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Updated: 2 hours 33 sec ago

Eduard F-35A Masks

6 hours 23 min ago
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Although the canopy is not complex, it needs to be masked both inside and outside.  The frame lines are faint in some areas and using the Eduard masks make the job much easier. There are 10 individual pieces for the inside of the canopy and 6 for the outside.  All follow the frame lines, are easy to place and fit perfectly


The EOTS sensor cover on the bottom of the aircraft is also covered in the Eduard set.  This piece has molded frames, but once again, they are inconsistent in how sharp they are molded.  The pre-cut masks again fit perfectly and are easy to place.


Eduard also includes masks for the wheels so you can paint the tires in whatever black you want to use and then apply the mask and paint the wheels.  Once again, these fit perfectly to the kit wheels.  There is also a mask for the landing light.


This masking set is a great timesaver and I would highly recommend it to anyone building the Italeri 1/32 F-35A. I would like to thank Eduard and IPMS for giving me the opportunity to use and review this mask set. 

Eduard F-35A Seatbelts Steel Zoom PE Set

6 hours 30 min ago
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This set is designed for the Italeri 1/32 scale F-35A Lightning II kit.  This set contains 1 sheet of pre-painted, etched steel seatbelts and ejection pull handle. The instructions are the normal Eduard instructions with clear drawings showing where the PE parts go and what details need to be removed from the kit plastic parts.

There is only one step to the instructions and the only kit modification is to cut off the ejection pull handle ring from the kit part 42F.  I cut a slot in the remaining plastic part and glued the Eduard ring into that slot to make a stronger joint.  The instructions show just gluing the ring on top of the modified kit part.  I also painted on a coat of Microscale Krystal Klear to the ring to give it more bulk so it didn't look so flat.  After the Krystal Klear dried, I put a satin coat over it to dull down the shine.  The pre-painted detail on the ring is much better than I could ever paint thus making the etched piece is a huge improvement over the kit piece.

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1966 Chevy Suburban

8 hours 5 min ago
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The '66 Suburban is a modified tooling of Revell's '64-'66 Chevy pickup kits. The kit is nicely detailed, and complete, right down to separate lenses for all lights, interior mirror and dome, decal and "glass" for the instrument panel, and decals for the seat upholstery.

In this release of the kit, it can only be built stock, and no custom parts are included. Which was just fine for me, because I am an avid replica stock builder! I chose correct '66 Chevy truck light green and white for my model, with the correct light gold colored interior, and the correct greyish shade for the engine block. 

The box model shows an incorrect (for trucks) orange engine. My kit was built box stock, EXCEPT for the chrome. The bumpers, hub caps, and grille were stripped of the kit chrome, and sprayed white to represent the lower line Suburban. Chrome was an option on these parts, so it may be built with chrome as well. I also flipped the kit supplied tires around and used the side without the white wall insert, as by '66, wide whitewalls were not offered from GM. I then used my white gel pen to paint the correct whitewalls on the kit supplied tires.

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Reid Air/Speed Hunter Graphics Big Scale Eagles

12 hours 41 min ago
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Speed Graphics is that sub-part of Reid Air products which have focused (initially) on Modern Fighters, particularly USAF and some export birds.  Their line-up to date is small but impressive. Thanks to Reid Air for sending IPMS USA this review item,  to Dave for the nod to move out on them, and Dick for bringing the sheet to the Nationals for me.

This release is a complex, well-researched product.  Designed for Tamiya's venerable, accurate, F-15C and E kits in the huge 1/32 scale, this is a great place to start your aerie for Eagles.  Better have a new addition to the house as well.  For the record, this kit was built up to the point of decal use and application/finishing, due to this being a Decal review and not a total kit review.

For the record, here is the content description from the website on the sheet:

"Sized for the relatively-ignored Tamiya F-15, this 1/32 sheet includes options for one of eight Eagles. Stencils are included for one F-15C and one F-15E, so two jets can be built from this single sheet.

