IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoIPMS/USA

IPMS LogoIPMS/USA

Paracel Miniatures new Elephants tankers and food wares - (ohh my)

The Modelling News - 8 hours 56 min ago
Good luck for some - Paracel Miniatures are giving modellers more of what they want with three Vietnam War-era sets this month. Either a male or female Elephants and rider set and a T-54 crew at rest - the choice is yours. We look at all three in our preview...Read on... »

Alpha Graphics Professional Sanding Film

IPMS/USA Reviews - 16 hours 56 min ago
Product Image Review Author:  Bob LaBouy Alpha Precision Abrasives Inc.

Summary: 

This is a review of one of the many Alpha products designed specifically for scale modelers. 

I have long been a fan of Alpha products in many of their forms.  Especially their micro sanding pads which allow me to perform very finely detailed sanding and polishing.  With this 5 pack I can use the entire sheet of sanding film or by combining the sheet (or smaller cut pieces) use them in model sanding.  I also use smaller pieces cut into strips and held in place with double sided tape and mounted on small popsicle sticks.  Alpha Graphics has produced their products for over 75 years and long established their reputation for high quality, long lasting sanding products.

From the manufacturer's statements:  "These abrasive sheets have razor sharp grit embedded in a double coating, producing a long-lasting resilient product.  This product will not peel or crack, even under heavy use and strain!  The Professional Sanding Film is washable and reusable.  This package contains one sheet of each 150, 320, 400, 600 and 1000 grit providing a gradual progression from coarse to fine grits for superior results.  This product is a must have for any hobby medium including wood, plastic, or metal." 

These sanding sheets are 3" wide by 8" long.

Overall Evaluation: 

I have used these sanding film sheets and find them an invaluable addition to my desktop tools.  They continue to be useful after many applications and with washing I suspect they have useful life beyond the four or five times I have used them.  These sanding sheets are highly recommended.

Airfix 1/76 Matador fuel truck

New Forum Posts - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 15:01
This is from the old Airfix Refueling set. Between this model, with has the twin axel in the rear and the earlier Airfix Matador with the 5.5" gun, which has a single axel, you have all sorts of possibilities for conversions. This one, however, is pretty much OOTB. I did replace the rear doors out of sheet plastic as the kit ones would have looked out of armor plate. I also "busied up" the pumping equipment as that supplied with the kit is a little sparse. Only other additions are headlights, which the kit omits, and glazing for the windows.

Construction Review Pt.II: ICM's 48th scale Do 217J-1/2 WWII German Night Fighter

The Modelling News - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 08:23
Part II of Andy King's build of ICM's new 48th scale Do 217J-1/2 WWII German Night Fighter is with us. Today he puts the rest of the kit together after overcoming some hurdles and adds a few improvements to the kit in the second part of the story...
Read on... »

Terry’s Trade Secrets Ep.2

Scale Model Podcast - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 20:39
I neglected to post this episode early. My bad.  
Categories: Podcasts

VMFA-323 Death Rattlers/ USMC F4-B Phantoms in the Vietnam War

IPMS/USA Reviews - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:34
Product Image Review Author:  Gino Dykstra AOA Decals

Commissioned in 1943, this particular squadron got its nickname from some pilots who killed a rattlesnake at their first deployment at Cherry Point and then hung the skin in the ready room.  VMFA-323 was first deployed to Da Nang Air Base in 1965, losing the only Phantom ever to a surface-to-air missile shortly thereafter.  The squadron remained in Viet Nam until 1969, flying from both Da Nang and Chu Lai during that time.

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

This set of colorful markings features no less than three aircraft from their stay at Da Nang during 1967 and 1968- 2258, 0476 and 1422.  Every detail difference in markings is clearly shown in the instructions, and the set includes the extremely complete stencil decals created by AOA decals specifically for their Marine F-4s.  What you get is actually three decal sheets - one for the specific markings for these aircraft, one for the national markings and a VERY large and complete sheet of stencils.  This latter sheet alone features literally hundreds of individual stencils covering the entire airframe including weapons pylons.  Registration is perfect and the film is extraordinarily thin.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they lay down with no obvious silvering.   Frankly, I couldn't find a thing to complain about, except perhaps for the time it's going to take to apply them all.

I was particularly impressed with the superb instructions which are printed on high-quality paper and features pages of full color views of every single decal location.  I'm afraid that any modelers who fudge this process will only have themselves to blame.  Things couldn't be more crystal clear.

