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  1. Today
  2. Tamiya made a field kitchen: https://www.scalemates.com/products/img/4/9/1/106491-53-instructions.pdf And Aber does a PE set of cookware: http://www.aber.net.pl/upload/pdf/e34ae29c288acd807b4a67f7f160bcee.pdf
  3. Well, the last time that I built a F-105G, I was in the 6th grade. Man, she’s a BIG one. A good friend of mine in our club gave this to me to build. It came in a box the size of a small suitcase. The assembly on this one is relatively straightforward. I’ve purchased an Aires cockpit, with all the Fixin’s. Chris
  4. Yesterday
  5. Wayne was a legend and great teacher to anybody who cared to listen. Ditto to everything Nick says about him!
  6. Been looking for a source of 1/35 pots, pan and coffee pots either in plastic, resin or white metal. I've previously had used H & R metals but can't find anyone who carries the line. Did find their website but minimum order is $25 and I don't need that much stuff. Tried asking on an other forum and people have mentioned Miniart but their sets don't have what I'm looking for (plus the price to buy a set for one item is not practical). Didn't someone make a field kitchen kit in 1/35? If so, did it included pots and pans? Someone also mentioned some doll house stuff is close to 54mm size but it seems like all I can locate is 1/24 or larger doll house furnishings. Anyone know of a good source? Eric
  7. Bob, Well done, well said. Looking forward to making a reservation on Wednesday.
  8. Wayne taught me and many of the other Judges of my vintage how to judge. He always displayed tact and charm and a civilized, cultured demeanor. However, like the good soldier and leader that he was, he demanded excellence in modeling and judging. He inspired us to be discerning and scrupulous in examining every aspect of the model when judging. I recall some of his noteworthy and characteristically pithy aphorisms: “A hole ( cockpit, landing gear bay, bomb bay) is to look in.” “ The modeler finished before he was done.” Even more importantly, he demanded absolute integrity from his Judges. We all sought to be as wise and Solomon-like as Wayne. He was a courageous patriot and pilot. His courtly manner exemplified “an officer and a gentleman. “ His was a life well led. I consider myself fortunate to have been his student. I will always recall him with respect and fondness. Respectfully, Nick Filippone
  9. All reservations that were already made during our online test are good to go and firm. No worries! Also No worries about getting in during the test, I appreciate the initiative! Although I would appreciate it if those did get in not share any more reservation information till Wednesday. (Thanks) The full site will launch on Wednesday along with the reservations link. Its been our goal to launch a complete website with everything there and operational except for event registration, which will launch on Feb 1st. Our team has spent a lot of time putting together what we think is fantastic Nats website. We hope everyone finds it enjoyable, informative and fun. Again, there are plenty of rooms, anyone who wants one will get one. We have 500 rooms blocked plus another 400 on standby reserve. All onsite and at the discounted rate. Please look for an official announcement on Wednesday morning. Thank to everyone for their interest, patience and cooperation. Bob
  10. Wow, that is one funky looking little plane. It almost looks like the stuck the tail on as an afterthought. LOL! You built a magnificent looking little plane despite the issues, I can't even see any when it's done. Way to go!
  11. Oops.....I was just following someone else's lead off of an email I got.....sorry 'bout dat chief! My understanding is that our reservations are still good (got the confirmation# from the Rio)...and we were just lucky! Gil
  12. So Bob, that begs the question, are the reservations that we made any good or do we need to go back and re-resister?
  13. It wasn’t my fault! Gil made me do it! 🙀 LOL! Nick
  14. Yup, they snuck in. No link to hotel anymore. Guess I gotta wait 'til the 15th with all the rest.
  15. Wayne was not only the head aircraft judge, he was the Chief Judge of the National Contest for years. He basically created the system we have now. I learned how to judge while he was in charge. He was a great leader and a good man. Thank you, Wayne, for all you did.
