Archive for the ‘Kit Previews’ Category
When it comes to enhancing the look of a model, I’ve always felt that nothing can add more impact to the final result than some great looking resin aftermarket accessories. Whether it is a set of wheels, a new prop, control surfaces, a cockpit or a wheel well, resin accessories are often one of the simplest ways to spruce things up and add detail and realism that may not be found in the injection molded part. And in my experience, one of the finest producers of great resin accessories is Ultracast.
Kevin McLaughlin graciously sent some resin accessories for review. All of the parts look great, and have the quality that I’ve come to expect from Ultracast. There are a lot of resin parts out there, from a variety of manufacturers, but Ultracast’s products have always been at the top of the heap in my experience. (I think if I could afford to I would buy their Spitfire and P-40 seats with harnesses by the dozen! ) Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to new kit announcements, few things spark my interest like a new Spitfire. And that anticipation doubles even more when it is an Airfix Spitfire. The iconic manufacturer has been doing a great job with their latest line of Mr. Mitchell’s Wonder. So I was particularly excited when I read that Airfix would release the Mk. XIX PRU version.
Of course, living in the US puts me at a slight disadvantage. Even after Airfix releases a kit, it seems to take weeks for it to filter its way to the US. And ordering directly from Airfix comes at a price of very high shipping. So what’s a Spitfire nut, on a limited budget, to do?
Ebay to the rescue. I’ve found if I wait just a few days after Airfix releases a kit, sellers will have them on Ebay, and usually at very reasonable prices and shipping. And that was the case here- I found one priced such that it was only a few bucks more than I would have paid for the kit here in the US, including shipping. So I was a happy camper! Especially so when the kit arrived in 5 days!
OK, enough blabbering about my adventure getting the kit… what is in the box? Read the rest of this entry »
Lately I’ve been doing some reading on Russian air power in World War II, and this has led to an interest in building some examples of Soviet World War II fighter aircraft. So the timing was perfect when my friend Alex of scale-model-kits.com asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing & building a kit. After looking through their selections, I picked a fighter I’ve always thought was very interesting, the MiG-3. The selected kit from Ark Models is in the markings of Russia’s second-highest scoring ace of World War II, Aleksandr Pokryshkin.
The kit is actually a rebox of ICM’s MiG-3 kit, based on sprue photo comparisons from reviews of the ICM kit.
The parts are typical for an Eastern European manufacturer. The plastic is a bit on the softer side, but overall the parts are well cast and reasonably detailed, with some “softness” to the edges of detail areas. There is some flash that will have to be dealt with but not an excessive amount. The parts have a slight texture to them (which the photos I took exaggerate somewhat), but nothing that can’t be quickly buffed out for any exterior parts to give a smooth paint finish. The kit consists of four sprues cast in light gray plastic, and one clear sprue.
The interior detailing looks good, with the interior framework reasonably well represented. Seat, stick, rudder pedals and instrument panel are all included. The IP is void of detail, but a decal is provided. Read the rest of this entry »
Most modelers enjoy seeing new kits come out. It gives us something new to build, maybe even a new subject not kitted before. If it’s from an existing company, we often know what to expect, while kits from a new company can be a question mark- will it look like the real thing, or just be a big blob of plastic?
I had never heard of Modelsvit before, so when I received the kit from scale-model-kits.com, I was looking forward to seeing which category this company’s 1/48 Yak-1b fell in to. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s always a good thing when a new Spitfire kit is released. It’s an even better thing when it’s from Airfix.
Continuing on their path of releasing very nice and affordable new tool kits, Airfix has released the Mk. 22 version of the Spitfire, one of the very late Spits with the Griffon engine, big tail, and bubble canopy. Some folks say with ll the changes, it’s not really a Spitfire. Rubbish, I say. It’s called a Spitfire- it’s a Spitfire!
I love seeing Revell re-issuing the old Monogram kits. They bring back a lot of great memories. I knew that Revell had announced that the old OS2U kit would be back soon, but I’d forgotten about seeing that a few months back. But in my weekly visit to Hayes Hobby House in Fayetteville, NC this past Saturday, there it was, right on the shelf. (Alongside a re-issued P-47D Razorback…. more on that another day.) And the price was not to bad- less than $17. So of course I did what all modelers do- I grabbed the box and said “ring me up!” Read the rest of this entry »
David Willis gives us a quick preview of Tamiya’s “Super Sherman”. Thanks for sending that in, David!
