IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA



AMX Ghibli

IPMS/USA Reviews - Mon, 07/27/2020 - 00:11
Product Image Review Author:  Michael Novosad Aviation Collectibles

Introduction-From Wikipedia
The AMX International AMX is a ground attack aircraft jointly developed by Brazil and Italy. The AMX is designated A-11 Ghibli by the Italian Air Force and A-1 by the Brazilian Air Force. The Italian name, "Ghibli", is taken from the hot dry wind of the Libyan desert. 

During the early 1970s, Italian manufacturer Aermacchi conducted a design study on a prospective light ground attack aircraft, which was given the designation of MB-340. During early 1977, the Italian Air Force issued a requirement for 187 new-build strike fighters, which were to replace its existing Aeritalia G.91 in the close air supportt. During 1980, the Brazilian government announced that they intended to participate in the program in order to provide a replacement for the Aermacchi MMB-326. As a result of a memorandum between Italy and Brazil for the type's joint development in 1981, AMX International, an Italian-Brazilian joint venture, was formed to develop, manufacture, and market the aircraft. 

The text is in Italian and English.  Almost all the pages include color images of Italian Air Force AMX in flight or on the tarmac. There are two pages of color profiles of the standard camouflage scheme, for both single- and two-seat versions.

Introduction-This is a brief discussion on the history and philosophy behind the need for the AMX multi-purpose aircraft.

Origin and Development-In the mid-70's the Italian Air Force began its planning for a multi-purpose aircraft to replace its aging fleet of G.91's and F-104G's and to supplement the Panavia Tornado. Several then current aircraft were evaluated, however none met the criteria required. During the defination phase of the design planning there were contacts between the Italian Air Force and the Royal Swedish Air Force. In late 1979 the Swedes abandoned their involvment to focus their efforts on what would later become the JAS-39 Gripen. Almost the same time the Swedes were leaving the project Brazil expressed interest as a co-venture partner.

AMX ACOL-This section covers the various upgrades of the aircraft. Weapons and avionics are detailed.

In service with Italian Air Force-This is the major portion of this publication and covers the acceptance, training, air bases and crashes.  Along with the crashes were the inevitable grounding of the aircraft to resolve engine issues that had lead to the accidents. 

AMX at war-The AMX particpated in the air wars over Bosnia, Afganistan and Libya. In all theaters the AMX accounted itself well and delivered various ordinance on targets.

Modeler's notes-At the time of the publication there was only a single model kit available: the Polish-made Warrior Model kit in 1/72nd scale. I checked the publication date and found this edition was first published in 2012.  Since that time several main stream kit manufacturers have made kits available. The Warrior kit is a resin kit. This chapter deals with the assembly and painting of that kit. An image of the completed model is shown on page 60.

Modeler's details-Two pages of up close images of various exterior details that will prove beneficial to scale modeles.
Technical Data, weaponry and serials-we have a single page of three schedules that address technical data, armament and sensors, and aircraft serial numbers. The armament and sensors data should prove informative for those who wish to model an Italian AMX Ghibli.
Acknowledgements and Bibliography-These are primarily Italian sources from 2012.

Reviewer's Comments
Hobby Boss and Kinetic both now offer 1/48th scale kits of the AMX in single-  and two-seat configurations. Kits are available as ground attack or trainer versions with plenty of underwing stores. I built the Kinetic single seat version kit number 48026 several years ago. If I had this publication on hand I would have added more detail to the build. The photos contained within this publication offer a wealth of detail that modelers will appreciate. 

I found the various color images very informative for details and special colors that would be of interest to the scale modeler. The addition of various underwing stores is also a valued resource for the scale modeler. This publication is a great reference for those interested in adding an AMX Ghibli to their collection. Very highly recommended.

My thanks to Casemate Publications and IPMS USA for the opportuunity to review and add this publication to my reference library.

