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Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago


Tue, 02/06/2018 - 23:24
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The website Deagel.com describes the MOAB as follows: the GBU-43/B, also known as Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) or Mother Of All Bombs, is a 20,000-pound class bomb designed to hit large areas of enemy territory to achieve a terrifying psychological impact. It uses a GPS-based navigation system and a single blast-type warhead. The yield of this weapon is equivalent to 11-tons of TNT, obliterating an area of  200-250 meters radius.

The MOAB bomb was developed to be available for the Iraq campaign in 2003 (Operation Iraqi Freedom), but it was not deployed. It has been designed to be dropped by an MC-130 Combat Talon aircraft. The final developmental test was carried out on March 11, 2003. It was employed for the first time by the US Air Force to fight the Islamic State in Afghanistan on April 13, 2017.

When this weapon was used operationally in Afghanistan, video of the drop and explosion was all over the news. I kept thinking that somebody is going to release a kit of this beast before too long. That before too long has turned into now.

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Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 23:22
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Marco Mattioli was born January 1, 1966 in Rome.  Marco has been interested in military history since he was a teenager. In 1992 he joined the Italian National Journalist Order, after which he was employed as a writer for several leading Italian history publishers. A contributor to many important Italian history and defense magazines, as well as the author of a number of books on Italian military aviation, he wrote Osprey Aviation Elite Units 38: 53deg Stormo and Osprey Combat Aircraft 106: Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units.

Richard J. Caruana, who lives and works in Malta, is best known for his technical and colour drawings which appear regularly in magazines in the UK (Scale Aviation Modeller International), Italy (Elicotteri e Aerei Militari, Aerofan) and Greece (Model Expert). His aviation art, specializing in the history and colours of the Regia Aeronautica, has also been published in the US, Canada, Australia, Portugal, Argentina and Israel. He also has 14 books to his credit as author. Check him out at https://sites.google.com/site/rjcaviationart/.

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Modeler’s Guide to Aftermarket Aircraft Decals

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 23:11
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Ever wonder if there was ever a decal made for a particular aircraft by a particular company? Then this CD is for you!  Totaling 861 pages of information, this CD lists aircraft decals from 1960 through late 2017. Did they miss any? Probably but they do promise updates as more information becomes available. The amount of research and work involved here is staggering.

The CD-book begins with a table of contents listing every decal maker they have found. These are listed alphabetically and cover 6 pages.

Next comes the explanation of the listings, giving you the name of the manufacturer, Home country,  is the manufacturer active, inactive or out of print, explanatory material, scale, stock number, sheet title and finally aircraft types if not contained in the title.

The next 838 pages contain the list of all the manufacturers and their decal sheets. Sample sheets are placed throughout these pages. Just to be clear there is not a picture of every single decal sheet as then this would have had thousands of pages. Only some representative examples are place on these pages.

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Frog Penguin Model Kits, 1936-50

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 23:02
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Frog was one of the first manufacturers of all plastic model kits in the world, pre-dating most U.S. companies by almost 20 years. Unlike other manufacturers, they did not start off building toys or other items, but rather their first product was the "Interceptor", a rubber band powered model aircraft. It was distinguished by two things. One is that when those gliders you knew as a kid were being made of balsa wood, the Interceptor was metal. The other is that you did not launch it or throw it, it took off from the ground. Mr. van Lune goes into an extensive discussion of this aspect as it led to the company's name, FROG, which in various legends came from Flies Right Off the Ground. 

Mr. van Lune is obviously devoted to Frog model kits and in this case the Penguin line of Frog kits. He has done meticulous research and has an extensive personal collection of Frog kits as well, so he knows that of which he speaks.

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The RAF: 1918 - 2018

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 21:16
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This small volume is a primer in every sense of the word. Nevertheless, author Julian Hale has managed to admirably condense the 100 year history of the Royal Air Force down to sixty-four short pages. The value of this volume lies in introducing the reader, who may be familiar enough with the RAF's participation in the Second World War or the RFC's struggles through WWI, with some of the lesser known highlights of the "World's Oldest Air Force".

The books main chapters include:


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Cardboard Boxes (Generic/Electronic Devices/ Beer)

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 09:06
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Product/Stock Numbers for each set:

  • Generic: 35058
  • Electronic Devices: 35065
  • Beer: 35064

Direct links for all three sets:


Kit Review

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T-54-3 Soviet Medium Tank Mod 1951. Interior Kit

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 23:37
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Brief History

The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of Soviet main battle tanks introduced in the years following the Second World War. The first T-54 prototype was completed at Nizhny Tagil by the end of 1945. Initial production ramp up settled for 1947 at Nizhny Tagil, and 1948 for Kharkov were halted and curtailed as many problems were uncovered; the T-34-85 still accounted for 88 percent of production through the 50's. The T-54 eventually became the main tank for armoured units of the Soviet Army, armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and many others. T-54s and T-55s have been involved in many of the world's armed conflicts since the later part of the 20th century.

