While Kagero has an established reputation for quality books that modelers appreciate and use on their reference shelves, they have recently upped their game with the new introduction of the inCombat series. Number 08 in the series is History of the 40/43M ZrÍnyi Assault Howitzer. As a fan of obscure armored vehicles, this book had a timely arrival, especially as I am in the process of painting Bronco Models’ Hungarian 44.M ‘Zrinyi’ I 75mm Assault Gun (the differences between the variants are clearly spelled out in this detailed book).
The Focke Wulf FW-190 was produced in very large numbers during World War II, and was used by Luftwaffe and other German allies until the end of the war. Since the aircraft probably exhibited a wider variety of camouflage schemes and markings than any other World War II fighter, it has become a favorite of modelers throughout the world, and over 100 kits have been produced of this aircraft in 1/72 scale alone, not to mention 1/48/ 1/32, and 1/144 scales. This issue only covers the FW-190A-2 through FW-190A-9, and does not include any of the prototypes or the FW-190D-9 or TA-152 series.
During the last part of the nineteen thirties, the U.S. Navy was in the process of replacing its biplanes with higher performing monoplanes. The Curtiss SBC “Helldiver” dive bomber was being replaced by the Vought Sikorsky SB2U “Vindicator”, and the Martin T4M’s were being replaced by the Douglas TBD-1 “Devastator” monoplanes. Grumman’s last biplane, the F3F-2, was just entering service when the decision was made to equip Navy fighter squadrons with monoplanes.
Air Vice-Marshal Johnnie Johnson, CB,CBE, DSO & Two Bars, DFC & Bar, DL, the highest scoring Royal Air Force pilot of World War II, had a diverse and very interesting background, as he was able to infiltrate the ranks of the RAF, which tended to favor the admission of the upper classes. Johnson was very middle class, and achieved his position through his quality as a man, not his position in British society. There have been a number of books written about Johnson’s life and career, but this book takes a different approach, consisting entirely of photos taken of him or of the people he associated with, and sometimes even of the airplanes he flew. These are captioned, giving explanations of what was going on, and who was involved. Johnson comes through as a very human character, someone you would like to associate with if you had the chance.
This model kit recreates the Grumman F-14A Tomcat. The F-14A Tomcat U.S. Navy Fighter is famous for being the first mass-production and the most-produced model among the F-14 series. This kit realistically depicts the F-14A Tomcat (Late Model) - in service from the late 1980s to the early 2000s- with wings featuring separate flaps and slats. The kit includes one crew figure and paper flight deck sheet for use on a super realistic diorama set.
Armor builders have long used photo etch parts to get realistic thickness of parts. So why wouldn’t they want the same in the smaller scales? With Tamiya revitalizing the 1/48th scale armor market it was just a natural fit. The latest is the Soviet T-55 and Hauler has you covered.
Inside of a resealable package are two light grey resin pour blocks that feature new ammo boxes and some lights. These are way too small to produce accurately in injection plastic. In addition to the resin pieces are THREE frets of brass photo etch. To say that this set is comprehensive is an understatement. There isn’t a part of the basic kit that isn’t touched by the photo etch. You will need a magnifier to use some of these parts. The finesse is exceptional. Besides grills, there are latches and supports for the fuel drums, which are beautifully rendered. The turret and driver’s hatch get the PE touch inside and out.
Based out of Austria, Harpia Publishing specializes in the more esoteric aspects of military aviation, and boasts some of the most knowledgeable authors in their respective fields. The result is a catalog of books with very detailed accounts of Egyptian, Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Asian, and various African air forces.
The HK B-17F & G are really nice kits. Much nicer than the venerable Monogram B-17G and the Revell B-17F, however there are some areas where I prefer the older kit. One of those areas is the engines.
There are a variety of companies that have made update sets for the engines. For me the best and easiest to use is this Aires set.
Packaged in the typical Aires cardboard box are four beautiful engines. The detail is exceptional with the cooling fins on the cylinders being the deal cincher for me. Included in the box are the four engines and four ‘banks’ of push rods with plenty of extras. There are also four spacers included. Also in the box is a fret of brass ignition leads for the cylinders. Illustrated instructions are also included.
A quick way to add detail to your FW-190A-5 through D-11 is to open up an access hatch or two. These are often found open or missing on crashed or abandoned aircraft. Aires provides you a way to do that now on your late FW-190.
Packaged in a self-contained baggie with a cardboard backing to prevent damage are three light grey resin pieces. They show exquisite detail and are flawlessly cast. A fret of photo etch pieces is also included. The instructions are printed on light blue paper with easy-to-follow directions. The first part of the addition is the parts prep, which is easy to do. This will just take some painting to bring alive.
The ICM Do-217N-1 is a nice kit but it could use some updates. One of the big ones is in the propeller blades and prop hub. The kit offering is not quite correct in shape and the prop blade profile is off slightly with the propeller tips being a little too pointy.
Quickboost recognized this and offers up this easy and convenient prop set. Included in the typical resealable bag with card stock backing are eight propeller blades and two spinners. The only thing missing is a tool to set the angle of the blades. Removal of the parts is simple enough. You will have to drill a center hole to mount the spinner with the props installed. This will require some brass, not included, or some other form of support. You could always just mount the prop spinners directly to the cowlings.