Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F6F-5 Hellcat, Part 2

Published: December 8th, 2019     
F6F-5 Hellcat, Part 2
Reviewed by: Jarrod Booth, IPMS# 44739
Scale: 1/24
Company: Airfix

With the major fuselage and wing assemblies completed in Part 1, I continued on with Part 2 of the 1/24 Airfix Hellcat F6F-5 build.

The tail planes, elevators, rudder and ailerons with their respective, movable, trim tabs were glued together with minimal problems. Make sure the elevator hinges are inserted the correct way... I got it wrong...twice!!! Luckily, the glue was still wet so I could pry the elevators open and correct my mistake....twice!!!! The instructions clearly show the correct way to install these.

I also assembled the inboard and outboard flap sections, but, left them off the wings until later. The left outboard wing flap top half was badly warped (see pictures). I used a hair dryer to heat and bend it back to shape with limited success. I ended up gluing the top and bottom together and clamping the flap to a flat wooden dowel, which did the trick!

The center wing assembly and fuselage were brought together resulting in a pretty good fit. I ran a bead of putty along the wing roots to eliminate a very small gap. The tail planes followed and fit securely. Putty filled thin gaps in the seam lines.

Messerschmitt P-1103

Published: December 7th, 2019     
Messerschmitt P-1103
Reviewed by: Jason Holt, IPMS# 40139
Scale: 1/48
Company: Brengun

History

So the Messerschmitt Me P.1103 was designed in 1944as rocket-powered short-range interceptor. There were two variants proposed, the P-1103-I in which the pilot controlled the aircraft in a prone belly position, whereas the P-1103-II is where the pilot is in a seated position. The construction of the aircraft was kept simple due to the lack of available metals so it was constructed of wood.

The deployment of the simple interceptor was that it was to be towed to altitude by a Bf 109G or Me 262. When the desired altitude was achieved the aircraft would detach the tow cable in which it would then ignite a single liquid-fueled RI 202 rocket engine for a dash attack. It was armed with a single Mk108 30mm cannon which was located directly under the pilo'ts seat. After the attack was completed the aircraft would glide to a safe landing area in which it would land on a retractable ski, similar to a Me-163 would land. The aircraft would then be refueled and rearmed ready for the next sortie.

Unfortunately the P-1103 never went into production as it lost out to the Ba-349 'Natter'.

German Guided Missiles of World War II

Published: December 7th, 2019     
German Guided Missiles of World War II
Author: By Steve Zaloga Illustrated by Jim Laurier
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Company: Osprey Publishing

Here's another interesting and informative book by Steve Zaloga. He has done a few books for Osprey. By my count (from Wikipedia) this is his 27th Osprey title. He's doing it right.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Antiship Missiles
    • Fritz-X
    • Hs 293
  • Flak Missiles
    • Unguided Flak Rockets
    • Flak Missiles
      • Rheinmetall Borsig Rheintochter
      • Henschel Hs 117 Schmetterling
      • Messerschmitt Enzian
      • Wasserfall
  • Air-to-Air Missiles
  • Antitank Missiles
  • Further Reading

Since Mr. Zaloga has already done Osprey books on the V-1 and V-2, these missiles are not covered in this book. But what is covered are those projects which barely made it to operational status, or weren't quite ready when VE day occurred.

MA-1A Start Cart

Published: December 7th, 2019     
MA-1A Start Cart
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1/32
Company: CMK

The MA-1A Start Cart (also referred to as a "Huffer") was used by the United States Air Force as an auxiliary jet engine providing a source of high pressure, high volume air (called bleed air) to start aircraft without starters, and to start aircraft that have inoperative starters. The F-4, A-4, T-38, F-104, and A-7, just to name a few, had to be started using this cart. I have used the MA-1A many times to both start the above aircraft, and to troubleshoot/operationally check the bleed air system on the C-130 aircraft.

The kit comes with 17 resin parts and 10 photoetched parts, with molding in crisp detail. I found no fit problems with the parts, and the kit went together fairly quickly. Be careful with part number 2 with its long "tongue" at the top - I accidentally broke mine but was able to easily repair it. The body of the cart is molded in one piece.

Messerschmitt P-1103

Published: December 6th, 2019     
Messerschmitt P-1103
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

History

The Messerschmitt Me P.1103 (12/09/1944) was one of a series of experimental projects developed by Messerschmitt and other German manufacturers as desperation types designed to combat the heavy bomber offensives of the U.S. 8th Air Force and Royal Air Force towards the end of World War II. The aircraft was classified as a Bordjager, a fighter meant to be carried or towed aloft and released by a fighter aircraft, either a Bf-109G or ME-262. Powered by a liquid propellant rocket motor, the P.1103 was armed with a single MK-108 cannon mounted in the forward fuselage. Earlier developments had the pilot in a prone position, but the December 1944 version used a regular pilot's seat and regular one piece canopy.

The aircraft was to be initially moved around on a dolly, but after takeoff, the dolly was jettisoned and the plane landed on a skid. Keep in mind that this was a drawing board project only, and the actual aircraft was never built or flown. Therefore, it probably would qualify as a Luft 46 type. The color schemes provided by the kit manufacturer are obviously conjecture.