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Updated: 7 hours 3 min ago

Prewar Spitfire Decal Set

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 07:04
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Iliad Design from Canada is a stalwart name in decals for WWII era aircraft and this set is a rerelease of their Prewar Spitfires sheet which was one of their earlier releases and sold out quickly. To up the ante, this set has additional markings not found in the first set. This set covers six Spitfire Mk. I's from the 1938-39 time frame.

Let's look at the markings first. Each of the six has top side camouflage listed as either A or B patterns of standard British camo- dark earth and dark green. Four use the A and 2 use the B camo and they are called out in the instructions. The bottom colors are also specific to the plane with one being aluminum, white and black with combinations specific to each plane. Also of note, three of the six use the two-bladed wood prop which is found in the Airfix kit but not others. An excellent and inexpensive one is sold through Ultracast making this an easy conversion. Bottom line is to choose your markings and read carefully and Iliad has done excellent research into the combination of markings and configurations.

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German Machine Guns Set

Sat, 10/28/2017 - 16:20
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One of the latest entries into MiniArt Models line of WWII Military Miniatures is a German Machine Guns set. There is enough styrene in the box to build two MG 34's, two MG 42's and one ZB 53.

The ZB 53 was a Czech design and were from captured stocks after the German Army invaded Czechoslovakia at the beginning of WWII. The Germans later changed the designation to MG 37. All of these weapons utilized 7.92x57 ammunition. Fun Fact: The MG 42, although redesigned and improved, is still in service as the MG 3.

Along with the machine guns there are parts for ammo cans, barrel canisters, and ammunition belts. MiniArt thoughtfully includes photoetch bits for the carrying straps/slings of each gun, handles for the ammo cans, and the cooling vanes/heat shields on the barrel of the ZB 53. All in all, you get 84 pieces of plastic and 38 photoetch bits. I found assembling those slings fiddly but on reflection a better in scale method eludes this author.

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P-40N Warhawk

Sat, 10/28/2017 - 15:44
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This release from Eduard is part of a limited edition series of kits that, in addition to all the fine extras we've come to expect from Eduard, also includes a fantastic 3D metal printed plate of the same box art graphic. In the case of this fine P-40N release, the plastic is very familiar to many of us. The plastic in this kit comes directly from the Hasegawa Corporation. Additional features of the kit include the following items:

  • Resin main wheels
  • Resin tail wheel
  • Resin Exhaust stacks
  • Pre-coloured cockpit photoetch sheet
  • Additional photoetch sheet
  • Cartograph decals for five aircraft
  • Paint masks

There really isn't much to say about the overall build of this fine model. A build of the Hasegawa P-40N plastic can be found here: P-40N Review. Personally, I found the fit and finish to be outstanding with only a couple of tiny build issues.

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Eduard German Submarine 8.8cm Gun

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:01
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When Trumpeter announced they were releasing a 1/48 scale Type VII U-boat, many were amazed and skeptical. The kit would be huge and Trumpeter has had delays in the past. The U-boat has come out and I am pleased to say it is large and well detailed for a plastic kit with a full interior. One part of the kit is its 8.8cm deck gun and it's nice. Eduard saw an opportunity for a great upgrade and issued a full resin and photoetch deck gun for the massive kit. This set consists of 38 excellent resin parts and a small photoetch fret of 22 small pieces. Casting is top notch- no air bubbles and the resin Eduard uses is tough and a little flexible which is excellent to handle.

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VMFA-334 Falcons: Lovebug 5- USMC F-4J Phantom in the Vietnam War & Japan

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 19:30
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AOA Decals continues their excellent releases focused on USN/USMC subject from the Vietnam war period with this release for the 1/32 Tamiya F-4J Phantom and representing a specific VMFA-334 Phantom, BuNo. 5565 with a call sign of "Lovebug" (and you gotta love that). The markings represent the Lovebug in Vietnam during 1960-69 and later in Japan 1969.

