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Updated: 10 hours 28 min ago

Detail Set for DO-335A

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 12:17
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Master Model

IPMS/USA sends warm regards once again to Piotr at Master Model for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with yet one more of his masterful (!) Turned metal releases, which have become a gold-standard for many of us who do a lot of model building. And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it to me to be reviewed.

I am constantly amazed at what comes out of Piotr's shop... sure, some of us can cut brass tubing with the best.. but the machine work on the MG 151 cannon, the "Through the engine crankshaft centerline cannon, the pitot tube, and the very delicate IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) FuG 25 antenna always has me wondering how.

Then again we live in an age of metalworking (and other material) magic.

Certainly this set fits a niche that is difficult to otherwise fill. Containing the five aforementioned metal parts, this set is worth investing in for the realism and delicacy (Not to mention the strength and resiliency) of brass for our models.

If you own any of the HK models, I highly recommend this set be acquired, as it adds just that special touch to the final product. Primer, paint black for the cannon and silver/camo for the pitot and antenna, drill the holes in the required locations and add as a final step, and be done.

My usual admonition to "Watch your eyes and fingers" apply to these strengthened items...

I wish these were around when I built the pre-release HK DO-335A review item (Without instructions, mind you... for IPMS back in 2014... has it been that long? Woah... ) Thanks again to Piotr for providing us the set, and John and Phil to forwarding for review.

Detail Set for DO-335 B-2

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 12:04
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Master Model

IPMS/USA yet again sends regards to Piotr at Master Model for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with yet one more of his turned metal and resin accessory releases, which are the gold-standard for those who do a lot of model building. And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it to me to be reviewed.

This set takes the ante up on the previously reviewed AM-32-107 set... included in the -108 version is the brass machine work on the two MG 151 cannon, the very delicate pitot tube and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) FuG 25 antenna, and also the MG-103 cannon in brass, as well as a brass blast tube for the centerline "through the engine shaft" cannon; more jewels appear in the form of what appears to be CAD machine-printed resin muzzle brakes for the MG-103.

The detail on the muzzle brakes is absolutely astounding, and having built several Master model sets with resin, I can account for the delicate but strong nature of the resin. The blast vents on the brake are astounding in their detail, and these have to be seen to be believed. Not something I can carve out of resin or other material myself, I have to think this is the ultimate technology for our future model parts. Whether or not it can be affordable as a full-up model is a discussion for another time or place...

Then again we live in a age of metalworking (and other material) magic.

Certainly this set fits a niche that is difficult to otherwise fill. Containing the seven aforementioned metal and two resin parts, this set is worth investing in for the realism and delicacy (Not to mention the strength and resiliency) of brass and the impressive appearance and delicacy of resin for our models.

If you own any of the HK DO-335 models, I highly recommend this set be acquired, as it adds just that special touch to the final product. Primer, paint black for the cannon and silver/camo for the pitot and antenna, drill the holes in the required locations and add as a final step, and be done.

Master makes available for sale a blackening agent to finish these barrels, but I have not used it as I use other etching methods for brass that seems to work. In a pinch, black metal primer spray also works, and polishes out nicely to a semi-gloss metallic gun-like sheen.

My usual admonition to "be careful with your eyes and fingers" apply to these strengthened items...

Again, thanks to Piotr at Master for providing us the set, and John and Phil to forwarding for review.

F-15E Maximum Effort Eagles

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 10:48
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Twobobs Aviation Graphics

IPMS USA gratefully acknowledges the continued support from Bob at Two Bobs Aviation Graphics...

Recommended Kits
  • Tamiya's F-15E; the later release is recommended, due to minor changes in weapons load
  • And to make sure your Mudhen is fully upgraded, I recommend the GT Resin range available from Sprue Brothers models for intakes, wheels, and exhausts.
  • Two Mikes also produces an excellent set of 1/32 F-15 Engine featherless exhausts.
  • If you are feeling particularly extravagant and must have the best, the HK range of 1/32 F-15 exhausts has been beautifully 3-D printed as well, and is heartily recommended. Order these directly or you can pay a distributor here in the States to do the leg work.

The review item is the typical high standard and normal from Two Bobs; I have a special place in the heart for Lakenheath subjects, as the F-111F's there used to attack us at RAF Mildenhall with interdiction and other extreme low-level antics, and certainly the Mudhens and now F-35's will be doing the same. And there are few things more satisfying than waking the neighbors when "quiet hours" end. Price of freedom, old man. I don't choose the location, the enemy does.

The instructions are top of the line, simple and easy. The enlarged format with clear, concise detail and placement information for the aircraft markings and stenciling is the best I've seen in the business, period. And I've struggled with the original stencil sheets from other companies in the old days, so...

The Stars of this sheet are the "nose art" items and unit markings... LN has a long combat history, and the "Statue De La Liberte " wing carries this tradition. I understand the Tigers sheet is next up, so we'll see what the "don't offend anyone while we are killing them" crowd restricts us to on that sheet. The theme of the 494th "Panthers" is toward 'toon and movie characters with bad attitudes and baddass results, and subjects like "Ravage" and "Bulls Eye" are particularly detailed. The 2-OH-40oz is a red-tail character of the P-51's, and a nod to their excellence. "Lady Liberty and "Texas Ranger" are also well done... and some of the other movie and TV themes are also addressed. All in register , all produced with the Proven excellence of the Cartograph decal company of Italy.

