Reviews of scale model kits.

Ilyushin IL 40-01 "Brawny"

Published: November 24th, 2010     
Ilyushin IL 40-01 "Brawny"
Reviewed by: Chris Smith - IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: AModel

It's hard to find words to describe this cross between the famous IL-2 Sturmovik and a T-34 tank. Like its WWII cousin, the IL 40 was born as a jet powered heavily armed and armored ground support aircraft. First flown on March 7, 1953, this beast carried 4000 pounds of armor plates protecting the crew and vital airframe components.

Weapons were carried internally and on external hard points. Additional firepower consisted of four 23 mm cannons mounted on the underside and another in a remotely aimed stinger protecting the rear quadrant. This kit represents the refined prototype as the original had air intakes at the wing roots and the cannons in the nose. As many other aircraft designers discovered, cannon gasses don't mix with jet engines and as a result the guns on the IL 40 were moved back and the intakes moved as far forward as possible.

8.8 cm Flak 37 auf Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf. H

Published: November 22nd, 2010     
8.8 cm Flak 37 auf Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf. H
Reviewed by: Mark A. Dice - IPMS# 31326
Scale: 1/35
Company: Cyber-Hobby


The 8.8 cm Flak gun proved to be a very versatile and potent weapon for the Germans in WWII. The Germans explored many different vehicle-weapon combinations and the subject of this kit is one of them. There were only 3 prototypes of this variant of the Pz.Kpfw IV produced by 1942. While they performed very well in field trials, no more were manufactured because tank production took priority. It was heavy for a self-propelled gun and its size would have made moving it by rail problematic. The project was cancelled by Albert Speer in January 1945.


This is a limited edition kit from Cyber-hobby and it is loaded with goodies. The large box contains almost 1000 pieces of light gray plastic, 4 small photoetch frets, aluminum barrels, metal chain and metal wire. It combines the DML Pz.kpfw IV H kit and the Flak 36/37 kit with some additional new parts that replace where the center section of the Pz.kpfw IV hull and turret would go. Your spares box will be greatly enriched from this kit, as several of the trees provide only a couple parts each with the remainder not being used on this model.

Curtiss-Wright AT-9 "Jeep"

Published: November 18th, 2010     
Curtiss-Wright AT-9 "Jeep"
Reviewed by: Fred Amos - IPMS# 6672
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

The Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep was a twin engine advanced trainer aircraft used by the United States during World War II to bridge the gap between single engine trainers and twin engine combat aircraft. The AT-9 was a low wing cantilever monoplane configuration with retractable landing gear and two Lycoming R-680-8 radial engines.

It should be noted that this is a limited run kit, and as such is not up to the standards of a larger, mainstream injection molded kit manufacturer. Pavla produces kits of rare and unusual airplanes and other subjects. A mainstream manufacturer could never do this in an economical manner. As such the reader should understand that these limited run kits can be a challenge for even experienced modelers. On the other hand, it should also be noted that a skilled modeler can have a resulting model of something rare and unusual. This is proven out by the author of this review who did, indeed, create a fine representation of this airplane. Editor

Gloster Meteor F.3

Published: November 16th, 2010     
Gloster Meteor F.3
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy - IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models

To my knowledge there were very few 1/72 scale Gloster Meteors produced so it came as a very welcome offering by Dragon.

Upon opening the box, I was impressed with the molding of this kit. The details were very fine and crisp. I consulted my research books and decided to use a white scheme, which was only used on 3 F.3 aircraft.

Assembly was pretty straight forward. The cockpit was very complete; was painted in black and was not very difficult to do. The landing gear assembly in Step 1 was a little confusing when gluing parts B-3 and B-2. I knew that the Meteor was somewhat tail- heavy so I added a load of fishing sinker shot. I don't know how much weight I added but next time I build a Meteor, I am going to add a brick as mine still became a tail sitter.

The fit on the wing assembly was very good with only a little filler needed at the upper wing root. After the wings were fitted the flaps, landing gear and landing gear doors were added.

I was impressed with the method of adding the landing gear. Each part fit into slots that made it impossible to screw it up. One had the choice of gluing the flaps up or down.

Moon Bus (REVISED)

Published: November 14th, 2010     
Moon Bus  (REVISED)
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery - IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/55
Company: Moebius Models

From the Editor: The following is submitted by fellow IPMS Member Clyde Jones regarding addition of mentioned lighting set to model:

"LEDs ARE polarized, just like batteries. Connect them "backward" and they not only don't light, they slowly go dead. Or not so slowly. The light strip is not polarized." (Added May 2011)

I built my first Moon Bus in 1969 and that model still resides in my display case. Because of my fascination and interest with models rooted in "2001: A Space Odyssey", it was with great anticipation that I awaited the arrival of the recently released Moebius Moon Bus and I purchased a copy from the local hobby shop as soon as it arrived. When Moebius offered a kit to IPMS for review purposes I was pleased when it found its way onto my workbench and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of building a 2nd Moon Bus some 41 years after having completed the first one.