Options include:

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Bf 109F-4

14 hours 39 min ago
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Entering service in June 1941, the Bf 109F (Friedrich) corrected some of the limitations revealed in the Battle of Britain, namely the ability to carry extra fuel in a drop tank under the centerline. Other distinguishing features included strutless tail planes and a refined nose profile. Personally, I always associated the Friedrich with Hans-Joachim Marseille who scored many of his 158 victories in this version of Messerschmitt's ubiquitous fighter.

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Bobcat Hobby Yak-28P “Firebar”

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 00:12
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If you are fan of Soviet and Russian aircraft, the model gods are listening and continue to produce kits which fill gaps in coverage in 1/48. A-model had released the Yak-28 family of jets in 1/72 and now it looks as if Bobcat Hobby will do the same in 1/48. This is a straight styrene-only kit, with a manageable parts count.

First out of the gate is the Yak-28P "Firebar". Never exported, this was a Soviet interceptor from the 1960s and 1970's that had that classic Soviet propaganda appearance. A stable flight platform, it carried a more powerful radar and complex weapons systems than the single engine interceptors. It was eventually replaced by the Mig-23 family. Since it was only in Soviet service, and has been out of service for 35 years, few reference photos are available. The best source of photos, are walk-arounds of preserved airframes, but many of these aircraft are incomplete and there are no clear cockpits photos, except for a few period shots.

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T-15 Armata Object 149

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 08:25
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The T-15 is a new vehicle designed for the Russian inventory as an infantry support vehicle, possibly as a replacement for the venerable BMP 2. The T-15 is concept based on the T-14 MBT tank hull. Due to the nature of the T-14 being designed to have multiple versions, the T-15 is the same hull that has a different automated turret installed. This turret is designed with infantry support in mind with a 2A42 30 mm auto-cannon, a 7.62 mm coaxial PKT and two sets of Kornet-EM anti-tank missiles. Panda Hobby's new kit is the first attempt at this interesting new vehicle.

The instructions are pretty standard for Panda kits, printed on glossy paper with clear part breakdowns. In a few steps the parts locations can be a little vague but for the most part the instructions are great. They did tend to fall apart with use, the staples tended to pull through the paper easily. The kit parts are very well molded in a heavy dark green plastic and the individual link tracks are molded in a light brown. I didn't really find and molding issues and I had almost no issues with flash or broken parts.

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F-16C Baby Got Fullback Aggressors Decals

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 08:16
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The F-16 has been around a long time and there are so many different schemes you can build one in. This new sheet by Two Bobs covers 3 aircraft in a couple of Aggressor schemes with the 57th Wing, 64th Aggressor Squadron.

The first is in the "Shark" scheme and includes some vinyl masks for the false dielectic EW panels to mimic what is on the SU-34. This thoughtful inclusion will make masking those very easy.

The other two aircraft both wear the attractive "Splinter" scheme. There are a couple of minor differences in the markings between the two aircraft and these are spelled out nicely in the full color instructions.

Two Bobs website recommends either the Academy or Tamiya F-16C kits but does say they are sized for the Tamiya kit.

The decals are well printed in perfect register and should behave nicely when applied

FS colors are included for each scheme so you can pick your favorite paint and create a great model. There are also some stencils included.

Thanks to Two Bobs and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

Hasegawa Hubble Space Telescope with Space Shuttle Orbiter and Astronauts Limited Edition

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 00:55
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This is a re-issue of an older kit, with this being a Limited edition kit featuring a new display stand, Hubble, Shuttle, and three resin astronauts. It is an excellent kit in the Hasegawa range and is very easy to build as long as you watch the instruction details carefully.

In the box is;

  • 2 x Black Sprues
  • 2 x White Sprues
  • 1 x clear Sprue
  • 1 x clear Blue stand
  • 1 x Grey Sprue
  • 1 x Chrome
  • 1 x Decal sheet
  • 1 x Wire
  • 1 x Stand thick curved wire
  • 1x Instruction booklet

The sprues are extremely well molded with no flash and great detail. The decals allow you to finish the shuttle in three different shuttles.