  16. I'm glad to see that there is plenty of interest in the 2021 Nats in Vegas. You guys should be congratulated for managing to sneak in while we were conducting a live test of the website. The full site will be online shortly and no need to worry about getting a room, we reserved 1600 room nights for the convention and the resort has over 2,000 rooms on site if we need more. Please stand by for a post on the forum when we officially go live. Thanks Bob
  17. I also just made my reservation. Very easy. Gil, thank you for the heads-up! Regards, Nick
  18. Wayne, who I believe was National Chief Aircraft Judge for many years, has died at age 85. Here is his obituary: Lt. Col., USAF (retired) Carl Wayne Wachsmuth, age 84, of Newville, passed away Thursday, July 9, 2020 at Carlisle Regional Medical Center. He was born August 12, 1935 in Butler, PA, the son of the late Curtis B. and Hazel (Gibson) Wachsmuth. “Wayne” graduated from Slippery Rock High School. He proudly served as a pilot in the US Air Force from 1957 -1987. He flew B-47, B-52 and FB-111 bombers. Wayne served in the Strategic Air Command for over 20 years to include combat missions in the Vietnam War. After retiring from the Air Force he became a licensed battlefield guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park. In his spare time, Wayne enjoyed reading, gardening and taking his restored 1953 MG-TD to car shows. He also enjoyed taking his Scottish Terrier, “Angus” for long walks. Wayne is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Kathy (Murphy) Wachsmuth of Newville; son, Paul W. Wachsmuth (Glenda) of Waldorf, MD; two grandsons, Logan and Liam Wachsmuth both of Waldorf, MD; sister, Linda McKonly (Steve) of Hanover and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sister, Ruth Wolfe. Professional services are entrusted to Dugan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Shippensburg. Memorial Services are at the discretion of the family. Interment will be in Indiantown Gap VA National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Wayne’s memory to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.
  19. That's a new one on me....and looks good! Unusual design for sure. The blue winged scheme makes it pop! Thanks for sharing! Gil
  20. Made my reservations this evening....just go to the Vegas website and following the click info..pretty easy and worked first time for me! https://www.ipmslv.com/2021-ipms-nationals GIL
  21. Last week
  22. Always on the lookout for the obscure, odd or prototype planes, I found this little gem on the pages of SAMI where the kit was being reviewed. Having gotten these models few times this way, a quick trip to eBay, and I had a choice of a number of these kits. The Sam-13 (Cam-13) was designed in pre-war Russia, and based around Renault 6 cylinder engines. One prototype was built. But this was destroyed as the Soviets fell back against the German invasion of the eastern front. The design was never revisited. It came with 2 sprues of gray plastic, one (mostly) clear canopy, a fret of PE, and a small sheet of decals. There was a few oops' along the way but all in all it was a fun kit. The instructions are the typical exploded views, where the exact location of some parts are hard to determine. The other issue with the kits was that the plastic was pretty fragile. I broke the back off the seat off twice, by apparently leaning on it too heavily. There were no locator pins so the parts wanted to wander until the glue set up. It wasn't mentioned but with that rear boom, I didn't want to take any chances, and added Liquid Gravity to keep it from being a tail sitter. The horizontal tail fin was a tight fit, and I should have done something about it. While it was drying, it popped out a little on one side and the glue dried that way. 😞 Lesson learned. Also after folding a piece of semi-large PE it jumped, hit the ground and was eaten. I actually laid on the floor looking for it to no avail. 😞 With no specific color call outs I used what I had. The gray was Vs Sky Gray and the blue was RLM 24. I did blacken the panel lines a bit with Vs NATO Black. The real plane was wooden so I left it with a matte clear coat. Sitting the canopy on the plane, I was amazed to see that the canopy was a perfect fit - until it came time to glue it on the the fuselage. What happened? 😞 After adding the landing gear I called it done. Thanks for looking.