This Decal sheet is a perfect example of our choices and the expanding resources in the industry, and I look forward to more releases from Bob and crew in the future. As an old Maintainer himself, he knows what is correct and is produces one of the finest products out there!

Thanks again to TwoBobs for making the decals and providing IPMS/USA with a review sample.

F-18C/D Wheels

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 10:28
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Brengun

IPMS/USA says "thanks kindly" to Brengun for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with yet one more of their growing number of releases, with useful additions for those who build. And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it to me to be reviewed.

This set has four parts... two nose gear and two main gear wheels and tires. Cast in medium gray resin, they provide a professional final touch for those of us who frequent the Lilliputian scale of 1/144. There are no instructions, nor are any needed if you are using them.

Clean the resin with your own mold release agent remover, paint with flat black primer, then use a touch of flat white on a 00000 brush or a toothpick... followed by a gloss on the wheel, so a bit of weathering dark gray or black pin wash can be used to bring out the detail.

What amazes me most about this set are the wheel details, including brake pad assemblies for the rear of the wheels, and cooling holes for the brake system on the forward wheel face. Past my ability to manufacture, it's an amazing bit of art and wizardry.

Brengun appears to have the 1/144 scale aftermarket details firmly in hand, and we appreciate Brenguns' owners for supporting us... thanks to them and Phil and John for sending Bregun stuff my way...!

AV-8B Wheels

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 10:23
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Brengun

IPMS/USA says "thanks kindly" to Brengun for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with yet one more of their growing number of releases, with useful additions for those who build. And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it to me to be reviewed.

This set has 10 parts... One nose gear wheel and tire and nose gear fork, two main gear wheels and tires, and two outrigger wheels and tires all cast in resin. Also included is a small etch brass set with torque links for the outrigger gear. The resin is cast in medium gray color, and this is the ultimate provision including a professional final touch for those of us who frequent the Lilliputian scale of 1/144. There are instructions included to assist you in your task.

Clean the resin with your own mold release agent remover, paint with flat black primer, then use a touch of flat white on a 00000 brush or a toothpick... followed by a gloss on the wheel, so a bit of weathering dark gray or black pin wash can be used to bring out the detail. As to the photoetch, a bit of primer spray will help with paint adhesion here as well

The wheel details, including brake pad assemblies for the rear of the wheels, and cooling holes for the brake system on the forward wheel face, are amazing. The PE is also an excellent touch. Past my ability to manufacture, it's an amazing bit of art and wizardry, just waiting for an opportunity to be held by micro tweezers and plinked off into the carpet. WEAR eye protection, this stuff is tiny and has serious potential to cause damage if released with tiddly-wink precision by the modeler!

Brengun appears to have the 1/144 scale aftermarket details firmly in hand, and we appreciate Brenguns' owners for supporting us... thanks to them and Phil and John for sending Brengun stuff my way...!

Mercedes Benz Actros MP4 Giga Space

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 10:01
Product Image Review Author:  Jarrod Booth Italeri

The Mercedes Benz Actros range of trucks was introduced in 1995 and quickly became a success hauling cargo throughout Europe and other parts of the world.

Italeri is well known for their extensive range of truck models. They exhibit very nice detail and are relatively easy to build. The top opening box shows a great painting of the "show" truck. Inside it is packed full of parts sprues, "rubber" tires, mesh for behind the star, instruction manual and decal sheet. There were three parts sprues contained within two plastic bags each, while the clear parts and additional chrome plated parts were in their own separate bags.

Construction started with the chassis. There were two parts to each chassis "I" frame and looked like a double bogey axel could be added/changed from the single axel in the kit. Air tanks, a battery container, engine mounts and structural cross members were assembled to form the chassis frame.

The inside of the chassis frames showed numerous large ejector pin marks, but, most would be hidden. Nearly every part in this model had ejector pin marks, which is consistent with every Italeri model I have seen or built. I cleaned up those that would be most visible and left the rest. Some ejector pin marks were located on parts that were highly visible like the rear cabin wall and ceiling. Filler and sanding took care of these. Large mold seams also had to be sanded or scraped away on many parts. None of this was difficult and the nature of the plastic made removing these blemishes easy enough.

The front and rear axles, suspension and shock absorbers followed and all fit together nicely. The front wheels are designed to steer. All the steering linkage arm shaft ends were melted using a heated knife after inserting them through the next linkage socket to lock them into place.

The engine was a sizable model-in-itself. The end result was a convincing miniature of the six-cylinder motor seen on the real truck. Most parts fit well. The radiator attached to the chassis and the cooling fan attaches to the engine front. Hoses and pipes from the engine to the radiator completed this assembly. The engine and radiator fit perfectly into their chassis mounts and were glued in place along with the drive shaft.

