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Updated: 16 hours 52 min ago

Aero Commander 560

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 18:28
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The Aero Commander line of medium twin-engine aircraft began with the Model 520 first flown in 1948. Designer Ted Smith used design cues from his work on the A-26 Invader in formulating the Aero Commanders layout. Known for stable handling characteristics and seating capacity, the Aero Commander proved its utility in service. The 560 series introduced more powerful engines and a swept vertical tail. In its later variants, the Commander would gain PT-6 turboprop power. Notable firsts for the type include the U S Air Force purchasing some designated L-26 or U-4 to carry President Eisenhower, the first medium twin authorized to carry the POTUS. Perhaps the most famous Aero Commanders were flown by the legendary Bob Hoover. His routine included full aerobatic maneuvers with two engines, one engine, and no engines! 

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Tempest Mk. V cockpit

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 13:35
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Eduard has released a great Brassin Cockpit set for its new tooled Tempest Mk.V which in its self is a great kit. This Brassin set is full of Resin parts, a Photoetch sheet, and Decals. 

In the box is;

  • Approx. 55 resin parts
  • 1 x film sheet
  • 1 x Small Decal sheet
  • 1 x Photo Etch detail set
  • 1x Instruction booklet

Construction:

First is the assembly of the side frames of the cockpit and the detail controls. I did find the removal of the side frames from the pour stub to be a bit hard and the frames are very thin and fragile. Apart from that, no issues were encountered during the stages on page 2 of the instructions.

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RF-5E Tigereye

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 10:59
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There's something about this relatively small, compact and sleek fighter that can grip the imagination. I've been enamored with it, that when Hasegawa released their 1/32nd scale version many moons ago, I made no less than five over a single week, just to show it in some of its endless liveries.

With the release of this version of this famous aircraft, Kittyhawk has not only provided us with a variant never before available in this scale but upped the game considerably over the venerable Hasegawa kit in terms of detail.

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Master details 1/144 Pitot probe for Mirage III/V

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 14:31
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IPMS/USA again thanks Piotr for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with one more of many monthly releases, with an extremely useful and well-thought out 1/144 Pitot tube probe for any of the 1/144 kits of the Mirage III.    

 

1 part (ONE) is included, along with a detailed instruction sheet on what size hole to drill and where to insert the probe. I find these probes more useful than pins to address the issues of scale size, appearance, and flexibility without incurring personal injury.  Steel pins are more durable, but tend to not "flex" or give, and the effect of driving a staple into one's eye or hand or whatever is not so traumatic if the brass probe deflects off to one side.  Even Nurses wince with needles....

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Hauler Brengun WWII U. S. Navy wheel chocks in 1/32

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 19:04
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Many thanks to the Hauler Brengun Company and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to review this unique diorama accessory!   Hauler Brengun is a prolific contributor to the IPMS Reviewer system and I am very pleased to report on my experience with these excellent accessories, USN wheel chocks in 2 scales.

 

These chocks are great addition to any USN aircraft of the WW2 era.  The chocks are virtually identical, other than scale.  They are cleanly cast in gray resin that is not too brittle or soft.   The chocks are excellent replicas of the style used during World War 2.   They are very easily detached from the pour plugs and assembled.  A little cleanup with a square file is required and the chocks are adjustable!

 

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Hauler Brengun WWII U. S. Navy wheel chocks in 1/48

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 17:53
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Many thanks to the Hauler Brengun Company and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to review this unique diorama accessory!   Hauler Brengun is a prolific contributor to the IPMS Reviewer system and I am very pleased to report on my experience with these excellent accessories, USN wheel chocks in 2 scales.

 

These chocks are great addition to any USN aircraft of the WW2 era.  The chocks are virtually identical, other than scale.  They are cleanly cast in gray resin that is not too brittle or soft.   The chocks are excellent replicas of the style used during World War 2.   They are very easily detached from the pour plugs and assembled.  A little cleanup with a square file is required and the chocks are adjustable!

 

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Shiden-Kai N1K2-J “George” Late Type

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 23:43
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The Shiden Kai was developed, in 1944, to counter US bomber aircraft that were attacking the mainland of Japan. With the combination of a refined airframe and a 2,000-horsepower engine the Shiden Kai was a masterpiece of a fighter with balanced performance. While it might be said that it was too little too late, production of the Shiden Kai was limited due to it being introduced in late1945. 

 

This updated boxing of Platz's 1/144th scale airplane kit includes new decals, packaging, and illustrations, while retaining the nicely molded detail and easy-of-assembly of the original.