Stage 1 Assembly begins with the fuselage and cargo bay. This is very easy, I would suggest adding hatches to the Docking block as it looks wrong without them as they are not included in the kit. There are some ejector pin marks inside the cargo bay which need removing. Also you need to paint the interior of the cockpit black at this stage as this makes the completed kit look better.

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Eduard Hellcat Mk I Weekend Edition

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 00:03
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I already have Eduard's excellent F6F-3 Hellcat in US Navy markings in my growing stash waiting for my skills to catch up to the beauty of the kit.  I am no expert on the Hellcat, so when Eduard announced their Royal Navy markings "Weekend" version of an already well received 1/48 version of this aircraft, I jumped at the chance to do a review build as a warm-up.  The Hellcat's history is well known and extensively documented, so let's get on with impressions of this 1/48 scale plastic version.

This kit issue (#8435) is the identical mold tooling as Eduard's previous issue in other markings.  The difference being the inclusion of the plastic sprues only, without the photo-etch, masks and/or resin included in their higher priced, more detailed offerings (which are now out of stock on Eduard's website). 

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Modern Soviet Pilot with HUD

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 22:28
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A perfect addition to your diorama or display base is this Aires Aerobonus figure.  This Russian Pilot figure is designed to be used with any modern Russian aircraft or helicopter.  Aires Aerobonus provides a resin figure with separate arms and head on one pour stub with side bars to protect the figure.  Of note is the re-sealable packaging that Quickboost uses that makes the parts easy to review and then stuff back into the package securely. The supplied instructions provide color drawings for painting. 

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Reid air/Speed Hunter Heritage Vipers 1/48

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 19:57
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Speed Graphics is that sub-part of Reid Air products which have focused (initially) on Modern Fighters, particularly USAF and some export birds.  Their line-up is impressive, filled with USAFE , PACAF, and Stateside Rhinos and Vipers... take a look.  Thanks to Reid Air for sending IPMS USA this set, to Dave for the nod to move out on them, and Dick for bringing the sheet to the Nationals for me.


This release is a complex, well-researched product.  Designed for Tamiya's superlative-laden F-16 series, you can build from an early block 10 Viper all through the block 42.  Invest heavily in the aggressor version, as you will need it to properly configure your jet, or you can go the resin route and have an AMS feast.   Your budget limits the choice.


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Eduard 1/72 Spitfire Mk. XVI Bubbletop, Profipak Edition

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 19:41
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The Spitfire is probably one of the most famous  fighters to emerge from the World War II era, combining performance, beauty, and reliability in one exceptional airframe.  Its story has been told repeatedly over the years, so I won't retell it here.  The Mk. XVI was a development of the Mk. IX, a Merlin-powered variant, and the basic difference between the Mk. IX and the Mk. XVI was the American build Packard-Rolls Royce Merlin used in the later mark.  Most Mk. XVI's had "bubble" type canopies, although a few of the first had the standard Spitfire faired in type. Over 1,000 were built during the last year of the war, and the type was used by the tactical Air Force as well as Fighter Command.  Many served postwar until replacement by jet fighters.


Nearly every reference work on fighter aircraft of the World war II era has extensive coverage of the Spitfire.  Squadron has a good series, and the "Walk Around" series provides good detail photo coverage.  There is certainly no shortage of information available on the Spitfire.

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Bf 109F-4 Weekend

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 11:06
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This is a detail set for the excellent Bf 109F-4 (kit84146) from Eduard that I wrote up in a separate review. Another in the "Zoom" sets this includes the instrument panel, rudder pedals, seat harnesses and other small cockpit details. There are radiator faces for front and back, screens for the tropical filter and the actuator arms for the filter cap. One important addition is the tail reinforcement strips added to the "F" series aircraft after a structural weakness was revealed. Topping off the set are some details for the canopy and antennas.

As with all the Zoom sets I've used from Eduard this one is worth the instrument panel and seat harnesses alone. I used all but the tiniest parts and am really happy with the results. Highly recommended the addition to an already outstanding kit.

Thank you to Eduard for the sample and to IPMS for this forum to share it with you.

B-239 Buffalo ‘ Finnish Air Force Aces Combo Part 2’

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 10:51
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The B-239 Finnish Brewster Buffalo was an export version of the F2A-1 U.S. Navy Buffalo that was de-navalized by removing the tailhook, life-raft containers, cockpit armor and not having self-sealing fuel tanks. They were then equipped with a lower horsepower engine. All of these changes made for a lot lighter and maneuverable aircraft.

This kit is a re-release of their earlier kit and is the 2nd set from the original Finnish Aces combo, designated as Part 2. This time it includes 2 kits like Part 1 and a new set of decals with 3 different paint schemes from Aces of the Finnish Air Force. There are 8 sprues of parts with 12 extra parts that would be used for different versions; these are perfect for adding to the spares box. The decal options in this kit are:

1.LeLv 24, Pilot Major Eino Luukkanen, Nov.1942

2.LeLv 24, pilot W. O. Eino llmari Juutilainen, March 1942

3.LeLv 24, Pilot Lt. Hans Wind, January 1943

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Export Vipers Decals

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 10:37
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This sheet features markings for some of the more unique and colorful F-16s in use around the world. These decals are sized for the Tamiya series of F-16 kits. There are enough stencils to model two complete F-16s in 1/48. The package includes one 8 1/4 in. x 10 1/4 in. decal sheet, stencil guide, and walkway marking layout. The decal sheet is packed full of decals, some extremely small, but even the smallest are crisp and clear.

Paint & marking guides are provided for the following aircraft:

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F-16C Falcon 'Desert Storm Vipers' 388TFW Al Minhad AB

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 10:05
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These decals are intended for the Tamiya series of F-16 C Desert Storm Vipers of the 388th TFW, Al Minhad AFB. The Tamiya Aggressor kits are preferred as these are mostly early Block 40 jets. Modeling notes are included so the decals can also be used on the Hasegawa kits as well.

10 marking options are provided:

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Aggressor Vipers F-16C/D Decals

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 09:52
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These decals are intended for the Tamiya series of F-16 C/D Viper aircraft of the 64th AGRS and 414th CTS Squadrons from Nellis AFB. Modeling notes are included so the decals can also be used on the Hasegawa kits. The Tamiya Aggressor kits are preferred, however the ANG kits can be used as well. These are all block 25/32 jets.

18 marking options are provided:

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Spotlight On: Northrop F-5E & F-5F Tiger II

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 09:34
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Alexandre Guedes was born in 1975 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Alexandre has always had a love for drawing, painting, and building scale models where military and civil aviation has been his primary focus.  He created a design company, Communication and Design Tentacle where he directs graphic design projects, signage projects, and advertising campaigns.  His Facebook page, Alexandre.Guedes.Design Facebook, was initiated in January 2016.  Be sure to check it out!

Alexandre Guedes begins with a one-page introduction to the Northrop Tiger II and then dives into the color illustrations.  There are forty-two color side profiles depicting both sides of twenty-one Northrop Tiger II aircraft.  Where appropriate, enlarged scrap views focus on unique markings.  Where possible, camouflage colors are provided with FS numbers.  The aircraft include examples from around the world as noted in the Table of Contents below.

The Table of Contents includes the following sections:

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The Splintered Empires: The Eastern Front 1917-21

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:43
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That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical written and directed by Tom Hanks in his directorial debut; he also co-stars in it. Set in the summer of 1964, the film tells the story of the rise and fall of a one-hit wonder pop band. The film also resulted in a musical hit with the song "That Thing You Do". (Wikipedia)

One of the more memorable lines from the film involves one member (Steve Zahn) of the band, reflecting upon their collective fate, asking another member (Tom Everett Scott), "How did we get here?" His response is "I led you here, sir, for I am Spartacus."

It is often mentioned that the execution of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo by Serbian nationalists was the catalyst for the beginning of the First World War. While that event did have an effect, forces were already in motion prior to that circumstance that really laid the foundation for that war.

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