Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-35A Lightning II Landing Gear (Ita)

Published: August 17th, 2017     
F-35A Lightning II Landing Gear (Ita)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

The normal thanks to Ross at SAC and his working crew for developing and producing an excellent metal set to replace the kit items, and IPMS USA for providing it to me to use!

Once again the jackpot is hit with another SAC gear replacement set. For the unaware, the Italeri 1/32 F-35A is a rather weighty model, and the kit gear is provided in multiple parts, all plastic. SAC does a few modifications such as incorporating the kit side braces into the main gear and nose gear, and molding them in one part each. With 13 total metal parts, including drag braces and extensions, shimmy damper and steering pump, this set makes a simple kit addition. This, when installed and combined with the trunnions and drag braces, makes a sturdy arrangement.

The other thing: once again the actual aircraft has an offset half-fork nose gear, which will not survive construction, much less sitting on a shelf for any length of time. The SAC gear handles this all with a shrug. Let me explain.

A-6 Intruder Units 1974-96

Published: August 17th, 2017     
A-6 Intruder Units 1974-96
Author: Rick Morgan
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing

Rick Morgan graduated from the University of Missouri in 1978 and joined the US Navy. His US Navy career included over 2,400 flight hours in the EA-6B Prowler and other naval aircraft with 41 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. His website claims he achieved 447 and 1/2 carrier landings.

I'm afraid to ask about the 1/2 carrier landing.... Rick contributed articles to the "The Hook" prolifically, twice being awarded "Contributor of the Year". He has a deep interest in aviation and trains. Rick has been published by Schiffer and Osprey Publishing. He currently works in the aviation industry somewhere in the Midwest (I'm guessing Missouri). Check out his web page at rickmorganbooks.com

Illustrator Jim Laurier, a native of New England, provides the color profiles. Jim has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and has been featured in hundreds of aviation books.

F-4E Phantom II

Published: August 11th, 2017     
F-4E Phantom II
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1:48
Company: Italeri

Developed by the McDonnell Douglas Company, the F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two seat, all-weather, supersonic fighter-bomber. It is one of the most famous aircraft in military aviation history. The F-4 entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy but was also adopted by the USMC and USAF. The F-4 stayed in the service of the U.S. military until 1996, but other countries have kept it in use up to 2017 (Japan). The F-4E version, specifically developed for the USAF, adopted a M61 Vulcan cannon in the nose, and it could be armed with AIM-9 sidewinder and AIM-7 Sparrow air to air missiles to perform air-superiority missions. With two GE J-79 engines, the F-4E could reach the top speed of 1,240 knots (1426 mph). Speed, thrust, and reliability were the Phantom II strengths able to successfully counterbalance its reduced maneuverability due to its size.

SU-27 Flanker Pilot

Published: August 11th, 2017     
SU-27 Flanker Pilot
Reviewed by: Mike Howard, IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/48
Company: Plusmodel

I've always liked modern Russian/Soviet aircraft and have several in the works (Su-27, MiG-31, MiG-21). Seeing the opportunity to review this pilot figure sounded like a prime chance to add a little spice to one of them (whenever I get them finished!). Though this particular figure is listed as a Su-27 pilot, my research showed that the uniform and gear is applicable to pilots of most other modern Russian fighter and attack aircraft.

No assembly at all is required on this guy, just a little cleanup, priming, and painting. The cleanup was minimal, with just a few bits of stray resin and what looked like a couple of seam lines along the legs. Just a few minutes with a sharp scalpel blade and a fine grit sanding stick was all that it took to get the figure ready for scrubbing and priming. I usually use Dawn dishwashing soap, hot water, and a toothbrush to clean up and left over mold release agents. That worked well and, after drying for 24 hours, the figure was sprayed with Tamiya Fine primer. Another 24 hour drying time for the primer and it was ready for paint.

Shadow Over the Atlantic: Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5 'Atlantik'

Published: August 11th, 2017     
Shadow Over the Atlantic: Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5 'Atlantik'
Author: Robert Forsyth
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Osprey Publishing

When I first inquired about reviewing "Shadow Over the Atlantic", I assumed it would be of a similar format many of Osprey's "Combat Aircraft" or "Aircraft of the Aces" softcover series of books. It turned out this is a hardback book, and is a much more in-depth volume than those from the standard Osprey series. I am a huge fan of those softcover books, but they always leave me wanting more!

"Shadow Over the Atlantic" is a detailed history of Fernaufklarungsgruppe (FAGr) 5, which operated Ju290 aircraft on long-range reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic

To fully appreciate the lengths to which the author went in researching this book, I highly suggest one reads the introduction and author's notes sections in the first several pages. Forsyth obtained an account of FAGr5 written by the former chief of the "staff company" of the Group, based on his records and memories. Starting with this unique and somewhat arcane source, the author spent several years conducting further research, the result of which is this title.