Among modern aircraft modelers, if they want colorful and interesting paint schemes the aircraft of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) have always delivered. One of the most attractive, and sleek looking aircraft is the Mitsubishi F-2. Having origins within the FSX program in the late 1980’s, it was birthed out of a cooperative effort with Lockheed Martin after selecting the F-16 as a basis for study into a new support fighter. It wasn’t until the mid 2000 that flight test were concluded and delivery started in September of the same year. With a 25% larger wing, longer fuselage, advanced avionics, and 11 hard points it is a F-16 on steroids and provides the JASDF with a 21stcentury fighter and trainer.
The Ford Motor company unleashed the Mustang SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) in 1984, continuing the marque through 1986. The goal was to produce a sporty and fast Mustang while delivering relatively good gas mileage for the era. Powered by a 2.3 Litre 4 cylinder “Lima” engine originally found under the hood of Pintos, Ford put their money where their claims were. The little Lima was given its muscle (205 HP) with the help of an intercooled turbo-charger; other interesting goodies found on the SVO were a Hurst shifted close ratio 5-speed gear box, Koni designed and supplied suspension, Recaro seats and a bi-plane rear wing unique to the little Mustang that could and did.
Quickboost just keeps adding to their great line of quality resin aircraft accessories. The latest addition is for the Hasegawa Focke Wulf TA-154 A-1/ R1. It is up to their usual standards; molded in grayish resin, smooth, seamless and bubble free. They come off of the mold block easily; I just cut the doors loose with my sprue cutters.
The doors that come in the Hasegawa kit are okay but just lack the level of detail that the Quickboost covers have. The Hasegawa instructions have you cut the edges of the doors. Quickboost has already made these cuts for you. The Quickboost covers are superior and add just that much more realism to the finished kit. The resin parts are very easy to install and can be used on any other brand kit that is similarly molded.
The Aires set arrived in the standard blister pack we all have come to recognize. The multimedia mix includes cast resin pieces in varying shades of gray finely cast and flawless they are beautifully done, my sample came with a couple broken pieces from the delicate control stick and was easily repaired. The photo etch instrument panel fret also includes seatbelts and other fiddly bits all renderings are very nice. Topping off the mix is the infamous Aires acetate sheet with the printed dial faces.
The instructions are well thought out pointing out where modifications are required. This mainly consists of removing raised detail and thinning the plastic. This may seems old school to a lot of us modelers but remember fundamentals are what make a great model. All in all this is a great improvement over the Hobby Boss parts and is well worth the time and effort needed for a proper fit.
General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper was conceived and birthed as a super-sized version of the MQ-1 Predator, which had met with great success in the time-critical-targeting (TCT) role in the late 1990’s and early part of this century. Despite Predator’s utility in the TCT role, it was limited by the size, quantity and diversity of payload it could deliver, as well as by limited range and service ceiling. As a result, “Predator B” was developed to leverage the success of the “Predator A” design, while minimizing development time, risk, and cost. The final product was a weapons system capable of carrying 3,750 pounds (an increase of nearly 800%), including GBU-12 Paveways and GBU-38 JDAMs, in addition to AGM-114 Hellfires, and a 50% increase in range and altitude. Given the significant increase in capability over the legacy Predator design, the MQ-9 was redesignated “Reaper.”