This updated release features:

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Zoukei-Mura Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Part 1

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 08:07
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Zoukei-Mura's latest release in 1/32 scale is the wonderful Ki-45 Toryu (Nick). This twin engine 2-seat, heavy fighter was used by the Japanese Army in WWII. Let's not wait another minute and jump into the box and see what's what.

 

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Eduard Mirage III C 1/48

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 14:02
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The Dassault Mirage needs little introduction. It is a fighter aircraft that became iconic during the 6 Day War and other conflicts. Twelve nations flew the Mirage, including France, Israel, Australia and South Africa.  Compared to other jet and propeller fighters, the Mirage is quite small and compact, but packs a mean punch!

This kit is a ProfiPACK re-release of Eduard's previous Mirage editions. After the super tight box lid was finally prized off, one finds multiple dark grey plastic sprues contained in two bags along with a separately bagged clear parts sprue. The instruction book, decal sheet and photo etch fret were located at the bottom of the box. Everything appeared in good condition, although the main canopy had separated from its sprue attachment. I found some flash on quite a few parts, and mold misalignment between each side of the one piece tail, as well as numerous other parts.  I have an earlier edition, Kit number 8102, of the Mirage and most of these mold misalignment problems are evident on that one as well.

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VIETNAMESE SPADS (2) VNAF AD-6/A-1H Skyraiders in the Vietnam War

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 06:52
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AoA (Angle of Attack) decals are in their fourth year by my records, and continue to release some of their earlier Vietnam War subjects in different scale from the earlier releases ... We sincerely appreciate AoA sending IPMS/USA their latest releases for review! (...and the usual thanks also to IPMS USA Reviewer corps leadership John and Phil for sending these my way...)

This sheet provides 11 different paint schemes, and covers the range of Vietnamese  A-1 schemes from the early 1960's to the early 1970's. 

Airframe stencils in included for each model, along with national insignia.  This sheet focuses on the main markings for the aircraft, particularly since several of these SPADS were repainted with camo and as such did not receive replacement stencil markings. 

Notable options include several early 1960's A-1's with colorful tail bands; I believe these markings would sell the sheet more than anything, as they certainly have some different markings.

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America’s Round-Engine Airliners: Airframes & Powerplants in the Golden Age of Aviation

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 06:44
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HISTORY:

This book is an account of the development of the American airliner powered by reciprocating engines, up to their replacement by jet powered aircraft in the 1960's.  The authors are well qualified to trace the advances in both airframes and powerplants.  Craig Kodera has a completely aeronautical background, having experience as both an airline and Air Force pilot, and as an excellent aviation artist.  William Pearce's background is in aviation powerplants, and between them, they are able to trace the technical developments and the developmental histories of each major aircraft and powerplant.

 

THE BOOK

 

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F6F-3 Hellcat

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 00:18
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The Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat was a US carrier based fighter that served with distinction throughout the Pacific War. 

This kit has been issued several times with different markings. It is packaged like other Eduard kits in a strong top opening box with the parts contained in a plastic bag with the photoetch, decals, and instruction manual protected in the bottom of the box. Resin wheels are a nice addition.

Curiously there were two fuselage sprues, although there is no reference to one of them. The part numbers were different as was the sprue number. I put it aside and continued on. 

Construction starts with the cockpit. It appears a bit simplistic at first, but with the supplied photo etch, decals, and painting, the cockpit came out looking quite good. I used Eduard's Look instrument panel and steel seat belts, which saved time. 

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P-51 Mustang Volume 1: North American's Mk. I, A, B, and C Models in World War II

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 00:46
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David Doyle's book on the P-51 Mustang is one of the latest entries in the 'Legends of Warfare' series with entries in Ground, Naval, and Aviation. The first Ground book focused on the Panzerkampfwagen IV, the first Naval book was on the USS Yorktown (CV-5), and the first two Aviation books were are on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (#4) and Douglas TBD Devastator (#3). The Legends of Warfare series has expanded rapidly since its 2017 debut in the market with now over 50 titles released. This hard cover series covers a wide variety of monographs at a good price point.

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Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848–70 (2): Papal States, Minor States, & Volunteers

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 22:38
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Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history. His main field of research is the military of 19th-century Latin America, but his interests range from the Ancient world to modern post-colonial conflicts. He has authored over 16 books, several works in the UK, including MAA 499 Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-70 and MAA 504 Armies of the War of the Pacific 1879-83, and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines. He lives in Benevento, Italy.