This is Tamiya’s Military Miniature Series No. 322, a 1/35 Israeli Tank M1 Super Sherman. Three sets of markings are provided in the kit:
- 7th Armored Brigade, Sinai Peninsula, November 1956, Vehicle -75254 (OD)
- 7th Armored Brigade, Sinai Peninsula, November 1956, Vehicle 75223 (OD)
- Display Vehicle, The Armored Corps Memorial Site & Museum, Latrun, Israel (Light Sand)
The kit is a mix of older Tamiya Sherman sprues on the lower parts, with brand new molds on the upper side. The parts have crisp detail, with some flash. Roadwheels are the standard hollow-backed Tamiya roadwheels.
The kit consists of more than 200 OD green molded parts on 5 sprues, including a machine gun and two figures). The tracks are vinyl, T54E1 rubber band tracks. A nylon string tow cable is provided. The upper hull has cast texturing, with the exception of the transmission cover, which is on an older sprue.
It’s your standard, quality Tamiya product, begging for aftermarket stuff, but a joy to build straight out of the box. For lightweight armor builders, like myself, I’d give the kit a 7 out of 10. For the hardcore detail freak, it’s probably 5 out of 10.
I snagged mine at Lucky Model for about $30 (US). The average, online price seems to be about $42 (US).
I’d first heard that Airfix would be releasing two new Spitfire toolings, the Mk. XII and the Seafire Mk. XVII, in late 2009. If I recall correctly, they were announced as 2010 releases. As often happens in modeling, the actual release date moved on a bit. However, in both their cases, the wait was worth it. Read the rest of this entry »
Mark Houpt submitted this very thorough review of Kinetic’s Tracker kit. Thanks Mark!
Once again a Chinese company has come to the chalk board and wiped away a kit from the modelers top ten desired list, this time it is Kinetic with the S2F Tracker in 1/48 scale. The first variant out of the gates is the S-2E and S-2G, U.S. Navy variant. Never fear for those that want an early, Canadian or even Turbo Tracker, Raymund Chung has announced on various forums / boards that very shortly Kinetic will also release those variants PLUS the C-1 Trader (and I have heard the E-1B Tracer). If all of that comes to fruition, what a wonderful addition to the modeling options that will be for us. Read the rest of this entry »
Agape forum member Raleigh Lamb sent in this very comprehensive preview and comparison between Kinetic’s and Monogram’s 1/48 EA-6B kits. Thanks for the hard work Raleigh!
Answering a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps requirement for a new long-range interdiction and close air support aircraft, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation won the contract with their proposal on 2 January 1958. Construction began in early 1959, with the maiden flight occurring uneventfully on 19 April 1960. Formal delivery of two A-6A Intruders took place on 1 February 1963 to Attack Squadron Forty-Two (VA-42) at NAS Oceana, Virginia.
Due to the effectiveness of radar controlled anti-aircraft fire in the Korean war, and surface to air missiles (SAM) being encountered in Vietnam, work began on an “electric” Intruder in August 1961, with the first EA-6A prototype flying on 26 April 1963, and the formal delivery of the second built airframe on 30 April 1963.
Even though the EA-6A preformed it’s SAM suppression role extremely well, Grumman realized that further development of the aircraft’s capabilities was limited by the number of crewmen, and the size of the airframe. A proposal was submitted to the Navy in June 1964, which resulted in the issue of a formal requirement for an advanced electronic warfare (EW) aircraft in November 1964. This led to four crewmembers, arranged in two tandem seated cockpits, requiring a 54-inch fuselage extension to accommodate the crew, and equipment additions. The EA-6B’s first flight occurred on 25 May 1968.