One thing that always stands out with AOA decals is the depth of their research. This scheme has been issued in the past but had some issues primarily with the falcon insignias and the modex numbers which are too small on previous releases. AOA is good enough to have a picture of the Lovebug on the cover and both markings look perfect. Also, there is information on adding fuel tanks as far as which pylon and markings, walkways and color call outs.

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SR-71 Blackbird In Action

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 19:19
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David Doyle's latest book continues to expand on Squadron Signal's long-standing In Action series that initiated back in 1971.  This is a completely updated and expanded edition over Squadron's earlier Aircraft In Action number 55, a 50-pager on the Blackbird by Lou Drendel that was published in 1982.  This 2017 release is essentially a new book, although it retains the identical Don Greer cover as In Action 55 monograph.

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MiG-29 Fulcrum Landing Gear

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 19:07

Over the past couple of years, Trumpeter has released four new MiG-29 "Fulcrum" kits, the Model 9.12 Fulcrum A, the Model 9.13 Fulcrum C, the Model 9.51 Fulcrum B trainer to the Model 9.13 MiG-29 SMT. While there are some significant differences between the various versions of the Fulcrum, the landing gear is essentially the same on all four of these variants.

Earlier this year Scale Aircraft Conversions released a replacement set for the Trumpeter MiG-29 kits.  The set is comprised of five parts, two main landing gear legs, a two-piece nose strut, and the nose strut retraction actuator.  As with many other SAC sets, the first step is to remove the slight mold/cast seam on each of the parts.  I first scraped the seam down using a Xacto blade, then I polished each part using a wire wheel in my battery operated Dremel tool, at low speed.  This results in a smooth, shiny finish on the parts and highlights the excellent castings. 

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F-5N Modern Adversaries

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 18:55
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I've always thought the F-5 Freedom Fighter was a sexy little airplane.  And with a neat paint scheme, it is even cooler.  Two Bobs has dabbled into these markings with this release. 

The adversaries of VFC-111 and VFC-13 sport some of the camouflage schemes that many potential adversaries would fly in. 

Typical of all Two Bobs releases this one comes in a ziplock baggie of 6x9 inches.  The decals themselves are printed by Microscale so you know they are thin, opaque and in register.  This sheet features three aircraft, one from the Sundowners and two Fighting Saints.  There are stencils for each aircraft and decals for CATM AIM-9 markings.   

The instructions are printed on a double-sided 8.5x11 sheet of high-quality paper.  The front side has both sides of the three aircraft.  A color callout chart is included with references to Model Master, Humbrol, Mr. Color, Xtracrylics, and Mr. Paint series.  The back side of the page shows the top and bottom views.  The markings for the CATM Sidewinder is included. 

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1001 Aviation Facts

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 18:46
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Time for an aviation pop quiz. Put away your smartphones, close your computer, and see if you can answer these questions the old-fashioned way.

  • When asked to name their all-time favorite aircraft, Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager, and Pete Everest all answered without hesitation that it was.......................
  • Which of the four Douglas World Cruisers completed the 23,942-mile circumnavigation of the globe?....................................
  • Where is the oldest surviving F-100 on display? ...........................
  • What aircraft was the first to drop a British atomic bomb? ........................
  • Who was the first actor to actually be in an aircraft that broke the sound barrier?.........................
  • Which aircraft was used........................ Who was the pilot? ---------------------
  • Where does the phrase "The whole nine yards come from?"....................................


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Eduard 1/35 Scammell Pioneer SV2S Photoetch

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 00:48
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Eduard has issued this nice photoetch set for IBG Model's newly released Scammell Pioneer SV2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor. IBG's kit has very good detail, and Eduard provides many additional details to improve the quality of the model.

The photoetch is up to Eduard's high quality standard, but there are many very small parts to deal with. I could assemble all the photoetch using super glue, and did not find soldering to be necessary. The photoetch seems to be very thin, and several pieces broke when I tried to bend them. Experience working with photoetch is highly recommended for this set. The use of a bending device tool is also very helpful for this set.

