Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

USMC F-4J “VMFA-232 Red Devils”

Published: June 19th, 2018     
USMC F-4J “VMFA-232 Red Devils”
Reviewed by: Steve Zajac, IPMS# 34937
Scale: 1/72
Company: Academy

The F-4 Phantom needs no introduction, and has been a modeling staple for decades. The F-4J version used by the USN (and USMC) featured upgraded AWG-10 radar, J79-GE-10 engines, slatted tail surfaces and drooped ailerons.  It saw combat in Vietnam and continued to remain in the USN/USMC line up for years. Like the F-4B, the F-4J saw combat over Vietnam and would continue in service for quite a few years. After later upgrades the F-4J was then re-designated as the F-4S.

Japanese Yokosuka MXY7-K1 Trainer

Published: June 18th, 2018     
Japanese Yokosuka MXY7-K1 Trainer
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1:72
Company: Brengun

 History:

In the Summer of 1944, things were not going well for the Japanese.  The Americans were approaching Japan, and from the Japanese viewpoint,  an invasion of the homeland was not too far away.  Conventional weaponry seemed to be ineffective.  Due to the fact that Japan was far behind the U.S. in industrial development, existing air and naval forces were being used up far beyond Japan's ability to replace equipment and personnel.  The leaders still thought they could win, but it was obvious to many military and naval people that something radical was needed.

USAF Fighter Pilot with ejection seat for F-5E

Published: June 16th, 2018     
USAF Fighter Pilot with ejection seat for F-5E
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus

If you are looking to add a figure to your F-5 Freedom Fighter, you may want to investigate the latest offering from the Aires Aerobonus line. The figure is posed in his ejection seat with his hands resting on the throttle and stick. With a little care in removing the parts from the pour plug, and some painting, this figure is an easy addition for most modelers to place in their aircraft.

The packaging for this figure is simple with a clear plastic bag containing the ejection seat and majority of the body of the pilot (the arms and head are separate) as well as a folded sheet of paper that provides drawings of the assembled figure as well as painting recommendations. The build was quick and easy, as the arms and head are set into position without issue.

Fw-190D-9 Correct Cowling

Published: June 15th, 2018     
Fw-190D-9  Correct Cowling
Reviewed by: Mike Howard, IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/32
Company: Quickboost

Quickboost, an Aires Resin division, continues to produce quick and simple resin upgrades for a wide variety of subjects. The detail parts are crisply cast and often add to or correct kit items.

In this case, the subject of this review is the engine cowling for the 1/32 Hasegawa Fw-190D-9. In a side-by-side comparison (see photos), the details (panel lines, fasteners, etc.) are almost exactly the same. The old real noticeable difference is that that Quickboost replacement is deeper than the Hasegawa kit part. Based on my Vernier caliper measurements, the Quickboost part is 0.025 deeper than the kit cowl. I would have to assume that this is the "shortcoming" of the kit part. The resin casting is also thinner than the kit part and lacks the locating pin. It is cast on a large resin stub, but this is easily removed with a razor saw and a few minutes of careful cutting. Once separated, a few swipes with a sanding stick or sanding block readily remove any saw marks. The diameter of the replacement cowl matches very well with the kit part and it fits snugly onto the front of the fuselage.

Mitsubishi A5M Part 2 Decals

Published: June 14th, 2018     
Mitsubishi A5M Part 2 Decals
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1:48
Company: Lifelike Decals

The A5M "Claude" known internally to Mitsubishi as the KA-14 and formally as the Navy Type 96 Navy Carrier-based Fighter was the first all metal monoplane to enter service as carrier-based aircraft. The Claude is the direct predecessor to the A6M "Zero" and did see combat through the beginning of the Second World War but had been pretty much removed from combat by 1942. Late in the war a few were even used as kamikaze aircraft.

There are a few 1/48 A5M Claude kits on the market in 1/48 scale with the most prominent player at the moment being the new tool Fine Molds kits. Other Claude kits in 1/48 scale include the Wingsy, an old tool Fine Molds A5M, Eagles Talon (vacuform) and an Classic Airframes kit. Thankfully Lifelike has come to the rescue with a timely re-release of their A5M Part 2 Decal set that will make a nice addition to your Claude no matter which kit you build. I should mention that Lifelike recommends the Fine Molds or Wingsy kits as they are still in production. Note: Decals are for either the A5M4 or A5M2b variants of the Claude.