Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

HISPANO Spitfire Mk.V 20mm Cannons

Published: October 17th, 2010     
HISPANO Spitfire Mk.V 20mm Cannons
Reviewed by: Stephen Bierce, IPMS# 35922
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model

I'll admit to being a little confused when I requested this assignment. I was expecting something else. Still, these are very welcome components as I have two 1/72nd scale Spitfire Mk.V's in my "to-build" pile.

The Spitfire was among the earliest production fighter aircraft to adopt a 20mm cannon as armament; with the "B" arrangement for the cannon being introduced in the Mk.I and Mk.II models that fought the Battle of Britain. While the success of the armament was spotty at that time, it became the standard on the Mk.Vb [the same guns also found their way into the initial production Sea Fury]. The earliest Mk.Vc Spitfires also used this pattern of gun barrels before going to the "beefier" barrels as standard (parts that Master also offers separately). So these parts are not only compatible with the Spitfire Vb, as advertised.

The brass parts are sturdy and very well machined. In fact, the fine detail on the parts was too sharp for my digital camera to readily pick up on, so my apologies for the inadequate visual evidence. The cannon barrel even has a depression at the muzzle hole so it can be blacked in for the illusion of hollowness.

Battle of Britain Series Part 1 - Top Colors #8

Published: October 17th, 2010     
Battle of Britain Series Part 1 - Top Colors #8
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Company: Kagero Publishing

Since the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is upon us, many companies of interest to the modeling community will be coming out with all sorts of items. The company that this review will encompass is the Kagero Publishing Company. Among their many products are books, magazines, calendars and paintings.

This review is of the new series, "Battle of Britain Part 1", which covers the Luftwaffe aircraft involved in the Battle. In the beginning of the book is a generalized three page article of the Battle of Britain and information on the Luftwaffe color schemes and how to translate what the color bars painted on the aircraft designate. This is in English text with captions next to each aircraft in English and Polish, explaining the details of each aircraft.

Grumman JF/J2F Duck, Naval Fighters Number 84

Published: October 17th, 2010     
Grumman JF/J2F Duck, Naval Fighters Number 84
Author: Steve Ginter
Reviewed by: Doug Hamilton, IPMS# 21985
Company: Ginter Books

There were many different types of aircraft needed to win World War II. The Grumman Duck was certainly one of them!! Designed and built before the war, these biplanes performed many specialized missions. Rescuing downed aircrew, and spotting for those huge guns on the battleships were only a few of the many jobs it did, and it seemed every squadron had a Duck hanging around as a hack. Unglamorous to a fault, and tough and rugged, the perfect combination!! 

Vought F8U-3, Crusader III/Super Crusader

Published: October 17th, 2010     
Vought F8U-3, Crusader III/Super Crusader
Author: Tommy H. Thompson
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Company: Ginter Books

Crusader III (Naval Fighters # 87) is a paperback book measuring 8-1/2" X 11" and consists of 92 pages.  The cover and pages are printed on polished paper.  The book is full of sharp black and white photographs only with accompanying text.  Also included are 3-view drawings, comparison tables, line drawings and performance charts. 

The author begins by setting the stage for one of the closest aircraft selection competitions the Navy ever experienced.  It began in 1953 when Vought's F8U-1 Crusader beat out McDonnell's entry for a high-performance day fighter.  When the Navy went looking for an all-weather (night) fighter, the competition began.

Thompson states, "The Navy also preferred to deploy two different carrier-based fighters with complementary attributes..."  In addition, having different fighters with different engines in a carrier group ensured a degree of safety in case one engine or aircraft type had a problem. 

HISPANO 20mm CANNON & .50cal IN FAIRINGS

Published: October 17th, 2010     
HISPANO 20mm CANNON & .50cal IN FAIRINGS
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/32
Company: Master Model

It seems that Master Model has raised the bar a little more with their Air Master Series. These awesome little pieces are designed and produced in Poland, and run the gambit with accessories from aircraft to ships in scales from 1/72 to 1/350. You have to visit their website to see it all, and more than likely you will be ordering something from them.

In this case I happen to be reviewing the Air Master Series of the 1/32 early Spitfire E-Wing which contains two Hispano 20mm cannons and two .50 cal machine guns in fairings. According to Master Models, these are turned brass pieces which are made to exact scale specs.