Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

M3 Half Track

Published: April 20th, 2019     
M3 Half Track
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1:76
Company: Airfix

When I was around 10-11 years old, I got into a small-scale armor kick.  The local shop carried Airfix kits and I built a lot of their kits at the time.  The first time I built the M3 Half Track it was an MPC release in their Battle of the Bulge Historama kit.

Fast forward 45, cough, years later and Airfix is rereleasing many of their kits under their Vintage Classics range.  The kit appears to be the exact same plastic first released in 1966 including the 1 Ton Trailer.  The kit includes 54 parts molded in an OD plastic.  There is a bit of flash but what would you expect from a set of molds almost older than me.  The kit includes some nice detail, a driver and one of the nicest small scale .50 caliber machine guns.  Decals are included for a M3A1 during Operation Overlord.  More about them later.  The color scheme is shown in full color in the instructions.  Other than that change, the instructions look like they did when I first built it.

Meng Sd.Kfz. 179 Bergepanther Ausf A

Published: April 20th, 2019     
Meng Sd.Kfz. 179 Bergepanther Ausf A
Reviewed by: Dan Brown, IPMS# 47967
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

With the development of the Panther and the Tiger 1 the Germans came to the realization that they needed an armored recovery vehicle that could handle the weight of these larger vehicles. MAN was originally tasked converting Panther Ds for use in this capacity.  The vehicles selected for conversion had the turret removed and replaced with a central 40-ton winch and a large rear spade to dig the vehicle in. A wooden work platform was built over the winch and a light crane (1500 kgs capacity) was installed on the rear deck.  For armament, a 2cm KwK-30 cannon was mounted on the front along with the standard machine gun.  This new kit from Meng is the first new modern kit of this interesting vehicle and the first release of this vehicle since the old Italeri kit from the mid-1990s.    

Tempest Mk. V

Published: April 19th, 2019     
Tempest Mk. V
Reviewed by: Jarrod Booth, IPMS# 44739
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

The Hawker Tempest Mk V was a follow-on fighter from the Typhoon. It proved to be a superb mid to low level fighter and ground attack aeroplane.

This is Eduard's brand new mold of the Tempest and effectively puts their older (but still very acceptable) model, Cat 1169, out to pasture.

This is the ProfiPACK which includes color photo etch, masks for the canopy, wheels, lights and walkways, as well as a nice in register decal sheet and a high quality paper instruction book. The ProfiPACK provides the modeler with just about everything needed to build a very nice model out of the box. For this build review, I also used Eduard's resin wheels, exhaust pipes, "Look" instrument panel, steel seat belts and gun bays.

For whatever reason, several parts had separated from the sprue trees and some were separated or broken. I have other Eduard kits where everything was intact, so this damage may have occurred in transit somewhere with the extra mailing of the review kit. Everything was repairable.

Hawker Sea Fury FB.II

Published: April 15th, 2019     
Hawker Sea Fury FB.II
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

I've had a couple of Trumpeter and the Hobbycraft versions of the Hawker Sea Fury in my growing stash waiting for a rainy-day project to come around. I really like the brutish appearance of this big five-bladed prop driven monster. I purchased several Barracuda Studios aftermarket goodies for the Trumpy kit to do a colorful Canadian Navy Artic Research version. So, when Airfix announced their version of this aircraft, and it came up for grabs from the kit review stash, I jumped at the chance to do a review build as a warm-up for and comparison to the others. John Noack had been given the Fundekal's Sea Fury Pt. 2 decal sheet at last year's Phoenix Nationals for review. He emailed an offer to use them as I was in the middle of the build. You can find my concurrent review of that sheet elsewhere on the IPMS Reviews website. The Sea Fury's colorful history is well known and extensively documented, so let's get on with my build and impressions of this 1/48 scale plastic version.

HMS Illustrious

Published: April 14th, 2019     
HMS Illustrious
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/700
Company: Aoshima

History

The Illustrious class was a class of aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy that included some of the most important British warships in World War II. The 1st ship in this class was HM Illustrious. She was laid down on 27th April 1937, launched on 5th April 1939 and commissioned on 25th May 1940. The Illustrious class relied on their anti-aircraft armament and the passive defense provided by an armored flight deck for survival.

In the Illustrious class, armor was carried at the flight deck level and formed an armored box-like hangar that was an integral part of the ship's structure. This armor scheme was designed to withstand 1,000-pound bombs. The flight deck had an armored thickness of 3 inches.

The Kit

Upon opening the box you will find 13 sprues of grey plastic, 2 metal ballast, a decal sheet and an 8-page instruction fold out. The plastic is crisply molded and pretty much free of flash and sink marks. The reason for the high parts count is that there are many parts which are not used for this kit. The decals are printed cleanly, but their accuracy leaves a bit to be desired.

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