Honestly, it's not often I find decals designed so beautifully and professionally.  They vastly outstrip anything you're likely to find in any model kit at any price, and raise the level of your work to museum quality with no frustrations built in.  I cannot recommend this series enough - if you're a Phantom Phreak, these decals are an absolute must.

As always, my thanks to IPMS/USA for a chance to review (and have) these splendid decals and to AOA Decals for providing a truly top-notch product.  Fun!

2019 Chattanooga National Convention

New Forum Posts - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:11
Just about a year ago we as a society gathered in Chattanooga TN. The world has turned upside down since then. With all the modeling shows being cancelled. I would like to suggest that we take a look back and share some stories and pictures. It would be a great feeling to remember the fun and models. Looking forward till we meet again. RONBO. Head Bottle Washer.

VMFA-232 Red Devils/ USMC F4-J Phantoms in the Vietnam War

IPMS/USA Reviews - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:53
Product Image Review Author:  Gino Dykstra AOA Decals

Tracing its lineage back to 1925, VMFA-232 Phantoms began sorties over Vietnam from Da Nang Air Base in late 1967.  Flying close air support for the Marines on the ground, the Red Devils flew nearly 6,000 sorties and delivered some 6,00 tons of ordinance during their time in the 'Nam, being one of the few units capable of delivering 2,000 lb. bombs at the time.  They redeployed during Operation Linebacker and lost three Phantoms during that time (one to enemy air action), becoming the last Marine Phantom unit to leave Vietnam in 1973.  They finally surrendered their final remaining Phantom in 1988.

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

This set of colorful markings features two aircraft from this squadron - number 3833 from their stay at Da Nang in 1972, and 5795 for when they were stationed in Chu Lai in 1969.  These two aircraft are quite distinctive from each other, and the set includes the extremely complete stencil decals created by AOA decals specifically for their Marine F-4s.  What you get is actually three decal sheets - one for the specific markings for these aircraft, one for the national markings and a VERY large and complete sheet of stencils.  This latter sheet alone features literally hundreds of individual stencils covering the entire airframe including weapons pylons.  Registration is perfect and the film is extraordinarily thin.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they lay down with no obvious silvering.   Frankly, I couldn't find a thing to complain about, except perhaps for the time it's going to take to apply them all.

I was particularly impressed with the superb instructions which are printed on high-quality paper and features pages of full color views of every single decal location.  I'm afraid that any modelers who fudge this process will only have themselves to blame.  Things couldn't be more crystal clear.

Honestly, it's not often I find decals designed so beautifully and professionally.  They vastly outstrip anything you're likely to find in any model kit at any price, and raise the level of your work to museum quality with no frustrations built in.  I cannot recommend this series enough - if you're a Phantom Phreak, these decals are an absolute must.

As always, my thanks to IPMS/USA for a chance to review (and have) these splendid decals and to AOA Decals for providing a truly top-notch product.  Fun!

VMFA-212 Lancers/ USMC F4-J Phantom in the Vietnam War

IPMS/USA Reviews - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:58
Product Image Review Author:  Gino Dykstra AOA Decals

VMFA-212 Lancers was the first Marine jet squadron to be deployed aboard an aircraft carrier in combat, serving on the USS Oriskany in May of 1965.  They conducted more than 12,000 combat sorties and dumped nearly 10,000 tons of ordinance during that time, chalking up an admirable safety record until their return to Hawaii in December of the same year.

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

This set of colorful markings features one aircraft from this squadron - number 3813 (6) and includes the extremely complete stencil decals created by AOA Decals specifically for their Marine F-4s.  What you get is actually three decal sheets - one for the specific markings for this aircraft, one for the national markings, and a VERY large and complete sheet of stencils.  This latter sheet alone features literally hundreds of individual stencils covering the entire airframe, including weapons pylons.  Registration is perfect and the film is extraordinarily thin.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they lay down with no obvious silvering.   Frankly, I couldn't find a thing to complain about, except perhaps for the time it's going to take to apply them all.

I was particularly impressed with the superb instructions which are printed on high-quality paper and features pages of full color views of every single decal location.  I'm afraid that any modelers who fudge this process will only have themselves to blame.  Things couldn't be more crystal clear.

Honestly, it's not often I find decals designed so beautifully and professionally.  They vastly outstrip anything you're likely to find in any model kit at any price, and raise the level of your work to museum quality with no frustrations built in.  I cannot recommend this series enough - if you're a Phantom Phreak, these decals are an absolute must.

