Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Cross & Cockade 2021 Calendar

Published: September 9th, 2020     
Cross & Cockade 2021 Calendar
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery - IPMS# 14003

Cross & Cockade has released their 2021 calendar, and in keeping with past calendars, combines excellent W.W.I aviation art with the usual calendar functions. As in past years, you are advised to order your copy now, and not wait. There may be a limited supply of these calendars and you do not want to miss out because you waited until the supply ran out.

According to Roger Tisdale of Cross & Cockade the profits from the sale of these annual Cross and Cockade International Calendars go to assist in the upkeep of the British Air Services Memorial at the St-Omer airfield in northern France". This is a very worthy cause and deserving of your support. One can check out the St-Omer Memorial at http://www.webmatters.net/txtpat/?id=258

Beside the fact that you will be contributing to the upkeep and maintenance of this significant Memorial, the artwork on the calendar is stunning. Consider it an early Christmas present you can give a friend, or yourself, for that matter.

Intruder Sandbox

Published: September 9th, 2020     
Intruder Sandbox
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1:72
Company: AOA Decals

AOA Decals has expanded to 1/72nd scale and their second release is a set of markings for the Fujimi A-6E TRAM covering all three Intruder squadrons involved in the strikes against Libya in March and April 1986 as part of Operation Prairie Fire and Operation El Dorado Canyon respectively; also covered are two squadrons in 1991 from Operation Desert Storm. Inside the package, there is one 5.5 x 7-inch decal sheet printed perfectly by Microscale; full color profiles for all eights aircraft; full weapons and load outs specific to each plane; top profiles for each plane and also instructions for the decals for crew helmets, fuel tanks, tailhooks, formation lights, ejection seats, VA-35 MERs, & VA-55 special ordnance markings.

The Aircraft covered by these sheets are:

Per Ardua - Training an RAF Phantom Crew

Published: September 2nd, 2020     
Per Ardua - Training an RAF Phantom Crew
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Company: Fonthill Media

Both Philip Keeble and David Gledhill have written books about their experiences as front-line RAF aircrew in the Cold War. In Per Ardua they explain the process each went through to become Phantom Phlyers. Phil reviews the fast jet training program he went through to become a RAF pilot while David discusses the navigator training that he went through to become a F-4 navigator giving he reader an insight into what it took to become RAF aircrew in the late 1960's and early 70's.

Phil went through pilot training in the late 60's before the Phantom was adopted for the RAF. He takes the reader through his experiences in primary flight training and fast jet training as he earned his commission as an officer and eventually his pilot wings. He discusses the different trainers he flew as well as describing some of the more memorable flights he had. After earning his wings, Phil was initially posted to Canberras which he flew for several tours before being assigned to the Phantom.

AV-8B Nozzles

Published: September 1st, 2020     
AV-8B Nozzles
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

This set provides replacement nozzles for Hasegawa's AV-8B Harrier II kits. The set includes two sets of forward and rear exhaust/lift nozzles and are direct replacements for the kit parts. As is expected with Brengun/Hauler, the castings are excellent and a huge improvement over the kit parts. I soaked the parts in Simple Green overnight to remove any casting residue, then rinsed them off I with water and used a fine razor saw to remove the nozzles from the pour stubs.

The front "cold" nozzles include the interior vanes that are conspicuously absent on the kit nozzles, and as they are single piece casting, there is no seam down the middle of the nozzles to fill. One of the nozzles had a couple of small airholes where the casting block was attached, but these were easily taken care of with Mr. Surfacer and light sanding. I also had to do a little sanding where the pour stub was attached to get it to match the rounded shape of the rear of the nozzle.

USN F/A-18F VFA-2 Bounty Hunters

Published: August 26th, 2020     
USN F/A-18F VFA-2 Bounty Hunters
Reviewed by: Max Welliver - IPMS# 50498
Scale: 1/72
Company: Academy Models

Stemming from Academy's excellent 2013 F/A-18 Super Hornet kit releases, they have yet again pleased Naval Aviation fans with the colorful VFA-2 Bounty Hunters Super Hornet CAG!

The kit offers two marking options, both from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2, Bounty Hunters, out of Lemoore, California. The scheme shown on the box is the colorful CAG 100 bird BuNo 165916. The second option is line number 104, BuNo 165920. The decals are by Cartograph and are of extremely high quality.

The Build

The box contains six sprues molded in hard light grey plastic, and one sprue in clear for the canopy and HUD. The nose cone, rear fuselage, and front fuselage are sitting by themselves in the box. For those who have built Academy's Super Hornet or Growler releases from 2016 on, you will find that the parts are pretty much the same. This can serve as a review for all these kits as they are molded the same way, aside from a few pieces belonging to each aircraft designation.