Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

F-80 Shooting Star Units of the Korean War

Published: August 7th, 2019     
F-80 Shooting Star Units of the Korean War
Author: Warren Thompson
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Osprey Publishing

Designed during WWII and built in 180 days the F-80 did see some service in Italy in the final days of WWII. Post war many were stationed both in Europe and in Japan. Those in Japan were the first to answer the call when the North Koreans invaded South Korea.

The F-80 compiled a strong record in the Korean conflict. The aircraft is credited with shooting down 17 enemy aircraft, using in excess of 80,000 air to ground rockets and dropping over 33,000 tons of bombs during almost 90,000 combat sorties. A most admirable record for any aircraft. They served throughout the conflict and were the first US jet to engage in jet to jet combat.

The book is broken down into six chapters covering their use with mostly the 49th and 8th Fighter Bomber Wings. The first of the six chapters is brief and covers development, post WWII fight to keep it in the budget and initial deployment to the Pacific where it was to help contain and monitor Communist China and the USSR.

Russian YAK-130

Published: August 3rd, 2019     
Russian YAK-130
Reviewed by: Gregory Hansel, IPMS# 46474
Scale: 1/48
Company: Kitty Hawk

Introduction: This kit was released at the end of 2018 and features resin crew figures, photo etch details, and marking options for seven jets, including two from Russia, one from Bangladesh, and four company demo aircraft. There are almost more sprues of weapons then there are of the actual aircraft, included are Kab-500kr, Kab-500Kl, Kab-500se, Kab-1500-Kl, Kab-1500-Kr, Kab-1500-se, KH-29L, KH-29T, KH-31, KH-58, and three versions of the KH-25. It's almost worth buying the kit just for the weapon sprues! The kit looks impressive in the box.

Construction: Construction starts with the seats and I intended to use the photo etch harness on one and the resin pilot on the other. The PE seatbelts seemed to be a bit too big and ended up looking awkward when I had it done. Also, the seat fits so tightly to the cockpit that there was not enough room for the belts to hang over properly, so I ended up removing them. The cockpit looked great after painting and weathering and the nose wheel can be left off until the end which was nice. The next 9 steps get the air intakes and main gear bay installed and the major construction.

A Detailed History of RAF Manston 1931-40 Arise to Protect

Published: August 2nd, 2019     
A Detailed History of RAF Manston 1931-40 Arise to Protect
Author: Joe Bamford and John Williams
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Company: Fonthill Media

The book is part two of a two book history of RAF Manston, which became one of the busiest Airfields in the UK during WWII. The airbase was built-up during the pre-war days to be one, if not the most important airbases to the RAF.

The airbase was a very successful technical training center for the RAF during the years leading up to WWII and the details of this are covered extremely well in this book. The book goes into great detail about many of the officers and commanders stationed throughout the station during this period. There was even Air Races held here in the early 1930's. Even the famous Sir Alan Cobham exhibited his flying skills here.

The book covers many of the aircraft that were operated from here, some I was not even aware of and had to look up. The aces that served here are also detailed through the chapters.

There were lots of air exercises held here in prewar 1930's which helped the RAF prepare for war, making this such an important airbase in regard to helping the RAF face the Luftwaffe.

F-15E Strike Eagle

Published: July 31st, 2019     
F-15E Strike Eagle
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz

The Model

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a development of the F-15. The concept of the Strike Eagle was to produce a bomber aircraft which also had fighter capability. The biggest visual differences between the E model and earlier F-15s are the two-seat cockpit and the addition of conformal fuel tanks on the sides of the fuselage.

This F-15E is a reissue of a kit previously sold as part of a multi-kit collection from F-Toys which contained an AV-8 Harrier, An A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-15E. The kit is designed to have the parts pressed together, with little or no glue needed. As such, there is some filing and sanding required to get an acceptable fit. You get two aircraft in the box, and decals for 3 planes.


The assembly is pretty simple. The seats are glued in the cockpit, the instrument panel is inserted, and the cockpit assembly is placed between the forward fuselage halves. I glued the fuselage parts together. This was a mistake.

The Fairchild Republic A-10 'Warthog'

Published: July 28th, 2019     
The Fairchild Republic A-10 'Warthog'
Author: Andy Evans
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: SAM Publications

Andy Evans is currently the Senior Editor for the SAM magazines Scale Military Modeller International and Model Aircraft Monthly. Andy has authored over a dozen books, including Crowood's Bae/McDonnell Douglas Harrier (1998), Crowood's Panavia Tornado (1999), Cassell's Combat Search & Rescue (1999)Warpaint Books' Sepecat Jaguar (2006), SAM's The British Aerospace Sea Harrier (2007), SAM's The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Part 1 (2007), Dalrymple & Verdun's The Nimrod (2007), SAM's The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Part 2 (2008), SAM's The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Part 3 (2008), SAM's The Grumman F-14 Tomcat (2008), SAM's The Bae (Hawker Siddeley) RAF Harrier (2010).