As always, my thanks to IPMS/USA for a chance to review (and have) these splendid decals and to AOA Decals for providing a truly top-notch product.  Fun!

Phantom Airframe Data (Stencil Type) F-4B & F-4J Panels and Markings

IPMS/USA Reviews - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:48
Product Image Review Author:  Gino Dykstra AOA Decals

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply, and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

I was offered a chance to check some of these out and started with their stencil set for Vietnam-era Marine or Navy Phantoms.  This set comes on one full sheet with a separate sheet for the national markings features, literally hundreds of individual stencils covering the entire airframe including weapons pylons.  Registration is perfect and the film is extraordinarily thin.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they lay down with no obvious silvering.   Frankly, I couldn't find a thing to complain about, except perhaps for the time it's going to take to apply them all.

I was particularly impressed with the superb instructions which are printed on high-quality paper and feature a full color view of every single decal location, for a full six pages of instructions, including a small addendum sheet.  I'm afraid that any modelers who fudge this procedure will only have themselves to blame.  Things couldn't be more crystal clear.

Honestly, it's not often I find decals designed so beautifully and professionally.  They vastly outstrip anything you're likely to find in any model kit at any price, and raise the level to museum quality with no frustrations built in.  I cannot recommend this series enough - if you're a Phantom Phreak, these decals are an absolute must.

As always, my thanks to IPMS/USA for a chance to review (and have) these splendid decals and to AOA Decals for providing a truly top-notch product.  Fun!

Preview: Suyata's groundbreaking 48th scale Sd,Kfz 171 Panther w/ full interior incoming...

The Modelling News - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 10:47
Suyata has thrown their hat in the "serious" market with their latest release that is slated - they have been building up to this with lots of teasers. But now - the reveal of the new 48th scale plastic injection moulded Panther has let "slip" on their FB page. More information is coming, but let's look at what we know so far...
Read on... »

CLASSIC US MUSCLE CAR IN KIT FORM: REVELL 1:25 SCALE PLYMOUTH AAR CUDA

Scale Model News - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 07:33


THIS KIT IS A reissued and reboxed version of an original Revell US kit that dates to around 1995. Just to confirm, this is the newer and more detailed Revell US kit. Monogram also made a very similar 1971 Plymouth which, in convertible form, was the star car that featured in Nash Bridges, a TV cop series that starred Don Johnson.Read more »
Categories: News

Preview: AK Interactive's new FAQ & Post-Apocalyptic products for August

The Modelling News - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 05:50
AK Interactive's August releases are very much of a theme this month - that of a Post-Apocalyptic theme on your modelling bench. They give us accessories that can be combined, learning materials to get the most out o your scene and an extension to the FAQ series to further enhance your dioramas. We have pics, prices, links and info in our preview...Read on... »

RS Models B&V Ae607

New Forum Posts - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 21:50
I pulled this one out of the stash as it looked like a quick build. Yikes was I wrong. Tho the kit looked good while on the sprue - no flash, delicate panel lines etc... It had one big flaw. Being a jet you see a rounded intake and exhaust. But the top of the plane is nearly flat. So all the rounded supports on top need to be cut away. I didn't want to just cut it all away, so it became cut a bit, try a fit, cut some more, try a fit... Ugh. I got the front and rear all set but it still wouldn't close up. Then I discovered that with the engine running straight thru the plane and the cockpit off set, the kit puts the cockpit and wheel well one over the other. This means I need to break out the dremel again and carve down both components. Tho it didn't need it, I added some of those Liquid Gravity beads. Finally it was time to combine halves and get some paint on. Since no prototype existed, they offered two variations of '46 German colors, a US capture scheme as well as a soviet scheme. I chose one of the German ones. Adding a few other details, like the wheels, I was done. Thanks for looking.

1/72 Queadluun Rau Build reveal

Scale Model Podcast - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 19:34
Moscato Hobby Models 1/72 Queadluun Rau Build from Goodman Models. Meltrandi Powered Armour from the Super Dimensional Fortress Macross series. Anthony describes the completed build. Moscato Hobby products are available in North America from Moscoto’s Facebook page or internationally from Return 2 Kit Form.  
Categories: Podcasts

Metal Gear to fit the 1/32 Kitty Hawk Mirage 2000 Kits

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 19:23
Product Image Review Author:  Jarrod Booth Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) is a Texas based company that makes white metal landing gear for a vast number of model aircraft in all scales.