1/72 New Airfix Gladiator with S.B.S. rigging set

New Forum Posts - Sun, 07/26/2020 - 15:58
The new 1/72 Airfix Gladiator is a real sweetheart of a kit. No flash and any mold seams are slight and easily dealt with. Fit is as with all new Airfix kits, precise to the point that you need to be very careful during clean up not to remove too much anywhere before checking. I did mine OOTB with the exception of using the S.B.S. rigging wire set. (#72046). It gives you a complete set of rigging all pre-made to the correct lengths. You do, however, need to pre-drill holes to receive the wires, so advanced planning is necessary. As they are made in a silver metal, I painted mine a darker metallic color before cutting them from the fret. Almost all the wires fit spot on, but a few needed a slight bit of tweaking, probably due more to my assembly technique than any error on their part. The only thing missing is the antennae. It would have been nice to get that as well, but it's either easily made or can be omitted entirely from some versions on the a/c. I did mine in the camo of the Swedish volunteer unit that flew for the Finns during their war with Russia. (P.S. Notice how I forgot to remove one of the pieces of masking from the left rear of the canopy. What a twit. Problem has since been solved.)

Preview: Four polar opposite kits from Hobbyboss on the way in August...

The Modelling News - Sun, 07/26/2020 - 09:11
A great big Hog, a german fighting cat, a Chinese underwater killer and a heavily armed US Airforce...TRUCK? These are the subjects of Hobbyboss' August releases. We have box art, sprues, marking, decals and everything else inside the boxes of these kits in our new item preview.

Read on... »

Meatballs and Dead Birds; A Photo Gallery of Destroyed Japanese Aircraft in World War II.

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sun, 07/26/2020 - 00:34
Product Image Review Author:  Brian R. Baker Stackpole Books


The author of this book,  James P. Gallagher, was Communications Officer with the 49th Fighter Group, U.S. Army Air Forces, which operated in the Philippines towards the end of the war, and later relocated to mainland Japan with the occupation forces.  Gallagher had been a prize winning photographer when he was in college, and managed to carry a camera with him throughout his military career. One problem was that he was aboard an Australian bomber flying in the Philippines when the plane went down, and he lost his camera.  Fortunately, he was able to write home, and his brother located another camera and sent it to him, so he could continue his work.  All of his work was done with a 120 camera.

Anyone who was associated with a combat aviation unit at that time period would have had access to a substantial number of wrecked or captured Japanese aircraft. Having an officer's rank, Gallagher pretty much had the free run of anywhere he was, and had the opportunity to photograph any airplane he saw.

Not many men had this situation and Gallagher exploited it to the max.  He was, of course, familiar with the aircraft and with what we knew about them, having access to all of the manuals, then restricted, so he knew what to look for.  He photographed each type thoroughly, taking overall and detail photos of the planes as they sat abandoned at their former airfields, awaiting their bulldozer's fate. I'd like to see his entire collection of photos.

He goes through each aircraft type, sometimes even providing a photo of the manufacturer's plate, which being in Japanese, isn't too useful.  He did run across a couple of captured aircraft, a Curtiss P-40E and an RAF Douglas DB-7B, while touring an airbase in Japan, and wondered about how they got there.  One thing that is particularly useful in the book is his description of the paint scheme and markings on the aircraft, and especially the weathering of the Japanese paints.

Types he covers in detail include the Zero, Betty, Val, Nell, Dinah, Tony, Lily, Ann, Sonia, Kate, Ki-100 (Tony II), Suicide Planes, Irving, Myrt, Francis, Frank, Nakajima Ki-87, Peggy, and Jack.   In addition, he includes a lot of photos of groups of aircraft stored in various conditions.  Of course, one of the first things that happened to enemy aircraft when our people took control is that the planes were rendered inoperable, and this usually meant the removal of the propellers, although there are some photos of planes with the props still attached.

One particularly interesting plane shown is a Japanese-built "wooden B-29" decoy, propped up and painted to look like a downed aircraft.  They apparently had it surrounded with  anti-aircraft guns, so that if a fighter pilot spotted it, and came down to destroy it, the sneaky SOB's would try to shoot him down. He didn't notice any bomb craters nearby, so apparently it didn't work. But it makes an interesting story. 

One excellent feature of this book is the explanations that go along with each aircraft or group of aircraft.  He tells how the fighter pilots in his unit felt about each aircraft, and how they stacked up against a P-38.  I think he had a lot of love for the P-38, but that is understandable.  A good P-38 pilot could take on any Japanese plane and expect to come out best.

In short, this is a book that anyone interested in World War II aviation should definitely have.  It is interesting reading, and the photos are definitely useful in model building.  That is not to mention dioramas, which every photo in the book depicts. 

