Details

Reviews of scale model detail sets.

RATO for A-4 Skyhawk

Published: February 5th, 2021     
RATO for A-4 Skyhawk
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

When the A-4B Skyhawk was designed, provisions were made for it to use RATO rockets to give it a short deck-run launch (if carrier's catapults were unavailable for any reason). One RATO bottle could be mounted on each speed brake giving an additional 9,000 lbs. of thrust for five seconds. The bottles were fired electrically and upon burnout were jettisoned hydraulically from the cockpit. While this capability was never used by the US Navy, in Vietnam, the Marines took advantage of this capability when launching A-4s from short airfields.

F-4J Phantom II Auxiliary Air Intake

Published: February 5th, 2021     
F-4J Phantom II Auxiliary Air Intake
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72

This set provides replacement parts for the auxiliary air intakes and associate doors for Academy's recent 1/72 F-4J kit. The set includes replacement bays for each side, replacing the single part provided in the kit. The set also includes replacement doors and actuators for the doors, again replacing the somewhat simplified kit parts.

As shown in the attached photographs, the resin bays are very nicely detailed and really capture the look of this area of the Phantom's engine. The doors are very thin and include nice rivet/fastener details on the exterior side and sharp interior details on the other side. The actuators are also crisply molded and Quickboost wisely provides two extra actuators for those of us who are guaranteed to lose at least one of them to the carpet monster. The bays and the doors are sided, as the left side set is different from the right side set, but the bays are conspicuously marked with "L" and "R" on one of their exterior sides and the pour stub for the doors is labeled "L" and "R" next to the appropriate door to help minimize confusion.

LAU-131 Rocket Launcher

Published: February 5th, 2021     
LAU-131 Rocket Launcher
Reviewed by: David Horn - IPMS# 44962
Scale: 1/48
Company: Brengun

The LAU-131 is a seven shot rocket pod commonly used on USAF fighter, attack and rotary wing aircraft. A variety of rockets can be caried in this pod including the Hydra 70 rocket. This set is for the original LAU-131A which is shorter than the extended version LAU-131A/A that can carry APKWS II.

Packaged in a sturdy plastic box, resin is protected by bubble wrap with all parts flash free and cast in light gray resin. A nice touch is the pour block on the pod is on the underside opposite the side on where it connects to the pylon. This makes it easy to remove that portion and sand contour without damaging features.

The set contains two components, rocket tube, two version of ends which also include the lifting lugs. There are two choices, with rockets or an empty dispenser. The set does not include the front and rear covers however I have rarely seen these pods with covers installed. These parts can easily be sanded free of the pour base. Instructions clearly show the components to install and painting note. Decals are not included so you may need aftermarket decals or leave unmarked.

Hawker Hunter GA.11 Conversion

Published: February 5th, 2021     
Hawker Hunter GA.11 Conversion
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: PJ Production

PJ Productions from Belgium continues with their simple conversions allows the Airfix F.6 to become a GA.11 single-seat training version for the Royal Navy. Looking around the Internet, there were 40 GA.11 airframes converted by adding an arrester hook, adding a Harley light to the nose and eliminating the guns. The starting kit is the Airfix Hunter F.6. I am sure the Academy F.6 could also possibly work.

The conversion set contains three grey resin parts and one clear resin light. Casting is excellent with no pinholes and minimal casting blocks. Preparation is simple by removing the casting block on the parts for the arrestor hook and filling the one lone gun port. Washing of the resin is also recommended. A small instruction sheet shows the location of the arrestor hook under the aircraft. The nose plug looks like a direct replacement for the kit part and should fit right in place. The clear resin light is good but a quick polish and some Future should make it stand out.

This is yet another great and simple conversion for the excellent Airfix kit which will yield a unique version. Well made, inexpensive and simple to use- definitely recommended.

Hawker Hunter FR.10 Nose Conversion

Published: February 5th, 2021     
Hawker Hunter FR.10 Nose Conversion
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: PJ Production

This simple conversion from PJ Productions in Belgium allows the Airfix F.6 to become a FR.10 reconnaissance version. Looking around the Internet, it looks like the FR.10 is a single-seat reconnaissance version with 33 made of rebuilt F.6 airframes. The starting kit is the Airfix Hunter F.6. I am sure the Academy F.6 could also possibly work.

The conversion itself consists of six parts- a new nose, four cannons and a clear resin nose tip insert for the cameras that fit into the nose. The first step would be to remove the parts from the casting blocks wash the parts. Instructions show that the cannon barrels need drilled out with a 1.6mm drill and shows the exact position of the barrels when attached. After reviewing the kit, the nose would be direct replacement for the Airfix kit nose which is a separate piece so installation would be a breeze. Casting of the parts is excellent and the clear part is great but I would still do a polish and future treatment on it for extra shine.