Reviews of scale model kits.

Hughes H-1B Short Wing Racer

Published: August 17th, 2019     
Hughes H-1B Short Wing Racer
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: 1:48
Company: Special Hobby

I've always been a fan of the iconic silver and blue Hughes H-1 Racer. I was familiar with the long wing variant, but as it turns out, two sets of wings were made for this one of a kind beauty - long wings for endurance flights, and short wings for speed records. You'll have to decide for yourself which one appeals to you, but no worries - Special Hobby/Planet Models provide both in 1/48 resin.

The kit itself is fairly simple and straightforward - resin one-piece wings, fuselage halves and cockpit, engine "cob" and many, many cylinders, etc. Two vacuum-formed canopy blanks are included, good for those of us who need a spare. (Although I lucked out this time). The kit includes decals and a simple but thorough exploded view of the assembly sequence.

M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle

Published: August 13th, 2019     
M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

From my new, best friends at Wikipedia: The M728 is a full-tracked combat engineer vehicle designed to provide maximum ballistic protection for the crew and is a heavily armed derivative of the M60 series tank. Modified to provide a mobile and maneuverable weapon for combat support of ground troops and vehicles, the M728 vehicle is used for breaching, obstacle removal, transportation of demolition teams, and pioneering operations.

OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK 30.01(h)

Published: August 11th, 2019     
OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK 30.01(h)
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/72
Company: OKB Grigorov

OKB Grigorov is a small model company based in Bulgaria that you may not be too familiar with. The company focuses primarily on AFVs, tanks, and naval ships in 1/72, 1/350 and 1/700 scales, and they have an extensive list of products available. They produce full resin kits with photoetch enhancements, as well as resin, photoetch and white metal conversion pieces for other models. More recently, they began producing some plastic AFV kits.

Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank"

Published: August 7th, 2019     
Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank"
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: MiniArt

The normally super-realistic folks at MiniArt have loosened their imagination and wandered into the hypothetical with the first kit in their new What If...? Series, the Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank". Possibly based on the Kugelpanzer, that Wikipedia describes as : "The Kugelpanzer (lit. "spherical tank") is a one-man tank built by Germany during World War II. It was captured by the Soviets in Manchuria and is on display in the Kubinka Tank Museum. There is no record of it ever having been used in combat".

MiniArt has a video on their website about the Sharotank, and cleverly inserts their kit model into period photos (or are they real?) showing the Sharotank after capture by the Soviets.

MiniArt also produces other versions of the ball tank:

Meng Leopard 2 A7+

Published: August 3rd, 2019     
Meng Leopard 2 A7+
Reviewed by: Bob LaBouy, IPMS# 3064
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

A Very Brief History of the Leopard

During the late 60's Germany began to plan for new primary main battle tank which would replace the M48 Patton tanks purchased from the US (in service through 1993). Early designs were grouped around the initial concept called the MBT-70, though it never got past the initial design with only a wooden hull constructed. For several years numerous prototypes were designed leading to the Leopard I design in 1965, which used a German built 105mm Royal Ordnance gun. These tanks continued in use through 2003 and included 4744 main battle tanks.