Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

SR-71/YF-12 Blackbird Landing Gear

Published: October 22nd, 2018     
SR-71/YF-12 Blackbird Landing Gear
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

The SR-71/YF-12 Blackbird needs no introduction and has been produced by a number of manufacturers over the years in both 1/72 and 1/48. Testors produced both a YF-12 kit and an SR-71 kit in 1/72 scale a number of years ago, which was also released under the Italeri label. Earlier this year Scale Aircraft Conversions released a replacement set for kit landing gear for the 1/72 scale kits. The set is comprised of five parts: two main landing gear struts, two main gear retraction actuators, and the nose gear strut.

As with Scale Aircraft's other sets, the parts are a drop in replacements for the kit parts. As each of the Blackbird's main gear has three wheels, like the kit parts, SAC's main gear struts include the center wheel for each side. The main gear struts also mimic the kit's attachment points to ensure that you get the correct strut on the correct side. After removing a slight molding seam on the parts, I polished them using a wire wheel in my battery operated Dremel tool at low speed. This works very well and results in a nice uniform finish to all of the parts.

FH-1 Phantom "Demonstration Teams and Trainers"

Published: October 22nd, 2018     
FH-1 Phantom "Demonstration Teams and Trainers"
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Special Hobby

If you are a fan of US Naval aviation in 1/72 scale, you will likely want to add one of the Special Hobby kits of the FH-1 Phantom to your collection as this was the first operational jet used by both the Navy and Marine Corps. Built up, the kit is a great representation of the Phantom, but I would recommend that the modeler have some experience building kits, as there were some fit issues to overcome. Overall, I would still highly recommend this unique representation of the Navy's first operational jet.

Junkers JU-88A

Published: October 22nd, 2018     
Junkers JU-88A
Author: Maciej Noszczak
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

MMP's "Spotlight On" series seems designed primarily around color profiles with a relatively narrow focus on a specific subject. Most of the series covers aircraft, but I have seen at least one armor title in the group. The Ju 88A book, like most in the series, consists primarily of large, full-page color profiles of the subject matter.

Upon opening the narrow, hardcover book, one is immediately presented with an introductory page briefly discussing the Ju 88's development and a synopsis of the different subtypes within the "A" models. This is immediately followed by over 40 pages of color profiles. The last page of the book has publishing information and shows the covers of several other titles in the series.

BAC Lightning Vacu Canopy

Published: October 22nd, 2018     
BAC Lightning Vacu Canopy
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Company: Brengun

This is a replacement canopy for Revell's 1/144 EE Lightning jet fighter.

Everyone has that moment when they realize that the canopy for their model is missing, damaged, or unusable for some reason. As far as unusable, I've had canopies for some kits which were so thick and murky that there wasn't any reason to put detail in the cockpit.

This one was just an exercise in doing a vacuform canopy. The Revell canopy for their EE Lightning F.6 was usable, but this item had been sitting on the list for a while, and I thought we owed Brengun a review.

I built the Revell Lightning pretty much out of the box, except for the markings which I borrowed from aftermarket sheets, modified from the kit decals, and made my own serials and aircraft numbers.

Once I got the decals on, I thought I'd better put the canopy on. I cut the canopy from the sheet using a pair of fine decal scissors. I had to wear a magnifier to see the edge lines, but I was able to cut the sides very close to fitting. The front and rear were a little more problematical, but I only had to cut the front edge down a little to get it to fit in the opening.

Shinmeiwa SS-2 'Rescue Seaplane'

Published: October 21st, 2018     
Shinmeiwa SS-2 'Rescue Seaplane'
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa USA

The Shinmeiwa SS-2 Rescue Seaplane is a development of the Shinmeiwa PS-1 anti-submarine aircraft. The aircraft was used in a Search-And-Rescue (SAR) role, acting as an "Emergency Ambulance" for residents of Japan's isolated islands.

Hasegawa's kit of the SS-2 is an older kit that has been updated to represent the SAR version of this aircraft. Overall, the fit of the kit is fair, and there are some problem areas with parts fitting together. The detail on the flight deck is sparse for a kit of this size with a lot of windows to look in. It is a tail sitter, and you will need to add weight into the nose.