Since then, the Prowler has gone through four major EW capability upgrades, Extended capability (EXCAP), Improved capability I (ICAP-I), ICAP-II, and the most recent ICAP III, participating in every conflict from Vietnam, to Operation Iraqi Freedom, with distinction. Read the rest of this entry »
Agape forum member Jeff Adair sent this review of Academy’s “Dragon Wagon”. I can’t wait to see the finished pics Jeff!
|Kit:||Academy 1/72 Dragon Wagon|
|Pros:||Good detail, only kit of the Dragon Wagon in 1/72|
|Cons:||A few injector pin marks, no clear parts|
|Conclusion:||With just a little bit of work this could be a real show stopper!|
The M25 more commonly known as the “Dragon Wagon” was composed of the 6×6 armored tractor (M26) and a 40 ton trailer. (M15)
The M-26 was designed by Knuckey Truck Company of San Francisco. It ultimately produced by Pacific Car and Foundry of Seattle, Washington when Knuckey was unable to satisfy the production needs of the US Army.
The M26 had a 240HP gasoline inline six cylinder that would move it at speeds of up to 26 mph. I have read accounts of “field modifications” that took it to much higher speeds!
The Dragon Wagon entered service in Europe in 1944 and served the Army until 1955. Read the rest of this entry »
Steve Budd (Agape forum member Dances with Wolves) provides us with this very thorough examination of Airfix’s newly released “Emil”. And it sounds like it is a great kit to build- if you can get your hands on one! Thanks so much for this review, brother Steve!
Histoire & Collections Messerschmitt Me109 Volume 1 ‘From 1936 to 1942 by Anis Elbied and Andre Jouineau. SAM Publications Modellers Datafile No 9 The Messerschmitt Bf109 Part 1: Prototype to ‘E’ Varients by Lynn Ritger.
As iconic to the Germans as the Spitfire is to the British, Willy Messerschmitt’s compact and hugely distinctive little fighter remained in service throughout World War II, proving the durability of its core design principals. Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago I purchased the new Airfix 1/48 scale Martin B-57B Canberra.
Being 1/48 scale make sure you have plenty of shelf space as this bomber is a shelf hog. When built the length from nose to tail is 406 -mm (16”) with a wingspan of 416mm (16.4”). The large box contains 8 part trees 1 of with is the clear parts for a total of 120 pieces. The large instruction booklet contains 36 steps with different options depending on which of the 3 versions you are building. The color notes are for Humbrol paints only.
The overall look upon first inspection is that the parts are crisp with no flash, recessed panel line and a few ejector pin marks. Some of the ejector pin marks are in some hard to remove places. The bomb bay has 11 marks that will need to be cleaned up. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve not read AgapeModels.com for long, I need to let you in on a minor detail about myself. I love Spitfires. Any scale, any make, any mark, any time, any place. And I get especially excited about Airfix Spitfires. Something about the iconic British model maker producing the iconic British aircraft just seems to fit.
And since Hornby rescued Airfix, I’ve been quite happy to see that not only have they continued releasing the “classic” Airfix molds of various Spitfires, they’ve also been tooling up new versions.
When I saw that one of the releases for 2009 would be a new-tool 1/72nd Spitfire Mk. XIX, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. Trouble is, it’s taken a while.
The kit was actually released several months ago, but up until now I could only find it for order on UK sites. And while the kit price was not a problem, the shipping was sky-high. So I decided to wait until it “crossed the pond” so to speak, and arrived at US distributors.
I waited and waited. And I never saw it in a US catalog. Now, I’m sure someone had it, but I never saw it. So I emailed my good friend and local salsa dancing legend, Mike Starling, at the best model shop on the planet, Hayes Hobby House. His reply came back quicker than 3 jumbo chili dogs on a roller coaster- “Stop bothering me, you pest.”
OK, he didn’t say that, exactly. I think his exact words were “It’ll be here Wednesday.” Read the rest of this entry »
Brian McClatchie send in this preview of Czech Models’ recently released “Bamboo Bomber”.
