Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Zlin Z50 "Worldwide Users"

Published: August 8th, 2018     
Zlin Z50 "Worldwide Users"
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Introduction

The Zlin Z-50 is an aerobatic aircraft developed in the Czech Republic in 1975. Designed to withstand plus 9 and minus 6 G's and running a 300 HP engine, this aircraft is a real contender in the competitive aerobatic world and has won a couple of championships. Of course, the plane is only as good as the pilot. For a number of years now I've had the pleasure-as have many others-to see Rob Harrison aka "The Tumbling Bear", perform his brand of low level high energy aerobatics in his bright yellow Zlin. My favorite part of his routine is the passes so low you can see Rob working the controls! Rob has been a stable on the Southern California airshow circuit for years. In spite of a terrible crash in Modesto CA in 2009, Rob supervised the build of his replacement Zlin from his wheelchair and returned to the air. You can see Rob in action on his website. My kids always remembered the Tumbling Bear (he's a big guy) because he would go down the show line after the show and hand out goodies for the kids. When I saw the marking options for this model, I knew I had to build it.

Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony) and Camouflage Decals

Published: August 5th, 2018     
Kawasaki Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony) and Camouflage Decals
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Tamiya

The one thing all Japanese fighters in WWII had in common was a radial engine, except for one plane, the Ki-61 Hien which the allies named Tony. This was powered by a licensed built version of the Daimler-Benz DB601 and not only faced the allied fighters of the day but also had the performance to get to the B-29s altitude.

Tamiya released a new tool of the Tony in 1/48th scale back in 2016 and now has finally shrunk it down to my preferred scale of 1/72nd and a beauty of a model it is. The 45 grey and 3 clear parts are beautifully molded with fine scribed details. The low parts count leads to a quick build. A lovely cockpit is included and the wheel wells look nice. Markings are included for 3 airframes. One from the 19th Air Group in Luzon, Philippines, 1945 and two from the 244th Air Group based in Japan. More on these in a minute.

The instructions contain 12 steps and 4 view drawings for the 3 schemes including decal locations. Color call outs are for Tamiya paint and the colors are notated throughout the build.

JASDF F-15J Eagle J-MSIP Modernized Special Marking "Golden Eagles" in Komatsa 2017

Published: August 3rd, 2018     
JASDF F-15J Eagle J-MSIP Modernized Special Marking "Golden Eagles" in Komatsa 2017
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1:72
Company: Platz

Introduction

This is actually my second build and review of this kit (See review posted October 24th, 2015). This time around it's the same great kit with some really striking markings. My research says Aircraft # 92-8906 was specially painted for an airshow that was cancelled due to a typhoon. You do get a second marking option without the cool artwork but I can't imagine building this kit as such.

I'm not going to go into the history of the Eagle as it is well documented many other places. Unlike the first build where I used a nice photoetch set, this Eagle was built out of the box with the exception of some seat harnesses from the spares drawer.

Masterpiece Models Mark 49 Hellcat

Published: July 31st, 2018     
Masterpiece Models Mark 49 Hellcat
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Masterpiece Models

Masterpiece Models manufactures and sells resin assembly kits at their Vancouver, Washington fabrication and casting shop. Their kits include Dinosaurs, WWII, Vietnam, Scifi, and aircraft bases. Each kit is cast to order.

Background on the Hellcat

From Masterpiece Models website: The Mark 49 Hellcat Armored Walker was developed after the 3rd World War in 2046 as a forward attack and reconnaissance Vehicle. The need for walkers after the War was due to the amount of rubble strewn thru the landscape, tracked vehicles tended to bog down in the rubble making maintenance and mobility an issue. The first Walkers developed in 2099 were quite ungainly and had limited range and power. Later on in 2112 after advanced fusion drives were developed and fitted to the walkers did they become a more practical weapons system with more power and almost unlimited range.

In 2115 war again broke out over natural resources. The latest in the series of MK walkers is the MK49 Hellcat manufactured by Yutani/Grumman Corporation. The Hellcat is currently deployed in several hot spots all over the world.

M-109A2 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (DOHER)

Published: July 24th, 2018     
M-109A2 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (DOHER)
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

AFV Club has released the third version of Israeli's rework of the venerable American M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH). This time around we meet the 'Doher', or 'Galloper' - an augmented boxing of their recent 'Rochev Bet' release. The M109A2 Doher was fielded in 1993, eventually replacing all of the earlier Rochev models in active service by 1997. After the active service units received their share, the IDF began to replace some of the reserve units' vehicles. Today one can find in the reserve units both the Doher & Rochev models.