Reviews of scale model kits.

Russian YAK-130

Published: August 3rd, 2019     
Russian YAK-130
Reviewed by: Gregory Hansel, IPMS# 46474
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kitty Hawk

Introduction: This kit was released at the end of 2018 and features resin crew figures, photo etch details, and marking options for seven jets, including two from Russia, one from Bangladesh, and four company demo aircraft. There are almost more sprues of weapons then there are of the actual aircraft, included are Kab-500kr, Kab-500Kl, Kab-500se, Kab-1500-Kl, Kab-1500-Kr, Kab-1500-se, KH-29L, KH-29T, KH-31, KH-58, and three versions of the KH-25. It's almost worth buying the kit just for the weapon sprues! The kit looks impressive in the box.

Construction: Construction starts with the seats and I intended to use the photo etch harness on one and the resin pilot on the other. The PE seatbelts seemed to be a bit too big and ended up looking awkward when I had it done. Also, the seat fits so tightly to the cockpit that there was not enough room for the belts to hang over properly, so I ended up removing them. The cockpit looked great after painting and weathering and the nose wheel can be left off until the end which was nice. The next 9 steps get the air intakes and main gear bay installed and the major construction.

F-15E Strike Eagle

Published: July 31st, 2019     
F-15E Strike Eagle
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

The Model

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a development of the F-15. The concept of the Strike Eagle was to produce a bomber aircraft which also had fighter capability. The biggest visual differences between the E model and earlier F-15s are the two-seat cockpit and the addition of conformal fuel tanks on the sides of the fuselage.

This F-15E is a reissue of a kit previously sold as part of a multi-kit collection from F-Toys which contained an AV-8 Harrier, An A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-15E. The kit is designed to have the parts pressed together, with little or no glue needed. As such, there is some filing and sanding required to get an acceptable fit. You get two aircraft in the box, and decals for 3 planes.


The assembly is pretty simple. The seats are glued in the cockpit, the instrument panel is inserted, and the cockpit assembly is placed between the forward fuselage halves. I glued the fuselage parts together. This was a mistake.


Published: July 28th, 2019     
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

Hauler has provided another addition to the great Diorama releases. This is two great Umbrellas for use anywhere.

The detail quality is great; The parts are very delicate parts that need careful removal and added to the assembly. You have to provide your own wire to make the handle and center post, which I think Hauler could have included.

The Assembly is quick and easy. Please be careful cutting the vacuum formed Umbrellas.

The final part is painting which is free for you to do as you please.

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

Special Cargo - Handle with Care Sandy and George Skip

Published: July 27th, 2019     
Special Cargo - Handle with Care Sandy and George Skip
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/24
Company: Master Box Ltd

Master Box Ltd, out of the Ukraine, has been a leader in 1/35 figures for a while. They expanded into 1/24 female and fantasy figures in 2016, starting with their first series of six female figures representing the World War II era. This current series, Truckers, is ideal for modern Class-8 truck vignettes and dioramas. Sandy and George "Skip" is the ninth release in this series with more on their way.

The kit comes in a standard end opening box. Pulling out the parts, you will first see that the box is probably three times too large, but in return you get a nice painting on the cover by V. Petelin, and instructions on the back with color callouts in Vallejo, Lifecolor, Tamiya, and Mr Color. I will note that the plastic figures sculpted by A. Gagarin are not identical to the cover paining, but it is very close. The figures represents a truck driver with his left hand on the steering wheel and his other hand on Sandy's "waist". Packaging of the eighteen parts are protected within a re-sealable bag.

Tornado GR.1/IDS

Published: July 27th, 2019     
Tornado GR.1/IDS
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1:144
Company: Platz

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multirole combat aircraft, jointly developed and manufactured by Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany.

There are three primary Tornado variants: the Tornado IDS fighter-bomber, the Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defense variant) interceptor aircraft. First flying in 1974, the aircraft was introduced into service in 1979-1980. Due to its multi-role design, it replaced several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces of the three original partner nations. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) became the only export operator of the Tornado following a somewhat controversial trade deal.

The Tornado saw its first combat operations in the Gulf War in 1991, being flown by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian Air Force, and RSAF conducting many low-altitude strike missions. The Tornado continued strike operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, the Iraq War, Libya's civil war, and in Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.