Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Nakajima Ki43-II & Ki44-II with Fuel Truck (2 kits) Limited Edition

Published: February 19th, 2018     
Nakajima Ki43-II & Ki44-II with Fuel Truck (2 kits) Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Clare Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

History

This Limited Edition kit from Hasegawa allows the modeler to produce an interesting diorama related to the Akeno Flying School as it existed in December of 1943.  The Akeno Flying School was located on the island of Honshu, south of Nagoya and east of Osaka.  It was called the Supreme Flight Training School for the Imperial Japanese Army.  Lots of photos of aircraft that were used during training at Akeno include many fighters from the Ki-27 to the Ki-100.  By December, 1943, Japan was seriously in need of new pilots. A series of conflicts with opponents across the area of operations had ground down the Japanese Army Air Service and replacements were desperately needed from schools like Akeno. This limited edition kit combo features two aircraft, a Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa and a Ki-44 Shoki, plus a TX40 Fuel Truck. Also included are several figures and a small four wheeled push cart.

Testbeds, Motherships & Parasites: Astonishing Aircraft From the Golden Age of Flight Test

Published: February 18th, 2018     
Testbeds, Motherships & Parasites: Astonishing Aircraft From the Golden Age of Flight Test
Author: Frederick A. Johnsen
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Specialty Press

Frederick A. Johnsen recently retired from a lengthy career at the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center and NASA's famed Dryden Flight Research Center, both located on the historic desert site known as Edwards Air Force Base. During his time there, Johnsen amassed a wealth of knowledge related to the Golden Age of Flight Test Research at Edwards. He has written numerous books about aircraft and aviation history, including: Thundering Peacemaker: The B-36 Story in Words and Pictures (1978); Bombers in Blue: PB4Y-2 Privateers and PB4Y-1 Liberators (1979); Darkly Dangerous: The Northrop P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter (1981); F4U Corsair with Rikyu Watanabe (1983); B-24 Liberator (Warbird History, 1993); Douglas A-1 Skyraider: A Photo Chronicle (1994); B-24 Liberator: Rugged But Right (1999); Lockheed C-141 Starlifter (Warbird Tech V 39, 2005); Captured Eagles: Secrets of the Luftwaffe (2014).

Detail & Scale Colors and Markings Series Digital Volume 3 U. S. Navy F-14 Tomcats, Part 2: Pacific Coast Squadrons

Published: February 17th, 2018     
Detail & Scale Colors and Markings Series Digital Volume 3 U. S. Navy F-14 Tomcats, Part 2: Pacific Coast Squadrons
Author: Bert Kinzey; Illustrations by Rock Roszak
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Detail & Scale, Inc.

Thank you to Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak for bringing another  tremendous digital resource to the modeler.  Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to test out this new and exciting method of researching colors and markings of my favorite jet of all time, the F-14 Tomcat.  A very significant plus of this updated version is that the entire history of all the Pacific F-14 squadrons, including TOPGUN/NSAWC and evaluation squadrons, is now available in a single publication.

Overview

Flak 18 Cannon Barrels

Published: February 17th, 2018     
Flak 18 Cannon Barrels
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

Master Model from Poland specializes on brass and resin drop-in replacement parts. In this case there are 4 parts: two barrels and two flash hiders for the Flak 18 used in Ju-87G, but also seen in Bf-110, Ju-88 and other airplanes.

The turned brass parts mean that no mold line is present and that alone is enough of a reason to consider upgrading your kit. Another reason is the beautiful perforated flash hiders and the hollow gun barrel end, which adds realism to the airplane weaponry.

Assembly is straightforward and simple. First you superglue the flash hider to the gun barrel. Then you remove the plastic gun from the plastic part and make a small hole (1 mm in diameter) to mount the  brass gun barrel.

I would personally leave the barrel off the model until the very end. Not only that means less masking (for painting), it also ensures the barrel won't get knocked off the model during handling.

You can see from the pictures that the replacement parts are vastly superior to the original part.

Recommended to modelers of intermediate experience, due to the need to perform minimal surgery to plastic parts.

A-36 Apache/P-51 Mustang Canopy Masks

Published: February 16th, 2018     
A-36 Apache/P-51 Mustang Canopy Masks
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Brengun, based in the Czech Republic, is known for producing a range of photo-etched and resin accessories for airplane models. They also produce a small number of 1/72nd and 1/144th aircraft model sets. One of their latest airplane kits is the North American A-36 Apache. With the release of this new kit, they have added a number of accessories for it including additional photo-etch details, a vacuform canopy, and these painting masks for the canopy.

The A-36 Apache was a dive bomber version of the P-51 Mustang. It was based on the fuselage of the P-51A, but with completely redesigned wings strengthened to support the added stress of dive bombing. Since the main difference between the P-51A and the A-36 is the wind design, this mask set would work with both the P-51A and the A-36. I used mine on the A-36.