There are two editions of this book.  The first was a hardback book which came out in 1972.  I bought one about that time.  Then, in 2004, a second edition came out, which repeated most of the material from the first edition, but also added some combat pictures taken by attack bombers or fighters showing enemy airfields. I have both, and will keep both, as they are a definite asset to my library.  

I would highly recommend this book, as it is not the usual type airplane book, and I have found it very useful in modeling over the years.  Highly recommended.

The Petlyakov Pe-2. Stalin’s Successful Red Air Force Light Bomber

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 23:51
Product Image Review Author:  Brian R. Baker Pen & Sword


The Petlyakov PE-2 and PE-3 series were probably the most significant light bomber in the arsenal of the Red Army in its fight against the Nazi German invasion during World War II.  Produced in numbers exceeding 11,000, the PE-2 was initially produced as a dive bomber, but during its development it also served as a standard light bomber, fighter, and reconnaissance aircraft.  Its performance was closer to that of contemporary fighters than other light bombers, and its crews were awarded many citations for bravery and notable accomplishments.  The plane was in mass production until the end of the war, and remained in service for a number of years thereafter.  Many were exported to Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, and Red China.  A small number survived until recent times, and are displayed in various museums, mainly throughout Eastern Europe. Warbird buffs are still locating crash sites and recovering wrecked PE-2's.

The story of the development of the aircraft is described in detail, with the head of the original design team,  Petlyakov, having been caught up in one of Stalin's purges of the late thirties, beginning the design from prison.  Later released, he didn't last long, as he was killed in the crash of one of his bombers due to poor production standards and workmanship, which were later rectified.  Of course the fact that as soon as production began, the Soviets moved their entire aircraft industry east to avoid the areas that they believed the Germans would capture. This caused immense problems, but these were eventually overcome through various means, fair and foul, even though the civilian workforce paid a tremendous price.

The author goes into extensive detail in describing the design development of the PE-2, and describes each prototype and the test program used to cure various design defects.  The fact that the VVS demanded the aircraft as soon as possible caused many aircraft to be placed in service before all of the problems were solved, causing numerous fatal crashes.

The combat record of the aircraft is described in detail, and the author identifies numerous units which operated the type, what missions they flew, with what result.  The author not only describes the action on the Western front against the Germans, but also shows how the PE-2 was used against the Japanese after the German surrender. Other chapters relate the accomplishments of the women's units, who were quite effective against the Germans.  One chapter relates the story of jet and rocket powerplants being used for tests and for takeoff assists. There is also a chapter dealing with color schemes, but while the development of camouflage systems is discussed in detail, there are no illustrations that would be useful to a modeler. However, one very impressive feature of this book is the detail the author goes into, using source material from official documents and firsthand recollections by individuals who were there when it all happened.

This is probably the definitive work dealing with the PE-2, as it provides more specific details of the aircraft's developmental and combat history that any other book I have seen.  The author uses many Russian sources, and must have been very fluent in the Russian language, or had an editor that did.   Each specific model's development and service is described in detail, and even Stalin's personal involvement in the process is covered.  The author alludes to the Soviet political process and how some of the participants tried to show their personal success in solving certain problems while actually failing to do so.  Soviet bureaucracy was alive and well, even during the difficult times of the war.

As for specific information provided, most of the data provided was metric, talking about kph rather than mph, and kilograms rather than pounds, which might drive an American reader to having a special ruler to convert the figures to a more familiar system.  Lack of color illustrations also means that a modeler who uses this book will also have to have copies of the other two popular publications dealing with the PE-2,  the Profile  #216 (1971)  and The In Action  #181 (2002).  These books have much less specific information, but include color drawings of the aircraft.  The photos in the book, however, are very well reproduced, and would be very useful in building a model.  

I expected the book to have a section specifically aimed at modelers telling what kits are available, and giving reviews, but this is not included.  This leads me to believe that the book would serve as an interest generator, getting the modeler all excited about building a model of the aircraft because of all of the information provided, but he would need one of the above mentioned texts for specific color information.  But it is very interesting reading, and I would certainly highly recommend it to anyone interested in this particular aircraft.

Thanks to Pen & Sword and Phil Peterson for the review copy.

