Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-4B Phantom, Part 1 - Wow!

Published: May 5th, 2021     
F-4B Phantom, Part 1 - Wow!
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya USA

When Tamiya announced they were entering the Phantom market in 1/48 scale, the Internet buzzed. And now the kit is out, a 1/48th scale F-4B Phantom. Let's start by taking a looking the box. For starters, there are 14 sprues of perfect Tamiya grey and clear plastic. There is also a set of instructions, a set of Tamiya Tech tips and a background information booklet about the plane. There are two large double-sided four-color pages with markings for the three planes and a drawing for stencil locations. Also included is a set of masks (not precut). Lastly, there are two decals sheets with markings for the weapons, planes and stencils.

Markings are included for the following:

  • VF-51 "Screaming Eagles", CAG Plane, May 6, 1972, USS Coral Sea
  • VF-111 "Sundowners", Squadron Leaders Aircraft, NAS Miramar, August 1972
  • VF-161 "Chargers), CAG Plane, May 1972, USS Midway

Options included for the modeler to use are:

Warriors of Light: Digital Su-27S & Su-27UB Decals

Published: May 3rd, 2021     
Warriors of Light: Digital Su-27S & Su-27UB Decals
Reviewed by: Ben Morton - IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/72

The Warriors of Light 1/72nd scale decal series from Foxbot is a collection of aircraft numbers for ten Su-27s with a complete data and stencil set for a single example. All of the Su-27's were assigned to the Ukrainian Air Force. Most Su-27s in Ukrainian service carried a digital, tri-color camouflage pattern on the upper surfaces and vertical stabilizers. The colored instructions are printed on thick paper with marking and stencil placement instructions. There is also a placement and color guide for the paint masks that are sold separately.

Color call-outs are provided with 'paint chip' facsimiles of the aircraft colors. The colors are referenced to RAL, FS or AKAN colors. Locating the AKAN paints may prove to be problematic as those are from a Russian company and not widely distributed in the U.S. The RAL is the European color matching system and FS (Federal Standard) is, of course, the U.S. color matching system. [Fun Fact: RAL stands for Reichs-Ausschuv fur Lieferbedinggen.]

The updated marking options (this decal set was available previously) are provided for aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force from 2015-2019.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 A-F

Published: May 3rd, 2021     
Messerschmitt Bf 109 A-F
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney - IPMS# 8943

This is the 2nd volume in a revived series from Kagero. According to the editor the series was originally launched in 2001, but decal production issues caused the cessation of publication. They have now restarted this series, and so far, have issued 3 volumes ("Eastern Front" armor, "Japanese Fighters", and the subject of this review).

"Messerschmitt Bf 109 A-F" jumps right in with color profiles on the very first page. This is followed by 38 more pages of profiles, and a final page with a table of RLM colors produced by various model paint manufacturers. The back cover has an additional two profiles.

Side profiles are provided for Bf 109s starting with Spanish Civil War markings and culminating in schemes from the Eastern Front. The artwork is superb and well-sized. Most pages show left and right profiles of the same aircraft, followed by top/bottom views of the same aircraft on the next page. Brief captions identify each subject, sometimes with scrap views of squadron or personal insignias.

Pacific Profiles Volume 3: Allied Medium Bombers, Douglas A-20 Series - Southwest Pacific 1942-1944

Published: May 2nd, 2021     
Pacific Profiles Volume 3: Allied Medium Bombers, Douglas A-20 Series - Southwest Pacific 1942-1944
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge - IPMS# 45849
Company: Avonmore Books

This third volume of Claringbould's aircraft profiles, the first of Allied aircraft, highlights the Douglas A-20 Havoc (Boston to the Commonwealth forces). The A-20, and its stablemate the B-25, were the two-workhorse low level attack aircraft of the US Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific.

Japanese Fighters w/Decal Sheet

Published: May 2nd, 2021     
Japanese Fighters w/Decal Sheet
Reviewed by: James Kelley - IPMS# 42106

Kagero Publishing is widely known in scale modeling circles as producers of reference books that often come with a bonus decal sheet. That all started in 2001, with their immediately successful "Camouflage & Decals" series. Apparently, they had technical issues surrounding the decal sheets so the series was, unfortunately, short-lived.

"Japanese Fighters" brings the series back to us. Consisting of 40 pages, this A4-sized book starts on page one describing the history of the series, and where the company hopes to go with it. Also on the same page is a chart of colors the Japanese used in WWII, complete with the correct Japanese names for them. All text is in English and Polish.

After the first page, the rest of the book consists of color profiles with a brief description or history of the specific plane. The profiles are lavish and gorgeous. Several artists contributed profiles to this book, and their work is truly amazing. The aircraft profiles in the book include:

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