Reviews of scale model kits.

Saab JA-37 Viggen

Published: March 29th, 2020     
Saab JA-37 Viggen
Reviewed by: Tom Choy - IPMS# 41395
Scale: 1/72
Company: Special Hobby

Once known as MPM, Special Hobby is one of the premier model kit manufacturers in the Czech Republic. It is actually a collective of other well-known brands, such as Azur, CMK, Planet Models, and many more. Once known for its short-run kits of esoteric subjects, Special Hobby has now become a major powerhouse in the model kit industry, using cutting-edge steel molds to produce a diverse and well-engineered range of subjects.

F-4EJ (Final Flight)

Published: March 28th, 2020     
F-4EJ (Final Flight)
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall - IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

The Aircraft

The JASDF is nearing the end of service for their F-4EJ Phantom IIs. They have ordered F-35s as replacements. This aircraft is one of two from the 302nd Squadron which were celebrating the retirement of their F-4s. This one is the black one. They also had a white one.

Japan will still have some Phantoms for about a year, depending on F-35 deliveries.

The Model

This kit was originally produced by F-Toys, a Japanese company specializing in pre-painted kits which are easy to assemble and finish. Platz then acquires the molds and makes kits which are pretty easy to assemble, but need to be painted and decals applied.

USS Skipjack Class Submarines

Published: March 28th, 2020     
USS Skipjack Class Submarines
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell - IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov

OKB Grigorov has provided a super USS Skipjack submarine which represent this classic class of American Submarine. The Skipjack class first entered service in 1974.

Included is:

  • Five resin parts
  • One photoetch sheet
  • One resin submarine
  • One resin stand

The detail quality is great; The parts are very delicate parts that need careful removal from the resin bases.

There was no instruction sheet in the box I received to review, this was not a problem as it was a simple build.

The assembly is quick and easy.

The resin stand is an awesome addition to the kit.

I would like to have seen some small decals.

The final part is painting.

Thanks go to OKB for providing this kit to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them

Rommel’s Mammoth DAK AEC Armored Command Vehicle

Published: March 28th, 2020     
Rommel’s Mammoth DAK AEC Armored Command Vehicle
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves - IPMS# 51129
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

AFV Club kits for me have always been a bit of a challenge - multi-part assemblies that could easily be presented as lower part count builds are usually the norm for me. This particular build for the most part avoids this issue, except for the undercarriage. The only real issues encountered for me was in the order of assembly in some cases which will be outlined as we go. The kit is a rebox of the AEC Dorchester kit from 2012. Obviously these three examples were basically captured Dorchesters so the only changes were in the interior equipment and schemes of the three examples captured by the Germans as we will soon see.

What's Inside the Box

The kit has an assortment of different media-plastic, resin, and PE, but not in overwhelming amounts. Inside we get:

Gloster Gladiator Mk.1

Published: March 28th, 2020     
Gloster Gladiator Mk.1
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:32
Company: ICM

ICM continues to floor me with the boldness of their release choices, and the Gloster Gladiator in the impressive 1/32nd scale range is certainly one of them that I never expected to see in my lifetime.

The Gloster Gladiator was one of the rare biplanes to see combat service in World War 2 and was the last operation biplane fighter in British service, seeing service in most theaters of action via a number of air forces. Despite its obsolescence it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat, even making a couple of aces into the bargain.

ICM's Gloster Gladiator comes on a sturdy side-opening box with separate lid and features a somewhat soft gray styrene as well as clear parts. This plastic seems familiar, and in fact appears to be the type of choice for Masterbox, MiniArt and other Ukrainian manufacturers. No photoetch or other frills are included, but the decal sheet offers three interesting options, all in British service. ICM now offers a decals sheet providing foreign service as well, but that's another story. There are a couple of other options included in the kit, such as a propeller spinner and open and closed engine panels.