The Cessna T-50 Bobcat was designed as a commercial light transport that first flew in 1939. It is a twin-engined, low wing monoplane that seats 5. Construction is of wood and tubular steel frame covered in fabric. In 1940, the U.S. Army ordered a military standard (the AT-8) that gave rise to several additional models with various changes in equipment and engines. It performed the roles of civil and military transport, multi-engine trainer and general utility aircraft. It also served the Brazilian and Nationalist Chinese Air Forces during the post-war years. It appeared in at least 18 variants and sub-variants, like the civilian T-50, U.S. Army AT-17 and UC-78, U.S. Navy JRC-1 and the RCAF Crane I, with a total production exceeding 5,400 aircraft. A handful still fly to this day. It’s most well known role was that of the Songbird, flown by Sky King (Grant Kirby) in the 1950’s TV show of the same name. Other nicknames for the T-50 include the Bamboo Bomber, Useless-78, Brasshat, the Double-Breasted Cub, Rhapsody in Glue, the Wichita Wobbler, Boxkite and the San Joaquin Beaufighter. Read the rest of this entry »
Steve Budd received his recently ordered Bristol Fighter from Wingnut Wings …. you may have heard of them recently? He shares this in-depth kit preview.
Genesis of a Fighter
Of all the British aircraft designs that took to the air during the Great War, only the Bristol aircraft company’s F.2b was universally both loved and respected by its crews – other British types varied in their reception; ranging from outright hate to love; certainly the latter in the case of Sopwith’s brilliant Camel, which was nonetheless qualified affection by carrying with it an aura of fear prompted by its propensity to fatally bite those who failed to operate it as the design demanded.
By mid-war, the Royal Flying Corp (RFC) realised that its reconnaissance capability was sorely in need of a much more capable and self reliant aircraft than the BE 2c then in service. So it was that Frank Barnwell, Chief Engineer at British Aeroplane Limited in Bristol, tabled his new design, the R 2A (‘R’ for reconnaissance I presume) as a direct competitor to the Royal Aircraft Factory’s BE 2c replacement – the RE 8, which essential swapped the pilot’s and observer’s positions so that the pilot sat in front (can you imagine being a gunner, sat partially under the top wing, trying to find any worthwhile field of fire and shooting in the broad direction of the pilot…). Read the rest of this entry »
Ken Judt submitted this kit preview of Academy’s F/A-18A Hornet. From the sound of it, this is a very nice kit! Thanks Ken!
History: (From Wikipedia.org)
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to attack both ground and aerial targets. Designed in the 1970s for service with the United States Navy and Marine Corps, the Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations. It has been the aerial demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels since 1986. Its primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeff Adair (jeff8600) sent in this preview of Revell’s great big honkin’ Ju-88.
Designed by Hugo Junkers’ Junkers company in the mid 1930s, the Ju-88 became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. It was used successfully as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter, and even as a flying warhead during the closing months of World War II.
My hats off to Revell Germany on this kit. Here’s what you get… 255 parts crisply molded in light gray and 26 cleat parts. I was only able to find a few injector marks over the entire kit and they were on the landing gear doors and not very noticeable. The cockpit is beautiful comprising of about 125 parts. Read the rest of this entry »
Shortly after Hornby purchased Airfix in late 2006, rescuing the iconic British model-maker, I had the chance to talk to Airfix’s product manager, Martyn Weaver. At the interview’s conclusion, I wrote “Mr. Weaver concluded his answers by saying that under Hornby Hobbies LTD., the ‘future looks bright for Airfix.’”
Since that time, Hornby has guided Airfix through some great releases, all stepping up the quality of Airfix kits. So when I heard they were releasing a 1/48 TSR-2, I was very excited.
Just before Airfix went into receivership under the Humbrol ownership, they had released a 1/72 scale TSR-2 that made quite an impact on the market. For an aircraft that never made it into production, it caused quite a stir. Every UK modeling magazine I read here in the US had articles about it. Various companies released aftermarket sets of resin and decals. Though the kit itself was met with only lukewarm reviews, it sold quickly. And even after Airfix went through all it did in 2006, the 1/72 scale TSR-2 commanded very high prices on Ebay.
Obviously, the “new” Airfix took note of the interest in the kit, as well as the criticisms of it. And in releasing another boxing of it- as a 1/48 scale limited edition- I’d have to say they got it all right for the most part! Read the rest of this entry »