</p> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/KDzn3THi1xE" rel="nofollow">https://youtu.be/KDzn3THi1xE</a></p> <p>This was a lot of fun to assemble and takes me back to building kits with dropping torpedoes and moving landing gear. It would be great for kids and the price is very good also.</p> <p>Highly recommended to everyone.</p> <p>My thanks to MRC Academy for the review sample and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build it.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/davinci-series-get-clock#comments Miscellaneous Kits Thu, 15 Apr 2021 19:17:55 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10984 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org Eurofighter Pilot https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/eurofighter-pilot <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-pilot" 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/pj-productions-eurofighter-pilot/321127-eurofighter-pilot.jpg" alt="Product Image" title="Eurofighter Pilot Figure" 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> Dave Morrissette </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-company-refer"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> PJ Production </div> </div> </div> <p>PJ Productions continues to issue excellent pilots for kits with this latest release, a 1/32<sup>nd</sup> scale Eurofighter pilot. The kit is simple with three well cast parts- two arms and the body. I removed all three parts with a razor saw and washed the parts in case of mold release. I glued the arms into position and filled the seams with glazing putty and let it dry. The few seams were sanded, and a couple of small pinholes were filled. These were wiped with a Q-tip and lacquer thinner and smooth seams were accomplished.</p> <p>Painting was straightforward and done with acrylics. The helmet was white, visor black and face mask dark gray with its attached hose. The main uniform was green with washes and dry brushed and black for the shoes and gray for the gloves.</p> <p>This is another excellent kit from PJ Productions- simple to build and true to the flight outfit worn by Eurofighter pilots. Highly recommended.</p> <p>My thanks to IPMS/USA and PJ Productions for the opportunity to build and paint this pilot.</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/eurofighter-pilot#comments Figures & Dioramas Kits Thu, 15 Apr 2021 19:03:12 +0000 Dick Montgomery 10983 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org A26B Invader Pacific Theater https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/a26b-invader-pacific-theater <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/a26b-invader-pacific-theater" 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/a26b-invader-pacific-theater/img_1698.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> Chris Gibson </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> <h3>Brief History</h3> <p>The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is an American twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft. Built by Douglas Aircaft Company during World War II, the Invader also saw service during several major Cold War conflicts. A limited number of highly modified United Sates Air Force aircraft served in Southeast Aisa until 1969. It was a fast aircraft capable of carrying a large bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.</p> <p>A re-designation of the type from A-26 to B-26 led to confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder which first flew in November 1940, some 20 months before the Douglas design's maiden flight. Although both types were powered by the widely used Pratt &amp; Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp eighteen-cylinder, double-row radial engine, they were completely different and separate designs - the Martin bomber originated in 1939, with more than twice as many Marauders (nearly 5,300) produced in comparison to the Douglas design.</p> <p>The A-26B variant is an attack bomber with solid nose carrying six or eight 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. Production totals: 1,355 A-26Bs were built and delivered, 205 at Tulsa, Oklahoma (A-26B-5-DT to A-26B-25-DT) plus 1,150 at Long Beach, California (A-26B-1-DL to A-26B-66-DL). About 24 more airframes were built at Long Beach but not delivered to USAAF, some of those later sold to other civil and military customers. A-26B was re-designated B-26B with USAF in 1948.</p> <p>The A-26 Invader saw service during World War II in Europe, and the Pacific, later in Korea and Viet Nam. Foreign service included France, Brazil, Chile, Biafra, China, Columbia, Congolese Republic, Cuba, Cuban Rebel Air Force, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Indonesia, Laos, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, The Royal Air Force, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Viet Nam. There were several civilian Invaders used in races, fire bombers, and military applications testing firms</p> <h3>Instructions</h3> <p>The instructions are provided in a 24-page, glossy paper book format. The cover page offers a brief description of the aircraft and includes a paint and color schedule based on Revell and Tamiya acrylic paints. The bottom of the page includes an instruction legend. The next three pages address the sprue layouts with parts identified as not to be used.</p> <p>Pages 5 through 22 detail the assembly of the model with 96 individual steps shown. Each step is presented as an isometric or exploded view with the parts numbered and paint colors identified. The last two pages show the decal placements for the three aircraft that can be built from this kit. All are natural metal aircraft.</p> <h3>The Kit Parts</h3> <p>There are ten sprues included: All ten are bagged in a common clear plastic bag, except the clear parts are bagged separately within the main bag. Kit parts are molded in a medium grey plastic.</p> <h4>Clear Parts</h4> <p>Two canopies are included with one not to be used per the instructions, while the remaining canopy has an open section for viewing into the cockpit area. The smallest parts provided are for the underwing landing lights, extreme rear fuselage micro windows and wingtip navigation lights.</p> <h3>Construction</h3> <h4>Cockpit</h4> <p>The cockpit was the first build on the docket with the instrument panel, floor, control column and center console all going together very well as well as the rear cockpit bulkhead. The interior color is called out as flat green, a bit vague, but I looked up what the actual interior color as yellow zinc chromate with black added, it didn't say how much black, so I guessed and it turns out when you add black to yellow zinc chromate you come up with a medium green which looked like the original color. The instrument panel was the typical raised bezel with a decal added over it, which in this scale looks good because it is hard to see once everything is closed up. Things looked a little barren so I added some detail in the cockpit with aftermarket seat belts and photo etch.