The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in military history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000. They were replaced by the T-62, T-64, T-72, -80, T-90 and soon, T-14 tanks in the Soviet and Russian armies, but remain in use by up to 50 other armies worldwide, some having received sophisticated retrofitting.

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Lockheed Model L-200 Convoy Fighter

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 22:21
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Jared A. Zichek is a freelance writer and illustrator specializing in aviation and automotive history.  He lives in La Jolla, California.  You can find him at his blog and website: http://retromechanix.com/; on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/retromechanix, and on Twitter @retromechanix. RetroMechanix.com is devoted to innovative and unusual flying machines from earlier decades, with special emphasis on U.S. prototype and project aircraft from the 1930's through the 1950's. Featuring hundreds of previously unpublished high resolution photographs, drawings and artist's impressions, along with original primary documents scanned directly from the U.S. National Archives,  RetroMechanix.com  is the definitive resource for yesterday's wings of tomorrow.

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Jaguar XJR-9 IMSA (Daytona Type) Limited Edition

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 21:47
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From Hasegawa's website: Designed specifically for taking the racing world by storm, the XJR-9 was the eighties Jaguar that finally cracked the iron grip Porsche had on the 24 Hours of Le Mans and brought Jaguar its first Le Mans win since 1957. In America, the type also brought home the win at the 24 Hours of Daytona and took third in the overall Constructor's Championship. This limited edition kit features markings for three IMSA-GTP class Daytona Sunbank 24 hours racers: Car No. 60 (the winner), Car No. 61, and Car No. 66 (third place).

Hasegawa originally released this kit in 1989, shortly after Jaguar had won at Daytona the previous year. This limited edition version is the same kit with new box art. (Limited Edition usually means that this will be the last release of these molds.) What is under that new box art are sixty seven parts molded in white plastic, clear parts for the windscreen and headlamp covers, four rubber tires as well as decals for all three cars (#60, #61, #66) that entered the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1988. 

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Revell 1/25 1976 Ford Gran Torino 2 door hardtop

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 17:06
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A very nice new kit from Revell, this is the stock version, issued after the "Starsky and Hutch" version. The kit is a very simple build that almost harkens back to the old screw bottom kits.  It was a pleasure to build, as there was basically no flash, and fit and finish were fantastic. Chrome is excellent quality, and the glass are all seperate pieces that fit very nicely. A welcome attribute. I built my kit mostly box stock, except for the following: I added a distributor and wires and I also added the factory optional quarter "opera" windows and vinyl top, simply to break up the large expanse of roof and quarter panel on these cars. I also used vintage Uniroyal white walls, as the kit supplied white wall tires seem to have too low of a profile. A wonderful kit that I would recommend to anyone, advanced or not. The only problem I found with the entire kit, are the relatively low profile tires, that if used, would look too small on the car. Thanks to Revell for a great new kit, and thanks to IPMS for allowing me to review it. (The colors I used are Ford Light Green, and Ford Dark Yellow Green)

Bristol Beaufighter Porcupine Exhausts

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 23:54
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The porcupine exhaust on the Beaufighter are distinctive and not the easiest thing to injection mold in a kit.  So Quickboost has made some resin replacements for the new Airfix kits and they are beauties.

The kit exhaust is made up of two parts where the Quickboost item is just one part.  My only concern is the replacement is noticeably bigger than the kit parts.  But when compared to the 72nd drawings that I have the replacement part looks dead on.

So, another quick replacement that really will add to your next Beaufighter build.

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

Bristol Beaufighter Air Intakes and Fuel Drain (A)

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 23:47
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The Beaufighter had two different types of air intakes on top of the engines, a short one and a long one.  This set from Quickboost covers the short version.  The resin parts are cast perfectly and should be easy to remove from the block.  The short intakes in the new Airfix kits are made up of two halves so there will be a seam to take care of.  The resin replacements are single parts with very thin edges and will be that much easier to use.

The other parts in the set are direct replacements for the kit parts and add a lot of detail with the thinness of the castings.

One thing I noticed is out of the 4 versions offered between the TF.X and the TF.10 kits, only one in the later kit uses the short intakes.  That said, there are numerous aftermarket decal sets that will need these shorter ones.

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

Plusmodel 1/72 Beaufighter 3 inch Rockets

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 00:40
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In Plusmodel's Aero Line is this nice set of rockets for the Beaufighter.  Included are 8 resin 3-inch rockets, 8 launch rails and 2 launcher mounting plates.  All are beautifully cast with no flaws.

The rockets have extremely thin tail fins and this caused me all kinds of trouble.  In fact, it took three tries before I could get a rocket off the sprue without breaking at least one fin off.  Those of you with more resin experience than myself should have no trouble but be warned.

Once you have them cut off they are truly great looking with very nice detail and a direct replacement for the Airfix items.

