Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Beechcraft T-34A Mentor

Published: December 8th, 2018     
Beechcraft T-34A Mentor
Reviewed by: David Horn, IPMS# 44962
Scale: 1/48
Company: Minicraft Models Kits

Aircraft and History

The Beechcraft T-34A Mentor is a single engine, two place (tandem cockpit) military trainer developed in 1948. The design is based on the highly successful Model 35 Beechcraft V-tail Bonanza but uses a conventional tail and narrower fuselage seating two in a tandem arrangement. The T-34A first entered service with the US Air Force in 1953 and replaced the North American AT-6 Texan as the initial primary trainer. Two years later the Navy ordered the T-34B for the same role at the Air Force. The T-34A remained in service with the USAF for just a few years until it was replaced by the T-37 "tweet". T-34's that were not sent to flying clubs or foreign military sales were transferred to the USAF auxiliary Civil Air Patrol until they were retired in 2003.

AIM-9X Sidewinder

Published: December 7th, 2018     
AIM-9X Sidewinder
Reviewed by: David Horn, IPMS# 44962
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Entering service in 2003, the AIM-9X is the latest version of the "Sidewinder" family of heat seeking missiles. Some of the advancements over previous versions is 90 degrees off boresight capability that is compatible with helmet mounted displays. The missile also incorporates thrust vectoring control improving turning capability. The AIM-9X also internal cooling which removes the need for launch rail nitrogen bottles. The AIM-9X is typically air launched but can be fired from land and sea platforms.

Eduard is known for a wide variety of high quality resin, photo etch and full kits. The AIM-9X is part of their "Brassin" line includes resin and appropriate decals. This product is cast in gray resin and bubble free with a small pour block that you can clearly define where the part is and what resin needs to be cut away.

Northrop Delta Mk. I/II/III

Published: December 5th, 2018     
Northrop Delta Mk. I/II/III
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Special Hobby

Instructions

The kit instructions are printed on 8 half-sized sheets, including the aircraft's history, a sprue diagram and color guide, 3 sheets of exploded assembly drawings, 3 sets of color four views showing two Mk. III's and one Mk. I.

Decals

Decals are provided for the three aircraft represented in the drawings. When I obtained the review kit at the Phoenix IPMS Convention, there were no decals with the kit. I contacted Special Hobby and they promised to send a set of decals. I waited a couple of months and finally just used decals from my spares box, printing the numbers on my computer. Naturally, I had just installed the decals when an envelope came, from all places Malta, containing the kit decals. I used a few of them and the results were most satisfying.

The Kit

The kit consists of five light grey styrene sprues and one clear unit. Many parts, especially on Sprue D, are listed as not to be used. Some bombs and racks are also provided on Sprue G, but there is no reference in the instructions as to which variants carried them. More good fodder for the spares box.

Spitfires Part 1

Published: December 5th, 2018     
Spitfires Part 1
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1:48
Company: Fündekals

The Spitfire, never has there been such an iconic fighter for a country than the British thoroughbred. Not to be overlooked Fundekals has done up a new sheet on this fighter that covers no less than TWELVE Spitfires from the Mk.I to the Mk.XVIe.

The decals come in a large ziplock type bag. They are on two decal sheets. One is the individual aircraft and fuselage markings and the other has the wing roundels. They are printed by Cartograf. The decals are world class with perfect register, good color saturation, thin and a joy to work with.

But where are the instructions? You have to download them from the Fundekals website. This does a couple of things, the most important one is to keep costs down and allows more money to be spent on the amount of aircraft included. It also allows Fundekals to include plenty of reference photos and history on each aircraft. The instruction booklet is full of great reference snippets and photos. Things like the factory installed mirror. Unit information and pilot information to go along with the decals. There is a lot of research that went into each subject aircraft.

Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2018 Volume 49/3

Published: December 5th, 2018     
Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2018 Volume 49/3
Author: Mick Davis - Managing Editor
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Cross & Cockade International

The latest journal of Cross & Cockade International - Autumn 2018, features a front cover photograph of Jean Chaput in front of his Nieuport 11, N940. This color 1916 photograph was based on the Autochrome technology developed by the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere. The inside rear cover features color illustrations by Juanita Franzl of Lt. Dawson's and Lt N. E. Williams' Ship's Camels. The outside rear cover features color illustrations by David Mechin of Jean Chaput's aircraft. If you check out the web site link above, you can get additional sample pics of the current issue.

Cross & Cockade International is a non-profit UK based group known as the First World War Aviation Historical Society that publishes their journal four times a year. They also provide a free newsletter (sign up on their website) and occasionally publish WWI themed books like the Sopwith Dolphin monograph I reviewed earlier for IPMS USA. This Journal is the sister of the US Journal, Over The Front.