The idea behind the use of metal over the kit supplied plastic landing gear is strength. Over time plastic can give way under the weight of heavy aircraft models.

The metal parts are contained in a clear plastic tray with an attractive color backing showing product details.

This set includes the nose and main undercarriage legs, main gear retraction struts, nose leg torque links and inner main gear door retraction struts and bulkhead. They are a direct copy of the plastic kit parts, except for the main gear. The kit plastic main undercarriage legs are in two parts, while the SAC gear comes as one part. This makes the leg stronger and eliminates dealing with a glue seam.

All the SAC parts need some clean up, but, most of the mold seams found on the plastic parts have already been removed. I was able to get each item ready for assembly and painting in a matter of a few minutes. As the white metal was quite soft, I had to carefully straighten some items.

While the plastic landing gear in the Kitty Hawk Mirage 2000 kit was more than adequate and strong, the SAC gear assisted in building these parts a little easier. I would guess anyone building this model should have some experience, and, as such, the SAC gear will pose no problems. I highly recommend this product for any modeler.

My thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this product and put it to the test on the actual model

Mirage 2000 D/N

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 19:09
Product Image Review Author:  Jarrod Booth Kitty Hawk

The Dassault Mirage 2000N is a nuclear strike variant, while the 2000D is a conventional attack version of this versatile French fighter. It has seen extensive and distinguished action in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

The Mirage was packed in a large, strong and colorful top opening box. Each sprue was contained in its own plastic bag. At the bottom there was a separate cardboard box protecting the clear sprue, a resin exhaust nozzle in a small zip lock bag and the instruction manual. The decal sheets were found in their own zip lock bag along with a photo etch fret. The complete package was superbly done and offered maximum protection of all parts. Only the two main ejection seat parts were loose from their sprues.

I had read other reviews on Kitty Hawk models that the instruction manual was the main weak spot in their kits. I studied the instruction manual to become acquainted with the model and noticed a few things. The presentation was very nice and appeared easy to follow with uncluttered, modular steps. However, as I progressed through the build, I found some confusing presentations in certain construction steps and needed to refer to the next steps to clarify what needed to be done. There were absolutely no color call outs for any parts throughout the build leaving the modeler to do their own research. Many parts were miss-numbered, but, typically it was where there were two similar parts.  A little thought and searching of the particular sprue was all that was needed to find the correct part.

At the end of the manual was the assembly of all the weapons, targeting pods and fuel tanks. The separate color weapons diagram named each one. It also indicated some of the pylons they mount onto. The weapons stencil diagram and all the plastic sprues were taken from the previous boxing of the Mirage 2000C which included all the stencil decals. There were no weapons, pylon or tank stencil decals included in this kit! Rod Lees, who recently reviewed the Kitty Hawk 1/32 Mirage 2000C (https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/mirage-2000), was super kind and sent me the complete weapons stencil decal section from a second Mirage he had bought. Thank you so very much Rod!

A very nice aspect of the instruction manual was the glossy color, center pull out pages showing all the different aircraft that can be built with marking and airframe stencil decal placement and color callouts (Some dubious).

The model's construction was straight forward for the most part and many sections could be built as sub-assemblies. I very much liked that the sprue stubs attached to the mating surface instead of the visible outside edge on most parts. I did have to be careful trimming the remnants of the stub from the part, but, this method resulted in no damage to the lovely recessed surface detail.

Another aspect of the superb engineering of this model was the fact that there were no ejector pin marks anywhere that would be visible! However, on the back side of a lot of parts were ejector stubs that needed removing, but, cleanup was easy and again these would not be seen.

From internet research and other online builds of this aircraft in different scales, I used my best judgement on what color to paint various parts as I went along.

I started construction with the cockpit. The cockpit "tub", instrument panels, side walls and other parts were assembled and painted Model Master dark gull gray. There are decals for the instrument panels and side consoles, but, none of them were accurate for the 2000 D/N versions of this aircraft! There were virtually no switch details on the rear cockpit side consoles and the front cockpit appeared to be the same used in the previous 2000C, which was quite different to the "D".  The prominent throttle levers in both cockpits were missing as well. I scratch made these from plastic sheet and a small section of round sprue. These were painted red. As no aftermarket cockpits or photo etch were available in this scale, I used what was given. For such a stunning kit, the lack of attention to such a visible part of the model was a true letdown! There were no references to using the cockpit decals in the instruction manual either. On a positive note the decals laid down nice and accurately over the surface detail with the help of a little Micro-Sol solution.