American Destroyer USS Fletcher 1942. Super Drawings in 3D

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 10:06
Product Image Review Author:  Luke R. Bucci PhD Kagero Publishing

Thanks to Casemate Publishing & IPMSUSA for the review copy!

Waldemar Tubus Goralski is a prolific author of illustrated warship books for Kagero Publishing. He also makes exhibitions of his illustrations in Poland where visitors can virtually walk on ships. The late Piotr Forkasiewicz designed the ocean and battle settings (this virtual tour is not in this book). Waldemar is lucky to turn his passion into a career, igniting passions of many modelers around the world.

Kagero Publishing, from Poland, is one of the major military history publishing houses. Since 1998, when Kagero started publishing in English, over 550 titles have been produced. Topics focus on individual planes, armor and ships, along with a bevy of focused topics, such as a class of warships or an armor type. Kagero caters to ship modelers by turning out books filled with line and 3D computer-generated illustrations, with incomparable accuracy to details. For warships, Kagero has two series: 1) Super Drawings in 3D and 2) Top Drawings, focusing on a single ship per book. The topic of this book review is one of the Super Drawings in 3D series, which are designed for modelers to have a reference for detailed appearances of individual ships at a particular fit (moment in time). Super Drawings consist of color covers with full-color, 3D computer graphic images of the ship, particular features, and equipment, especially armament. As usual, a large-scale (1/200), line drawing B&W foldout shows starboard, port and overhead full-length views on Sheet A, and Sheet B has five 1/350 profiles (including front & stern views) and five different close-up line drawings of various portions of the ship.

The latest offering from Kagero Super 3D is the USS Fletcher DD445 in early1942 fit. The book is a softbound European A4 size (210 X 296 mm or about 8 1/4 by 11 5/8 inches) with a short history in English of the lead ship in the world's largest class of destroyers. The history of the Fletcher describes the design intentions, and then the usual description of the features of the ship. Changes to armaments and fire control are outlined, and the service record is summarized. That lasts all of seven pages and incudes two color profile views.

Like all the Fletcher class destroyers, there were major changes in armament, radars throughout the war, but those are not shown - this book is the Fletcher in 1942. She represents the first batch of Fletcher class destroyers with the tall, "round" bridge and the main director on a cylindrical pedestal. The first 57 units were built to this design. Later Fletchers had a lower, wider rectangular bridge. I am sure one of those is coming up from Kagero later.

Most of the book has page after page of beautiful, full-color illustrations in impeccable detail of the entire exterior of the Fletcher in 1942 fit. She is painted in Measure 12 (Modified) splotch pattern. Paint colors are: 1) 5-S Sea Blue or 5-N Navy Blue for the darkest splotches on the lower hull; 2) 5-O Ocean Gray for the lighter gray areas of the hull and the darker splotches on the superstructure; 3) 5-H Haze Gray for the lighter gray color on the superstructure; and 4) 20-B Deck Blue for the decks. To me the horizontal colors in the illustrations are a little dark, and the Deck Blue is light, but that could be the printing or scale effect. Many close-ups of each exterior section of the Fletcher are presented. Every nook and cranny are depicted, and the detail is thorough, even showing the camo scheme for each individual turret. At this point in her career, the Fletcher had less equipment, so it represents the simplest Fletcher fit.

The only complaint I have is trivial and is the poor punctuation, spelling errors and odd grammar of the text in the first seven pages. Not a problem, and even amusing sometimes.


This book is intensely focused on modeler's needs for building early war, round bridge Fletcher class ships in any scale. As usual, the B&W drawings and full-color illustrations are clean, simple and appear accurate. This book is a necessity for building models of early Fletcher class ships, and would be helpful for building later versions for areas that did not change appearance. It is also a guide for standard US Navy destroyer equipment for other WW2 classes. A must-have for WW2 warship buffs, destroyer buffs, and anyone building the early Fletcher class destroyers.

Vigilante! A Pilot’s Story: 1,200 Hours Flying the Ultimate U. S. Navy Reconnaissance Aircraft

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 09:55
Product Image Review Author:  Rob Benson Specialty Press

Thank you very much to Specialty Press for providing a review copy of their new release, Vigilante!  A Pilot's Story:  1,200 Hours Flying the Ultimate U. S. Navy Reconnaissance Aircraft, by CDR Robert R. "Boom" Powell.  As always, I appreciate all those in the IPMS Reviewer Corps, whose work is critical to sharing new and exciting modeling publications and products with the world.


