Review Author
Brian R. Baker
Published on
January 2, 2014
Company
Brengun
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$11.50

History

The first real consideration of making floatplane fighters out of the Spitfire and Hurricane came during the 1940 Norwegian Campaign, and work began on both aircraft at that time. At the end of the campaign, development ended, and the Hurricane project was stopped. Known as the “Narvik Nightmare”, the Spitfire project languished until just before Pearl Harbor, when work was reinstated, this time with the Mk. Vb airframe. This time, instead of Blackburn Roc floats, specially designed Supermarine floats were used, along with additions to the vertical fin to offset the aerodynamic effects of the floats. The result was a highly successful conversion, with excellent flying and water handling characteristics. In fact, it turned out to be the fastest floatplane fighter of World War II.

Book Author(s)
Various
Review Author
Mike Van Schoonhoven
Published on
January 2, 2014
Company
Model Art
MSRP
$16.23

This is Model Art Magazine’s special quarterly issue that focuses on naval subjects. As with the regular Model Art Magazine this is printed in Japanese with some English subtitles.

The feature article in the Winter 2013 Special Ship Model Edition covers the Battle of Savo Island. The issue starts off though with some new releases that will be hitting model benches soon.

The Battle of Savo Island was the first major naval battle of the Guadalcanal campaign. Model Art devotes ninety-two pages to this battle with period photos, charts, line drawings, one fold out full color drawing of the IJN Heavy cruiser Chokai in action at Savo Island and of course models. The models are the biggest part of the article. They range from full build articles to photos of completed models.

Review Author
Bill O'Malley
Published on
January 2, 2014
Company
Plusmodel
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$36.00

This is a nice little (very little) kit that has great potential as a vignette or diorama accessory. This kit is not for the faint of eyesight or those with more than their share of thumbs, but can be a nice one or two day build. The kit is a challenging ‘craftsman’ type build, but that adds to the enjoyment for an experienced modeler.

Book Author(s)
Bruce Gamble
Review Author
Mike Van Schoonhoven
Published on
January 2, 2014
Company
Quayside Publishing Group
Zenith Press
MSRP
$19.99

Rabaul?

How many have heard of it? How about the significance it played in WWII in the South Pacific?

Now, what if I mention these actions: Guadalcanal, The Slot, Battle of Bismarck Sea, the Battle of the Coral Sea, or the shoot down of Admiral Yamamoto, just to mention a few. Do these sound familiar? I bet they do. One major connecter to them all. Rabaul.

Having an interest in military history during WWII, I was familiar with many of the actions above but I had not heard of Rabaul prior to reading this book. Now I understand the importance of this island.

Review Author
Jim Coatney
Published on
January 2, 2014
Company
Minicraft Model Kits
Scale
1/144
MSRP
$13.99

The McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom II needs no introduction, so I’ll skip over the history of this famous aircraft and simply specify that the F-4E has an extended nose to house an internal M-61 Vulcan cannon. The “E” was the most built variant, with almost 1400 units completed. F-4Es, in addition to use by the USAF, were sold to Germany (as the F-4F), Greece, Iran, Israel, South Korea, and Turkey

Minicraft’s F-4E comes in a small, sturdy, top-opening box. The cover illustration is of an F-4E from the USAF 57 FIS, Keflavik, Iceland. Inside are three sprues, two in light gray, and one in clear. There are thirty-three light gray parts and one in clear. As would be expected with the low parts count, the instructions are simple and clear, with assembly broken into eight basic steps. Two large diagrams cover the paint and decal schemes. Model Master paints are called out.

Review Author
Mark Aldrich
Published on
January 3, 2014
Company
Revell, Inc.
Scale
1/24
MSRP
$26.99

Sonny Crockett, Rico Tubbs and Elvis (not the Legendary Singer) were all familiar names for anyone growing up in 1982. Fast Cars, Fast and sexy women, drugs, guns and fast boats! What was not to want or like? Even the Music rocked! OK…maybe not rocked but definitely top 10 hits. If none of this is ringing bells, you definitely missed out on MIAMI VICE. This was one of NBC’s crown jewels in the hit series. Men’s fashion, pop song stars, and the automotive industry were all influenced by this five year series. The theme song alone garnered two Grammy awards. People Magazine stated that Miami Vice “was the first show to look really new and different since the color TV was invented”. Now that is a pretty bold statement. Two distinct, expensive and beautiful cars were also featured in the series. There was a black 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4 and a white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa! The Sypder was actually a kit car based on a 1980 Corvette chassis.