While still attached to their sprue, I painted the wheels Model Master enamel Chrome which gave them a nice polished Alloy appearance. The sprue attachment was right behind the rim and required careful cutting to remove the wheels without damaging the rim. The vinyl "rubber" tires were cut from their sprue. They show very nice tread pattern and some tire size numbering on the side walls. Once the wheel halves were glued together and tires installed, they look fantastic.

The fuel tanks and exhaust noise reducer were assembled, painted and attached to the chassis.

The cabin is nicely appointed and well detailed. Decals were used for instruments and steering wheel controls. I liked the grey color of the plastic and used black and silver to add contrasts to panel centers, dash and door trims. The walls of the cabin attach to the floor and ceiling to form an internal box. All parts fit very nicely. The sunroof was painted Tamiya Smoke. I used decals from a sheet I had for the Revell Germany version of this model that included all instrument panel controls, seat inserts and door panel speakers.

All the outer cab panels, roof, mirrors and various other cab related parts were painted Model Master spray can Classic White lacquer and decaled before joining them together. The side spoilers and roof were taped to each side panels to facilitate applying the large single piece wolf head decal that extended from just behind the side windows to the rear of the spoilers. I ran a new blade along the edges to separate the spoilers, side panels and roof for later assembly after the decals had dried and clear coat applied. The Cartograf decals were a little thick, but, laid down beautifully with a little Micro-Sol. I chose to paint the cab panels separately first as they assemble along natural joints, and it was easier to add the windows afterwards without having to mask them.

I sprayed the grill, wheel hubs and rear wheel mud guards with Testors enamel Dark Blue and found it was an almost perfect match to the blue decal color. The Wolf decals, grill and other items I painted blue really made the white cab "pop"!

After several failed attempts to bare metal foil the prominent Mercedes star, I painted it with a Molotow Liquid Chrome pen. I decanted the paint and applied it using a soft brush. There was quite a lot of flash on the star that was delicately removed.

Before joining the outer side cab walls to the internal cab "box", I painted the side window surrounds rubber black and then attached their respective windows. This was followed by the windscreen being glued into the front cab panel. The fit was very good and the mounting surfaces were adequate for glue application. The "glass" was very thin and the sprue gates quite large in places. I used a razor saw to remove each part. The clear parts were one area where much care was needed as any rough handling could damage or crack the plastic. The large sprue gates certainly added strength and protected the clear parts while on the sprue.

The four cab panels and roof were carefully glued together which completed this part of the build. Take time to make sure all the walls line up so the roof sits flush all the way around.

When I built Italeri's Iveco Hi-Way 40th Anniversary (https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/iveco-hi-way-40th-anniversary), I learnt, after the fact that if the top grill panel is glued in its down position the cab won't tilt. I now have a lovely engine that can't be seen on that model! I built a hinge setup from a paper clip so I could raise the panel and be able to tilt the Mercedes cab forward.

I moved onto the chrome parts, specially added to this kit. This consisted of decorative piping that ran along the bottom of the side skirts, lower chin spoiler, spotlight holder over the roof, spotlights and horns. The spotlight holder had some flash that I removed along with mold seams that were quite visible. I used bare metal foil to cover and hide my clean up. The spotlights and their individual lenses were attached and the whole assembly glued to the roof. The spotlight lenses were not clear like the rest of the clear parts. I brushed Future Floor Wax (yes, I still have the old stuff!) over them which helped. The side skirt and chin chrome parts included lights that were painted clear orange.

Curiously, the large side rear vision mirrors did not include clear parts for the "glass" mirrors. However, the two small mirrors that aim down to show the driver where the front and side of the truck is to curbs, etc. do facilitate clear lenses. The previous edition of this kit included a sheet of chrome stickers that took care of all mirrors. I Bare Metal foiled all mirrors for a uniform look. All mirrors were attached to the cab using their mounting brackets. No fit issues were encountered.

Numerous brackets attach the side spoilers to the rear of the cab. They all fit fine and aligned quite nicely with the roof spoiler. All the brackets had mold seam lines that needed removing to improve their fit and appearance. The air pipe that attached to the cab air conditioner was also glued to the rear of the cab. It lined up well to the pipe leading from the engine with the cab down.

Two pins insert through brackets to mount the cab to the chassis. All of a sudden there was a large Mercedes Benz truck on my model bench!

The blue mud guards were attached to the chassis over the rear wheels. I needed to adjust these somewhat as the inside tires rubbed. The side skirts, with their orange "position" lights and blue wolf "fur" decals, were then glued to the front and rear mud guards. The taillights slot over a raised area on the mud guards and red and yellow caution decals are located below them.

To complete this Mercedes MP4, the sun visor, aerials and horns were glued in their position. Windscreen wipers, mirrors, step pads and number plates completed the build. After that, I sat back and admired my very striking Euro show truck!! It looks fantastic next to the Blue Iveco truck.

I enjoyed building this rig. It went together quite well and was not overly difficult to build. It was just let down by numerous ejector pin marks in many visible areas. This truck could be built straight out of the box without paint as most parts were already the correct color. With a little care and attention to details, I have no doubt that most modelers could build a very nice rendition of this kit, painted or not.

