The Northrop F-5E found a home with both the USAF and USN as a dissimilar air combat training aircraft, more commonly known as an Aggressor or Top Gun Adversary aircraft. A former brother-in-law of mine was kind enough to invite me to Nellis AFB in the late 1980’s as he was going through his Aggressor pilot training before being posted to Bentwaters, UK. Getting a chance to see a group of “cheap” F-5E’s “shoot down” a flight of F-15’s was quite an impressive achievement, but then that was the purpose of these highly trained adversary pilots, to teach tactics used by Eastern Bloc pilots and their satellite air forces. I previously was a big fan of the uniquely painted aircraft and getting to see them in person and watch them in action just solidified my interest in them. (Yes, I know that the 527th patch is USAFE based, but I didn’t have a 26th AS patch in my collection).
Loon Models (Roll Models brand) has added another aircraft seat to their 1/72 aircraft accessory line. This one is for the Messerschmitt Me-262. Loon Models don’t specify a kit for this seat, but you will want to use one that has a normal cockpit in it. The kit I picked out for this review is an older Hasegawa kit of the Me-262A.
The LOON seat is two quality pieces of resin; smooth, seamless and bubble free. The detail is also very nice, and it doesn’t need any extra work to bring out the detail. The beauty of this piece is that all I had to do was paint it, assemble the tow parts, and add a drop of super glue for the install. No cutting needed on the original cockpit floor, just drop it in. This seat has no seatbelts molded on it, which is good if you want to add a pilot or add PE seat belts.
Frederick A. Johnsen has been a fire bomber enthusiast since childhood. He saw his first, a TBM Avenger, in 1961 and was hooked. Mr Johnsen has been an Air Force historian, NASA public affairs officer and is currently the director of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, California. He has written over 20 aviation books and articles for numerous periodicals.
Fire Bombers In Action is an 8.5 x 11”, 144 page, softbound book containing 120 black and white and 114 color photos. It includes a 60 minute DVD (more on that later.)
Once the Japanese Pacific "empire” had expanded to its greatest extent in mid-1942, the Navy General Staff realized that their supply lines -- basically consisting of slow, plodding “marus” usually sailing independently and not in convoy -- were extremely vulnerable to American submarines, which patrolled almost unopposed throughout the empire.
The Japanese considered the submarine mainly a weapon to be used against enemy warships. But American submarines were used primarily as commerce destroyers like the German U-Boats, and took such a toll of Japanese shipping that more and better aircraft were required for anti-submarine duties. In 1942, the Watanabe Tekkosho, later Kyushu Hokoki, was assigned the task of developing a specialized aircraft for this role. A design was quickly developed, the Q1W1, which appeared as a three-seat twin engine monoplane emphasizing endurance over speed.
The Orange Box Series kits from Dragon are basically previously released models that have been repackaged. The kit in this review is a combo of Dragon 6069 Schwerer Plattformwagen Typ SSY railcar flat top and Dragon Kit 9018 Pz Bef Wg III Ausf K.
Review of the Railcar
The instructions are a composite of the two separate sets of instructions, so I’ll start with steps 23 and 24: the assembly of the railcar frame and top or deck. Make sure that you have a flat surface to place the 4 pieces of the deck and that surface will not be marred by the possible glue seepage between the 4 pieces. Lay the 4 pieces face down and run a line of glue between the panels. While the glue is still soft, place the frame on the underside of the deck and make sure that everything is square. Glue the frame to the deck and let it dry.