Review Author
Dave Morrissette
Published on
Company
Hasegawa
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$93.00

The Maschinen Krieger universe is a SciFi series created in the 1980’s by Kow Yokoyama and ran as a series of stories in Japanese Hobby Magazine Hobby Japan. Many of the creations are permutations of WW I and WW II tanks and aircraft upgraded and all started with powered armored suits. In 2009, Hasegawa received the license for the kits and entered the market with the Falke, Lunadiver Stingray and now the P.K.H. 103 Nutcracker, a hover tank. After building the Lunadiver Stingray, when this came up for review, I wanted to add to the collection I am building.

Inside the box are 8 tan sprues and an upper and lower hull for the Nutcracker. Molding is superb with fines detail. Also included are 5 sprues to build two of the powered suits, a Gustav and Melusine. Finishing out the box is a large decal sheet and painting guide detailing the 5 options available for the tank. More painting instructions are also on the box bottom.

Book Author(s)
Olivier Bellec
Review Author
Marc K. Blackburn
Published on
Company
Histoire and Collections
MSRP
$49.95

Seventy-one years after the French capitulated to the Wehrmacht in the summer of 1940 the French Army still seems to the butt of jokes. Regardless, the campaign still generates a great deal of interest in the academic and hobby community. With Tamiya’s release of the Char B1bis and the UE Armored Carrier, there is still a tremendous amount of interest in the modeling community for French subjects.

Review Author
Jim Pearsall
Published on
Company
Minicraft Model Kits
Scale
1/144
MSRP
$39.95

The Aircraft

The E-3 Sentry is a logical follow-on to the earlier US Air Force EC-121. Of course the Sentry has better radar, more room and a more reliable aircraft. The basic airframe is the Boeing 707-720 with the JT-3D engines. When NATO decided they needed an airborne command and control system, they bought 18 Sentries. It’s of interest to modelers that the 17 remaining NATO Sentries are registered in Luxembourg, which has no other aircraft. In fact they don’t have an air base, so the NATO aircraft are based at Geilenkirchen, Germany.

The Kit

This is the third issue of the basic E-3A from Minicraft, along with their Boeing 707s, C-18 and E-8 JSTARS. The mold is several years old, but it has been well maintained, with crisp edges and almost no flash. All sprues are in separate plastic bags which reduces lost parts, breakage and scratches on the clear parts.

Review Author
Fred Amos
Published on
Company
Bombshell Decals
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$16.00

Bombshell Decals are a new product to me. I was pleasantly surprised to find the set I received for review to be very colorful and in good registry and covering two aircraft of one of my favorite modeling subjects, the Republic P-47 D Razorback.

One is an aircraft of the 352 FG at two different periods of World War Two. The main difference between the two is that one has the national insignia with a red border and the other with the blue border plus the number of kills.

The second aircraft is the Belle of Belmont of the 56 FG with invasion stripes, not included on the decal sheet. Both aircraft have the very suggestive and colorful nose art common on warplanes of the era.

The instruction sheet is in full color and showing the port side, top and bottom placement of the decals as well as an FS 595 color guide. Your model kit will provide the required stenciling decals.

Book Author(s)
Andrew Brookes
Review Author
Jim Pearsall
Published on
Company
Osprey Publishing
MSRP
$22.95

The Victor was the second of the three “V Bombers”, Valiant, Victor and Vulcan, flown by the RAF in the nuclear strike role. When Surface to Air Missiles came onto the scene, the Victor became a low-level penetration aircraft. With the advent of the Blue Steel stand off missile, the mission became more feasible, but still sporty. This is when the camouflage changed from white overall to grey/green upper surfaces.

Review Author
Steve Zajac
Published on
Company
Mirage Hobby
Scale
1/350
MSRP
$15.95

After producing several 1/400th U-boats, Mirage is now offering U-boats in the increasingly popular 1/350th scale. The U-511 was a Kriegsmarine long-range IX-C type submarine. The Turm-I variant included trial installation of a six tube Wurfkörper 42 artillery rocket launcher rack and improved 37mm and 20mm anti-aircraft armament. The kit features a 2-piece full hull, detailed exterior surfaces, conning tower with 2 periscopes and wintergarten, 10.5cm deck gun, display base, photo-etch parts (railings for all deck levels, anchor, cable cutter, WGr42 launcher base, ladders, screw blades and nameplate), and decals (U-511 bow placards and ensign). The completed model is approximately 8.6" long.

Review Author
Tom Pope
Published on
Company
Steampunk Modeller
MSRP
$24.00

Introduction

"Steampunk", according to Wikipedia, "...is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s..." and "...involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy." "Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history." You can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk or just search the web.

Review Author
Brian M. Neary
Published on
Company
Fine Molds
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$62.95

Editor's note: Dragon Models USA is the Fine Molds Models Importer in the USofA but this review author provided his own kit, out of pocket, for this review. The kit is currently very difficult to find on the retail market.

Pros:

  • Superbly engineered kit, very little filling or correcting will be needed.
  • Best kit of this subject ever released.

Cons:

  • Expensive, now increasingly hard to acquire. (I apologise for teasing you with the review)
  • Instructions in Japanese (note: may not actually be a con if you *are* Japanese)

Overall

A pricy kit but you get what you pay for in this case. Given the cost and the fact that viable alternatives are around, this not for a casual SW fan or model builder. Instead, this kit is for somebody who wants to do a really nice job on a Y-Wing fighter with a maximum of detail and a minimum of grief.

Review Author
Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Published on
Company
CB Model Products
MSRP
$25.00

I love tools. I don’t think you can have too many. Occasionally I come across one that I say "how did I live without that?" That is what this tool is. More than a simple jig, this machined metal tool allows you to flat sand the bottom of the wheels evenly and consistently. Let’s face it a perfectly round wheel is not realistic nor are the flat wheels that are common on aftermarket wheels. That is where this tool comes in, the perfect balance of weight without being flat.

How do you use it? Simple get your tire from the kit, clean up the seam lines, set the angle, clamp the wheel between the flat spots on the tool and leave about 1/8 inch out the bottom. Then simply sand with 320 sandpaper while applying pressure to the base plate. It is that simple, but does it work?

Review Author
Ken McDevitt
Published on
Company
Happy Medium Press
MSRP
$19.95

Description

Another excellent issue from the folks at Happy Medium Press with high quality production materials and a variety of articles to suit to suit many themes and interests of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy modeler. Between the heavyweight glossy covers are 98 color glossy pages containing 13 articles. There are fewer than 6 advertisements so the content is very high.

The articles are well researched and relevant to the topics they cover.

What I like about the articles is the balance of Sci-fi and fantasy along with a lot of subject matter variety within each genre. Also, there are OOB builds, kit-bashing, scratch building (both partial and complete), painting, in-depth background articles and enlightening interviews.