My sincere thanks to MRC-Academy, Italeri and IPMS USA for entrusting me to build and review this model.

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat: A Comprehensive Guide - Modelers Data File #35

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 01:04
Product Image Review Author:  Paul R. Brown SAM Publications

This is an updated version of SAM Publications earlier book on the F-14 Tomcat.  The book starts with a brief history of the origins of the F-14 and has separate chapters for each of the three variants of the Tomcat, the F-14A, F-14A+/B, and the ultimate Tomcat - the F-14D.  Each chapter includes descriptions of each variant, covering things such as the avionics, air-to-air weapons, and other systems for that variant.  The chapters are lavishly illustrated with mostly color photographs illustrating many of the squadrons that operated the Tomcat and each chapter includes a listing of the Bureau Numbers for that variant.

When it was designed, Grumman assumed that the Tomcat, like the F-4 Phantom, would also be used as a bomber and even the original F-14As had air-to-ground systems incorporated, including a wing-sweep setting for "bomb", however it would be almost 20 years before this potential was tapped into.  Mr. Evans devotes an entire chapter to the evolution/conversion of the Tomcat from a fleet interceptor/dogfighter into a true multi-role aircraft with the development of the "Bombcat".  The chapter includes a lot of excellent photographs of different ordinance loads for the F-14.

As expected, there is a separate chapter discussing Iran's purchase and employment of the F-14 with color photographs of several of the paint schemes applied to the Iranian Tomcats.  The chapter also includes a brief discussion of F-14 operations in the Iraq-Iran war and Iran's efforts to find new air-to-air weapons to replace the AIM-54 Phoenix, including converting Hawk SAMs into air-to-air missiles.

Next is a chapter on flying and fighting the Tomcat from an aircrew perspective which is accompanied by numerous photographs of the F-14 operating from carriers.  This is followed by a chapter discussing the Tomcat's combat career from the Gulf of Sidra through operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The final chapter discusses the retirement of the Tomcat in 2006 and the destruction of most of the airframes and spare parts to prevent Iran from obtaining spare parts for its Tomcat. 

There are seven pages of color side profiles and one of upper and lower views illustrating many of the paint schemes and squadron markings seen on the F-14 over the years.  This section is followed by eight kit builds - 1 in 1/32, 2 in 1/72 and 5 in 1/48.  The builds are excellent, impressive, and illustrate many different techniques and styles.  

Finally, there are 7 appendices covering things such as a walk-around of the aircraft, excerpts from the F-14 technical manuals, Tomcat colors, special test Tomcats, 1/72nd scale plans, and an extensive listing of Tomcat kits, accessories and decals.

This book is good overview of the F-14 and its three variants and includes lots of great information and photographs.  The color profiles and kit builds offer inspiration for some interesting aircraft and the walkaround photos will help those who must super-detail their gear wells and doors.  I noted just a few errors in the text, such as stating the only squadrons that operated the F-14D were VF-2, VF-11 and VF-31 while including a lot of photographs of VF-213's F-14Ds, but they do not detract from the rest of the content.

As I also own the original issue of SAM Publications Modeler's Data File on the F-14. I compared the two and noted that while there is some new material in this volume, primarily the kit builds and some of the appendices, most of the text and photographs in this volume are from the original volume, just re-arranged. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the F-14. However, if you own the prior volume you may want to peruse this new edition first to see if there is enough new information to make it worth your while.

Thank you to SAM Publications for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

Aviaeology RCAF Overseas Catalinas The savior of Ceylon & Beyond

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 00:43
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Aviaeology

Aviaeology is a company based in Ontario, Canada and calls itself  "A product of research, illustration, & design for students, enthusiasts, & practitioners of Aviation History Publications, Decal Sets, and Model Parts

Right now I'm trying to make my fingers work in my back room where my laptop and I are banished for doing all our nefarious Modeling reviews and such works.  However, Ontario is a LOT colder than Oklahoma, so I have it good...  

 

Therefore, IPMS/USA sends warm regards once again to the stalwart proprietors of Aviaeology, Alison and Terry Higgins, for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with yet one more of their marvelously produced, meticulously researched and top-shelf historical and artworks.  And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it to me to be reviewed. 

 

In this case, I am reading the header of the RCAF Overseas Catalines of 413, 422 squadrons, operating out of Ceylon in World War II.    Available in 1/48 and 1/72 scales, or a stand-alone booklet on the net, this is the usual Aviaeology qualitiy product we have come to expect.

 

The instructions are small historical booklets in themselves, and contain sufficient decal subjects to cover several Catalinas in this service.   The historic aspect is the major draw to these decals... besides the excellent quality transfers themselves.   Included are codes, roundels, fin flashes, and other details sufficient to build some new and interesting models... all you have to do is spend some sheckles on E-bay or pull out the stash for one of the older Catalina Mk 1 or Mk 1b models...

 

Having used Aviaeology decals before, I was not only overwhelmingly impressed with the research and presentation, but the performance of the decals themselves.  I used a set on a 1/24 Airfix Typhoon and they worked like most new-tech decals will... settling in with a small blotting towel, and minimal use of solvents.  No tough love is anticipated to be required on this set! 

 

Alas, this set was not snapped up by our local group, and fortunately I happened to receive this particular decal as, what we call in the reviewer corps, 'an orphan" due to various and sundry reasons.  (...So it's not a jet, watsa mattah wit you'se guys?...)

 

I am so impressed with what I have seen on opening the package that I have started to source one of the Academy releases in anticipation of using Aviaeology's decals, probably the Mk IVb.  Which scheme shall receive some attention from the airbrush?... no dearth of choice here. 

 

Aviaeology, you win another one.   There are those of us out here who build models for the markings... and I am one of them.  But I am only one... and only so much time.  In this case, better a late discovery of a Gem than totally ignored, and I look forward to the completed project soon.  Well done and I will be looking for your next hidden Canadian Treasure!  Thanks again Allison and Terry for providing IPMS USA this sheet, and Phil and John for affording me the opportunity to do so!

T-38 Talon, F-5B, RF-5A/E/S Pitot Tube and 20mm Gun Barrels

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 00:10
Product Image Review Author:  Floyd S. Werner Jr. Master Model

The release of the Wolfpack and Trumpeter T-38 Talon/ and F-5B/ RF-5A/E/S Freedom Fighter kits brought this light weight multi-role fighter into the modern age.  I hate having to remove the mold lines.  I can never keep the roundness of cross section.  Then there is the strength of the brass itself.  No plastic can withstand the same amount of pressure as the brass can.

 

Packaged in a resealable plastic bag, with card stock backing, are three beautifully turned metal pieces.  One pitot tube and two gun barrels.  Depending on what aircraft variant you want to do depends on what you will use.  The T-38 only needs the pitot tube.  Any variant of the F-5 would need the pitot tube and the gun barrels.  Again, it depends if one or two guns are used. 

 

The instructions are printed on a small one-sided sheet of paper that explains the correct size drill bits to use and how deep to make the holes.  This is very informative and useful.

 

Master Models produce the best turned metal barrels in the hobby.  Every one of them is simply flawlessly executed and this set is no different.  The instructions are easy to understand.  The pitot tube will stick out in front of the model so without the brass strength you will definitely break it off.  Don't let that be you, get this and many other brass pitot tubes available from Master. 

 

Highly recommended

 

Thanks to Master Model and IPMS/USA for the review copy.  You can obtain yours by contacting Master Model at www.master-model.pl or at your local hobby shop on online retailer.

 

Nieuport XVII Landing Gear & V-Main Struts (CSM)

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 17:37
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions offers a set of white metal aftermarket parts for the Copper State Models Nieuport XVII. You can find information about the Copper State kit at https://www.copperstatemodels.com. As with other SAC offerings this set of landing gear struts and V-wing struts are white metal and are true to the detail found on the CSM parts that are to be replaced.

Reviews of the CSM kit do not contain any negative comments about the quality of the undercarriage and wing struts. So, why, you ask, is there a need to replace those parts with white metal parts? Experience indicates that even the best injection molded undercarriage parts tend to allow for some "wobble", allowing for some flexibility in those parts. And there is always the often-experienced occasion in which the undercarriage parts and wing struts snap due to rough handling or travel damage. While the injection parts may have excellent detail, they simply do not have the strength and durability of SAC's white metal parts. It is a personal preference when I attempt a project involving a WWI aircraft in 32nd scale, based on experience especially with 32nd scale kits, that I invest in a SAC product to replace the gear and often the wing struts,.

SAC products do not require instructions for their use. This is due to the fact that the SAC parts are identical to those that the kit manufacturer supplies, and therefore, can be installed in the same procedures and steps found in the kit instructions. The packaging is sturdy and offers the buyer an excellent view of the parts.

I've found SAC parts in every hobby shop I've visited in the last few years as well as some of the large chain stores that appeal to hobbyists of all types, whether those hobbies are related to plastic models or more "craft" oriented. The SAC website is easy to navigate should one wish to buy the product online.

This product is highly recommended based on a considerable experience using SAC parts of a large number of WWI aircraft, a reasonable price, and excellent detail and quality of the white metal parts. Thanks to SAC for making this item available to IPMS for review.

Landing Gear Set for WNW Halberstadt

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 17:23
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) offers an extensive range of replacement landing gear parts for a wide variety of kits. I have some experience using SAC items to replace kit parts and I've found that the SAC items add strength to the model without sacrificing any of the detail found on the original parts.

As mentioned in other reviews, I tend to be a rather heavy-handed modeler and I have a long history of "critical parts" failure with WWI models which is self-made and not a reflection on the quality of the original kit. I've snapped wing struts in half, broken off tail skids, and caused catastrophic damage to undercarriage support structures.

I now take it for granted that when I select a WWI aircraft model as my next project one of my first actions is to visit the SAC website and search for any SAC products that can replace kit parts such as wing struts and landing gear components. I have found that SAC gear replacement parts are a positive addition to my modeling effort.

SAC offers a set of white metal replacement parts for the WNW Halberstadt CL.II. which includes a tail skid, axle for landing gear, and axle brackets. There is no flash to remove and these parts are ready for painting and fitting to the fuselage. No instructions are required for the SAC parts. The SAC replacement parts are identical to the kit parts in detail, size, and dimension. The significant difference is that the SAC parts are made of white metal and that feature adds considerable strength to the undercarriage.

