Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Blue Angels A-4 Skyhawk

Published: October 21st, 2010     
Blue Angels A-4 Skyhawk
Reviewed by: Chris Smith - IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Revell, Inc.

A product of the brilliant yet practical designer Ed Heinemann, the Skyhawk was a simple lightweight naval attack jet that served the U.S. Navy and Marines far beyond what anyone expected. One of its standout roles was serving as the mount of the U.S Navy's Blue Angels aerobatic team from 1974 to 1986. These Naval ambassadors dazzled hundreds of thousands of people with their precision maneuvers, which the A-4, with its phenomenal roll rate, was capable of doing. I had the opportunity to witness these aircraft in action at the Pt. Mugu NAS in my teens. I was looking forward to sharing a shiny blue and gold bird with you until I saw the decal sheet. This is the original Monogram kit we all know which, in spite of its raised panel lines, still holds up against its contemporaries. There are decals for the Blue Angel birds 1 thru 4 but the other option is that of Senator John S. McCain's A-4E as it looked in June 1967 when he was assigned to the Klansmen of VA-45. This is not the aircraft he was shot down in but the one in which he almost lost his life on July 29 aboard the USS Forrestal when a Zuni rocket accidentally fired from an F-4 on deck hit this aircraft.

USS Independence LCS-2 Part 2 - Final Assembly

Published: October 19th, 2010     
USS Independence LCS-2 Part 2 - Final Assembly
Reviewed by: Ray Byers - IPMS# 44782
Scale: 1/700
Company: Cyber-Hobby

Construction started with the stand and a visit from Murphy. Following the kit instructions, I drilled out holes #3 and #6 and cemented in part Z1. The instructions label the base as Z2 but it is marked Z1, not a big deal, it is obvious what's what. When I tried to set the lower hull on the stand it did not fit. The pedestals should be installed in holes #4 and #5, NOT holes #3 and #6 (so much for starting with something easy).

Construction was straightforward with no real problems. Some areas that could be better are listed here:

Panzerwerfer 42 auf Maultier

Published: October 19th, 2010     
Panzerwerfer 42 auf Maultier
Reviewed by: Fred Wilms - IPMS# 42113
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

HISTORY

The use of multiple rocket launchers by the German armed forces during WWII was quite extensive. The mobile version of a 150mm rocket launcher type 42 was mounted on a half track Sd Kfz 4 Maultier. It guaranteed a high mobility, especially in off-road conditions.

THE KIT

The kit is made up of injection molded gray plastic parts. The details were in excellent condition, there was minimal flashing, and no defects. Some injection molded marks were visible.

Factory Corner w/Steps

Published: October 19th, 2010     
Factory Corner w/Steps
Reviewed by: Gary Telecsan - IPMS# 34779
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

This kit is composed of 12 sprues of injection molded plastic containing 219 parts plus 4 vacuum-formed sheets. The vacuform represent the building sides, two sheets for each of the 2 building sides. For those familiar with MiniArt kits, the sprues containing the parts for the stairs are the same ones contained in many of their kits, and this time they will be assembled in another one of the many ways they go together. Brilliant production work!

This kit builds up to a spectacular diorama base, but much care needs to be taken during its construction as it is very fragile. I recommend reading the entire review before starting on the kit as there are a number of issues upon which the instructions do not touch that need thought before you apply the glue.

I started with the vacuformed sheets. The detail of the brickwork and windows is fabulous, but the edges are very rough and difficult to match up when the two halves of each of the walls finally go together. The bulk of my time with this kit consisted of dealing with this seam. I have one issue with the vacuforming process, which may have been confined to this kit alone.

BMP-3 MICV Early Version

Published: October 18th, 2010     
BMP-3 MICV Early Version
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

Thanks first to Stevens International for providing this kit. Once again, we are blessed with excellent review opportunities through their gracious provision!

I am an occasional armor modeler. Having built BMP 1 and 2 versions from DML many years ago, I was interested in what Trumpeter have provided. Let's move on to the build and see...

When you open the box you are greeted by 13 parts trees (sprues to some), 12 in tan and one clear for the lights and laser sighting windows. Everything is packed in separate bags... no lost parts or broken bits! One photo-etch fret for details, including a grill to go over the kit engine intake, and bags of track parts. We're talking BAGS. Three bag sets of pad/growser bar assemblies, and 2 trees of "U" shaped parts for the wheel alignment teeth. These were a bit imposing; I love repetition like I like to slam my hand in a car door, but this is a review, so I sacrifice to the minor gods of modeling and press on... Also included was a small decal sheet with numbers. And there was a tree of clear parts for the headlight, spotlight, and (unused in this kit) laser designators.