Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Metal Landing Gear for E-2C Hawkeye

Published: December 19th, 2010     
Metal Landing Gear for E-2C Hawkeye
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48

I have heard some ask "Why pay for landing gear that's already in a kit?" The simple reason to use SAC gear comes down to basic physics: Metal gear makes for a robust structure that doesn't fail under the weight of a model. Resin models are where metal gear is required (but sometimes not provided); on large plastic models, this requirement is particularly noticeable on aircraft with offset main gear such as the Hawkeye, weight distribution is outside of the gear centerline, and the wheel/tire assemblies tend to splay out over time, or outright break off.

Ju-88 On the Russian Front

Published: December 17th, 2010     
Ju-88 On the Russian Front
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery - IPMS# 14003

Illustrator and author, John Weal, has provided the third and final publication in the Ju-88 trilogy with the release of Ju-88 Kampfgeschwader on the Russian Front. Previously published are Mr. Weal's books featuring the Ju-88 on the Western Front and on the North African/Mediterranean Front.

Mr. Weal is fluent in German and that ability adds significant color and detail to the text. Little details make the reading lively and interesting an added plus to the historical documentation that one normally finds in Osprey publications. For example, Mr. Weal describes a situation in which some squadron leaders are opening their flight orders and he describes the flight orders as being enclosed in a green envelope.

While it may seem to be a bit of trivia, when one reads the book such touches of reality and detail lift the quality of the text to a new level. The text is accompanied by numerous photographs which reveal the nature of the air war on the Russian Front, many of these images not being familiar or seen in other publications.

Windsock Worldwide, Vol. 26, No. 5 - September/October 2010

Published: December 16th, 2010     
Windsock Worldwide, Vol. 26, No. 5 - September/October 2010
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor - IPMS# 34117

Volume 26, No.5 of Windsock Worldwide is further proof that Albatross Productions churns out some of the best WW I publications to be found anywhere. This issue of Windsock's bi-monthly magazine delivers a substantial amount of exclusives for WW I aircraft model builders and historians. The cover photos provide a look of two of them: A full size flying replica of a Fokker Dr .1 and the framework of an incredibly detailed 1/16 scale Sopwith Camel.

Me 163S "Habich" two-seat trainer glider

Published: December 12th, 2010     
Me 163S "Habich" two-seat trainer glider
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

First, thanks to Pavla for first producing and then providing this kit to IPMS/USA for review; your excellent products continue to amaze me!

This is an extremely simple kit; yet it has complexity in the fact that it is a limited production item and therefore has ejection pin towers for cleanup. Fortunately these are all on the inside of the kit parts... it also has extremely small photoetch; be forewarned if you are an old guy like me. The overall presentation is excellent; I had little or no issues with getting things in place. The instructions are basic diagrams, showing where everything is supposed to go. I caused a minor problem in that the rear cockpit needed to be installed a bit higher than I installed it, as there are no locating pins or rails. The kit contains a runner of parts, one Photoetch fret, two excellent clear canopies, and a decal sheet with optional Luftwaffe and Soviet "captured aircraft" markings.

Aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Land-Based Aviation, 1929-1945 Volume I

Published: December 9th, 2010     
Aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Land-Based Aviation, 1929-1945 Volume I
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor - IPMS# 34117
Company: AF Editions

This 104-page soft cover book is the fourth title in Casemate's AIR COLLECTION series about Japanese military aircraft. Like its predecessors, it is an English translation of a Spanish title originally published in Spain in 2008. The book includes 170 full-color aircraft profiles, beginning with a twin-seat 1913 Nieuport NG and continuing up to such naval aircraft in service at the end of the war as the Yokosuka D4Y2 Judy and Model 11 Koo Nakajima J1N1-Sa Gekko. It is obvious the author/illustrator has a great knowledge of the subject and the artistic talent to present it visually. Sixty-nine different aircraft types are represented and the nicely rendered illustrations display the variety of color schemes and national markings that were used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the period. There are no photographs, but they are not necessary.

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