This product is highly recommended due to the detail found on the product parts, the strength of the parts, and the reasonable price for the product.

Thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for making this gear set available to IPMS/USA for this review.

Tracks for Pz.V Panther, Late

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 17:03
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery OKB Grigorov

OKB is based in the EU and has been in the business of offering products of high quality since 2003. The website provides some excellent images of the products being offered and also an email address, which is " [email protected] ". OKB offers kits featuring 1/72 scale armor, a wide variety of submarines, and 1/72nd weaponry that can be displayed with a 1/72nd scale figure. Note that when selecting the "Figures" option on the menu, one will be directed to those weapon sets and not to actual "figures".

The Panther (Sd. Kfz.171) is one of the more well-known armored fighting vehicles used by the Germans in WWII. The Panther saw service on both the eastern and western fronts in Europe. OKB offers a number of after-market items to replace kit parts for the Panther, in this case, a set of 1/48th scale tracks for the Panther V (Late).

The tracks are contained in a small zip lock baggie with a paper label folded over the "zip track" on the baggie and stapled into position. This item, and three bags of replacement "rollers" for the Panther IV arrived in a sturdy cardboard box. Packed well, with all the items arriving in excellent condition.

There are six "lengths" of track included in this product, each 4 1/8th inches in length, enough to replace the tracks in your 1/48th scale Panther kit (my 1/48th Panther kit is the Tamiya Panther Type G). The tracks are molded in a plastic material which has a bit more "flex" than their counterparts in the Tamiya kit and each length of track is attached to its own part runner.

The track is easy to remove from its part runner, but some caution should be applied when removing the OKB part from its runner. Do not remove it by gripping one end and, in a tearing motion, attempt to separate it from the runner (ask me how I know). Instead, simply bend the track to form a right angle with the part runner. It will quite literally just fall off the runner. The best part about that is that there is virtually no clean-up required to remove the nibs left behind where the runner and the track met.

I wanted to test the flexibility of the newly independent track, so I used a bit of a PVC pipe that is slightly larger in diameter then the drive sprocket from the Tamiya kit that the track will need to be attached to. Without fuss, the OKB track is sufficiently flexible to be wrapped around the sprocket without breakage.

Overall, I found that the detail molded into the OKB track is more defined then that which is offered by the Tamiya kit. On a scale from 1 to 100, 100 being excellent, the Tamiya parts would receive a 90 and the OKB replacements would receive a 95.

This OKB product is highly recommended for its reasonable price, attention to detail, quality of manufacturing, and strength of the parts. Thanks to OKB for the opportunity to review this product for IPMS.

Return Rollers for Pz.IV Type 2

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 13:52
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery OKB Grigorov

OKB offers three very similar products, all in 35th scale, for use on a Pz.IV . These items are "return rollers" for the Type 2 (product S35007), the Type 3 (product S35008), and the Type 4 (product S35009). This review will focus on the rollers for the Type 2 (product S35007).

The roller parts are contained in a small zip lock baggie. A paper label is stapled to the baggie which serves to identify the "Type" for which these parts are engineered, and also to provide a secure closure so that none of the parts go astray.

Even in 35th scale these roller parts are rather small measuring just about a 1/4 inch in diameter. But there is nothing "delicate" about the parts. The molding is very crisp and the detail, although very small, is very well done. The photo that best shows the fine detail is the image that OKB provides on the web at " http://shop.okbgrigorov.com/product/701/1-35-return-rollers-for-pz-iv-type-2.html ". In this image one can see the "rabbit ears" of the retaining ring that is used to secure the roller to its axle. For those who are more familiar with instrument panels in aircraft, think in terms of a single instrument dial face in 1/72nd scale.

No assembly instructions come with the OKB product and none is needed. Each roller consists of an "outer" and "inner" piece which fit together very well.

Mentioned at the beginning of this review, OKB provides three different roller sets for different variants of the Pz IV. One of the chief differences in these roller sets is that fine detail mentioned in the above paragraph.

This product is highly recommended for its quality of manufacture, clean and crisp detail, and attention to the slight differences in the detail across the roller product range. Thanks to OKB for providing this sample to IPMS for review.

Umbrella Set

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 13:40
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery Hauler

Hauler has provided an interesting item that can be put to good use in any number of 1/72nd scale dioramas, as well as an item that enhances the display of a non-diorama model. That item is a set of two umbrellas. Imagine a ground crewman or pilot, sitting atop the wing of an aircraft in North Africa. An umbrella would provide some much-appreciated shade. How about an infantryman or member of a tank crew, taking a break and preparing a meal in North Africa? And, of course, if our fellow is in Europe, then the umbrella could provide some protection from rain. And, of course, umbrellas know no nationality, so if based in England, the umbrella would certainly be useful during rainy weather.

