Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

RAF Fighter Command: Defense of the Realm 1936-1945

Published: March 29th, 2020     
RAF Fighter Command: Defense of the Realm 1936-1945
Reviewed by: Hub Plott - IPMS# 31328
Company: Fonthill Media

This book details RAF's fighter command from just prior to the conclusion of WWII. Their job was to be the defensive shield for the home islands from all comers. This chapter explains how despite this mission the flying and training during this time did very little to prepare them for aerial combat much less the all-out struggle for survival during the early days of aerial combat in WWII!

The book is broken down into 17 chapters, beginning with as it is titled "The greatest Flying club in the world" giving an overview of planes and issues used by and facing the RAF from WWI up through1945.

F-4EJ (Final Flight)

Published: March 28th, 2020     
F-4EJ (Final Flight)
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall - IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

The Aircraft

The JASDF is nearing the end of service for their F-4EJ Phantom IIs. They have ordered F-35s as replacements. This aircraft is one of two from the 302nd Squadron which were celebrating the retirement of their F-4s. This one is the black one. They also had a white one.

Japan will still have some Phantoms for about a year, depending on F-35 deliveries.

The Model

This kit was originally produced by F-Toys, a Japanese company specializing in pre-painted kits which are easy to assemble and finish. Platz then acquires the molds and makes kits which are pretty easy to assemble, but need to be painted and decals applied.

AN/ALQ-87 ECM Pod

Published: March 28th, 2020     
AN/ALQ-87 ECM Pod
Reviewed by: David Horn - IPMS# 44962
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

The AN/ALQ-87 is an electronic countermeasure pod (originally the QRC-160-8) was first used in 1967. Carried by a variety of military aircraft during the Vietnam, it was commonly seen on the F-100, F-101, F-105, F-111, F-4 and the AC-130. The ECM pod function is to jam the enemy radars guiding surface-to-air missiles, and ground-control intercept radars handling multiple jamming functions. The AN/ALQ-87 was phased out of service in the early 1970's and replaced by the AN/ALQ-119.

Eduard is known for a wide variety of high quality resin, photo etch and full kits. The AN/ALQ-87

Is part of their "Brassin" line which is a multi-media product that includes resin, photo etch 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. The resin gives you six different antennas, two forward sections and two aft sections for a wide variety of pod version. There a single photo etch fret that has generator fan blades and two choices of blade antennas. The decals are very nice, multi color with fine details easily seen.

Helicopter Crew Vietnam

Published: March 28th, 2020     
Helicopter Crew Vietnam
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner Jr. - IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: PJ Production

Figures in 1/48th scale, in particular helicopter figures, are like hen's teeth. So when a new set comes out I am all over it. The latest of these releases is from PJ Production out of Belgium.

Packaged in a small end opening box, with a ziplock baggie inside of that, are three pour blocks of light grey resin and a tiny M-60 machine gun. The small M-60 is loose in the baggie so be careful you don't lose it when opening the bag. There are no painting instructions inside, but the cover photo of the finished figures is adequate for the job.

The three resin figures represent two pilots and one door gunner. This would seem to indicate that it for a Loach since they sometimes flew with a crew of three and Hueys flew with a crew of four. All the figures have chicken plate body armor and SPH-4 type helmets, but in this scale they could easily be APH-5 helmets. The one thing that stands out is that the heads have microphones molded on. Great job.

North American B-25 Mitchell Decals, Part 4

Published: March 28th, 2020     
North American B-25 Mitchell Decals, Part 4
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

Lifelike Decals from Japan is one of those hidden gems people need to hear more about. With a large selection in the most popular scales, they have decals for WWII era planes from Japan, Europe and the US. This set covers Part 4 for the B-25C/D/J in 1/72 scale and is meant for the Airfix B-25C/D and Hasegawa B-25J. The first two markings are for the famous Air Apaches of the 345th BG.

Inside the package, there a three small decals sheets covering the roundels and markings for four aircraft. The decals are a mixture of Cartograf and Microscale which is great. A separate page has information on the roundels used at specific times. There is a profile page containing the instructions and details about the four planes represented. Lastly is the cover with the top and bottom profiles and a detailed reference page.

The sheet covers four aircraft: