IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoIPMS/USA

IPMS LogoIPMS/USA

Subscribe to IPMS/USA Reviews feed
Updated: 17 hours 17 min ago

Tamiya Decal Solution Mark Fit and Mark Fit Strong

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 19:36
Product Image

In recent years Tamiya has expanded their model line to include finishing supplies like panel line accents, diorama materials, decal setting solutions, etc.

This particular review will cover the following decal setting solutions :

Tamiya Mark Fit: MSRP: $3.90, Stock: 8710; https://www.tamiyausa.com/items/paints-finishes-60/finishing-supplies-62000/mark-fit-87102,

Tamiya Mark Fit Strong: MSRP: $4.50, Stock: 87102; https://www.tamiyausa.com/items/paints-finishes-60/finishing-supplies-62000/mark-fit-(strong)-87135

Like all decal solutions, and most modeling supplies, make sure you use them in a well ventilated area. While the Mark Fit solution is not that smelly, the Mark Fit Strong has a strong vinegar smell and both have a warning about fumes being dangerous.

read more

MiG-31Pitot Tube

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 19:16
Product Image

A feature that you can quickly notice on modern Russian aircraft is the complicated nose pitot tube. Although AMK made a valiant effort in molding the MiG-31 pitot tube with its four separate vanes, the limits of the injection molding process come into play.

Notable is the superb re-sealable packaging that Master Model uses that makes the parts easy to review and then stuff back into the package securely until final assembly. The resin vane section is secured in a high density foam block that is backed with some sort of adhesive tape to minimize the resin vanes from being moved around, or crushed for that matter. You will want to be careful handling the metal and resin parts as their small size makes them an easy sacrifice to the carpet monster. The resin part is especially easy to break one or more of the vanes in handling (as I had happen on a previous Master pitot set), so be sure to handle with care.

read more

F-14A grilles - Tamiya

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 00:34
Product Image

Eduard has once again raised the bar for the detail industry with the addition of their steel photoetched parts. This particular set is to add or replace grills on the Tamiya F-14A kit, but the items should work on other 1/48 scale Tomcats as well. I would highly recommend this set to folks wanting to add additional grill detail to their Tomcat.

Along with some other recent Eduard releases for the 1/48 scale Tamiya F-14A Tomcat comes a set to dress up the various grills found on the plane. I found the ones located on the underside of the aircraft, inboard of the engine intakes, truly unique as they include what appears to be a fan under the grill. While most of the grills are simply installed over the existing kit grills, which make installation a snap, the aforementioned grills require filing off the existing detail, and the outer doors for the forward landing gear also requires the drilling and filing of the kit detail. The grills for the cockpit ventilation behind the pilot and Radar Intercept Officer add missing detail to the Tamiya kit, which is a great touch.

read more

F4F-4 Wildcat Exhaust

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:37
Product Image

Another quick upgrade for the Airfix Wildcat are these two exhausts.  They are direct replacements for the kit parts and have very thin walls. While you can paint the insides black I think for the best effect you would still want to drill out the exhaust hole from the engine.  Just be careful on how you hold them, the resin is that thin.

No instructions are provided as they are a direct replacement for the kit part.

Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

F4F-4 Wildcat Engine

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:30
Product Image

The engine on the Airfix 72nd Wildcat is very detailed with push rods and wiring visible on the front. Quickboost offers a replacement engine which does give better details on the front cover but you will have to add the push rods and wiring if you want to go that direction.  One thing I noticed is the cylinders have a bit of resin connecting them to the rear.  While these are not visible through the closed cowling they would be if you want to display an engine change or just have the cowling removed.  They look a little awkward to remove but anyone with experience working with resin replacement parts should have no trouble.  One nice addition is the rear of the engine is included with this set.  That will add additional detail when looking in the landing gear well area. 

I did a quick check and the engine fits inside the cowling with no modifications needed.

Simple instructions are provided to help position the parts.

Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

F4F-4 Wildcat Undercarriage Covers

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 00:43
Product Image

The new Airfix Wildcat kits look great right out of the box. But can we make them better. Well there is always some aftermarket. This set from Quickboost is a direct replacement for the landing gear doors. They may also be usable on other 72nd scale kits. The parts are finely molded and very thin, but the best advantage I can see is not having to fill the ejector pin marks on the inside of each kit door.

No instructions are provided as they are a direct replacement for the kit part.

Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

F4F-4 Wildcat Control Surfaces

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 00:13
Product Image

This set from Aires replaces the stabilizers on the new Airfix kit. The control surfaces are separate so you can easily model them deflected up or down. A quick check of pictures of the real plane shows them slightly deflected down, occasionally deflected up and just as often with no deflection at all so it is up to you. The detail on the parts is slightly higher than the Airfix parts but if you are planning to model your kit with them not deflected I would probably stay with the kit parts. I did a quick check and the engine fits inside the cowling with no modifications needed.

No instructions are provided as they directly replace the kit parts.

Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

A-1 Skyraider - 20mm Cannon Barrels with Flash Hiders and Pitot Tube

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 17:32
Product Image

Master Model is a Polish company.  The owner is  Piotr Czerkasow who is a mechanical engineer by trade.  Piotr is also a scale modeler.

read more

F-104 Pitot

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 14:55
Product Image

Master Model of Poland produces small brass parts for detailing models, be they aircraft or ships. They have parts for aircraft in 1/32, 1/35, 1/48, 1/72, and 1/144, mostly pitot tubes, refueling probes and gun barrels.

This product is a single pitot tube for a 1/144 F-104. The instructions are quite simple. 10 Cut off the kit pitot. 2) Drill a hole for the brass part. 3) Install the brass part, using CA glue. 4) Paint the part.

This pitot was particularly welcome because the Revell F-104 I built a while back didn’t have a pitot. So I was able to skip step 1. That doesn’t mean I could completely pass it, as I had to use a sanding stick to flatten the point on the nose cone so the drill wouldn’t slip every time I tried to drill the hole. Also, a .3 mm hole is pretty big, considering the size of this part. I stepped down to a .15 mm drill, and it was actually a little large.

read more

L-29 Delfin – Pitot Tubes

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 14:41
Product Image

The L-29 Delfin was a jet-powered trainer airplane that was designed by the Aero Company of Czechoslovakia. An excellent kit of the Delfin has recently been released in 1/72 scale by AMK. Although this kit, in my opinion, is very good, our friends at Aires/Quickboost have found some areas where the accuracy of various parts can be improved.

This set from Quickboost provides replacement wingtip pitot tubes. The AMK kit molds the two pitot tubes integral with the wing upper surfaces. The picture of my completed review model shows the kit pitot tubes. They appear somewhat oversized and were fragile. I had to be very careful while masking and painting. I have read a couple of build reviews of the 1/48 scale L-29 from AMK and both of these replaced the pitot tubes with wire or stretched sprue.

The first of the two sprue photos shows how the pitot tubes were molded into the upper surface. The second sprue photo shows the replacement part from Quickboost compared to the original part. The Quickboost part is noticeably thinner and more detailed.

read more

A-1 Skyraider 20mm Cannon Barrels and Pitot Tube.

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 14:20
Product Image

This Master Model set provides a quantum leap over the respective parts in the eighties era ESCI, Matchbox, Monogram, and even the nineties era Tamiya series of 1/48 kits. This set is specifically for 20mm cannon barrels without flash hiders. If you are looking for a set with flash hiders, Master, again, is to your rescue as they have released their set 48-128 that features the four 20mm cannon barrels with flash hiders. As it is, this set gives you two muzzle versions of the 20mm cannon barrels sported by the Douglas Skyraider. Kit list includes: ESCI AD-6 (4040) new tool released in 1979, ESCI A-1H (4045), ESCI A-1H (4075), Italeri A-1H (2628), Italeri AD-4 (2697), Matchbox AD-5 (PK-651) new tool released in 1980, Matchbox AD-5 (40651), Revell AD-5 (85-5327), Monogram A-1H (5419) new tool released in 1980, Monogram AD-6 (5429), Monogram A-1H (5454), Hasegawa A-1H (HM007), Monogram A-1H (74021), Revell A-1H (04584), Monogram AD-6 (15312), Hasegawa AD-6 (HM137), Monogram AD-6 (85-5312), and the Tamiya A-1H (61058) new tool released in 1998, Tamiya AD-4 (61058F), Tamiya A-1J (61073), and Tamiya A-1H (61505).

read more

Panzer 38(t) vs BT-7: Barbarossa 1941

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 01:14
Product Image

Steven J. Zaloga was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to John and Muriel Zaloga on February 1, 1952. Steven earned his undergraduate degree cum laude in history at Union College and his Masters degree in history at Columbia University. He obtained a Certificate in International Affairs from the graduate program of the University of Cracow. He has worked in the aerospace industry for some twenty years as an analyst specializing in missiles, precision guided munitions and unarmed aerial vehicles. Steven has served with a federal think tank, Defense Analyses. He was the writer director for The Discovery Channel’s “Firepower” series from 1987 to 1992. He has authored many books on military technology, especially in armored warfare. Steven is a noted scale armor modeler and is a member of AMPS (Armor Modeling and Preservation Society).

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.

read more

Wave Off! A History of LSOs and Ship-Board Landings

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 00:25
Product Image

Robert R. “Boom” Powell grew up in Long Island, New York, the son of a World War II B-24 Liberator navigator who later became known as a comic book artist (Sheena, Mr. Mystic, Tales From the Crypt, etc.). He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania on an ROTC scholarship before going to Naval flight training. He flew Douglas A-4 Skyhawks in Vietnam and later as an instructor pilot in the Skyhawk. Robert transitioned to the RA-5C Vigilante and ended up as an adversary pilot based at NAS Oceana. He also spent time as an LSO for an RA-5C training squadron for three years. Robert retired as a Commander and transitioned to civilian life flying Boeing 747s for Pan American. He remains an active flier today and often flies WWI replicas at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum. It was in the Navy that Robert began writing where he had a regular column in The Hook. His first book was Ben Drew: The Katzenjammer Ace (2001). He currently lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Marie, of 48 years along with two large poodles.

read more

Early US Armor Tanks 1916-40

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 23:36
Product Image

Steven J. Zaloga was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to John and Muriel Zaloga on February 1, 1952. Steven earned his undergraduate degree cum laude in history at Union College and his Masters degree in history at Columbia University. He obtained a Certificate in International Affairs from the graduate program of the University of Cracow. He has worked in the aerospace industry for some twenty years as an analyst specializing in missiles, precision guided munitions and unarmed aerial vehicles. Steven has served with a federal think tank, Defense Analyses. He was the writer director for The Discovery Channel’s “Firepower” series from 1987 to 1992. He has authored many books on military technology, especially in armored warfare. Steven is a noted scale armor modeler and is a member of AMPS (Armor Modeling and Preservation Society).

read more

Dawn of Justice Batmobile

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 13:00
Product Image

There have been many incarnations of the Batmobile from the 1940’s until the latest entry, the Dawn of Justice Batmobile. All of them are cool but this latest is sleeker, armed to the teeth and looks the part. Moebius has replicated this with this kit so let’s jump in and get it built.

Looking through the instructions (gasp!), there are four major parts to the assembly- the chassis and wheels, the upper body, the cockpit and the spoilers/wings.

Starting with the bottom, the motor and transmission housing are built and require a little putty. Make sure the seams are good on the transmission as once built, it is very visible. The rest of the suspension and side build really well and fit great. The two inner panels (parts 17 & 18) are painted black with silver details so these were left off until later. Since the fenders wrap around the wheels, they were partially assembled and set aside for paint later. The inner fenders and drive housings were added to the chassis also. The parts were set aside and construction resumed on the interior (cockpit)

read more

Ki-61 Part 1

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 00:58
Product Image

Lifelike Decals out of Japan has issued a new sheet for the Ki-61 which states it’s for the Hasegawa kit. This also coincides with the release of Tamiya’s new Ki-61 kit also. Looking in the package, there are three color sheets. Once with the overall schemes, one with detailed information about the four included schemes and one for stencil placement. The decal sheet is very well printed and contains markings for two planes except for the wing walks. Also included is a small insert sheet to complete one of the planes. Decals are printed by Microscale.

The markings included represent the following planes:

read more

Tamiya Tape for Curves 2mm and 3 mm

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:44
Product Image

Tamiya masking tape (yellow) has been known to modelers for many years and it is still one of my favorite tools in the bench. This tape for curves is made of a different material; it has a plastic feeling to it so it is not the typical Tamiya tape trimmed to a few millimeters.

This tape is designed to mask curves. It easily “bends” for a curve, but it does not stretch as well as it bends. I like that property of the tape actually as it ensures its width is kept as constant as possible.

In this test I used a scrap wing –which I used for some paint tests- and placed both the 2 mm (Stock 87177) and 3 mm versions (Stock 87178) of the tape on the wing, as you can see in the pictures.

I’ve found that the best way to “bend” the tape is to actually anchor it –I use my thumb- where I want to have a bend and with the other hand twist the tape left or right, while burnishing the tape against the plastic.

read more

244th Sentai Part 1

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:08
Product Image

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("flying swallow") is a Japanese World War II fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service. The Japanese Army designation was "Army Type 3 Fighter" Allied pilots initially believed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109’s and later an Italian aircraft, which led to the Allied reporting name of "Tony", assigned by the United States War Department. It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced. Initial prototypes saw action over Yokohama during the Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, and continued to fly combat missions throughout the war.

Recently I was given the opportunity by IPMS USA to review one of Lifelike Decal’s offering for the Ki-61 Hein (48-003). This set from LifeLike is a revised and re-released set that was originally released in 2003 and covering aircraft of the Japanese 244th Sentai. The majority of these aircraft are Nakajima Ki-61 Heins. There are eight subjects on this decal sheet, four are for the Tei version which should ring a bell since the recent release of the 1/48 version of this kit from Tamiya.

read more

Mig 21 in Czechoslovak Service dual combo

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 22:38
Product Image

As usual, IPMS USA are eternally grateful to Eduard for kindly providing yet another magnificent example of their new items to review, and to the IPMS USA reviewer corps leaders for sending it to me.

Eduard are rightfully proud of their Mig 21 series; the 1/48 kits are the best in the market, and cover the majority of the available Migs in service. This particular boxing is of their new 1/144 dual kit featuring eight Czech-marked examples with nose art, display schemes, etc. Bare metal, brown and green over gray, winter camo, all are there. The whole kit exudes quality and value.

All through the build I was thinking “This is fun and I don’t want to screw it up!” Contest models coming out of this region contain some of the finest details out there in my opinion, and I constantly wonder at the surgical skills demonstrated during E-day and other events as reported in modeling magazines. This review gave me appreciation for their skills…

read more

Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre “Korean War”

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 17:40
Product Image

Development of the F-86 actually started before the end of WWII, initiated by North American Aviation.  Using captured data from the design of the ME-262 showed that a swept wing was the only way to fulfill an Army Air Force requirement for a 600 mph speed for the new design.  Progressive modifications led to the fighter that effectively countered the threat of the Mig-15 during the Korean War.

The kit comes as three sprues of light gray plastic, along with one clear sprue.  Parts are cleanly molded, with engraved panel lines and no flash.  Cockpit detail consists of raised details on the instrument panel and side consoles, a three piece pilot seat, and a control stick.  There is nice detail on the wheels, wheel well interior,  and the inside of the speed brake wells.  The interior of the wheel well covers and speed brakes themselves also have well detailed surfaces.  Rounding out the details are several pieces that complete the interior at the rear of the canopy.

read more