The ejection seats, on the other hand, were quite nice with good detail. The kit supplied photo etch harnesses were fine, but, the fifth belt that ran from the front of the seat, up between the pilot's legs was missing. I made these out of tape and plastic sheet that I punched out as circles for the buckle. I used online photos to paint the seats.

Both engine intakes were built next and each part fit together precisely, except for two blow in doors on each intake. The kit supplied doors were way too small, so I scratch build the doors from Evergreen plastic sheet. There were no full-length intakes, but, very little can be seen, so this was not an issue for me. I did not install them until a little later.

A reasonably detailed SNECMA M53 turbofan engine was included but it had no means of being displayed outside the airframe. A compressor fan fit over a second compressor disk and looked great. The two-piece exhaust pipe exhibited good detail and the turbine face and afterburner ring finished off a simple, but effective, looking exhaust area. Both the compressor and exhaust sections sandwich between the two engine halves. I assembled all the accessories attached to the outside of the engine and painted everything I thought might be visible dark gray. To complete the exhaust area, a lovely resin exhaust nozzle is supplied, which I installed at the end of the build.

The nose wheel bay, fuselage and wing parts of the main wheel bays need to be assembled before the fuselage is closed. Each showed outstanding detail. Everything was a tongue and groove fit and went together nicely. The nose undercarriage leg had to be attached at this stage also. While the plastic landing gear was more than adequate, I used the SAC white metal undercarriage. Even though one of the mounting axels was square, the nose leg could be gently coerced into the retracted position and out of the way for now.

I deviated from the build sequence and added the top half of each wing to their respective fuselage sides before joining the fuselage halves together. Two large tabs on the wing root slot into the fuselage and were extremely tight. A little thinning helped obtain a better fit and ensured the wing root fillet sat flush against the fuselage side - no filler was needed. The underside wing halves were then added. I took my time to get each wing half perfectly aligned, and with the help of rubber bands and Tamiya cement, ensured a great fit.

In steps 36, 37, 40 and 41, the instructions show fitting the elevons and flaperon control surfaces before the hinge fairings. I found it better to attach the hinges first which took guess work out of positioning and aligning of the control surfaces.

The engine, wheel bays and cockpit, minus seats were attached to one fuselage half. Two vents were glued into the belly. These were numbered wrong. Also, two small windows were added in the upper fuselage. These needed trimming to fit better. Paint the inside of these aluminium or steel.

The engine attached to the fuselage via four small pins that were a little tricky to line up. Once they were lined up, the fit was fine.

Both fuselage sides fit together well. Extra care was needed when gluing the belly halves as there was a lot of panel line and hatch detail running through the seam. Luckily, the pylon I chose to use hides much of the seam. I replaced the louvers in a vent behind the nose gear bay with Evergreen sheet cut into strips, as the kit louvers joined in the middle with seams that were difficult to eliminate. The front of the forward belly vent on one fuselage side was shorter than the other requiring careful adjustment.

With the fuselage glued together, I attached the engine intakes. The fit was so good, all I needed was a thin line of Tamiya liquid glue along the seam and they were done!

There are two nose cones provided - one with lightning bars and one without. I used the former. A rudimentary radar is provided, but I didn't use it.

I don't know if nose weight was required and there was no mention of using any, but, I added some lead just in front of the cockpit for good measure.

I turned my attention to the main undercarriage. Again, I used the SAC white metal legs and retraction struts, plus plastic torque links parts required from the kit. The SAC undercarriage set was sent with the Mirage model and reviewed separately. The main and nose wheels show very nice tire side wall and rim detail, but, no tire tread. I unsuccessfully attempted to scribe in the tread pattern with my razor saw. Resin wheels are available, if needed, from Res/Kit (I ordered a set). I did not install the mail landing gear until later.

The tail includes four optional tips containing different sensors, but, no reference as to which one to use. I looked over the now separate decal and painting diagram of the aircraft I intended to build and used what I saw there (all were the same). I also found a picture of the same aircraft online and verified the tail tip was the same. Each tail piece was one piece and fit together ok. There was a slight mold misalignment at each mating surface, so some careful sanding was needed to eliminate them and improve the fit of both of these parts and the fit to the fuselage. A position light was meant to fit into either side of the tail tip, but, they were not included on the clear sprue. The instruction showed part numbers GP12 and 13, but, these were two totally different parts! I filled the hole with Testors clear cement and went on!