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M3 Half Track

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 18:39
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When I was around 10-11 years old I got into a small scale armor kick.  The local shop carried Airfix kits and I built a lot of their kits at the time.  The first time I built the M3 Half Track it was a MPC release in their Battle of the Bulge Historama kit.

Fast forward 45, cough, years later and Airfix is re-releasing many of their kits under their Vintage Classics range.  The kit appears to be the exact same plastic first released in 1966 including the 1 Ton Trailer.  The kit includes 54 parts molded in an OD plastic.  There is a bit of flash but what would you expect from a set of molds almost older than me.  The kit includes some nice detail, a driver and one of the nicest small scale .50 caliber machine guns.  Decals are included for an M3A1 during Operation Overlord.  More about them later.  The color scheme is shown in full color in the instructions.  Other than that change the instructions look like they did when I first built it.

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Supermarine Walrus MK1

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 18:13
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History

The Supermarine Walrus (originally known as the Supermarine Seagull V) was a British single-engine amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft designed by R.J. Mitchell and first flown in 1933. Designed for use as a fleet spotter to be catapult launched from cruisers or battleships, the Walrus was later employed in other roles, notably as a rescue aircraft for aircrew in the sea.

In the Box

Instructions:

The instruction booklet was divided into eight pages of clearly marked parts and their construction sequence. Illustrations for the parts and their construction sequence were very clear. Included with one of the paint schemes, is a drawing of how to place rigging lines.

Sprues: 5 molded in gray plastic  

Clear plastic: 1 sprue

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Magach 6B Gal Batash, Israeli Main Battle Tank

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 17:59
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Meng exploded on the scene several years ago and continue to produce very high-quality kits of a variety of subjects. This kit focuses on the Israeli modified M-60 Battle Tank known as the Magach 6B. M-60s began service with the Israeli Army with the 1973 Yom Kippur War and most of the armored force was equipped with M-60 A1 and later models. The Israelis continued to upgrade their fleet to meet the changing threats on the battlefield. These vehicles have the low profile commander's cupola, an upgraded engine, and armor package as well as an upgraded fire control system. Academy has provided kits of the Magach  6B and 7C, so it will be interesting to see which direction Meng takes with this kit.

The Kit

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F6F-3 LööK 1/48 Instrument Panel and Steel Seat Belts

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 17:49
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I used this instrument panel and seat belt set in conjunction with a full build review of the latest release of Eduard's 1/48 scale F6F-3 Hellcat, Kit # 8227.

I applaud Eduard for their innovation and the thought of simplifying build cockpits. They are pre-painted and ready to install in your cockpit.

While the instrument panel is very nice, compared to their photo etch equivalents I find the pre-painted markings are a little thick, and make some instruments look like mostly white circles.

The steel seat belts are wonderful and bend easily around the seat edges to conform naturally like the real belts would.

Both the instrument pane and belts make a great addition to the Hellcat cockpit.

Thank you Eduard and IPMS for the opportunity to review this great product.

The Khazars: A Judeo-Turkish Empire on the Steppes, 7th – 11th Centuries AD

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 17:42
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Mikhail Zhirohov was born in eastern Ukraine, in 1974. Mikhail graduated from Donetsk State University with a degree in History.   He has focused on the former USSR ranging from its medieval history to modern warfare. He has authored over 20 books and published more than 300 articles on various aspects of Ukrainian and military history for popular magazines in Russia, Ukraine, France, UK and other countries since 1998. He lives in Chernihiv, Ukraine. 

David Nicolle is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Medieval Studies, Nottingham University. David has focused his research on the military history of Islam.  He is the author of over a dozen books on medieval military history. He lives in High Barnet, UK.

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Eduard 1/32 PE instrument panel for Revell FW-190A-8/R11

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 01:20
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IPMS/USA again thanks Eduard for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with one more of many monthly releases, in this case a new PE instrument panel for Revell's 1/32 FW-190A8/R11 NachtJager. 

If you have never used these panels, I recommend you try them and become hooked like me.  I cannot paint to this level of detail.  The kit provides impressive instrument panel and bezel detail, and the lower cockpit side panels can be painted for a realistic look; but they will never have the fine details and legible numbers, placards, and detail work exhibited by Eduard PE sets.  

In this scale the overall colors and additions add so much to the panel areas that it truly impresses even the jaded flashlight and mirror contest lovers out there.  

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