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Shenyang J-31 Gyrfalcon (Airshow China 2014)

Published: June 4th, 2018     
Shenyang J-31 Gyrfalcon (Airshow China 2014)
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Trumpeter

The J-31(FC-31) is a twin engine "fifth generation" fighter currently under development by China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. First exhibited at the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2014, the aircraft is very similar in size to the F-35 Lightning II, and appears to be designed for a similar mission. The airframe has a number of features that that are look like those on the F-35 (such as the humped fuselage sides and forward swept intakes) and the overhead planform of the two aircraft is very similar (other than 2 engines for the J-31 and 1 for the F-35), while the side profile is similar to a shortened F-22. As the jet is still in the early stages of development, a lot of questions remain about its actual performance and capabilities, as well as to what the final version will look like.

North American P-51 IVa (K) – British Camouflaged Mustangs

Published: June 4th, 2018     
North American P-51 IVa (K) – British Camouflaged Mustangs
Reviewed by: Jarrod Booth, IPMS# 44739
Scale: 1/72
Company: LPS Hobby

I was drawn to this decal set for two reasons:

One, I thought that camouflaged Mustangs are not seen as much as the bare metal US aircraft.

Two: I had to do the Aussie Southern Cross marking being an Aussie!

LPS Hobby is a decal manufacturer from Brazil. The decal sheet, instruction sheet and cover page are contained within a generously sized zip-lock bag.

This small decal set contains marking for three British camouflaged P-51K Mustangs from Royal Canadian, South African and Royal Australian Air Forces:

  • KH608, Y2, "Edmonton Special", PO John Mallandaine, 442 Sqn RCAF, Hunsdon, England. May 1945
  • KH673, GL-N, "Sweetpea", 5 Sqn SAAF, Udine Italy, January 1945
  • KH676, CV-A, F/Lt 'Dusty' Lane, 3 Sqn RAAF, Cervia, Italy, April 1945

The recommended donor kit is the Tamiya 1/72 P-51D Mustang, however the newer Airfix, or any other manufacturers P-51D/K could also be used.

The cover page shows a left side profile of each aircraft and a description of the aircraft, who flew it, where it was operated and the year.

Metal Gear Set for Revell 1/32 P-51D-25

Published: June 4th, 2018     
Metal Gear Set for Revell 1/32 P-51D-25
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

MORE SAC FUN! Yes, the Revell P-51D-5 receives the SAC treatment because it's a big kit, and Ross and his team came up with metal gear for this kit. Thanks to Phil for sending it and Fearless Leader John for approving my working the set.

Included in this set are two main gear, two Oleo strut braces, and a tail gear strut. All replace the Revell kit parts, and fit is just like the plastic except it's stronger and can be re-adjusted as required.

Why is readjustment good? OK, Mustang experts, where does the axle fall on the P-51 and why when the aircraft is on the ground? (Answer: Just in front of the leading edge when looking down). WHY? Because it makes the whole aircraft more stable on takeoff and landing with toe in and proper alignment, and helps the aircraft track straight (without P effect from the prop), and is not as prone to tip on it's nose and prop like aggressive stick actuators can make happen. (...Or really tall grass, i.e. wheat, like just happened at Duxford to the guy who had his Merlin engine fail at low level on his pony and ended up just off the end of the runway in a perpendicular landing).

FW-190A Seat Belts

Published: June 4th, 2018     
FW-190A Seat Belts
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

IPMS/USA thanks the Eduard team once again for sending us this simple, excellent set for the new Eduard FW-190 series. And thanks to Phil and John for running the team...

This seat harness is simplicity itself. There are four parts. That's it, four. FOUR-lap belts, and over the shoulder harness. Installation? Carefully bend these durable steel belts into place. No paint flaking, no fiddling with parts that are too small for even surgical standard tweezers to hold. Just install and admire.

Far better than tape and paint, the STEEL series seat harnesses should become one of Eduard's fastest sellers for upgrading kits that don't have harnesses attached. Competitively priced too!

Thanks once again to Eduard and their groundbreaking technology leaps and for keeping AMS alive in those of us who have it!

United States WW2 Naval Ensigns (Flags)

Published: June 3rd, 2018     
United States WW2 Naval Ensigns (Flags)
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33549
Scale: 1/700
Company: Eduard

Thanks to Eduard for supplying the set.

Bottom Line: At first glance these steel, foldable flags look bright and colorful, but there are a few limitations. On a real model, they are good enough. Not to mention the unspoken scandal of oversized flags for all 1/700 WW2 warships kits, decals or paper. In that case, Eduard's flags are at least good enough, sturdier and more flexible than other options.

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