This book is not simply one pilot's compiled experience, nor is it merely a description of operational and combat records of the Vigilante.  It tells the fascinating story of the entire Vigilante's lifespan in an extraordinary anthology of forty-plus aircrew and support staff stories in context of the aircraft's history.  An excellent balance of technical language and human perspective makes for an engaging read with a relaxed style.  Both naval aviation fans and scale modelers will find a wealth of information throughout the publication.  The photographs and details are excellent, wrapped within an easy-to-read narrative.  The hardback format has 192 glossy pages, 142 color images, and 125 B&W images.  The book dimensions are 10 x 10 inches, with a colorful dust jacket.  

I highly recommend this book!  It was a very enjoyable read.

Content coverage

Brief highlights of each chapter are included here. While each chapter has a specific historical focus, Vigilante stories and intersting sidebars are included throughout. The designation of the Vigilante evolved throughout its lifetime, dependent on mission, from early YA3J to a final RA-5C

Dedication, Preface, Acknowledgments, Introduction, & Prologue-  All of these sections provide a nice run-up to the following chapters.  A reader will get important context for the book in this preamble material.

Chapter 1: The Bomb Goes to Sea-  The early USN need for the Vigilante was for large "device" delivery.  Many adaptions of existing aircraft were attempted for this mission.  The A3 (an early designation) incorporated many of these ideas.

Chapter 2: Concept and Construction-  Making the aircraft operational and effective was a challenge.  "Space suits," weapon drops, electronics, and simple things like barrel nuts all had something to add to these challenges.  The Vigilante has a striking profile, however, consider aircrew egress without a ladder!

 Chapter 3: Vigilante at Sea-  The Vigilante passed carrier qualifications with little trouble.  Early squadron development and training followed quickly.  If the evolution of designations is confusing, the sidebar on p. 53 translates the changes quite nicely.

 Chapter 4: "R" Is for Reconnaissance-  In late 1961, the new nuclear triad of heavy bombers, ICBMs, and ballistic missile submarines rendered the Vigilante's original purpose moot.  Fortunately, the conversion potential for a dedicated reconnaissance platform was recognized.  This was a natural change-over, that resulted the RA-5C having a much longer operational history.

 Chapter 5: Freshman Term-  With a complete conversion to a reconnaissance mission, squadrons newly equipped with the RA-5C entered into the air war environment of Vietnam.  Combat losses were significant, with many lessons learned.

Chapter 6: Hard Times: 1967-1968-  The air war intensified in Vietnam during this time and Vigilante combat losses doubled.  This was also the year of the disastrous Forrestal fire that resulted in significant loss of life and aircraft.

Chapter 7: Master's Degree: 1969-1972- The air war over Viet Nam changed, and so did the missions of the RA-5C.  NAS Albany became the new base for Vigilante squadrons.  Interesting nugget and NFO stories are highlighted.

Chapter 8: There Was Still a War On: 1969-1972-  More details on the missions flown in hot areas are interspersed with aspects of everyday operations. Other missions outside of Vietnam provide more perspective on what the Vigilante could do.

Chapter 9: Linebacker and Beyond: 1972-1973-  The last years of the Vietnam war are covered, with the intense bombing campaigns of Linebacker I and II.  More operational stories show lighter sides as well as the more serious ones.

Chapter 10: Seven Years-  The last operational phase of the Vigilante began with the cessation of Vietnam.  However, other hotspots in the Middle East kept RA-5Cs employed.  Furthermore, NAS Albany was closed and all squadrons were transferred to NAS Key West.  The final disposition of squadrons and aircraft describes the wrap-up to the Vigilante's history.

Epilogue-  Several paintings, including a Hank Caruso rendition, provide a memorial in this section.    Images of aircraft that followed in a reconnaissance role make a fitting epitaph for the Vigilante.

Remaining sections-  A biographies section, glossary, end notes, and index provide important addition information and utility to this book.  The glossary is particularly useful.

Overall Recommendation

I absolutely recommend this volume, from both the scale-model and historical perspectives.  I will also add that the scope of book, focusing a series of experiential anecdotes, gives a more "in the plane" sense than many historical aviation books.