Once the basic airframe was finished, I spent some time researching what weapons, fuel tanks and targeting pods the "D" version would typically carry. There was quite a lot of information on the web and some great pictures. There were nine hard points: two under each wing, four on either side of the fuselage (fore and rear) and one on the belly centerline. I loaded my Mirage with two RP541/542 2000 Liter tanks, one EADS Scalp/Apache cruise missile, one PDL-CTS targeting pod, two Matra Mica EM Missiles, two Matra Super. 530 missiles and one Matra R550 Magic 2 missile.   Modifications were needed to mount some of the stuff that goes "Bang"!!!! Refer to the pictures to see where each one was mounted.

An AUF-2 dual bomb carrier was included, which was a common load for the 2000 D, but, no bombs were included. Aftermarket bombs are available, but, I didn't bother.

The fuel tanks and weapons fit together very well. Some slots for the fins were a little too tight and needed opening a bit. This was certainly better than too loose and aided in proper alignment.

I was impressed as the pylons were all one piece each - No gluing two haves together and no sink marks! A quick swipe with sandpaper took care of any mold seams.

The aircraft, tanks and weapons glue seams were taken care of and the whole lot was prepared for painting.

The canopies were nice and clear, however, they all had a seam line running through the center that turned out to be a ridge from a mold misalignment. I sanded down the mold line followed by polishing and a dip in Future Floor Wax to protect them further.  The seam line was only on the outside of each canopy. There were three canopies on the clear sprue. One is clearly for the previous 2000C model. All canopy parts were numbered wrong.

The rear canopy had two hinge tabs that allowed it to open and close, but, the front did not. The front canopy should have the same hinging setup as the rear. It is obvious Kitty Hawk intended the rear canopy to be posed open and the front closed. I attached a portion of flat sprue to the rear inside of the front canopy and angled the back of it so the canopy could be mounted open. I also had to add a length of wire for the retraction strut to reach the open canopy.

I sprayed the model with Tamiya neutral grey and black green with soft edges. The nose cone was painted with a muted black green and left flat. A gloss coat followed.

There are nine French marking schemes offered with most being quite colorful representing various anniversaries and special events. I chose the basic version on the box top as I wanted a standard squadron aircraft that showed the graceful lines of the "Flying Stiletto".

Some of the special markings are inaccurate, for example "Tiger is Coming" should have the tiger on the left side of the tail and a map of Europe on the right. Kitty Hawk has the tiger on both sides. On another aircraft, the Devil and bird option is on the left and should have a large Indian Chief on the right side, as opposed to the Devil on both sides. Nevertheless, if the modeler is not worried about absolute accuracy these marking will certainly look spectacular.

Interestingly the weapons stencil decals that Rod sent me were overly thick and needed much help to lay into panel lines, but, they were in good register and color. The color bands that ran around the various missiles were all too short requiring me to position the "short end" where the missile met the pylon to try and hide it. In the end they all looked good under a couple of clear coats. My 2000D kit decals on the other hand, were very thin and wanted to fold over on themselves. Once folded over they were stuck fast and took a great deal of care to separate. I was lucky and did not lose any decals. Some decals were pixilated and many were a little out of register. I applied Micro-Sol after placing the decal and achieved good results. Any minor silvering was taken care of with more Micro-Sol and poking with a new blade.

The decals were sealed with another gloss coat, followed by a panel line wash. Another semi-gloss coat and some touch up completed the painting.

There was still a lot more work ahead with the final assembly of all the parts I painted separately. Most of these parts went together quite nicely.

Be particularly careful of the inner main undercarriage door retraction strut/bulkhead assembly. I found it easier to sand down the tab on the top of the bulkhead a bit so it would slide (with some force) into its slot in the undercarriage bay roof. This part would be easier to assemble when building the bays before attaching them to the fuselage, although the retraction strut is very fragile and could be broken. I wanted my doors open, but, most internet pictures show these doors closed on the ground.

The main undercarriage legs, retraction strut and doors were attached and fit nicely. I lowered the nose gear, glued on the torque link and landing lights and positioned the leg in the correct position with the retraction strut.  The nose gear doors were then glued in their position and the aircraft could finally sit on her feet. The rear nose gear door is typically closed on the ground, but, the kit nose door, like the main inner doors are designed to be posed open. With the lovely detail in both main and nose gear wells it would be a shame to close the doors.