  23. Review Author: Allan Murrell OKB Grigorov OKB Grigorov has provided yet another very submarine in this case it's the Italian Navy's in the Enrico Toti Class Submarine. These were built in the 1960's and were the first submarines designed and built in Italy since the second world war. They were designed as hunter killers and powered by a diesel-electric engine. They were very similar to the famous German type 205's. They saw service from 1965 to 1993. Inside the box are two resin parts and one Photo Etch Sheet The detail quality is great; The parts are very delicate and need careful removal from the resin bases. There was no instruction sheet provided, this was not a problem as it was a simple build. The Assembly is quick and easy. The photoetch stand is an awesome addition to the kit. The final part is painting. This is has joined my some navy of these great kits and I really enjoy building these and they make a wonderful display all lined up. Thanks go to OKB for providing this kit to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them View the full article
  24. Review Author: Luke R. Bucci PhD Helion & Company Thanks to Casemate Publishing & IPMSUSA for the review copy! John P. Cann has written nine titles on Portugal's colonial actions in Angola. This book is part of Helion & Company's [email protected] Series - #42. John Cann is a Research Fellow and retired Professor of National Security Studies at Marine Corps University (www.usmcu.edu) in Quantico, Virginia. John Cann acknowledged the generous help of Lieutenant Colonel (Cavalry) Miguel Freire and Colonel (Cavalry) Paulo Manuel Madeira de Athayde Banazol for their help. In other words, the author learned about this topic from the horses' mouths, so to speak. What You Get An 11 11/16 X 8 1/4 inch softcover book of 96 pages (not counting covers) with color covers and four pages (i-iv) of eight color illustrations and photos in the middle. The book is chock-full of B&W photos and illustrations (~105), with 19 maps, the first being of Africa currently so the reader can keep track of locations. A large list of abbreviations and a short Acknowledgement go right into the brief Introduction, followed by five chapters, Selected Bibliography and Notes. As a kid growing up watching the nightly news, the Angolan conflicts were mentioned, but details were scanty and the major interest was yet another Communist intervention (including Fidel Castro) at the time of the Vietnam War. This book helps sort out what was really going on in Angola during 1966-1974, and what Portugal did to keep hold of their colony with military action, specifically unusual tactics. A history of Portugal from prehistoric times to the 1960s proved fascinating and gave important background to understand the courses of action outlines in this book. It is a short history of horse cavalry in general and Portuguese national history. This perspective helps to understand why Portugal used cavalry instead of "modern" equipment. The history of Portugal as a small but feisty colonial nation mixing it up with bigger European countries to carve up the world into their possessions in order to secure raw materials for growth and supremacy is something seldom considered, but is at the root of each soldier's lives and deaths. The history of Portugal taking and defending its colonial African possession is given plenty of coverage, and goes into history of cavalry actions and why Portugal decided to use horses in 1966. This book presents and analyzes the use of cavalry by Portuguese military in Angola from 1966-1974. The politics were complicated, and the factions numerous and ever-changing, but the focus is strictly on military training and action, not geopolitics. Successes and failures were given equal attention so that military lessons can be learned, regardless of what is transporting the troops. The term dragoon defines horse-mounted infantry, with peculiar logistical needs and advantages for certain geographies. Cost of maintaining a war was only one reason to use dragoons - staying close to the indigenous people and troop mobility denied to other modes of transportation were other reasons. The part I found interesting was the exceptional attention to training dragoons by Portugal throughout history, culminating in relatively modern warfare usage. The human-animal bond was another large part of being a dragoon. Ultimately, the logistics of providing feed and water to horses and mules was a major limiting factor for modern application of horse cavalry in military operations. Opponents learned to target the horses instead of the mounted troops for countering dragoons. Summary This quick-read book is an excellent abbreviated history of cavalry use and tactics from olden times up to today. Strengths and weaknesses of horse-mounted infantry (dragoons) was thoroughly explained and determined in actual war operations. In the right setting, dragoons can make sense for limited military operations, even now. Recommended if you like obscure military topics, cavalry, asymmetric forces, colonial domination and indigenous struggles for returning control of their lands. View the full article
  25. Review Author: David Dodge AFV Club Intro The M60A2 early type by AFV Club is another one of their M60 series of vehicles including the M60A1, M60A3, M60A2Early and later and the M728 CEV as well as several Foreign subjects based on the M60 series of tanks. The M60A2 early includes sprues from the common components of the hull and turret and running gear. M60A2 specific components are included to model the right vehicle. In this case the Gun barrel with the bore evacuator and the M60A2 turret and assemblies. Background The ARCOVE report published in January 1958 recommended a major effort be directed toward the development by 1965 of a guided missile weapon system for future main battle tanks. Thus set in motion the development of the Combat Vehicle Weapons System Shillelagh (CVWS) which consisted of the 152mm XM81 gun launcher. This could fire conventional projectiles or the XM13 missile. The conventional projectiles had a completely combustible case and primer. The XM13 Shillelagh missile was ejected from the tank and a solid rocket motor propelled the missile to the target under the infrared line of sight guidance system. Development proceeded during the early 1960's and in July 1965 the M60A1E1 was type classified and 243 M1A1E1 turrets were procured with 1966 fiscal year funds and an additional 300 tanks were purchased with FY1967 funds. These were later standardized as the 152mm gun Full Tracked Combat Tank M60A2. Army figures show 540 M60A2 tanks produced. The consumable cartridge cases did not completely burn and left hot gasses and residue inside the breech, slowing the loading of subsequent rounds. This was addressed by fitting the closed breech scavenging system (CBSS). This was a high pressure compressed air system that injected 1000PSI air into the breech right after firing to clear the residue. These subsequently modified tanks can be identified by a bulge at the rear of the hull behind the engine and a gun tube without a bore evacuator (straight tube) The M60A2 tank was fielded to Armor units in Europe in 1975. Production was halted in 1975. Due to operational issues with the Missile and the fire control system the tank was phased out of service by 1980 with the rise of the deployment of High velocity Fin stabilized Sabot rounds that could be used by the M60A1 and the M60A3 tanks. Opening the box. There were approximately 15 sprues molded in clear, black and olive green plus the metal barrel, decals, vinyl components and tracks. Parts count is over 500 The Instructions The instructions are a 20 page booklet with a color slick front page and the color slick 4 view schema rear page for the two decal options . There is a Sprue Tree map on page 19 and a notes and colors chart on page 2. There are 39 assembly steps. Discrepancies will be noted in the build notes. There is a separate color box art flyer. Things to consider before building: You will have more parts than required to build the model since many common M60 parts aren't always used. The vinyl components(Main gun and commander machine gun shroud) can be glued with liquid cement, but be careful it will eat the plastic, work slowly and clamp or hold until parts are adhered, or use alternate cements Almost all the photo etch is used for the bustle rack bottoms and sides, you will mostly use these for strength during assembly since the tubing is styrene and delicate and difficult to arrange with the bracing. This will be the most difficult part of the assembly process. The Searchlight is a kit just by itself, 19 parts and photo etch. It's about the size of a sugar cube. Slow down for this step. In step 4 it shows Part O-1 being glued onto the hull rear underneath. Don't use this as it is for the late version and houses the CBSS air compressor, which is only needed on the late version of the kit. The towing pintle is also attached to this part, but the regular Tow pintle parts for the M60 tank hull are included (C10, 11, 12, 13) this will have to be fudged, since no drawing is available, but there are locating lines for the pintle arms on the hull. You will have to fill in the locator slots for part O-1. The correct grill doors are on the "C"sprue. C87, 88 The Build Lower Hull and Suspension Steps 1-6 covers everything track and suspension related. It's very straight forward. Other bits included are the lighting and tow pintle, lifting eyes and bump stops. The shocks/snubbers and mounts(C9,D9,C17) need to be snapped together into upper, snubber lower mount first since it will be near impossible to do if you try to snap the snubber into the mounts after you glue them onto the hull and road wheel arm. Tow pintle, See above in things to consider. The road wheel arm has the torsion bar, which is keyed, molded on it, it will fit inside the mount holes, but the fit is tight, you may want to fit sand it so you don't break it while inserting it across the hull, Use caution. The road wheels have an O-ring sealed between them to retain on the road wheel axle. You might want to wait until after painting as the underside of the tank is pretty busy and the road wheels block painting a lot of that. Upper Hull and Decks Step 7 is the driver's compartment. If you want that level of detail it is spread across the bottom hull, inside of the forward hull. It is very detailed and the parts are delicate and fragile, I kept breaking thin parts, so I closed it up and moved on. The drivers hatch is attached to a torsion bar that is glued onto the bottom side of the deck, it might be able to be just glued into the hole. The drivers vision blocks are pushed up from the inside of the deck, do this before you attach the front deck onto the hull. If you bypass the driver's compartment, this is easy to forget. In step 10 There are the grill door hinges that are on the outside of the hull at the rear (D22Rt Side D23 Lf Side) these are easy to miss so glue the grill doors on first then glue the back deck on to align everything. Do not use the indicated O2, O3 