To add PE to a model, I go through the kit instructions and mark those parts that are modified by the photoetch so it can be incorporated in the normal assembly sequence. The Eduard instructions are quite clear and use different colors to designate replacement PE parts, kit parts, or areas to be removed.

The PE set includes:

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F-14A Wheels and Tires (Early) BIG SIN for Tamiya

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 14:54
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Thanks once again to Eduard for providing a copy of one of their sets for IPMS USA to review;

They continue to support us and ask for feedback and it's great to be a part of the process. Also, thanks to Dick "Monty" Montgomery and our fearless leader Dave Morrissette for ordering the set for the review.

From Eduard's website, the following individual part number sets are included in this Big Sin Set; beside it are the title and Standard Retail costs, and then the overall "savings" of purchasing the "Big SIN" with all three smaller sets in it is at the bottom:

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Shot Down and on The Run

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 14:32
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Osprey Publishing has recently released a very interesting book covering the history of RAF and Commonwealth aircrews shot down behind enemy lines and their escape stories.

The book is neatly organized in the following chapters

  • The Escape and Evasion Organization
  • North-West Europe
  • Middle East and Mediterranean
  • The Far East

The first chapter describes the whole organization (MI-9) being setup in the early years of the war charged with establishing escape routes and networks for any personal behind enemy lines (not only for aircrews). In addition of setting up escape routes, this organization was in charge to develop escape aides, tools and supplies, which were part of an 'escape kit' provided to armed personnel. Some of the escape aids included miniature compasses, pictures of the themselves (for fake IDs, maps, et).

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Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford Fusion

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 08:03
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Kevin Harvick became a household name in 2001, when he was selected to replace the late Dale Earnhardt after the legend's fatal accident in the Daytona 500. He currently has 35 Monster Cup and 46 Xfinity Series victories, and has been piloting cars for Stewart-Haas Racing since 2014. This model kit, provided for review by Revell, is of Kevin's current "Freaky Fast" 2017 Ford Fusion stock car.

This kit is Skill Level 5, and is molded in white plastic with black vinyl tires and clear parts, which have pre-painted black frames. The kit includes water slide decals, which are excellent and very forgiving to use.

Inside the box, you will find two bags of white plastic parts, a bag which contains the body shell, chassis, tires, and metal axle pins, and a forth bag with the clear parts. The instructions and decal sheet round out the contents.

Construction of the car begins with building the engine/transmission, and it's 18 parts assemble into a well-detailed throttle-body-injected modern NASCAR powertrain. I really like the look of the engine, and detail painting makes it look fantastic.

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World of Tanks KV-1/2

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 07:53

Italeri recently started producing a line of 1/56 scale AFVs and figures. This might be an unusual scale for most model builders, but is a fairly common wargaming scale equivalent to the 28mm scale. The Soviet KV-1 tank kit is one of their newest kits that also promotes the on-line video game, World of Tanks(r).

The Kliment Voroshilov (KV) series of heavy tanks came as a surprise to the German army at the start of Operation Barbarosa. The tanks proved to be nearly impenetrable to all the German anti-tank weapons, other than the 8.8cm gun. The KV series featured heavy armor, and strong weaponry, with the KV-1 fielding a 76mm gun, and the KV-2 fielding the 152mm howitzer. The Soviet tanks so outclassed their German counterparts, that there were instances where a single KV tank, with supporting infantry, was able to hold off entire German columns in the early part of the war.

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F-14A Cockpit Set

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 07:33
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Let me begin by stating that the folks at Tamiya did a fantastic job with their release of an F-14A last year in 1/48 scale. The all-new kit is one of, if not the best Tomcat in this scale, with the typical engineering that applies to everything Tamiya produces. With that being said, some modelers want to add just a little something more to their projects, and once again Eduard comes to our assistance with the release of a cockpit set for the Tamiya kit. Everything that you would want or need up front is contained in one package with both resin and photoetched parts being included. I would highly recommend this set to any modeler who feels the need to have the extra detail in their Tomcat's cockpit.

