It had to end eventually. After nearly a 40-year run in the Japanese Air Self Defense Force’s (JASDF) venerable Phantoms were finally retired in 2020. Several model companies re-released their RF-4 / F-4 kits to commemorate the myriad of markings worn by these Phinal Phantoms at the end of their JASDF careers. Platz was no exception and one such release included the RF-4E Recce Phantom with the forest camouflage. Markings for 3 different machines in the squadron were included in the kit.
Scale Aircraft Conversions now has over thirty years of experience supplying resin and white metal parts to model builders, and their product listing continues to expand. This is the eleventh landing gear set from SAC that I have reviewed, and once again, they have provided an excellent metal option for kit-supplied landing gear. This set is intended for the 1/48 scale MiG-15 released by Tamiya (I have kits 89535 (silver color plated) and 89573 (clear edition) in my stash while other releases include the original 61043, 61080 (clear edition re-release), and 89729 with GAZ-67B)). The purpose of this replacement set is to provide stronger landing gear that is adjustable if necessary to obtain the proper angles. Even with no previous experience in using white metal parts, this set will provide an upgrade that most modelers will have no issue installing.
Ford GT40 Mk.II ‘66
Developed by the Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby to end the dominance of Ferrari in the preeminent 24 Hours of LeMans, the Ford GT40 Mk.II become an iconic American built race car. After failing to finish the race in 1965, the Ford GTs finished 1-2-3 in 1966 in a humiliating loss for Ferrari. As three GT40s took the lead in the final laps. Ford executives ordered race leading Ken Miles in the No. 1 car to slow down and let the other two GT40s catch up, for a photo of all three cars crossing the finish line together. When everyone thought Miles had won, the race officials announced that the No. 2 car driven by Bruce McLaren was the winner. Though the two cars crossed the finish line at the same time, the No. 2 car had driven a longer distance as it started about 20 meters behind the No. 1 car. The victory was Ford's first win in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, making Ford the first American manufacturer to win at Le Mans.
The kit consists of 14 nicely cast resin pieces, one fret of PE parts and a small decal sheet. I found no bubbles, voids or “mushy” casting, however, as can be seen in the photos, there is more resin contained in the casting blocks than in the kit parts. These are quite frankly huge and removing them is the single biggest chore in assembly. I used a Dremel tool saw to cut the largest parts off, then a Dremel sander to remove most of the rest and sandpaper and files to finish off the job. The PE parts are nicely done, but are tiny! A good Opti-visor or microscope is advisable when working with them. The model is solid, so there is no chance to “open it up” and add an interior.
Information from the Product Web Page
The Bf 109 F (Friedrich) is the successor of the E version with the same engine in the DB 601E version - produced from the turn of 1940/1941. However, the airframe changed the external appearance completely: a new propeller cap was used, the front part of the fuselage was completely changed using a more rounded engine cover and the shape of the wings was changed from rectangular to rounded. The maximum speed at a ceiling of 6,000 m was 635 km/h. It was armed with two MG 17s and one MG 151 cannon.
Brengun Models is a scale model and detailing parts manufacturer located in the Czech Republic. Their lines include limited production run multi-media kits and exquisitely detailed photo-etched, turned brass and white metal replacement parts for aircraft in the most commonly produced scales.
Brengun has produced a set of engine nozzles for any 1/72 scale F/A-18E/F Super Hornet kit. The parts should fit the F/A-18G Growler kits as well. Any modeler familiar with resin parts will have no issues installing these exhausts in lieu of the kit parts. A close-up evaluation of the parts (see photos), indicates a simple cut and replace installation that provides realistic scale-detailed exhaust cans and afterburner rings with significantly improved appearance to molded plastic kit parts. The photo comparison is to the exhausts supplied in the 1/72 Hasegawa F/A-18E kit. The Brengun exhausts have superior component detail to those supplied in the Hasegawa kit.
ICM continues with its fascinating series of Chernobyl “instant dioramas” with the latest being a scene depicting the evacuation of civilians from the threatened region around the power plant disaster. In this case, five figures are provided, along with an apartment balcony, a small pot and a printed background to bring it all together.
The figures include one older gentleman, a young man and woman, and a somewhat matronly mother with young daughter. All are excellently sculpted and show lots of individual character along with natural poses. If there is any objection to the sculpting, it’s that none of the figures display the level of abject terror that I, personally, would be undergoing if such a thing were happening to me. In fact, all of the poses appear to be relatively relaxed. Maybe no one really knew what was happening.
Prolific Ukraine-based ICM has apparently set its sights on the competitive acrylic paint market. First out of the gate is nicely packaged six-bottle paint set specifically catered to their new 1/35th scale release of a German Marder I based on the French FCM 36 chassis (see separate IPMS review here).
The box set comes with six bottles and a fold-out chart listing 77 colors and three varnishes, as well as a color swatch sheet. The chart compares the color range to the most popular current offerings, including AK Interactive, Tamiya, Humbrol, Vallejo, Gunze/Mr. Hobby, Testors/Model Master, RLM, RAL, FS, Revell, AKI Real Colors, and Citadel. The range being offered is broken into 60 basic colors, 6 clear colors, 11 metallics, plus 3 varnishes (gloss, matte, and satin).
Prolific ICM is back again with another new offering – this time it is in the form of a re-purposed, French FCM 36-based Tank Destroyer, designated the Marder I. This diminutive vehicle is actually (physically) larger than its other ‘Marder I’-designated cousins, the Lorraine and Hotchkiss-based vehicles. ICM’s kit sports a single piece barrel with a two-part muzzle brake and poly/nylon track that comes in four pieces. A nice, three-piece exhaust is rendered at the rear, and enough 75mm plastic rounds are included to fill two ammunition racks in the fighting compartment.
ICM is not only producing a lot of new kits these days, but they have also introduced a line of acrylic paints, a few of which were used in this build. A separate IPMS review of these paints can be found here.
Overview from Publisher
“By 1944 the German army was on the defensive on all fronts and Allied bombing was putting increasing pressure on the nation's industrial output. Since the earliest days of the war the Germans had experimented with mounting anti-tank weapons on obsolete chassis and one of the most successful of these would prove to be the Jagdpanzer 38, more often referred to today as the Hetzer . Small and unimposing the Hetzers appearance belied its effectiveness. Armed with the powerful 7.5cm L/48 gun, the same weapon fitted to the Jadgpanzer IV, the Hetzer featured armour sloped armour plates of up to 60mm thickness and was capable of a top speed of 42 kilometres per hour. Almost 3,000 examples were assembled. Its low cost and ease of production meant that it was Germany's most important tank killer of the late war period.