Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Kurganets-25 IFV (Object 695)

Published: December 11th, 2017     
Kurganets-25 IFV (Object 695)
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:35
Company: Panda Hobby

Russia seems to be having a surge of military development these days, suggesting some expansionist policies which go far beyond the scope of a model review. What this offers for the modeler, however, is a wide range of interesting equipment never seen before. The Kurganets-25 IFV is a good example of this. Heralding back to the BMP-2 and -3 of the previous generation, this new machine seems to be the epitome of both defensive and offensive capabilities, literally festooned with sensors and targeting electronics. The spaced armor enhances survivability on the battlefield, while its armament makes it a worthy opponent for most challenges it might encounter.

U.S. M113A1 ACAV

Published: December 11th, 2017     
U.S. M113A1 ACAV
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

Background

As a young man in the late 1960's living in Canada, each weekday night I used to watch "The CBS Evening News" with Walter Cronkite. This was my window on the world, so to speak. And it seemed that almost every night the first thing that I saw through this window involved "the war in Vietnam". Mr. Cronkite would tell me how many US troops had been killed or wounded, and then I would see a video clip from a correspondent in Saigon, or in some rice paddy somewhere in the countryside. Vietnam, I thought, was a place I didn't EVER want to visit. Often in the background of the television videos, there were TWO objects regularly seemed to appear at some point during the newscast. One was a helicopter, often many, and the other was an M113 APC. These apparently, were the chariots that the Americans rode into battle, be it on the ground, or in the air.

USAF B-47 "306th BW(M)"

Published: December 10th, 2017     
USAF B-47 "306th BW(M)"
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Academy

History

The B-47 was the first swept-wing jet bomber in the US Air Force's inventory, serving the USAF from 1951 to 1969. The US Navy flew some EB-47Es until 1977. Development began in 1943, and the design changed several times until Boeing came up with a 6-jet aircraft with the engines in pods under the wings. Because of the size of the engine pods, the main landing gear was set up as a "bicycle", with 2 main gear under the fuselage, and smaller outriggers under the engine pods. With this setup, the B-47 could not rotate the nose on takeoff. The main gear was set so the aircraft sat at optimum takeoff angle at all times. The B-47 was subsonic, but extremely fast for a 1950s, setting a number of time and distance records, with speeds around 600 miles per hour.

Another personal note: When I was about 10 years old, my Uncle Leroy took me and my father to Lincoln AFB in Lincoln Nebraska. This was also part of the civilian airport, and we got to watch a B-47 do touch and goes from the top of the terminal building. I was impressed.

Kawanishi N1K2-J SHINDENKAI (George) '301st Fighter Squadron'

Published: December 6th, 2017     
Kawanishi N1K2-J SHINDENKAI (George) '301st Fighter Squadron'
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

History: The N1K was originally developed as a floatplane for forward land bases but by the time it entered service Japan was on the defensive. Kawanishi engineers had proposed in 1941 that the N1K could be a formidable land-based fighter too and a land-based version N1K1-j (J indicated land based fighter modification of the original floatplane version) was produced as a private venture by the company and first flew in December 1942. Due to it being a mid-wing design (because of the floats & large prop) a new design was begun just 4 days after the first test flight. The major defects being addressed were the wing and long landing gear. The wings were moved to a low position, which permitted the use of shorter, conventional undercarriage, the fuselage was lengthened and the tail redesigned. The first flight was on January 1944 and production of the N1K2-J "Shiden-Kai" (Kai standing for Modified) started in April of that year.