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

Master Model SAAB 35 Draken (mid and late versions) - Pitot Tubes

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 23:47
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This is a brass replacement for the nose pitot on the 1/144 J35 Draken.  But wait, there's more... It's also an add-on for a tail pitot.  But you have to check.  Some Drakens have the tail pitot, many don't,  so check a photo before adding the tail pitot.

The brass parts are always a welcome replacement for the plastic parts.  All too often the plastic pitots prove to be fragile, and they break or bend.  The Master pitots are fine turned brass, and they stand up to age and handling far better than the styrene kit parts. 

In this case I had a Pit Road Draken I built last year.  I replaced the nose pitot, and upgraded the tail with the new pitot there.


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Bristol Beaufighter Antennas and Position Lights

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 23:29
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This set for the new Airfix Beaufighter is a bit different.  It includes a replacement antenna and pitot tube which are direct replacements for the kit parts.  They are, as usual, nicely cast with no air bubbles.

The other 3 bits are position lights molded in clear red, blue, and amber resin.  The unusual bit about these is there are no instructions telling you where they belong on the model.  The kit doesn't include position lights and there is nowhere in the kit instructions on where they could be.  In fact, looking around the web there is a complete lack of info on Beaufighter position lights.  So, what is a modeler to do?

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155mm Long Tom Gun In Action

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 20:52
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After many years of being published in enthusiast publications focused on military vehicle restorations, David Doyle 'graduated' to full-fledged books in 2003.  His first book was a hefty 512 page history of US military vehicles.  He has now had more than 100 books published in military vehicles, aviation and naval topics.  David and his wife Denise have amassed a collection of ten Vietnam era military vehicles that still displays at shows.  In June 2015, was honored with the Military Vehicle Preservation Association's Bart Vanderveen Award, given in recognition of "...the individual who has contributed the most to the historic preservation of military vehicles worldwide."  Be sure to check out David's website at www.DavidDoyleBooks.com  where you can see and buy at a discounted price off of MSRP all his books that are still available.

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Rabaul 1943-44 Reducing Japan’s great island fortress

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 20:44
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This book is the second in a new series covering major air campaigns in history. This book covers the fight against the Japanese held island stronghold of Rabaul. This island fortress was blocking the allied advance to Tokyo, Home to around 100,000 troops and numerous airfields it was felt that even an all-out assault would not lead to the taking of the island. Thus the Allies began a campaign of aerial assault adding in the use of naval and land forces to reduce the ability of Rabaul to play an important part in the war. This campaign became the blueprint for further combat in the Pacific, showing that it was not necessary to occupy the island to control it.

The book is broken down into 9 sections. The introduction discusses in brief the strategic importance of Rabaul and all the reasons it was such a natural and important base for the Japanese in WWII>

Next a chronology of events from the January 23rd 1942 Japanese capture of Rabaul to the September 6, 1945 surrender of Japanese forces on Rabaul to the Americans.

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Fri, 01/26/2018 - 19:44
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No one can accuse Eduard of not listening to their critics.  First the redid their Bf-109s and now they have started to redo their FW-190 series.  The first Focke Wulfs that Eduard released were complicated and over engineered for most modelers.  They contained a lot of great detail but the fit was fiddly and could confound some modelers.  Well all that has changed with the release of the FW-190A-4.

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Su-17, Su-20 or Su-22 Pitot Tube Details

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 11:38

Contents Description

The subject set includes several turned brass pitot tube parts, resin vanes and two 30mm gun barrels for the Su-17, Su-20, Su-22 (Fitter), plus the secondary pitot tubes (optional parts for all versions).

I contacted Master to confirm what material was used for the vanes and is their response:  "This material is a resin, but not casting resin. This part is a direct 3D print, so it is UV cured resin used in 3D DLP printers. This material is very similar (chemically and structurally) to Plexiglass (PMMA). It can be easily join using CA glue.  The problem is that this material is quite fragile, so we intended to use flexible type of UV resin, so it is not so easy to brake. Of course when it happened our customer service will replace broken parts for free. Piotr Czerkasow  "

It is very simple to use on your model and makes it extremely realistic. Simply cut off the original plastic part, drill a hole in the remaining plastic parts and insert the metal parts using a gel super glue to allow for tweaking adjustments and proper alignment.

The Kit Parts

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Resin Wheels and Tires for 1/48 F-16I “Sufa” (Storm)

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 23:41
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IPMS/USA thanks the crew at Aires for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with one more of many monthly releases, In this case another example of CAD-assisted resin wheel and tire assembly.  This is a useful and timely landing gear addition in the ever-growing detail world for the sufferers of Advanced Detail Syndrome like me.  And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it my way to be reviewed. 

This review is of the Aires/Wheeliant F-16I Sufa's wheel and tire set.  It is truly an improvement over the basic kit items, as a mere glance at the photos can show.   The one really noticeable bit is the writing on the tire sides ("Goodyear"), and the deep, scale tire grooves of the "heavy" landing gear rubber. Be aware that 148018 is the set for Kinetic's Sufa, and 148016 is the Hasegawa version.  There are differenced in the axle arrangement, etc.

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