grill doors, use C87, 88 as those are for the earlier version without the Compressor see not in before you build above? The grill doors come in two flavors in Step 19, do not use C3, C34, C89 or K1 since those are for the M60A2 fording kit exhaust stack. I have never seen a picture of that fitted. Use C90 and fill the hole on the right rear grill door There are 10 top deck access doors that cover the gap between the hull and the back deck. There are triangular and "D" handles that go on the access grill covers, you just glued on. They are small and delicate and easily broken if you don't use a sharp cutter like a God Hand to trim them from the sprues. Tweezers will fling them everywhere if not careful as well. They really add the detail however so the attention will be rewarded. You may have to make a decision on when to put the track on. The instructions show them being applied before the fenders get glued on, you could leave them off if you are careful threading them over the sprockets and connecting them underneath. When in place, they obstruct airbrushing all the bits under the hull between the road wheels and fenders, Builder choice on when to thread the track. The under fender clearance is tight, but workable. The tracks Not much here, the two tracks are some sort of synthetic rubber but it is connected by a pin so you don't need to glue it or staple it. The section that is pinned can be torn so be careful The Turret The Commander's cupola is steps 22-24. The turret build up is step 25-27 The Tow Cable mounting brackets are PE that needs to be bent into a J shape and glued to the turret side, there are locating marks, but they are very light The rest of the turret is pretty straightforward, most everything has a good locator or fits well. Lots of bits. The Searchlight mounting brackets are fragile, so be careful. I somehow lost the alignment with the gun tube and it appears to point lower than the gun/launch tube. Pay attention during gluing as there is only one glue for the mounting arm and that is where I went wrong. The monumental struggle I had was with the bustle racks. The PE is a requirement to assist with the assembly to give it structure. The thin tubes are very fragile and are in one piece and have to be threaded through the mounting panels and get all the fiddley bit glued together, you need 5 hands to align and assemble it all. I had to repair everything at least once while trying to attach everything. I wish you all success if you take up this challenge. It looks nice when you get it attached and painted to hide all the glue. I recommend Bondic UV set adhesive to assist. Painting and Finish Primer and Pre-Shade I started by applying a primer consisting of Krylon Color Master with Durable ColorMax Technology rattle can (Flat Black) paint. It has great thin coverage and quick drying time. I left it to dry overnight to make sure it was fully cured. Airbrushing Mission Models Acrylics I had to do some soul searching regarding the gloss OD finish. The M60 was developed and fielded during the Army's transition from Solid Olive Drab finishes. My research showed a lot of dark shade OD solid green tanks. As the MERDEC schemes were standardized, they were used as were some local adaptions. Also during this time, the M60A2 series was being phased out of the inventory, its service life was relatively short. That being said, I went with an OD scheme, I wasn't happy with the bottled Od as it appeared too green and not dark enough from what I remember of what I have seen, and what I saw in photos. So I settled on a darker shade. I mixed Mission Models MMP 026 US Army Olive Drab FS33070 and darkened it with MMP 035 NATO Black, which had a green tint. I mixed it 7 parts MMP-026 to 3 parts MMP-035 I then top coated it with MMP-008 Gloss Clear Coat Decals . The decals were fine; they went on easy and adhered no problems. I got in trouble with one decal that was not split across the tow cable and it folded in on itself, so ruined, I left it off. Details I went back by hand and painted the heater exhaust pipe on the right fender, the machine gun barrel in the cupola and the end connectors and center guides on the track. Weathering I was restrained on the weathering as most of my experience with tanks on European roads was mostly road wash and dust, not much mud, a little European splash mud from Vallejo and some AK Rain marks For NATO tanks. I then hit it with a dusting of Vallejo Model Air 71.027 Light Brown to dust it up and cut the glossiness without covering it over. Conclusion. This early version of the M60A2 is well represented by the parts mix in this kit, but the instructions will have you build the wrong version with all the parts for the Closed Breech Scavenging System (CBSS) AFV Club produces the later version of that kit that would use that component and is most likely included in that kit as well. The kit parts pretty much have great fit and there are subtle locator marks for the tow cable PE and other parts. This basic chassis is used for multiple M60 Variant kits and has made use of the basic parts with multiple sprues to cover the subtle variants. The only really challenge I had was the bustle rack parts and assembly. Because the plastic components were so delicate and had unusual molding, it was very hard for me to assemble without breaking some of them. I would like to thank AFV Club for the kit to review and IPMS for the opportunity to review this kit. Thanks for the crew support of the reviewers. View the full article