The umbrella canopies provided by Hauler are vacuum formed with excellent detail when viewed from above. Each canopy measures 5/8 inch in diameter. Hauler provides a P.E. runner with an umbrella handle and a metal frame for each of two umbrella coverings. The P.E. runner supplies a third metal frame, to be used as a spare in case of damage to one of the other two, or to be rigged as a destroyed umbrella with the application of tissue representing the ripped and torn umbrella covering.

There's simply nothing "difficult" about assembling these umbrellas and then using them in a wide variety of settings.

This product is highly recommended due to the number of ways it can be used in a diorama or used to enhance a single model subject. The price is reasonable, and the product is quite easy to assemble. Thanks to Hauler for supplying this product for review by IPMS.

Twin Store Carrier with BD3-USK

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 09:24
Product Image Review Author:  Paul R. Brown Advanced Modeling

This set is designed to be used on Su-34s and Su-35s and should fit either Trumpeter Hasegawa's kits. The set consists of 18 resin parts which allows you to assemble a pair of the twin store carriers and provides the parts for either configuring the rails for either bombs or rocket launchers.

The parts are cast in grey resin which is of medium hardness which is easily cut with a razor saw or a sharp Xacto blade and sands easily. After washing the parts to remove any casting residue, I used a fine razor saw to separate the parts from the casting blocks. The instructions clearly show where to cut the parts off of the casting block and the resin spacers that between the side rail mounts and the center part of the upper pylons. I then used a 400-grit sanding stick to clean up the edges.

As the configuration of the sway braces and the ejector feet on the carrier rails depends on whether you are going to mount bombs or rocket launchers, you need to decide what you are going to mount on the rails next as it is much easier to install the sway braces and ejector feet on the rails before they are attached to the mounting pylon. As I anticipate using this set on an Su-34, I opted for the bomb carrying configuration. Pay close attention to the orientation of the sway braces in the instructions as I managed to install one of them backwards and did not notice it until the superglue had set. There are instructions on painting as it will depend on the paint scheme of the aircraft you are mounting them on. In addition, the set does not include any decals, so you will need to source them from your kit or an aftermarket set

This set is a nice set and I really like the resin used by Advanced Modeling as it made it easy to separate the parts from the casting blocks and cleaning up the parts once separated. Now I have to break out my Su-34 kit and get going on it so I can mount these and bomb them up.

Highly recommended. Thank you to Amigo Models/Advanced Modeling for the review sample and to IMPS-USA for the opportunity to try it out.

Gear for WNW RE.8

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 09:09
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) offers an extensive range of replacement landing gear parts for a wide variety of kits. I have some experience using SAC items to replace kit parts and I've found that the SAC items add strength to the model without sacrificing any of the detail found on the original parts.

As mentioned in other reviews, I tend to be a rather heavy-handed modeler and I have a long history of "critical parts" failure with WWI models which is self-made and not a reflection on the quality of the original kit. I've snapped wing struts in half, broken off tail skids, and caused catastrophic damage to undercarriage support structures. Knowing that I've "got a problem".

I now take it for granted that when I select a WWI aircraft model as my next project one of my first actions is to visit the SAC website and  search for any SAC products that can replace kit parts such as wing struts and landing gear components. I have found that SAC gear replacement parts are a positive addition to my modeling effort.

SAC offers a set of white metal replacement parts for the WNW RE.8 which includes a tail skid, axle for landing gear, and axle brackets. There is no flash to remove and these parts are ready for painting and fitting to the fuselage of the RE.8. The parts are made of white metal. No detail found on the original kit parts is missing. The size and shape are identical, the locating pins or locating holes are the same, it is, for all intents and purposes a perfect match. This is important when working with kits of exceptional quality such as the Wingnut Wings kit for which this set is intended.

When shipped to buyers, the gear set(s) are contained in a sturdy cardboard box with Styrofoam shipping eggs so there will be no damage to the product package and no damage to the parts.

The significant difference between the original parts and the SAC parts, however, is "strength". The metal parts will bend but unless some catastrophic accident occurs, they will not break.

This product ranked a "highly recommended" comment due to the detail found on the product parts, the strength of the parts, and the reasonable price for the product.

Thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for making this gear set, #32142, available to IPMS/USA for this review.

L-265M10 Electronic Warfare Pod for Su-35

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 09:04
Product Image Review Author:  Paul R. Brown Advanced Modeling

This set is designed to be used on any 1/72 scale Su-35 and as the pods are wingtip mounted, they should fit either Trumpeter or Hasegawa kit. The set consists of 6 grey resin parts for two pods and 2 each of the red and green position lights that mount out the outboard sides of the pods. This will allow you to outfit one model.

The parts are cast in a light grey resin which is of medium hardness, so it is easily cut with a razor saw or a sharp Xacto blade and sands easily. After washing the parts to remove any casting residue, I used a fine razor saw to separate the parts from the casting blocks. Each pod is cast in two parts consisting of the main body of the pod and a separate tail cap. The instructions clearly show where to cut the parts off of the casting block and if you are careful, the two sections of each pod should match up pretty well. I did not do so well on my cuts, so I ended up using Mr. Surfacer to fill the gaps.