Thanks again to Andrea at Specialty Press, you and your company's work helps keep history alive.  CDR Powell, you clearly put heart and soul into your book; that effort is very appreciated.  Thank you again to the stalwart Reviewer Corps for your hard work in making these review opportunities happen, Go Team!

The Empire Strikes South; Japan’s War Against Northern Australia, 1942-1945.

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 00:31
Product Image Review Author:  Brian R. Baker Avonmore Books


The book deals with the Japanese attacks on various bases and towns in Northern Australia during World War II.  After the Battle of the Coral Sea,  the Japanese had apparently decided not to try to invade Northern Australia, as they were having too hard a time in the islands to the north.  They did carry out a series of air attacks against Australian targets through 1944, using Navy and Army aircraft in substantial numbers.  The book details every attack, telling what aircraft and people were involved, the effect of the raids, and the losses and casualties.  The Allied side is also discussed in detail, showing the effect radar had on interception, and the limited success of the Allied Spitfires and P-40's against the Japanese Nell, Betty, and Helen bombers, and also against their Mavis and Emily flying boats.  In addition, the Japanese began to use reconnaissance aircraft to help the bombers and fighters navigate to their targets, and to photograph the results of the bombing. 

The Japanese raids originated in the islands to the north, former Dutch territory. After the first carrier raids, which ended after Coral Sea, all raids were land based.  One interesting fact was that the Japanese raids were usually not very effective, and most of their bombs landed outside the target areas.  Few aircraft and military targets were destroyed, and also, losses to Australian and American fighters were fairly low.  


Darwin, Initial Raids;  Reality of air Combat; North Australia Defenses; Darwin & Interior, 1 & 2;  Off Northern Territory Coast;  Western Australia; Queensland; Japanese Burials; Japanese Flight & Losses; Japanese Flights and Fatalities.

The book goes through the entire series of raids, telling what units were involved, aircraft types, and pilots and crews, and how many aircraft were lost, and the fate of the crews, when known.  The same information is provided for Australians and Americans, and the conclusion of the book deals with the ultimate fate of the Japanese who died over Australian territory or who were captured and made POW's. 

There is a lot of fascinating information in this book, and it is not like most accounts of military campaigns.  Strangely, one reason for the book, was to provide information for the families of Japanese crews who were killed in the attacks.  Quite a number of Japanese planes crashed on Australian soil, and most of these remains have been found and recovered.  Others crashed at sea, and although most of the crews have been identified, few have been located. At the end of the book, there is an itemized list of planes and crews lost, and their fates, if known.

The author mentions that the average Australian knows little about these actions, as they took place in very remote areas of Australia, although the further north you go, they become more familiar.   I found that when I spent time in Australia almost 60 years ago, lots of Australians seemed  to remember that the "Yanks" were pretty helpful in keeping the Aussies from having to learn the Japanese language, and when I would enter a pub in Queensland,  I found it difficult to pay for a beer after they heard my American accent. I found that the Australians liked Americans, and I liked them.  A great bunch of people.   

One other thing that would appeal to modelers is the series of color profiles and three-view drawings of the aircraft involved in the actions, showing colors and unit markings clearly.  So the book will appear to both historically minded readers and modelers.  What more could you ask for.  Highly recommended.

Thanks to Casemate Publications and Phil Peterson for the review copy.   

Kawanishi H8K1 Type 2, 11/12 Beaching Gear (Has)

IPMS/USA Reviews - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 00:04
Product Image Review Author:  Brian R. Baker Scale Aircraft Conversions


The Japanese Kawanishi H8K1 flying boat,  code named Emily by the Allies,  was one of the best long range flying boats in its class during World War II. It is surprising that only one kit of this plane in 1/72 scale has been issued, by Hasegawa.  This kit dates back to at least 1967, as I remember buying the kit then and wondering when I would have enough space to store and display the model once built.  As a result I never built it although I have two in my stash, and after seeing this replacement unit, I have decided to do it in the near future.

The original kit parts are somewhat simplified, with a single strut and a couple of lumps coming out of it.  The SAC conversion kit replaces these with two small but very detailed struts. There is also a unit for the tailwheel, and another metal strut of unknown purpose.   Wheels from the kit are used in all cases. The problem with this unit is that there is no set of instructions, although it doesn't take a genius to figure out most of it.  