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Bf-109F Early Seat

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 19:06
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The Bf-109F had three different types of seats throughout its development. One being the early style similar to the style of seat in the Emil but completely different. It was more representative of the style of seat used in the Bf-110. Then the seat moved towards what we are familiar with but with a different backplate. This was short lived and the familiar backplate that would be in the Gustav was the final version.

With the release of the Bf-109F-2 from Eduard, they have added this early style of seat. Some of the most famous aircraft, such as Galland and Molders, have the early style of seat.

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: Tamiya 1/35 Sturmpanzer IV Brummbar

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 17:10
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In February 1942, the German Army (Heer) started building forty Sturmpanzer (Assault Tank) on Panzer IV chassis in readiness for the Battle of Kursk. The vehicle carried a 15cm howitzer in a boxed fighting compartment. Another eighty were produced in late 1943. Finally, another 162 were built between May 1944 and March 1945. These were the late production models built on the Panzer IV Ausf. J chassis and this newly tooled kit represents this model.

The Kit

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Zimmerit Coating Sheet - Brummbar Late Production

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 01:24
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Zimmerit was a paste-like coating used on German armored fighting vehicles between December 1943 and October 1944. It was used to produce a hard layer covering the metal armor of the vehicle, providing enough separation that magnetically attached anti-tank mines would fail to stick to the vehicle. This 5x10 inch sticker sheet enables easy reproduction of zimmerit on the Tamiya #35353 1/35 scale German Assault Tank IV Brummbar Late Production. There are 48 red outlined stickers on this sheet that need to be cut out, pealed from the backing and applied to the model. The stickers are a little thicker then decals and cut very easily with a sharp X-Acto blade. I also used my photoetch scissors to cut a few decals. A metal straight edge helps making the longer cuts. There is some extra zimmerit coating printed on this sheet for repair needs.

I am using this sheet on the new Tamiya Brummbar for a separate review.

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Iliad Design Decals 1/72 Air National Guard C-47s

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 01:10
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Iliad Design's latest 72nd decal sheet covers 4 Dakotas that flew with the Air National Guard

The Puerto Rican Air Guard is represented by the attractive white over aluminum scheme.  This one includes the stars and bars on the fuselage as well as the National Guard badge on the tail.  This scheme is from post 1961.

The other three aircraft are all in natural metal finish and date from 1947-1948.  We have Virginia, Nebraska and New Mexico National Guards.

The Virginia bird has the legend "The Old Dominion" above the fuselage windows while both the Nebraskan and New Mexican ones have State markings instead of fuselage stars.

All the main markings including Stars and Bars are included.

The Albuquerque club usually has an award for the best New Mexican aircraft and this last scheme would look great on either the Airfix or Italeri kits. 

Once again the decals are in register and I am looking forward to making at least one of these in the future.

Thanks to Iliad Design and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

Iliad Design Decals 1/72 Stars in the Sky 3

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 01:01
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Iliad Design is a Canadian company that not only makes decals but also offers aircraft colour charts and books.

As the name of this sheet implies, this is the third in the Stars in the Sky series.  While the names might not be as recognizable as the first two sheets, the choices for the marking are very diverse.

We have two WWII bombers, a Korean War fighter and a fast jet.  So who is up in this latest offering?

First up is a British Lancaster II flown by Robert Clothier, a Canadian actor.  This would be a lovely option for that very nice Airfix kit.

Second is an AU-1 Corsair flown by Baseball player Jerry Coleman.  Jerry flew this bird in Korea while serving with the US Marines.

Our third offering is a F-4C flown by Pop Singer Dean Paul Martin.  Martin was a Captain with the California Air National Guard when he was killed flying this Phantom during a snowstorm.

A B-29 from WWII is the final offering.  Tim Holt was the bombardier for this plane.  He is best known for acting in Westerns.

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