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English Electric Lightning F1/F1A/F2/F3

Published: June 10th, 2019     
English Electric Lightning F1/F1A/F2/F3
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

Thanks first off to Hornby/Airfix for sending IPMS/USA this kit, and keeping the brand alive! If you have not built one of the new Airfix kits, you need to get over to the store and buy one, or several. HELP KEEP THEM IN BUSINESS, as Airfix has many economical and fantastic kits. Kudos to John and Phil to providing it to me to review.

Airfix's re-release of their venerable 1/48 English Electric Lightning kit is a welcome return of an old friend, not one of their newest molds. When originally released in 1997, the kit was considered ground-breaking with "state-of-the-art" molding technology. The parts fit was lauded as best available, with detail impeccable for the time. This kit and the Spitfire Mk 22/24 and Seafire FR46 were the "new Airfix" in the late 1990's for a short time, but this kit was one of the best at the time.

The Lightning F-1/1A was first out the door, with its small fuel tank on the belly. This kit was rapidly followed by the F-6 with a totally new fuselage with large underbelly tank and over-wing tanks as optional parts, including gun panels for the lower fuselage tank area for the few fitted with that setup.

Aero Commander 560

Published: June 9th, 2019     
Aero Commander 560
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: Croco

The Aero Commander line of medium twin-engine aircraft began with the Model 520 first flown in 1948. Designer Ted Smith used design cues from his work on the A-26 Invader in formulating the Aero Commanders layout. Known for stable handling characteristics and seating capacity, the Aero Commander proved its utility in service. The 560 series introduced more powerful engines and a swept vertical tail. In its later variants, the Commander would gain PT-6 turboprop power. Notable firsts for the type include the U S Air Force purchasing some designated L-26 or U-4 to carry President Eisenhower, the first medium twin authorized to carry the POTUS. Perhaps the most famous Aero Commanders were flown by the legendary Bob Hoover. His routine included full aerobatic maneuvers with two engines, one engine, and no engines!

Tempest Mk. V cockpit

Published: June 9th, 2019     
Tempest Mk. V cockpit
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Eduard has released a great Brassin Cockpit set for its new tooled Tempest Mk.V which in its self is a great kit. This Brassin set is full of Resin parts, a Photoetch sheet, and Decals.

In the box is:

  • Approx. 55 resin parts
  • 1 film sheet
  • 1 small decal sheet
  • 1 photoetch detail set
  • 1 instruction booklet

Construction

First is the assembly of the side frames of the cockpit and the detail controls. I did find the removal of the side frames from the pour stub to be a bit hard and the frames are very thin and fragile. Apart from that, no issues were encountered during the stages on page 2 of the instructions.

RF-5E Tigereye

Published: June 9th, 2019     
RF-5E Tigereye
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11190
Scale: 1/32
Company: Kitty Hawk

There's something about this relatively small, compact and sleek fighter that can grip the imagination. I've been enamored with it, that when Hasegawa released their 1/32nd scale version many moons ago, I made no less than five over a single week, just to show it in some of its endless liveries.

With the release of this version of this famous aircraft, Kittyhawk has not only provided us with a variant never before available in this scale but upped the game considerably over the venerable Hasegawa kit in terms of detail.

Pitot Probe for Mirage III/V

Published: June 5th, 2019     
Pitot Probe for Mirage III/V
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/144
Company: Master Model

IPMS/USA again thanks Piotr for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with one more of many monthly releases, with an extremely useful and well-thought out 1/144 Pitot tube probe for any of the 1/144 kits of the Mirage III.

1 part (ONE) is included, along with a detailed instruction sheet on what size hole to drill and where to insert the probe. I find these probes more useful than pins to address the issues of scale size, appearance, and flexibility without incurring personal injury. Steel pins are more durable, but tend to not "flex" or give, and the effect of driving a staple into one's eye or hand or whatever is not so traumatic if the brass probe deflects off to one side. Even Nurses wince with needles....

The base kit I used was a relatively new release from Mark 1 Models in the Czech Republic...they have an excellent range of kits, and the Mirage was no exception. Assembly was swift and it was ready for painting and pitot installation...

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