Hasegawa has re-released their -J Phantom II as a "Super Detail" edition with markings from VF-84 "Jolly Rogers". That skull and bones sure look great on the rudder. And you are even provided with a skull and bones patch to add to your own jacket!
The box has 8 grey sprues, one clear sprue (for a total of 132 pieces) and a photoetch fret, white metal parts and plastic rubber tires, plus one short run of a plastic rubber "hose", for detailing.
Assembly is pretty straightforward starting with the cockpit. Appropriate raised detail is provided in the side consoles and instrument panel to accept dry-brushing. Overall, the detail in the cockpit is simple, but acceptable under a closed canopy. Note that this being a Navy model it has the blanking plate on the right side of the backseat. I was not able to fit it without doing some modification to the part. I just kept having interference between the instrument panel and the blanking piece. Eventually decided to trim off about 2mm of the part and then I got a perfect fit.
Most modern model kits, although well detailed, could use some aftermarket parts to give the kit that extra "pop" of reality. Eduard has done such an accessory with their "Big Ed" kit for the 1/48 Great Wall Hobby T-33 kit. The "Big Ed" kit actually contains four items: a painted photoetched T-33 interior and exterior detail kit; painted photoetched steel seatbelts for the ejection seats; a photoetched set of landing flaps; and finally, a die-cut mask for the kit.
I started with the interior part of the interior/exterior set. Once bent and glued into place, the panels really add to the realism of the cockpits. I had trouble creating the bends on both photoetch part 10s, which are aircraft form holders. Another deviation that I highly recommend doing is to use the kit's flat backing on the instrument panel (the kit's instrument panels are designed as a sandwich, with a decal in the middle). Using the flat backing and Eduard's instrument panels results in a realistically thin panel. A drop of floor polish on each instrument and it looks ready to fly!
Convair's F-102A originated as a response to a requirement for a Mach 1+ interceptor fighter. Based upon the XF-92 research fighter, the F-102 became the U.S'. first delta-winged fighter. The triangular wing was named after the Greek letter D (delta), which it resembled in shape.
The kit comes molded in light grey plastic with a total of 97 parts with very little flash. The detail on the parts is quite good, with panel lines being represented by raised lines.
On the exhaust parts in Step 1, the afterburner and parts 86 and 87 should be sanded smooth before assembling the fuselage, as this area becomes almost impossible to work after assembly. There are ejector pin marks on the insides of both intake halves just inside of the air intake lips. As these will be seen from outside by looking down both intakes, I recommend sanding them smooth, along with painting the area silver or zinc chromate green.
If you are not familiar with Eduard kits then you might be confused by the differences between the five different types of kits that Eduard produces. (Content paraphrases content on the Eduard Website)
Overtree kits are very basic in content, with no reduction in the quality of molding or fit. There are no instructions, no decals, and no photoetch or resin. For a rather low price one gets the parts trees and that's it. We are talking a price in the range of $15.00 for some excellent parts sufficient to produce one model of high quality, but you will need to supply the instructions and decals from other sources. Overtree kits are not necessarily "easy" or "easier" to build than other Eduard editions of a particular subject, they simply contain the parts for one model and nothing else.
I still remember the commercials for the Mazda Wankel engined cars - like they hum. This was a pretty quick and simple build and was a pleasure to build
Engine: I have no idea about the size of the engine but it's a Wankel rotary engine. The parts fit together like they should with no flash. There is an option for a different carburetor and air filter. I used the stock unit. I didn't detail the engine to keep it an out of the box build.
Interior: Interior is just a basic tub. The gauges were strange because there's 3 gauges well engraved on the dash but the included decals have 2 large gauges and 3 smaller ones that didn't even come close to a match. I just detail painted the engraved pieces. The interior is also flocked.
As an exotic model car builder, I went bonkers when this kit became available as an IPMS review candidate. The Porsche 918 kit was initially introduced on the European model market by Revell of Germany, luckily Revell USA soon picked it up and re-boxed it for the United States market, the only difference was the boxing configuration. Your hobby shop may have both the Revell USA or Revell Germany versions, the only difference is boxing and pricing. Specifically, the 918 is an exotic hybrid vehicle; main power is generated by a 4.6 litre gasoline engine and is supplemented by two electric motors on both the front and rear axles. It has astonishing performance; 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds and 0-100 MPH in 4.9 seconds. Initial pricing of this car was a cool $845,000 less an electric federal income tax credit of $3,667 (like you and I need that for our income tax filing).
SAM Publications series of Modelers Datafiles cover a lot of ground in a single book. This one is on the Vought A-7 Corsair II, and it gives plenty of information in a single book that most modelers need when researching and building a model.
