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B-52 Stratofortress: Boeing's Iconic Bomber from 1952 to the Present

Published: February 17th, 2019     
B-52 Stratofortress: Boeing's Iconic Bomber from 1952 to the Present
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Company: Schiffer Publishing Ltd

The LEGENDS OF WARFARE series of books are very nice. They are 9" by 9" hardback books that cover aircraft, armored vehicles and ships in 112 pages filled mainly with good sized photos.

While the B-52 was named the Stratofortress pretty much everyone calls it the BUFF or Big Ugly Fat Fellow (cough). Ok, maybe that last F stands for something else but this is going on a family friendly website.

This book follows the normal Legends format with an introductory chapter followed by a chapter on each version. They are the XB-52. YB-52, B-52A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. A couple of the A models and a B model were modified and used by NASA to drop different projects with the most famous probably being the X-15. While developed for the Cold War the B-52 thankfully never dropped an atomic bomb in anger. Instead it was used to drop iron bombs during the Vietnam War and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

M1296 Stryker Dragoon IFV

Published: February 16th, 2019     
M1296 Stryker Dragoon IFV
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Scale: 1/35
Company: Panda Hobby

Introduction

The Stryker has been in service with the US military nigh on fifteen years and up until now, it was at best simply able to provide defense against enemy infantry with its .50 caliber machine gun. In its newest iteration, the M1296 Stryker Dragoon IFV, it has been upgunned to a 30mm version of the 25mm Bushmaster gun used in the Bradley vehicles. While no match for heavy armor, it is capable of keeping enemy APCs occupied so the main battle tanks can duel unhindered.

Panda Hobby's recent release of this newly revised version of the Stryker proves to be a decent mix of beautiful fit with some over-engineered assemblies to make one feel challenged during the build. Match that with an occasional error in the instructions and you'll feel the need for care and patience, but you will be rewarded with a very nice build in the end with your perseverance.

Pz. Kpfw. V Panther Ausf. G "Last Production"

Published: February 16th, 2019     
Pz. Kpfw. V Panther Ausf. G "Last Production"
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

The German Panzer V Panther, next to the Tiger, is probably one of the most popular and recognizable tanks of World War II. Academy has released the G version of this iconic tank in an all new tooled kit. This version is from very late in the war, about January to April 1945 timeframe. Inside the large box is five bags of sprues, two instruction sheets and a small bag of decals and photo etched sheet. The F sprue is attached to the C sprue. There are four sprues of link and length tracks and four of the D sprues which is mainly road wheels. I like that the sprue letters are molded as cut outs, not the raised letters as usually. This makes it much easier to find and read these letters. Eight clear poly caps are included, but only two used. The decals sheet is three turret number options and four German crosses. The photo etched is engine screens and bolt heads. The instruction sheets are quad folding, with 16 assembly steps and eight painting/decal options.

F-4J Phantom II "VF-102 Diamondbacks"

Published: February 15th, 2019     
F-4J Phantom II "VF-102 Diamondbacks"
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1:48
Company: MRC Gallery Models

This subject needs no introduction or prolonged history so I'll skip it. The kit has been around for a few years in various versions, this time as the short nosed F-4J of the U.S. Navy's VF 102 aka the "Diamondbacks". Having read a lot of great things about this kit I had high expectations and they were all realized when I opened the box. There's a whole lot of plastic in there and it's done to the highest standards. Most important is the one piece upper fuselage that eliminates the tricky gap you'd have otherwise. In fact a closer examination shows that most of the major joint lines fall in places that exist on the real thing making the builders job one of aligning the parts and gluing them. You get a full complement of missiles, iron bombs and drop tanks. The only negative out of the box are some faint mold seams on the canopy parts. Add to that a massive decal sheet with every (and I mean every!) stencil carried on this Navy bird, and you have a complete package.

Scale Plans Ju-88A

Published: February 15th, 2019     
Scale Plans Ju-88A
Author: Casemate Publishers
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Casemate Publishers

This publication, with illustrations by Maciej Noszczak, is an MMPBooks publication and is distributed in North America by Casemate Publications. MMP books are characterized as being of very high quality and this product is no different. This publication consists of scaled line drawings of the Ju-88A. There is no text other than captions for the drawings.

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