The leading-edge slats and guide rails were attached. The rails slotted into the underside of the slat but were a little tight. I trimmed them for a better fit. These were then mounted to the wings in their down position. There are two per wing.

The five fuselage weapons pylons were glued in their slots, followed by the wing mounted pylons. I had to modify most of the pylons to accept the missiles I chose to use. Wire was inserted into holes I drilled into the pylons and weapons for a stronger attachment. The two external fuel tanks were also glued to the inboard wing pylons and required no modification.

The final assembly included antennas and several navigation lights fuselage roof and belly. The canopies were attached open.

There will also be plenty of spare parts to use on future French aircraft models.

The Mirage 2000D is certainly a very beautiful looking aircraft and in my opinion the two-seater is even more aesthetic that the single seat 2000C.

Despite my frustrations with so many errors in this kit, I thoroughly enjoyed building it. The model fits together quite nicely and looks to be accurate in shape to the real aircraft. I believe the modeler needs to use some common sense and research the aircraft you want to build before starting and during the build...That's half the fun of building these kits, right? To learn more about the subject and help other modelers where needed! However, I would not recommend this Kitty Hawk model to less experienced modelers even though it was not overly difficult to build. The errors in the instructions and ambiguity in some building steps, even had me scratching my head a few times!

I would sincerely like to thank Kitty Hawk and the IPMS USA for entrusting me to build and review this Mirage 2000D.

Raiders from New France

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 17:48
Product Image Review Author:  Dave Morrissette Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publications latest in the Elite series is Raiders from New France which covers North American Forest Warfare in the 17th and 18th century. At the time, warfare was a formal affair with men in lines advancing other men's lines or the like. This area of North America at the time was wilderness, Indians and stand alone forts so a new type of warfare was developed and that is the focus of this book along with the people and weapons that fought in those wars.

 

The book is broken into well thought out chapters and include:

 

  • Introduction
  • The Beginnings- Champlain, Frontenac and La Barre- 1608-85
  • Raid Warfare-
    • Frontenac's Return, 1690
    • Anglo American Attacks on New France- 1690-1701
    • Queen Anne's War- 1702-13
    • The Fox Wars- 1712-37
  • The Final Decades- 1740s-50s
  • Men, Equipment and Methods
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index

 

I like the fact things are sequential so as you read, the history unfolds and develops as it really did during the time. It also helps that the book is lavishly illustrated with maps, painting and drawings showing each step or group.

 

The primary focus of the book is raid warfare. Raid warfare is defined as planning and executing smaller attacks on specific targets and not following the warfare of the days. The first of these was the French attack on Fort Hayes led by Captain de Troyes. To get to the fort required a travel distance of 750 miles. This was captured and then part of the force traveled another 124 miles to take Fort Rupert. This too was captured.

 

This format is followed between wars and skirmishes for the book until final resolution in the 1750's with the French-Indian Wars France granting all of Canada to Britain in 1763.

 

With each of these chapters, there are full color plates of many of the participants showing their dress. I included several pictures of these as they are wonderful reference for modelers.

 

The section on Men and Weapons is extremely interesting showing the rifles and knives of the time but also the tomahawks. He methods of transportation such as canoes is featured, snow shoes and many other pertinent items and methods used during the time. All is very well illustrated with period pictures and modern drawings.

 

In summary, this era of time was a great change in warfare methods and a time of colonization and this book covers all with great illustration. Recommended to modelers and history fans everywhere.

 

My thanks to Osprey books for the opportunity to read and review the book.

Gloster Gladiator Mk. 2

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 13:47
Product Image Review Author:  Gino Dykstra ICM

The Gloster Gladiator was one of the last biplane fighter aircraft to serve during World War 2, and despite its obvious obsolescence, served for the British air service surprisingly well on a number of fronts.  It made a name for itself in the early middle eastern desert war, and went on to serve in Greece and even further with a number of foreign air services.

I recently built and reviewed ICM's excellent Gloster Gladiator Mark 1, so I will mostly be pointing out the differences between the two kits.  The most noticeable is the new three-blade propeller replacing the rather clunky two-blade unit of the Mark 1.  Other differences are more subtle, including a new control panel and front windshield.  Only a small additional sprue is included to offer these differences, and you still have all the Mark 1 pieces if you prefer to go in this direction.