The A-7 was the replacement for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Even a casual observer can see that what Vought did was take their successful F-8 Crusader and shorten it. They also put a non-afterburning turbofan engine in there, improving range and fuel economy. And with the advances in electronics and weapons in the 1960s, the A-7 was a very accurate bomb-dropper, and it could carry a pretty good load of various weapons.
The book consists of the following sections
The 1982 Firebird, with its sibling, the Chevy Camaro, introduced GM's third generation of F Body sports coupes. For 1982, the Firebird was downsized from previous models, and featured new styling with an added emphasis on aerodynamics, and was offered in three trim options, with the V8 powered Trans Am being the top end performance version.
We would like to thank Round 2 for providing us with this reissue of MPC's 1/16 scale Firebird kit. This kit is rated at Skill Level 3, and has 158 parts, all neatly bagged inside of the large, reinforced box. Inside the box are two bags of white plastic parts, another bag holding the white plastic body and chassis, a bag with the chrome plated parts, a bag with the hollow vinyl Goodyear tires, and a final bag containing the clear windshield and back glass, tinted optional T tops, and clear red taillight panel. This model has posable front wheels, and opening doors and hood. It has several optional parts, such as components for a removable T top roof, side exhaust, hoods, and a twin turbo setup for its V8 engine.
Hobbico and Italeri USA once again earn appreciation from IPMS USA for providing a sample of a long-awaited product, the Italeri 1/32 F-35 Lightning II. Of course, the usual bow and thanks go to IPMS USA leadership for sending me this kit!
This kit is a medium sized box containing Italeri's standard medium gray plastic, yellow-tinted clear canopy and other parts, a photoetch fret for some details, a small sheet of masking for only some/part of the Low-observable (LO) panels, and an excellenft Cartograf decal sheet with markings for US, Israeli, British, Australian, and Netherlands users.
Initial impression is good; the weapons bay will be the hard part, and this was proven out in construction. The detail is there and if you are not in a hurry will reward you with an excellent focus point for your efforts.
The next Cyber-Hobby Orange Box offering is a Red Army M4A2(76) tank. A total of 4,102 M4A2 medium tanks were sent to the U.S.S.R. under Lend-Lease during WWII. To make the kit more valuable, the kit includes a fine 1/35 scale Maxim machine gun as well!Opening the Box
This thin, side-opening Dragon box is filled with a nice amount of parts. The sprues are molded in light grey plastic and have some really detailed cast textures and weld seams.
The kit includes:
- Seven sprues
- One clear sprue
- One small cable
- Two small sheets of PE
- Two lengths of DS track
- One gun mantlet cover made of the same DS material
- One small decal sheet
They provide decals for two tanks:
The normal thanks to Ross at SAC and his working crew for developing and producing an excellent metal set to replace the kit items, and IPMS USA for providing it to me to use!
Once again the jackpot is hit with another SAC gear replacement set. For the unaware, the Italeri 1/32 F-35A is a rather weighty model, and the kit gear is provided in multiple parts, all plastic. SAC does a few modifications such as incorporating the kit side braces into the main gear and nose gear, and molding them in one part each. With 13 total metal parts, including drag braces and extensions, shimmy damper and steering pump, this set makes a simple kit addition. This, when installed and combined with the trunnions and drag braces, makes a sturdy arrangement.
The other thing: once again the actual aircraft has an offset half-fork nose gear, which will not survive construction, much less sitting on a shelf for any length of time. The SAC gear handles this all with a shrug. Let me explain.
Rick Morgan graduated from the University of Missouri in 1978 and joined the US Navy. His US Navy career included over 2,400 flight hours in the EA-6B Prowler and other naval aircraft with 41 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. His website claims he achieved 447 and 1/2 carrier landings.
I'm afraid to ask about the 1/2 carrier landing.... Rick contributed articles to the "The Hook" prolifically, twice being awarded "Contributor of the Year". He has a deep interest in aviation and trains. Rick has been published by Schiffer and Osprey Publishing. He currently works in the aviation industry somewhere in the Midwest (I'm guessing Missouri). Check out his web page at rickmorganbooks.com
Illustrator Jim Laurier, a native of New England, provides the color profiles. Jim has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and has been featured in hundreds of aviation books.
This kit is the first armor kit in the 1/35 Platz line from Dragon. They have taken the Panzer IV from their Girls Und Panzer line, re-boxed it and gave it new decals and instruction sheet. The molding is from 2012 and has about 175 parts, with DS tracks. This is quite a reduction in parts then from other Dragon kits. Slide molding technology allows Dragon to mold past subassemblies into one or two pieces. The box is overall white with just a black strip and one picture of the tank, no real box art like other Dragon kits.