  26. Review Author: Gino Dykstra ICM The Bucker Bu131D "Jungmann," which means "young man" or "cadet", was developed in the 1930s as a light primary trainer for all Luftwaffe pilots. Extremely small and agile, it was mostly steel tubing with a fabric covering, and proved so popular that over 200 are flying in private hands to this day. I even found an entire scene in the European "Tintin" series of comics which shows this durable little aircraft in the less-than-capable hands of Thomson and Thompson, twin detectives (see the Tintin adventure "The Black Island"). This model set offers not only the aircraft itself, but a pilot and a couple of handlers to go with it. The aircraft: like the real deal, the model of this aircraft, even in 1/32nd scale, is pretty diminutive, and makes for a relatively fast build. However, due to the nature of the real trainer, some of the parts are exceedingly fragile and require extraordinary care when removing from the sprues. The landing gear brace, for instance, was broken on the tree in three different places even before I attempted to remove it. Typically, the build begins with the cockpit area. The delicate tube framework is very well represented, although once again the parts are quite fragile. The control panels come in clear plastic with decals, and do a nice job of representing this area when finished properly. As with all ICM aircraft I've made so, far, no attempt has been made to represent the seat belts, so they'll either have to be found elsewhere or scratchbuilt. Both seats also have a moderately annoying mold mark in the center which will need rubbing out. The engine is nicely represented. I was intending to display this with the panels open, but encountered my only real glitch in the assembly, which was at least partially my own fault. Unbeknownst to me, ICM includes two complete sets of engine shrouds, although the unused set is not shown in the parts layout page at all, leading me to believe that the first pieces I spotted were the only choices. Since the engine panels start at the cockpit, these erroneous parts were already completely locked into place when I discovered my mistake. Fortunately, the kit includes both entire sets of parts, so that I could install the other set without things turning into a total disaster. The only part I needed to fabricate was the single exhaust pipe rather than multiple exhausts intended for this version of the aircraft. Be careful when you get to this stage and be sure to check the part numbers carefully to avoid my mistake. Speaking of the engine panels, this section is composed of more than half a dozen parts, all of which have to be fit very carefully so as not to throw off the entire front end of the fuselage. Even with my best efforts I needed a little putty to smooth things out appropriately. At this point you'll be facing the rigging of this model, which can be performed in a wide variety of ways. Personally, I found drilling holes in the appropriate locations, then feeding lines through the wings and clipping and sanding after the fact to be the simplest way to complete this. This kit requires about as much rigging as the average World War One aircraft, so be prepared to be patient. Because of my pre-drilling, I managed to accomplish this stage in about an hour and a half. Unlike ICM's Gloster Gladiator model which I'd previously made, the schematics do not offer quite as good a view of the rigging locations, which made puzzling out some of the details a bit more challenging. I referenced the box art when things got fuzzy, so I'm pretty sure I didn't miss anything. Although there is certainly a wide range of interesting color schemes for this aircraft, I chose the comparatively bland box art depiction, as I thought it best represented the most typical appearance of these machines in their training role. Even so, I think the final piece is interesting enough, especially with the decals adding a splash of color. The decals laid down very well with little to no silvering, although you will need to locate a set of small swastikas for the tail, as none are included. The figures: As mentioned before, this kit comes with a set of figures which include a cadet completing his parachute harness with the assistance of a couple of ground personnel. All figures are in a robust 1/32nd scale and all are wearing some version of the same zippered overalls. Because of the nature of the build, putty will be needed to smooth out the seams in the overalls. Be aware that the part numbers on the instructions are not entirely accurate, so test fit before gluing. The cadet pilot figure comes with a host of straps and certainly does a good job of depicting the complexity of the parachute harness. A little patience is required to get all the strap parts in their proper positions. Although the outfits depicted require only a limited pallet, you'll find plenty of small details to paint. I particularly liked the challenge of the parachute harness, which gave me a LOT of detail to add on. My pictures, alas, don't do them justice, but they really are quite nice when done. Altogether, this set works together very well indeed and will look good in any aircraft dio of your choice. All in all, this is an excellent reproduction of this essential trainer aircraft as well as a faithful representation of the men who worked and flew it. Together, they are terrific value for the money and make a really nice addition to any good Luftwaffe collection. I'm delighted with both kits and thoroughly enjoyed the build, even when I was screwing up. My heartfelt thanks to IPMS/USA for a chance to build this set as well as to ICM for continuing to provide fascinating additions to the world of 1/32nd scale aircraft models. Be safe, everyone, and happy modeling! View the full article
