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The Secret Years: Flight Testing at Boscombe Down, 1939-1945

Published: May 30th, 2011     
The Secret Years:  Flight Testing at Boscombe Down, 1939-1945
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Company: Hikoki Publications

The Story

Boscombe Down was the Royal Air Force's main experimental test station during World War II. In 1939, the peacetime station at Martleston Heath was moved to Boscombe Down, a World War I airfield with some permanent buildings, and everything was moved within a short time period. Shops and hangars were set up, but strangely, for nearly all of the war, the facility operated using only a grass runway area with a maximum length of 1800 yards, just over a statute mile, in any direction. I find that amazing, as they operated Halifaxes, Lancasters, Stirlings, and even Meteors and Vampires from the field regularly. Facilities included a control tower, a few hardstands, gunfire stop butts, a wind tunnel, accommodations and engineering shops, and finally at the end of the war, a paved runway. Nearby were firing and bombing ranges. The role of the facility was to test aircraft, engines, and weapons systems. Later, the beginnings of the Test Pilots' School were established. By 1944, the station had become a permanent RAF installation. This facility did not have the same function as performed by the USAAF at Wright Field or the Navy at Patuxent River. It was truly a unique installation.

Panzerjager I, 4.7cm Pak(t) Early Production - Smart Kit

Published: May 27th, 2011     
Panzerjager I, 4.7cm Pak(t) Early Production - Smart Kit
Reviewed by: John Lyons - IPMS# 47470
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Short History:

When WWII broke out in 1939, Germany relied heavily on the 3.7cm PaK 36 antitank gun. However, this puny weapon was no match for armored vehicles like the French Char B1 or British Matilda II. One solution was to mount the more powerful Skoda 4.7cm PaK(t) gun on the chassis of the Panzer I Ausf. B. This had a double advantage - a more capable antitank weapon was created, and it permitted an extended use of obsolete Panzer I tank chassis. Called the Panzerjager I, this new vehicle was Germany's first of many tank destroyer designs. Between March 1940 and February 1941, 202 such Panzerjager I vehicles were converted in time for service in the Battle of France, in North Africa, and in the invasion of Russia. By the end of 1943, the Panzerjager I had been phased out. The Skoda 4.7cm PaK(t) gun was mounted in an open-topped Panzer I fighting compartment with its original gun shield still affixed.

The kit - What's in the Box

Lightning F6 Cockpit set

Published: May 26th, 2011     
Lightning F6 Cockpit set
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32

Thanks once again to Aires for providing IPMS/USA the opportunity to review yet one more of their excellent cockpit sets.

Included are 10 resin parts for the cockpit tub, seat, instrument panel, and a control stick; there are also a couple smaller resin parts to represent the whiskey compass on the forward canopy framing. A photoetch fret is included to provide realistic seat harness components, including buckles, etc.

This is a simple and effective way to upgrade your standard Trumpeter 1/32nd scale Lighting F6 cockpit. While the kit item is ok, this upgrade provides icing on the cake. Having previously reviewed a Quickboost Lightning seat with the seat and belts already cast on the seat, this one took a bit longer as I had to fabricate the belts. I used both the photoetch belts and buckles, and then used some masking tape for other belts that refused to behave. I am not a photoetch wizard, but in the end the seat looked fine; even the back of the seat is fully detailed

Model Art AFV Profile, #2, Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger I

Published: May 26th, 2011     
Model Art AFV Profile, #2, Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger I
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Brown - IPMS# 42302
Company: Model Art

This book is the second of a series on German armor in World War II. These are written specifically for the AFV modeler. The subject of the book is the Tiger I. It is written entirely in Japanese with English subtitles on some of the pictures and illustrations.

The book begins with an illustration of the driving mechanism and part of the transmission. It is taken from the German manual on the Tiger I. These pictures are without English subtitles. Next the book shows us 18 color plates of the Tiger I from the early version to the late version. These illustrate camouflage patterns and markings. These are very good color renderings in fact. The title of each drawing is in English.

After the color plates, there is a short section, once again entirely in Japanese, which appears to discuss the formation of Tiger units. After the Tiger unit part is a small comic book like section covering some of the great Tiger commanders.

Instrument Dial Decals Generic WW1

Published: May 23rd, 2011     
Instrument Dial Decals Generic WW1
Reviewed by: Ed Harm - IPMS# 46266
Scale: 1/32

The product is well packaged, protected and includes the instrument decal sheet measuring 2 3/4 inches x 2 3/4 inches and a 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 thin clear plastic sheet for lenses. Explanations for the 33 World War One instruments are indexed on the instruction sheet which is very simple. The decals are very high quality with superb registrations and vivid sharpness even under magnification. This product works well with Microscale and Tamiya decal solutions. Care should be taken when using Solvaset, too much can almost melt the smaller ones.

Sadly, I could not apply these to a 1/32 scale WW1 aircraft, because I don't own any. But this would be a dandy excuse to start into them. I did use some of them on another project I'm involved with. A scratch built 1/9 scale science fiction fighting suit. These worked great and gave the interior a nice retro industrial look.

As for the price, 10.00 USD may sound on the high side but this is definitely a high end product and multiple aircraft can benefit from this sheet. As you all know, details can make or break an otherwise well constructed model. Be wise in your choice of aftermarket products. You can't go wrong with these.

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