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Fixed Open Hood Hinges

Published: April 14th, 2009     
Fixed Open Hood Hinges
Reviewed by: Joseph Staudt, IPMS# 39453
Scale: 1/24
Company: J3 Models

Those of us that like to display our automotive models with the hood open generally face two problems. The first is, of course, having an accurate-looking hinge mechanism, and the second is keeping the hood open. It's just about impossible to build accurate-looking hood hinges that are also strong enough to do the job they are supposed to do: they're fairly complicated mechanisms with springs and multiple pivot points that just can't be accurately reproduced in plastic. Well, J3 Models has a solution to this problem in their fixed open hood hinges.

Each hinge consists of a piece of photo-etched (I assume) metal representing the hinge itself, and a spring which attaches to the hinge to produce a fairly good replica of a hood hinge in the open position. There is a large horizontal surface available to attach the hood to, and another large surface that can be glued into the engine compartment to hold the hood in the open position.

Sparco Blue Racing Harness

Published: April 14th, 2009     
Sparco Blue Racing Harness
Reviewed by: Mike Howard, IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/24
Company: Eduard

Having recently gotten back into car modeling, more specifically Group "C" type cars, I jumped at the chance to review this pre-painted (blue) 5-point Sparco harness set. As with most high speed racing endeavors, the rules require some very stout driver to seat retention systems (seat belts), but these are poorly represented by either molded-in details or by decals. Eduard has come to the rescue with these excellent looking seat belt/harness sets. 

I had to do a little research and stash cross-referencing to see what Group "C" car model that I had that would use the blue harnesses. After a short search, I found that the 1988 Le Mans winning Jaguar XJR-9LM (the Tamiya kit) used this color harness. The belts have a very nice texture to them and the colors are quite brilliant. As can also be seen in the photos, the lettering is very sharp and clearly printed. 

Star Wars Corporate Alliance Droid

Published: April 14th, 2009     
Star Wars Corporate Alliance Droid
Reviewed by: James Woody, IPMS# 33899
Company: AMT

All right, a new Star Wars kit.  AMT has finally released the Corporate Alliance Droid from the Revenge of the Sith(c).  This kit features 37 parts molded in light gray plastic and instructions.  There are no decals or painting instructions provided with this kit, even though the instructions call out 11 different colors of paint.

The molding is fairly sharp with some ejector pin marks and mold separation lines.  One part has the Lucasfilm copyright marking right were it will be seen, rather than on the inside of a part.  The tracks are molded in one piece with separation lines down the middle and mold stubs all over the inside that will require some careful cutting to remove.

Overall this is a welcome kit from the Star Wars universe and with a little research on painting should make up into a very nice model.

(c) 2005 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved.

Millennium Falcon

Published: February 6th, 2009     
Millennium Falcon
Reviewed by: James Woody, IPMS# 33899
Scale: 1/72
Company: Fine Molds

What can I say about this new model kit except WOW.  The box is a whopping 17.75" x 27.75" x 4".  Inside the box there is 16 part trees, a poly bag of screws and poly caps, decals, and a 24 page instruction booklet.  The instruction booklet has 34 steps with options to build the Falcon from either Episode 4 or 5, because you get figures of Han, Chewie, Luke, Leia, C3P0, and Obi-Wan seated (for display in flight on the display stand) or of Leia, Luke, Han, and Sandtroopers standing with weapons.  You get a paint and decal placement chart that is the size of the box, and a second sheet that has color photos of the filming prop.

The molding it top notch with only few ejector pin marks.  The parts were all protected inside three parts boxes and all the trees were inside poly bags.  This kit looks to be one of the best that I have seen this year.  It is a very welcome release for those of us who like the Star Wars movies and hated that the kits were in odd scales.  With this kit you can now do that Hoth ice hanger diorama that you have always wanted to do...

Moebius Flying Sub Color Fold-up Interior

Published: January 1st, 2009     
Moebius Flying Sub Color Fold-up Interior
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/128
Company: TSDS

The IPMS Reviewer Corps was recently contacted by the folks from TSDS Incorporated, asking if we would be interested in reviewing some of their products. The company is producing interiors, decals, and lighting sets for the Jupiter 2, Space Pod, and Chariot from "Lost in Space" that are produced by Moebius, as well as decals for the "Land of the Giants" Spindrift kit. Decal/detail sheets are available for the Aurora/Monogram "Invaders UFO" kit and the Moebius "Invisible Man" and "Seaview" kits, and four different Flying Sub interior items are made for the Moebius 1/128 and 1/32 scale kits. If you are a fan of this particular genre, I would recommend checking out their web site to see what all is available, as well as their pricing.

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