The unit is nicely cast, and very little trimming will be required. It appears strong enough to bear the weight of the model, which is considerable.  The detail in the kit is not up to Hasegawa's later standards, although when completed, the kit will result in an excellent model of a historically significant aircraft.  Only  167  were built, and at least one survived the war, which  was brought to the Navy's Patuxent River Test center where it was tested and then put out to storage. Fortunately, someone got the idea of shipping the plane back to Japan, where it has been restored and is currently on display. 

There are a few reference sources that cover the "Emily" in detail, including the R.J. Francillon book, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Profile Publications #233: Kawanishi 4 motor Flying Boats (H6K Mavis and H8K Emily), by M.C. Richards; and the 1975 December issue of Koko Fan, #68, which describes the H8K Emily if you can read Japanese.  Unfortunately, none of these publications has a detail photograph of the beaching gear strut so you're on your own as to exactly how the gear was attached and painted.

If you are going to build this little beauty, this beaching gear will add to the authenticity of your model.  Mine will certainly have it.  Highly recommended.

Thanks to SAC and Phil Peterson for the review sample.

The Marmo Method Modelbuilding Guide #7; Curtiss C-46a Commando Photo Gallery

IPMS/USA Reviews - Fri, 07/24/2020 - 23:35
Product Image Review Author:  Brian R. Baker Scale Publications

The Publication

This publication is a follow up from the author's Guide #6, Building the Williams Bros. Curtiss C-46A Commando in 1/72 Scale.  To get the complete information, it will be necessary to obtain a copy of both publications.

This publication gives a brief statement on the development of the C-46A, and the fact that the Williams Bros. kit is the only one available in 1/72 scale, that is, if you can find one.  The author has collected a large selection of period photos of the C-46A in production and in service with the U.S.A.A.A.F.  Although the photos are all in black and white, and there is no color information presented, the photos provide enough information for you to build any number of models of the C-46A.   These are only in USAAF markings.  There is no information on the C-46A in foreign or civilian service. There is no coverage of later models.

After the introduction, there are several pages of small photos, larger examples of which are published afterwards on single seats along with extended explanations.  There are a lot of detail photos showing the aircraft's interior, and quite a few shots of C-46A's in the factory under construction. The photos are of very high quality, and can be easily reproduced and printed on your computer.

If you are interested in the C-46A, this e-book is worth having.  Highly recommended.

OTB 89: I'd never build........

On the Bench Podcast - Fri, 07/24/2020 - 22:30

G'day Benchers!  Dave, Ian and Julian are  back with another (still in lockdown) episode.

As well as our usual whats new in the modelling world and our mail bag we are having a chat about what we would never build.

And in an exclusive for our On The Bench listeners the Scale Modellers Supply is offering a 10% discount on all orders from their website…..tune in to find out about this fantastic offer!

Categories: Podcasts

The Paraguayan War 1864-70. The Triple Alliance at stake in La Plata. Campaign 342.

IPMS/USA Reviews - Fri, 07/24/2020 - 15:26
Product Image Review Author:  Luke R. Bucci PhD Osprey Publishing

Gabriele Esposito is an Italian student of military history with an interest in 1800s Latin America. Giuseppe Rava contributed three two-page and a smaller paintings in color of the pivotal battles of this war.


Osprey's Campaign 342 covers the war that involved the eastern countries of South America as they joustled their own revolutions with military actions against their neighbors, setting the stage for current countries and boundaries.  Like other Osprey Campaign books, this issue is 96 pages (not counting the front/back covers) -enough for a discussion on the war and its aftermath.


This book provides twelve maps of the theatre, individual battles and subsets of battles. Sixteen B&W and twelve color photographs, 28 B&W and 12 color illustrations, three Tables and a two-page Chronology compliment the text. Almost every page has some sort of visual to look at, giving a better feel for what is was like to have fought in this war.


Sections are devoted to: 1) Origins of the campaign; 2) Chronology; 3) Opposing commanders; 4) Opposing forces; 5) Opposing plans; 6) The Campaign (battles); 7) Aftermath; 8) Battlefields Today; 9) Bibliography & Further Reading; and 9) Index. Osprey Campaign books follow this organization.


