While the aircraft carriers of Imperial Japan may have captured the glory of the navy’s early victories in the Pacific, by and large it was her cruisers that did the slugging, round after round, with the U.S. and Allied navies during the initial stages of the war. This latest New Vanguard edition by Osprey Publishing chronicles the development and use of Japan’s heavy cruiser force. All 18 of the heavy cruisers (designated “Class A cruisers” in the IJN) that fought in the Pacific War were completed before the outbreak of the war. No Japanese heavy cruisers were built during the war.
I like the Mirage family of jets, they just look fast. An interesting feature is the bulbous nose probe out in front of the radome. In plastic this is a hard part to clean up – I have suffered these trials with the Heller Mirage 2000 and the Italeri Mirage F.1. The Mirage 2000 was the Eduard re-release that I built for IPMS review. Well, the nose probe was a casualty of the road on my way to its first contest entry! I made the repair, but it looked a bit short and then it was subsequently lost. The Model Master probe is far more petite and prototypical, so I was eager to try this brass replacement and restore my Mirage to its visual glory!
I continue to be amazed at the variety and quality of the product line from Master Models. I have had the pleasure to review their replacement ship gun barrels but this is the first opportunity I have had to review their aircraft accessories. This latest offering from Master Models is a pair of replacement .30 caliber barrels, perfect for the rear gun mount on most two-seater US Navy aircraft. These barrels are little jewels. Okay, I am not a machinist and so I am always impressed by quality lathe work. I was a bit astounded by the perforated cooling jackets. I will not even ask how it was done, but there had to be a computerized milling machine with an indexing arc to even space the dimples in this fine brass. Installation is easy, cut off the plastic barrel, drill a small hole and glue in the replacement barrel. Is the barrel worth the cost and effort?
In this set Quickboost offers a drop-in replacement set of exhaust pipes for the Trumpeter C-47. This set eliminates pesky mold seams and provides a deeper more realistic exhaust opening. The exhaust pipes in the kit and the QB replacements appear to have built-in mufflers. My guess is that Trumpeter depicted a later style exhaust. The Monogram kit, on the other hand, has a short pipe with a more turned out opening. This earlier style is more appropriate for the WWII aircraft. Working on the hunch that the QB pipes are a later style, I went through my reference and I have found pictures of Vietnam era Gooney Birds with such a pipe, including the AC-47 gunships. This also includes the C-47s the Army used for VIP transport in CONUS. So if you are modeling the later aircraft, including the Monogram AC-47 release, these mufflers would be more appropriate for your model. Highly recommended.
Those of us that enjoy building dioramas will like this new set from MiniArt. The kit titled “Flat Tile Roof” contains all the parts for two panels of tile roofing. These panels can be used single, covering a 9-1/2 x 5-3/4” area each, or used together to formed a peaked roof that will cover roughly twice the size of a single panel depending on the pitch.