Review Author
Steven Murphy
Published on
January 3, 2014
Company
Quickboost
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$6.50

Shameful plug. I love the Quickboost line of products. If I find myself with extra PayPal funds, I will skip through my favorite online retailer’s offering of Quickboost resin goodies and fill my cart with exhausts, engines, cowlings and antennae!

While the set may be designed for Hobbyboss Spiteful, it also will work perfectly in building the Trumpeter Seafang where it became apparent that an exhaust set could greatly benefit this kit. Quickboost to the rescue! The resin replacement is a drop fit for the kit, with a narrow casting block easily removed. Each exhaust stack is molded open, giving the modeler ample chance to enhance the look of it by dry brushing and washes. These detailed exhaust stacks really pop on the finished model.

A very economical and worthwhile replacement set. I greatly recommend this product. Definitely recommended.

Thank you Quickboost and IPMS/USa for the chance to review this item.

Review Author
Steven Murphy
Published on
January 3, 2014
Company
Hasegawa
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$45.00

History

The J2M Raiden (Thunderbolt), codenamed “Jack” by the allies, was designed by Jiro Horikoshi, creator of the vaunted Zero fighter the A6M. Envisioned from the outset as an interceptor, this aircraft was used against the American B-29 Superfortresses that attacked the Japanese mainland in 1944 and 1945. It was armed with four cannon and had a top speed of over 400 miles per hour. It did see some success, but that was tempered by the decision in March of 1945 to move the B-29 raids to night time hours.

After the war, captured examples were tested by the ALLIED TECHNICAL AIR INTELLIGENCE UNIT which under the British examined two examples in December of 1945, while the United States examined a captured “Jack” in US markings and a natural metal finish. All of these aircraft can be built using decals from this kit.

Book Author(s)
Henrik O.Lunde
Review Author
Brian R. Baker
Published on
January 3, 2014
Company
Casemate Publishers
MSRP
$18.95

History

Finland was in a very precarious position in the period leading up to the outbreak of World War II. Although a democracy, Finland was surrounded by two gigantic totalitarian states with vicious appetites for territorial expansion. With the Soviet paranoia regarding Nazi Germany’s desires to destroy the communist “workers’ paradise”, and German desires for expansion into Eastern Europe, Finland stood in the way of both countries’ ambitions. In 1939, the Nazis and the Soviets signed a Non-Aggression Pact, which secretly divided up Eastern Europe into “Spheres of Influence” for each country. The Soviets quickly swallowed up the Baltic republics, and later, in 1939, the Soviets attacked Finland in order to gain Finnish territory they felt was essential for the defense of Leningrad. The small highly trained and motivated Finnish Army gave the much larger Soviet military a serious bloody nose, and although the Finns eventually had to agree to an armistice in 1940, ceding some territory to the Russians, they survived intact, and were not subjected to Soviet control. One factor that became important was that the Germans felt that the Soviet military was not as strong as previously thought, and this led Nazi war planners, including Hitler, to believe that the Soviets could be easily defeated with an invasion involving “Blitzkrieg” tactics. The Soviets, however, learned their lesson, and made improvements that cost the Germans dearly.

Book Author(s)
Joaquin Garcia-Gasquez
Review Author
Dick Montgomery
Published on
January 3, 2014
Company
Casemate Publishers
MSRP
$29.95

A few modelers, including myself, will suggest that the genre of modeling that most resembles “fine art” is Figure Painting. The process of painting a figure seems to be confusing and difficult, requiring the knowledge and artistic ability of a Rembrandt, while at the same time possessing the mechanical ability of a Da Vinci. This book does not deny that artist ability is important, but it gives hope to those of us whose best figure drawings look like a collection of sticks, and whose best figure-painting efforts are rather 2-dimensional and quite devoid of life or realism.