ICM's Gloster Gladiator Mk. II comes on a sturdy side-opening box with separate lid and features a somewhat soft gray styrene as well as clear parts. No photoetch is included, but the decal sheet offers three options, all in British service.

As with the first release, assembly begins with the cockpit area which includes the fuselage guns and a detailed birdcage-type assemble for the interior.  As already mentioned, there is a new two-part control panel included, but otherwise the interior remains the same.  The seat, as with all the ICM aircraft kits I've assembled so far, comes without seat belts so you'll be required to find or scratch a set yourself.  There is also still a large mold mark on the seat back that should be filled and sanded as it is quite visible.  As you close up the fuselage they show installing the gun sight bracket, but I would hold off on that as it is quite fragile and can easily break off during rigging.

Once the fuselage is completed, you fix the tail and the lower wing into position.  For the purposes of rigging, I studied the excellent rigging notes further into the instructions and drilled holes appropriate for feeding lines through both the top and bottom wings.  Attaching the landing gear still gives you a weak joint at the bottom of each leg, but I resolved this problem more effectively than last time by gluing the inside brake disks to the legs sans wheels, which I then attached later.  This prevented the torquing I performed the last time in an attempt to get each wheel to sit with the sanded flat side down.

You're then required to assemble the excellent engine, and this time I decided to display it more prominently than in my first build, so detailed it out with wire.  Again, you need to be especially careful in building both the shroud and exhausts, as there are two variants of shrouds AND variants of exhaust mounts.  Study this stage carefully before committing to glue.  The separate cylinder caps are only if you are not using the full shroud, but I wanted to display at least a portion of mine, so glued them all on with the exception of those that went under the top shroud section.

At this time you can begin some of the major painting, and I found it easier to paint the upper wing separately from the rest of the model to avoid overspray later.

Of course, there are a number of ways to rig a model like this, and I elected to do the through-wing thread approach as it offered the best strength with the least likelihood of grief from my fat fingers.  Like the first build, it required a little additional patience to thread through both halves of each wing, but the final result was more than satisfactory.

Both versions of this kit offer a few British aircraft markings, but I wanted to have a bit more variety so went ahead and ordered the new ICM Gladiator Mk.II in Foreign Service decals direct from the Ukraine.  However, after waiting some weeks for them to arrive (delayed, no doubt, by new postal restrictions), I finally was obliged to bite the bullet and employ decals from my personal stock instead.  Notwithstanding, the Finnish air force markings I did muster certainly create a striking contrast to the dusty and worn look of my Gladiator I, and fit the bill quite nicely.

A masking set is provided for masking the canopy.  Although it looks quite nice, I simply used my usual Scotch Invisible Tape approach along with a sharp X-Acto for good results.  Be sure to use the armored front screen option as this is the appropriate piece for the Mk. II. 

All in all, this is as excellent a kit as the original Mark I model, and makes for an eye-catching addition to any 1/32nd scale aircraft collection.  There were no serious challenges in the kit - not even the rigging - and it was a fun build from beginning to end.  I heartily recommend this kit to anyone who loves early war aviation.  ICM has apparently just released the Sea Gladiator Mk I or II in the same series, and this would present a fine opportunity to make a Malta defender for your collection as well.

My thanks, always, to ICM for creating so many of my dream kits and to IPMS/USA for a chance to build them.  This one is a stunner!  Be safe, everyone, and happy modeling!

Hilltop garage

New Forum Posts - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 11:47
I'm sure that you've all heard the phrase "my eyes are bigger than my stomach"? Meaning don't bite off more than you can chew. I've always been intrigued by dioramas. The stories that they tell can be awesome. I've always felt that the best aspect of a good diorama is one that each new time that you look at it you find some new hidden detail that you missed the previous time. I finally decided, a few years back, that I was going to build my first diorama. Being a car guy it almost made sense that I would do a garage with vehicles, tools, supplies, etc. I also like nature so I wanted to incorporate some added outdoors scene as well. So, one thing led to another and the next thing you know my design is way out of control and taking up a tremendous amount of space. It was fun but finding somewhere to store it/display it when it was done was no easy task. I also only took this to one contest after it was done because of the size and weight. Here it is. I framed the garage completely out of wood. Removable roof, real shingles, opening garage door and as much detail as I could throw at it without it becoming too busy. It was great learning experience that mainly taught me that if I ever did any more dioramas, (which I have) to keep the size in check.