Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-22A Raptor - Part 2

Published: September 26th, 2010     
F-22A Raptor - Part 2
Reviewed by: Rob Booth - IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa

Part II - The Build

First, for any of you who may have been waiting for part two of this review to help make a decision on whether to buy the Hasegawa kit, or one offered by another manufacturer, I apologize for the lengthy build period on this one. But, for those who have been waiting, read no further. BUY THIS KIT! If it is sitting on the shelf down at your favorite hobby shop, GO BUY IT NOW! Don't wait to buy it on the internet, go pay the folks at your local hobby shop their more than reasonable mark-up to have this kit sitting there waiting for you, because YES, IT IS THAT GOOD!

Now, to be fair to the other manufacturers, I haven't got first hand visual on the Academy kit, but from what I've seen in publication reviews, there is no real comparison. Even if you get the aftermarket surface detailing kit, unless you do those sorts of things on a professional basis, the result will be far less convincing than the molded in detail on this kit. I thought it to be too heavy in my initial look at the parts, but Hasegawa has gotten this one right.

Did I say THIS IS A NICE KIT!!!!!?????

F-5E Nellis and PACAF "Gomer" Aggressors

Published: September 26th, 2010     
F-5E Nellis and PACAF "Gomer" Aggressors
Reviewed by: Mike Howard - IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/48

The Northrop F-5E found a home with both the USAF and USN as a dissimilar air combat training aircraft, more commonly known as an Aggressor or Top Gun Adversary aircraft. A former brother-in-law of mine was kind enough to invite me to Nellis AFB in the late 1980's as he was going through his Aggressor pilot training before being posted to Bentwaters, UK. Getting a chance to see a group of "cheap" F-5E's "shoot down" a flight of F-15's was quite an impressive achievement, but then that was the purpose of these highly trained adversary pilots, to teach tactics used by Eastern Bloc pilots and their satellite air forces. I previously was a big fan of the uniquely painted aircraft and getting to see them in person and watch them in action just solidified my interest in them. (Yes, I know that the 527th patch is USAFE based, but I didn't have a 26th AS patch in my collection).

Messerschmitt Me 262 Seats Without Belts

Published: September 26th, 2010     
Messerschmitt Me 262 Seats Without Belts
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter - IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72

Loon Models (Roll Models brand) has added another aircraft seat to their 1/72 aircraft accessory line. This one is for the Messerschmitt Me-262. Loon Models don't specify a kit for this seat, but you will want to use one that has a normal cockpit in it. The kit I picked out for this review is an older Hasegawa kit of the Me-262A.

Fire Bombers In Action (Videobook)

Published: September 26th, 2010     
Fire Bombers In Action (Videobook)
Reviewed by: Chuck Bush - IPMS# 42838
Company: Specialty Press

Frederick A. Johnsen has been a fire bomber enthusiast since childhood. He saw his first, a TBM Avenger, in 1961 and was hooked. Mr Johnsen has been an Air Force historian, NASA public affairs officer and is currently the director of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, California. He has written over 20 aviation books and articles for numerous periodicals.

Fire Bombers In Action is an 8.5 x 11", 144 page, softbound book containing 120 black and white and 114 color photos. It includes a 60 minute DVD (more on that later.)

The book has 5 chapters. History of Air Tankers covers the program in a general way, Order Of Battle discusses the individual aircraft used through out the years, with pictures and specs on each type. Canadian Twist covers the air tanker program in Canada. The Mechanics Of Aerial Firefighting looks at all aspects of the program from base ops to the formation of a school for tanker pilots. Chapter five is Tanker Tales: Crew Stories is the shortest chapter. All chapters are lavishly illustrated.

Kyushu Q1W1 Tokai "Lorna"

Published: September 26th, 2010     
Kyushu Q1W1 Tokai  "Lorna"
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

History

Once the Japanese Pacific "empire" had expanded to its greatest extent in mid-1942, the Navy General Staff realized that their supply lines -- basically consisting of slow, plodding "marus" usually sailing independently and not in convoy -- were extremely vulnerable to American submarines, which patrolled almost unopposed throughout the empire.

The Japanese considered the submarine mainly a weapon to be used against enemy warships. But American submarines were used primarily as commerce destroyers like the German U-Boats, and took such a toll of Japanese shipping that more and better aircraft were required for anti-submarine duties. In 1942, the Watanabe Tekkosho, later Kyushu Hokoki, was assigned the task of developing a specialized aircraft for this role. A design was quickly developed, the Q1W1, which appeared as a three-seat twin engine monoplane emphasizing endurance over speed.