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Review Author
Paul Mahoney
Published on
Company
Lifelike Decals
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$19.00

This is one of three new sheets Lifelike Decals has released covering the Ki-44 Shoki. In looking at Lifelike’s website, I see most of their decals are available in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32, but these sheets appear to be only available in 1/48 as of now.

Clearly, a lot of time and effort has gone into the research on this sheet. Ten different references books are listed and cited throughout the individual aircraft descriptions.

This particular sheet covers the markings of 4 different “Shoki” aircraft, 3 Ki-44 II Hei versions and one Ki-44 II Kou version. The recommended kit is by Hasegawa, although I’m sure they could be used on the old Arii/Otaki kits.

The 4 markings are as follows:

Review Author
Andy Renshaw
Published on
Company
Aires Hobby Models
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$13.50

Aires has been on the scene for some time now, producing some amazing details in resin and photo etch metal. Among aftermarket aficionados, Aires is the top of the pack for the level of detail and quality of casting. This set for the AFV Club 1/48 series of F-5 Tiger II kits is no exception, though installation is a little time-consuming.

Review Author
Andy Renshaw
Published on
Company
Aires Hobby Models
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$16.50

Aires has been on the scene for some time now, producing some amazing details in resin and photo etch metal. Among aftermarket aficionados, Aires is the top of the pack for the level of detail and quality of casting. This set for the AFV Club 1/48 series of F-5 Tiger II kits is no exception, though installation is quite another matter.

In the Box

Review Author
Michael Novosad
Published on
Company
Dragon Models
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$59.99

History and Performance

The 15cm sIG33 infantry gun was first installed on converted Pz.Kpfw. I chassis and used in the early campaigns of May-June 1940. This combination resulted in a high profile vehicle that offered little protection to the crew. Afterwards, plans were developed to mount this weapon on a more suitable chassis. A prototype was mounted on a Pz.Kpfw. II chassis, but it was quickly realized that more room was required for the gun and crew. The chassis was widened and lengthened. Only twelve vehicles were built, and all were eventually shipped to Africa. All were destroyed in combat on that front.

Kit Review:

Instructions – The instructions are in the typical fold-out Dragon standard. There are 21 steps to the build, with a sprue layout identifying what parts are not to be used. There are painting and marking guides for seven vehicles.

Review Author
Dick Montgomery
Published on
Company
Hasegawa
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$89.99

Released in October, 2011, this Hasegawa kit is a superb model and is a “must have” for any Blue Angels aficionado, or any Hornet fan. The parts supplied in the kit allow one to build either the B or the D model of the Hornet, both in Blue Angels markings. I was at the air show at Randolph AFB in November, 2011, at which #7 replaced a non-serviceable Super Hornet, and was very pleased to see that it was #7 that Hasegawa was featuring in this fine kit.

The Parts

The parts are molded in a blue color that is a very close approximation of the FS15050 of the Blue Angels. A small fret of photo etch is included, as well as cast metal landing gear. There are approximately 225 parts in this kit, some 40 of which are not used for the Blue Angels B or D model of the Super Hornet. These parts are obviously for a different variant, probably the E.