  27. Review Author: Scott Hollingshead Platz Platz Hobby currently produces 334 kits in 1/144 scale, and in addition to their F6F-3 release, I was fortunate enough to receive this two-plane kit for review. In addition to the parts for two aircraft there are markings for three different planes included. Construction was quick, and the detail is very good for this scale. Modelers familiar with working with small parts should not have issues building this release, and I would highly recommend it. For those not aware, the Skyhawk started life as a fighter design, but as the US Navy had other aircraft being looked at for this role, it was suggested that Douglas continue the design as an attack aircraft. The specifications were for the plane to be able to carry 2000 pounds of weapons (including nuclear), have a combat radius of 345 miles with a top speed of 500 miles per hour, and a maximum takeoff weight of less than 30,000 pounds. Ed Heinemann responded with an aircraft that had a flight radius of 460 miles with a top speed of 600 mph, and a gross weight of only 14,000 pounds. The preliminary mock-up was inspected in February 1952, and Douglas rolled the first XA4D-1 out of the El Segundo, California plant in February 1954. The Skyhawk received several nicknames during its career including, "Heinemann's Hot Rod", "Bantam Bomber", "Kiddiecar", "Scooter", and "Tinker Toy Bomber". This release from Platz contains three light gray sprues along with one clear sprue for each plane. The decals are made by Cartograf and provide the famous "Lady Jessie" markings worn on the number 1 plane of the VA-164 Ghost Riders in 1969 and 1972 as well as a Blue Tail Flies plane in 1969. The "Lady Jessie" markings were first worn on squadron plane 406 flown by Commander R.C. Perry to honor his friend and former employer who sent care packages to the squadron from her casino. After Perry died in combat (in a different plane) and 406 was lost in combat (with pilot Lt. Commander Barr), the name was carried on the squadron Commanding Officer's plane (401). Construction is straight forward, and I did not need to use any filler on the seams of these planes. While there is no control panel included, it would be very difficult to see once the canopy is in place and the frames are painted. I did have to play with the fit of the canopy a little, but this was not a daunting task. I also had to replace the forward antenna on one of the planes as I managed to break it off during construction. My one building tip is to add some weight to the front of the plane prior to gluing the fuselage halves together (probably behind the cockpit rear wall). I used Stynylrez White primer for the underside and control surfaces and Model Master Acryl Gloss Gull Gray for the fuselage, wings, and canopy. The gun barrels received Scale 75 Black Metal as did the tip of the refueling probe, the landing gear door edges are Vallejo Red, the engine exhaust and refueling probe end (excluding the tip) are Vallejo Natural Steel, and the surface above the exhaust is AK True Metal Gun Metal. Decals settled just fine with Micro Set over an Alclad Aqua Gloss finish (I still applied a coat of Micro Sol out of habit), and I sealed the planes with Alclad Light Sheen. My hits for this release are the level of detail for the scale, the clean moldings and tight fits, and the great markings. Even though two of the markings are for the same plane, there are clear differences between 1969 and 1972. I liked the way that some of the decals included multiple individual markings as it would be very challenging to add each one individually in this scale. My only real miss would be the failure to mention adding some weight up front to keep the nose of the planes down. I should have known better, but honestly did not think of this until I was airbrushing the white primer. I corrected this by squeezing a lead fishing weight into a shape that would fit in the back end of the plane as I left off the exhaust nozzle during painting. While not really a miss, centerline fuel tanks and loads for the pylons would have been a nice touch. I would also add that technically the forward slats fall forward when an A-4 is parked, so the planes represented in the kit would be in flight, but there is no option for a pilot to represent this. On a side note, I did not catch that the Blue Tail Flies marking for the tail goes above and below the tail control surfaces. As I painted the planes with these in place, I had to cut a slit in the decals to get them to fit correctly. Of course the better approach would be to place the decals and then add the control surfaces afterward. As mentioned up front, I would highly recommend this kit to modelers wanting to add a couple of A-4Fs to their 1/144 collection, especially "Lady Jessie". Modelers with experience in working with small parts should have no issues with building this kit and adding the decals. I would like to thank the folks at Platz Hobby for providing this kit to the IPMS-USA Review Corps for assessment, and to Phil Peterson for leading the Review Corps, and allowing me to perform this review. I would also send out kudos to all of the folks behind the scenes at the Review Corps who help John with his efforts, and as always, my sincere appreciation goes out to all the folks who take the time to read my comments. View the full article
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