Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Bucker Bu 131D with German Cadets (1939-1945)

Published: July 11th, 2020     
Bucker Bu 131D with German Cadets (1939-1945)
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/32
Company: ICM

The Bucker Bu131D "Jungmann," which means "young man" or "cadet", was developed in the 1930s as a light primary trainer for all Luftwaffe pilots. Extremely small and agile, it was mostly steel tubing with a fabric covering, and proved so popular that over 200 are flying in private hands to this day. I even found an entire scene in the European "Tintin" series of comics which shows this durable little aircraft in the less-than-capable hands of Thomson and Thompson, twin detectives (see the Tintin adventure "The Black Island"). This model set offers not only the aircraft itself, but a pilot and a couple of handlers to go with it.

The aircraft: like the real deal, the model of this aircraft, even in 1/32nd scale, is pretty diminutive, and makes for a relatively fast build. However, due to the nature of the real trainer, some of the parts are exceedingly fragile and require extraordinary care when removing from the sprues. The landing gear brace, for instance, was broken on the tree in three different places even before I attempted to remove it.

A-4F Skyhawk - Lady Jessie/Blue Tail Flies

Published: July 11th, 2020     
A-4F Skyhawk - Lady Jessie/Blue Tail Flies
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

Platz Hobby currently produces 334 kits in 1/144 scale, and in addition to their F6F-3 release, I was fortunate enough to receive this two-plane kit for review. In addition to the parts for two aircraft there are markings for three different planes included. Construction was quick, and the detail is very good for this scale. Modelers familiar with working with small parts should not have issues building this release, and I would highly recommend it.

Olkhovskiy Torpedo (two seat)

Published: June 29th, 2020     
Olkhovskiy Torpedo (two seat)
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Omega Models

When this first came up for review, I'll admit I never heard of this plane or company which is intriguing. A little quick research and I found that this was one of the first Russian monoplanes and it had an interesting difference with many planes - no ailerons. The ends of the wing bias because of their tether tension control wiring. That was enough for me. Omega Models located in the Czech Republic makes limited run resin models of lesser known subject. This kit comes in cream colored resin in 23 pieces with decals, instructions and a length of wire.

My first action was to wash the parts with dish detergent to remove any mold release and let dry. Next, I separated the parts from casting blocks and sanded down the minimal seam lines. All this prep work is critical as finding paint not sticking or a seam line later is much harder to fix.

Polikarpov PO-2 Soviet Light Night Bomber

Published: June 23rd, 2020     
Polikarpov PO-2  Soviet Light Night Bomber
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: ICM

History

The Polikarpov U-2, later PO-2, was designed as a light training biplane, and first appeared in 1928. It was a two seat, of mainly wooden construction, training aircraft similar in many respects to most late twenties biplanes, and had all of the characteristics required for a military trainer, including rugged construction, a low powered but reliable powerplant, and excellent flying characteristics. It so impressed Soviet authorities that it was produced in very large numbers, over 30,000 being completed by Russian and foreign factories and maintenance units between 1928 and 1953, and the last ones weren't built in Poland until 1959. The PO-2 served mainly as a primary trainer at first, but eventually was pressed into service as a crop duster, military liaison aircraft, med and general supply aircraft, and later as a reconnaissance and light bombing type. During the war, many were used by units made up of women pilots and ground crews, who were very effective in harassing the Germans by making night attacks and keeping them awake. They were called the "Night Witches", and certainly played an important part in the conduct of the war.

RA-5C Vigilante Ladder

Published: June 21st, 2020     
RA-5C Vigilante Ladder
Reviewed by: Will Kuhrt - IPMS# 46746
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

The North American A-5 Vigilante was an American carrier-based supersonic bomber designed and built by North American Aviation for the United States Navy. It set several world records, including long-distance speed and altitude records. Prior to the 1962 unification of Navy and Air Force designations, it was designated the A3J Vigilante. The RA-5C was a reconnaissance variant.

This ladder accessory is not identified for use on one specific manufacture's kit. It contains one photo etched tree with enough components to construct two ladders. An assembly guide is also provided.

Assembly was straightforward, and with the use of a PE bending too, the build went quickly. I began by bending the right and left sides to 90-degree angles. Next, I attached the wheels, and finally the two cross bars. After the assembly was completed, I primed it using Mr. Surfacer 1000 and finished painting it Insignia Red.

This is a very nice accessory. It is easy to complete, and I believe it would look very nice propped against any 1/72 RA-5C aircraft.

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