The left and right pods are different but if you pay attention to the instructions, it much easier to distinguish between them. Once the pods have been assembled and any bad cuts cleaned up, you will need to carefully remove the small scoop that goes on the inboard side of the left pod and the small intake that goes at the front of the pylon mount on the right pod. Both of these parts are pretty tiny, so I immediately attached them to some blue painters' tape in order to keep track of them. They were then attached to the respective pods. I painted both pods Light Ghost Grey to check for seams and as a primer. As I do not yet know what scheme I will be painting my Su-35, I have left off the position lights for now.

I really like this set and look forward to installing it on a Su-35. The cast detail is very well done and shows up well after painting. The colored resin used for the positions lights is spot on in color and wonderfully clear.

Highly recommended. Thank you to Amigo Models/Advanced Modeling for the review sample and to IMPS-USA for the opportunity to try it out.

Gear Replacement Set for Fe.2b

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 08:56
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions offers a very large number of gear replacement sets for a wide variety of aircraft kits. This gear set is designed to replace the gear, and other parts, on the Wingnut Wings Fe.2b Late. Parts included in the SAC gear set are the axle, axle brackets, tail skid, and two control cable bars.

The SAC parts are packaged in a sturdy clear container with cardboard backing. Each part is made of white metal and matches its WNW counterpart with great precision and attention to detail. Wingnut Wings is known for its superior quality and attention to detail so what would be the reason to seek replacement parts? The answer is simple. The SAC parts, made of white metal, provide a strength and stability that will add to the durability of the model while maintaining the high level of detail of the WNW product. The parts in this review sample are free of flash or mold separation lines and, while they might bend, they will not break.

Assembly, using the SAC parts, follows the same steps and procedures addressed in the WNW kit instructions. Being white metal, it is realistic to consider priming the SAC parts prior to attachment to the WNW model.

This gear set is highly recommended for its strength and durability, reasonable price, and adherence to the detail and precision that one finds on the WNW kit. Thanks to SAC for making this sample available for review by IPMS.

Wehrmacht in the Mud

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 00:06
Product Image Review Author:  Patrick Brown Mushroom Model Publications Bottom Line Up Front

The latest in MMP's "Camera On" series is dedicated to a broad selection of German vehicles and equipment battling mud. This book is useful, not just for diorama ideas, but for terrific reference photos on how mud actually looks; something that is rarely depicted accurately in dioramas and scenic bases.

Chapters
  • Forward
  • Introduction
  • Tanks and Self-Propelled Guns
  • Halftracks
  • Lorries
  • Staff Cars
  • Motorcycles
Contents

In the forward the author makes it clear he is not trying to add to the body of knowledge about German military vehicles. The book is dedicated to depicting the vehicles in the conditions in which they found themselves, primarily in the rainy season on the Eastern Front.

The almost 150 black and white photos are well captioned to give the researcher a good idea of the context of the photos. No documentary credit is given for any of the photos but in the opening remarks the author implies that all are from his personal collection.

The book contains some very nice photos that are to the best of my knowledge, previously unpublished (i.e. you can't find them on the internet!) and contain dozens of super ideas for composing dioramas. But the thing I like best about the book is not the picture of the tanks and trucks. The photos of the mud and terrain are worth the price of the book itself. This alone makes the book an invaluable reference of that eternal enemy of soldiers and military vehicles.

Conclusion

If you are a diorama builder, I highly recommend you add this book to your reference library.

Many thanks to Casemate for the review copy.

American Privateers in the Revolutionary War

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 23:26
Product Image Review Author:  Patrick Brown Osprey Publishing Bottom Line Up Front

This is a short, easy to read introduction to ships and history of the private warships which played a major part in the American War for Independence. It is profusely illustrated with period artwork and accurate modern-day artwork of actual ships. The artwork by Paul Wright is the standout feature of this book.

Author

Angus Konstam is the author of over 100 history books, most of which have been published by Osprey. A former naval officer and museum professional, he worked as the Curator in both the Royal Armouries, Tower of London, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. He now works as a full-time author and historian, and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Illustrator

Paul Wright has painted ships of all types, from sail to steam. He specializes in warships. His work has appeared in the works of Patrick O'Brien, Dudley Pope, and C.S. Forrester. He is a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. He lives in Surrey, England.

Chapters
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Design and Development
  • The Business of Privateering
  • Life on Board
  • Privateers in Action
  • Further Reading
  • Index
Conclusion

This book is a fairly basic level introduction to privateers in general and their role in the naval portion of the American Revolutionary War. It covers general information on 18th century naval custom and tradition and how privateers were funded, fielded, and disposed. Konstam covers notable individual privateer captains, owners, and battles.

The text lacks footnotes which is a shame. It detracts from the scholarship of the work. It left me wondering continually from where Konstam was getting his information. The book also lacks ANY documentary credit for any of the artwork and illustrations. This is standard scholarship and authors, as well as publishers should be conscientious about this. This hits close to home as several photographs of mine were published without my permission or documentary credit.

Conclusion

This book is a nice introduction to an oft-neglected slice of 18th century naval history. Unfortunately, it is marred by poor documentation of sources. The twelve paintings by Paul Wright alone are worth the cost of the book.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for the review copy.