This detail set by Hauler provides numerous license plate frames in different shapes for WWII German vehicles. The set is a steel photoetch fret that is 1 1/8"x3 7/8". The PE pieces have a slight curl to them. This set provides only the backing plate for licenses, but no decals or stickers are provided for the actual license plate graphic. Mounting brackets are not provided either.
There are 33 license plates provided in the following sizes in millimeters (width x height):
- 6 - 14x3 rounded corners
- 6 - 9x5 rounded corners
- 3 - 6x4 rounded corners, no edging
- 3 - 10x3 rounded corners, no edging
- 6 - 9x6 notched corners
- 6 - 14x3 square corners
- 3 - 9x6 rounded corners
The photoetch pieces are thin and closer in scale than base kit plastic pieces. These license frames are a good option to replace thick (or lost) plastic kit pieces.
Thanks to Hauler for providing the review sample to IPMS.
The "Effie" pickup trunk have always held me in awe, possibly because a long time ago in another life, I was building a '53 into a street machine.
Engine: The engine appears to be a small block Ford with Roush refinements. The parts fit very well. I was unable to put the supplied Rouch decals on the valve covers because my decal sheet disintegrated.
Interior: Door panel and dash engraving was very crisp and easy to detail paint. Side panels are separate pieces which makes for easier painting. The interior is also flocked. There are no options for the interior but it is extremely well done for such a small space.
Developed by the McDonnell Douglas Company, the F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two seat, all-weather, supersonic fighter-bomber. It is one of the most famous aircraft in military aviation history. The F-4 entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy but was also adopted by the USMC and USAF. The F-4 stayed in the service of the U.S. military until 1996, but other countries have kept it in use up to 2017 (Japan). The F-4E version, specifically developed for the USAF, adopted a M61 Vulcan cannon in the nose, and it could be armed with AIM-9 sidewinder and AIM-7 Sparrow air to air missiles to perform air-superiority missions. With two GE J-79 engines, the F-4E could reach the top speed of 1,240 knots (1426 mph). Speed, thrust, and reliability were the Phantom II strengths able to successfully counterbalance its reduced maneuverability due to its size.
I've always liked modern Russian/Soviet aircraft and have several in the works (Su-27, MiG-31, MiG-21). Seeing the opportunity to review this pilot figure sounded like a prime chance to add a little spice to one of them (whenever I get them finished!). Though this particular figure is listed as a Su-27 pilot, my research showed that the uniform and gear is applicable to pilots of most other modern Russian fighter and attack aircraft.
No assembly at all is required on this guy, just a little cleanup, priming, and painting. The cleanup was minimal, with just a few bits of stray resin and what looked like a couple of seam lines along the legs. Just a few minutes with a sharp scalpel blade and a fine grit sanding stick was all that it took to get the figure ready for scrubbing and priming. I usually use Dawn dishwashing soap, hot water, and a toothbrush to clean up and left over mold release agents. That worked well and, after drying for 24 hours, the figure was sprayed with Tamiya Fine primer. Another 24 hour drying time for the primer and it was ready for paint.
Mark E. Stille (Commander, United States Navy, retired) received his BA in History from the University of Maryland and also holds an MA from the Naval War College. He has worked in the intelligence community for 35 years including tours on the faculty of the Naval War College, on the Joint Staff and on US Navy ships. He is currently a senior intelligence analyst working in the Washington DC area. He is the author of at least two dozen Osprey titles in the New Vanguard, Duel, and Campaign series, primarily focusing on naval history in the Pacific.
When I first inquired about reviewing "Shadow Over the Atlantic", I assumed it would be of a similar format many of Osprey's "Combat Aircraft" or "Aircraft of the Aces" softcover series of books. It turned out this is a hardback book, and is a much more in-depth volume than those from the standard Osprey series. I am a huge fan of those softcover books, but they always leave me wanting more!
"Shadow Over the Atlantic" is a detailed history of Fernaufklarungsgruppe (FAGr) 5, which operated Ju290 aircraft on long-range reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic
To fully appreciate the lengths to which the author went in researching this book, I highly suggest one reads the introduction and author's notes sections in the first several pages. Forsyth obtained an account of FAGr5 written by the former chief of the "staff company" of the Group, based on his records and memories. Starting with this unique and somewhat arcane source, the author spent several years conducting further research, the result of which is this title.
David Doyle's latest book is one of the initial entries into a new series called 'Legends of Warfare' with entries in Ground, Naval, and Aviation. The first Ground book is focused on the Panzerkampfwagen IV, the first Naval book is on the USS Yorktown (CV-5), and the first two Aviation books are on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (#4) and Douglas TBD Devastator (#3). The first and second in the series (Wayne Mutza's Bell 47/H-13 Sioux Helicopter is #1 and David Doyle's Grumman F4F Wildcat at #2) are scheduled to release later this year.