</p> <h4>Fuselage</h4> <p>The next step was the fuselage starting with the bombs and bomb racks. The bombs were two halves with a fused spinner, the fins and spinner were a little on the thick side and could be helped by photo etch. The fuselage itself was fairly detailed with ribs and stringers and also some boxes on the walls with decals for added detail. The four bulkheads had some detail with lightening holes an axe and miscellaneous boxes and tanks. Two of the bulkheads had extensions going through the fuselage for the wing attachment which was nice. Once everything was painted and detailed I assembled the left hand side including the left side nose gear door and cockpit assembly. Everything fit very well into the fuselage with no issues. Step 15 shows a .8mm hole needing to be drilled in the right side fuselage half for the antennae mast. Adding the bomb racks, window and right side nose wheel door, also a jump seat completes the right side. And now the moment of truth, closing up the fuselage. After some pushing and prodding and clamping everything seemed to go together fairly well. Only a few small areas needed some filler after sanding the fuselage. The horizontals, elevators and rudder were glued together and installed on the fuselage. The nose cone went on next along with 40 g of weight, there are two versions one with six guns and one with eight. The nose did not fit the best to the fuselage and I had to really work to get it to line up.</p> <h4>Wings</h4> <p>This aircraft had under wing rockets so the instructions tell you to drill 14- 1mm holes for the rocket mounts for each wing. A cooling radiator is added and the wing halves go together. Add the ailerons and flaps and the wing is almost done. There is an option to have wings with six internal .50 cal guns or not. This step tells you to add the clear landing light lens and the wing tip position light but I left them off until painted and final assembly. The wings were mated to the fuselage and the fit could not have been better, the wings slid on to the bulkhead extensions and the fit to the fuselage is probably one of the best I have seen, there were no gaps whatsoever no filler needed. Kudos to ICM for that engineering feat.</p> <p>The engine and landing gear nacelles went together without a hitch, all 9 pieces. I like how ICM built the landing gear doors into the gear bay sides as one piece. I painted the inside of the gear bays and doors the same color as the interior. Attaching the nacelles to the wing was a little more involved, in the end it went together well and only a little filler was needed to fill gaps.</p> <h4>Gun Turrets</h4> <p>The upper gun turret had 8 parts which included the turret motor and mechanism you could see through the Bombay. The lower turret was simpler with just the turret and guns. The gunners sighting station consisted of 4 parts and once painted and seatbelts added looked fairly well. The one issue I had with the turrets was attaching the turret to the base on the inside of the fuselage, I had to do some cutting and filing to get the turret to sit down tight to the fuselage and then it wasn't possible to make them turn, you can elevate the guns though.</p> <h4>Engines</h4> <p>The engines were fairly detailed and assembly went smoothly. There is part #E34 that temporarily goes on the back of the engine so you can align the exhaust pipes, which I thought was a great idea. Once painted up the engines looked pretty good, the only thing you would need to make them look better is adding spark plug wires.</p> <h4>Landing Gear and Tires</h4> <p>The landing gear was fairly simple, a couple pieces and painted with aluminum and the oleos with a shot of chrome. The main tires were two halves with a two piece rim. The tires were painted flat black and the rims model master magnesium, I added some thinned black to the rims to give them some depth. The nose wheel was one piece with the rim and I painted them the same as the mains.</p> <h3>Painting</h3> <p>Prior to painting I attached the cockpit and gunners station canopies and used a mask set for masking. This is where things went south on me. I prepped the model as usual with plastic prep. I then sprayed one wing with Tamiya primer, before I went further I decided to spray that same wing with model master aluminum plate buffing metalizer the next day to see how it looked and wouldn't you know it I had issues. The metalizer in this one big area had orange peel but the rest of the wing was ok. Now before I primed the wing I did notice this swirl in the plastic that had a slightly different tint to it, and that was right where the paint had orange peeled. Now I sanded out the orange peel and tried spraying it again but to no luck the same thing happened. So now I had to make a decision, do I try again or do I go with another paint scheme, new paint scheme, instead of an all metal aircraft I went with the green over gray camo scheme. So I sprayed a coat of aluminum over the whole model then sanded out the areas of orange peel then laid on the green over gray.</p> <h3>Decals</h3> <p>After paint I prepped the plane with a clear gloss finish for application of the decals. The decals register looked good and the letters and numbers looked crisp. After a soak in warm water and letting sit for another minute, I added some micro sol to the wing. I attached the first decal, the wing star, and after positioning I added more micro sol on top, letting it sit for a few minutes. I then blotted out any extra water, micro sol and bubbles that might be present and let it sit. After doing a few more decals and a couple more shots of micro sol, I let it sit for about an hour. Upon return the decals laid down very nicely and there was no sign of silvering and the edge of the decals disappeared. The white sections were not opaque and looked excellent. After I placed all the decals and gave them time to all dry sufficiently, I shot a 50/50 mixture of semi-gloss clear and flat clear lacquer over the whole aircraft. The finished product looked great.</p> <h3>Final Assembly</h3> <p>After paint and decals the final assembly began. I removed all the masks, I added the engines and props, landing gear, painted and installed the rockets. I also installed the antennae mast and football and added the antennae wire with EZ line. Once completed I added some exhaust stains to the nacelles to give it a little used look.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The kit parts were crisp with no flash and no visible sink marks. The plastic in my opinion was a little on the soft side, I don't know what they put in their plastic but it seemed to affect my Model Master aluminum paint in some way, something I haven't experienced before. Everything went together very nice with minimal gaps and fitment issues. The kit decals I was very impressed with. The only negative or weak point, in my opinion, was the landing gear, it seems the plastic being so soft is a bit flimsy with the weight of the model. I think using aftermarket metal gear would be a good addition in this case. Overall this kit is very nice, good fitment, nice exterior detail, good decals and overall good model. I would recommend this model to anyone interested in doing an A26B in 1/48 scale</p> <p>I wish to thank ICM Holding and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build and review this model</p> https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/a26b-invader-pacific-theater#comments Aircraft Kits Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:18:31 +0000 Dave Morrissette 10982 at https://web.ipmsusa3.org