Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Spitfire Mk. I & Messerschmitt BF-109E-4 'Battle of Britain' (Double kit Issue)

Published: January 8th, 2011     
Spitfire Mk. I & Messerschmitt BF-109E-4 'Battle of Britain' (Double kit Issue)
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

INTRODUCTION

The Spitfire Mk. I and Messerschmitt Bf-109E-4 need no introduction to modelers of any age, so I'll dispense with the historical background. It is only necessary to comment that these aircraft could have been adversaries, as they were both used during the Battle of Britain in 1940. I would assume that these kits were reissued for limited experience modelers, as most of us have built these kits for years.

Spitfire Mk. I

P-39 Airacobra over New Guinea

Published: January 6th, 2011     
P-39 Airacobra over New Guinea
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol - IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Although not as glamorous or well-known as some of its contemporaries during World War II, the Bell P-39 Airacobra was an innovative and effective weapon system -- when employed to take advantage of its strengths while minimizing vulnerability to its shortcomings. Originally commissioned in the mid-1930's as a high-altitude interceptor, the Airacobra's lack of a supercharger limited its effective operational altitude to 17,000 feet. By 1941, adversary aircraft - fighters and bombers - had effective operational ceilings considerably higher than the P-39. As a result, the Airacobra found it's niche in ground strafing and close air support roles, namely in service with the Soviet Air Force, but did also see some success with U.S. and other Allied air forces in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters of operation. Its unusual mid-fuselage engine configuration was chosen to allow incorporation of a 37mm forward firing cannon along the aircraft's centerline - in this case, firing through the propeller's hub. Bell built over 9,500 P-39's until production lines closed in 1944, with over 4,700 seeing service with the Soviet Air Force.

Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm, The Elimination of Iraq's Air Defence

Published: January 6th, 2011     
Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm, The Elimination of Iraq's Air Defence
Reviewed by: William Seaman - IPMS# 41006

If you're a military aviation geek like me, you can't get enough of books like this. It chronicles the exploits of the authors as they deployed, fought, and returned home from Desert Shield / Desert Storm.

  • Chapter 1 covers the history of the Wild Weasel program, including the origin of the now infamous "YGBSM" unofficial motto. They also get into the specific threats faced and the basics of how they can bring down enemy aircraft.
  • Chapters 2, 3, and 4, detail the career paths of the authors and their training to become Wild Weasels.
  • In chapters 5-16 every imaginable detail of the their exploits during Desert Shield / Desert Storm are chronicled.

Occasionally, it does tend to get very technical but there's an excellent appendix that spells out the more complex Iraqi systems. The color plates are excellently done and the B & W are very well placed in the context of the mission descriptions.

Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot A

Published: January 5th, 2011     
Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot A
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Trumpeter

First comment

Thanks to Stevens once again for providing yet another superlative Trumpeter kit for IPMS to review. The best we can do for appreciation is to buy kits they offer; and this one is worth every dime! I'll go on record as saying this was the best Trumpeter kit I've built.

On the porch

"Hey, that's a big box". It's also a heavy box. Postman is rolling around on the lawn in pain kind of heavy. I go out and do a clean-and-jerk lift.... And it's off to the workbench!

Grumman EA-6B "Prowler" Part 2

Published: January 4th, 2011     
Grumman EA-6B "Prowler" Part 2
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney - IPMS# 2989
Scale: 1/48

This being the second Kinetic kit I've had the pleasure to build and review, I have found several similarities in the offerings. First, the instructions could use some tweaking, in that I found some misnumbered parts. It would be of major benefit to the builder to keep his reference material close at hand. Secondly, during construction I encountered what I felt was a major fit issue with the wing to fuselage joints. My kit required completing the attachment in 4 steps with cyano acrylic and accelerator to close gaps in the wing roots (interestingly, I have since had an opportunity to read other build reviews of this subject and their experience didn't seem as pronounced as mine. Maybe it was something I did wrong.) In any event, these two issues are the only negatives to an otherwise exceptionally nice kit. Third and last, this kit, like the F84F from Kinetic, suffers with extremely fat trailing edges, so get out the wood rasp.