This war was preceded, and coexisted, with other wars that plagued the four countries involved: Argentine, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. These wars were briefly examined as they set up the war that finally settled what we know today as South America (at least the southern half). Brazil was an Empire, recently departed from a waning Portuguese presence. Argentina was wracked by rapid exchanges of revolutions and governments. Uruguay and Paraguay were in danger of being swallowed by their larger neighbors, and became belligerent just to survive. This was a time of big egos in charge, poor intel, and greed. This was also a turning point in how wars were fought, coming when the American Civil War was winding down. As such, new weapons and technologies were used, changing battlefields forever.


The history of this area of the world was chaotic to say the least, and if one blinked, there might be a new government. Nevertheless, Paraguay, being completely landbound, was at a disadvantage and tried to take by force a seashore. Obviously it did not work, and what transpired is chilling for the loss of life, both in vicious battles and in disease and starvation. Many lessons on how not to conduct a battle, campaign or war abound. The Aftermath section put perspective into these travails by showing how these countries forged ahead as (usually) peaceful neighbors since then.


The settings for the major battles and campaigns are well done. One wonders about the mindsets of the people involved, especially of the families of the troops that never returned. I would have liked to have seen more about how normal people lived under those conditions, but this was a campaign book by design.



This war was large and occurred during a pivotal time of rapid change in warfare, and was important for geohistory, marking the end of colonial eras and a path to modernity. Historically, this war was very confused, but ably tied together by Gabriele Esposito. The results are worth reading about to understand what South America went through to get to its current status. Like other Osprey Campaign books, this is a relatively quick read but lasts long enough to satisfy.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy and IPMSUSA staff for delivering the book and publishing the review.



Scale Model News - Fri, 07/24/2020 - 06:52
BANDAI HAVE DONE WELL with Star Wars kits, showing solid achievements in accuracy, tight moulding standards, and excellent presentation. The 1:5000 scale Bandai Star Destroyer is a good example of this track record.Read more »
Categories: News

Trumpeter's four new kits of August in plastic, decal & marking choices.

The Modelling News - Fri, 07/24/2020 - 06:16
More kits from Land, Sea and Air in the August's new items from Trumpeter. We have boxart, sprues and colour choices of the kits in our preview...Read on... »

Brick Street w/ European Tram Rails

IPMS/USA Reviews - Thu, 07/23/2020 - 14:50
Product Image Review Author:  Bill O'Malley Tiger Werke

Tiger Werke

Tiger Werke is a small company under new ownership that manufactures and distributes scale resin items. Their product line includes paved and cobblestone street sections, figure bases, building fronts, roadside shrines, fountains, and armor and aircraft bases. They also have storage and accessory sets for Allied, German, and British vehicles.


Resin Molding

This review is of Tiger Werke's 1/35 scale Brick Street w/ European Tram Rails, a resin base that depicts a street section with trolley tracks running diagonally across base. On each side of the street or what appear to be stone curbs and concrete sidewalks. In 1/35 scale the pavers vary from about 4" to 5" wide by 7" to 8" long, although they vary in size. The size of the pavers could also represent cobblestones or granite pavers. The bricks have a very nice shape and there are some recessed stones to create some depth in the street. The curb sections are about 30" long by 9" wide by 4" high in scale. The tracks are about 3'6"gauge in scale. There are some apparent connectors between the stone sections that could be trimmed off.


The kit includes one resin piece 8 5/8" x 5 7/8". The back of the resin piece has been sanded slightly so the base section lays flat. There's no significant warping of the piece.



To finish the base, I decided to model it as granite pavers and concrete sidewalks. I cut the base down on a table saw to display a model. The resin cut nice & smoothly. The base color is Mission Model Paint dark gray with medium gray highlights applied with a sponge. The sidewalks are modeled as concrete using Mission Models concrete color sponged with medium gray highlights.


The base is displayed with a 1/24 scale model T, which is quite a bit out of scale, but illustrates the nice character of the base.



This is a very nice base and diorama accessory. The street is nicely detailed and can be finished to represent brick or stone pavers. The texture of the stone has nice detail. The base lays flat, has no significant warping, and had no bubbles in the casting.


Thanks to Tiger Werke for providing the review sample and producing this nice resin base, as well as many other accessories in their product line.