Scale Aircraft Modelling News – June 2024

HomeGuidesScale Aircraft Modelling News - June 2024

June 2024 brings exciting releases for scale aircraft enthusiasts! From Revell’s futuristic Arado Ar E.555 and updated F-16 “Falcon” to Special Hobby’s intricate “Maryland” Mk I/II and Great Wall Hobby’s Curtiss “Hawk” 81-A2, there’s something for everyone. Immerse yourself in historical detail and imaginative design with these top-quality kits, perfect for modelers of all skill levels. Discover the latest in scale aircraft modeling today!

Great Wall Hobby 1/32 Curtiss “Hawk” 81-A2 “Flying Tigers”

best model airplane kits

Known for a fine collection of 1/48 and 1/144 scale models, the Great Wall Hobby brand has made a brilliant move into the 1/32 scale. For the 80th anniversary of the AVG (American Volunteer Group), the company offers the original version of the American Volunteers, the most elegant variant of the Curtiss fighter. Two things stand out when you open the box: the high-precision casting of the finest parts and the remarkable engraving of the surfaces, including full, highly realistic riveting. Also included are plastic parts, photoetched metal parts, pre-cut self-adhesive masks, vinyl tires, three small magnets, and numerous decals.

Assembly begins with a detailed reproduction of the cockpit, complete with a metal harness and decal instrument dials. As with the real aircraft, the cockpit floor is the top of the wing, with the two wing mounting angles in the center. The rest of the fuselage, accessible through a small side hatch, is also equipped. A realistic pilot can sit at the controls. The four clear parts of the canopy are well protected in a small box.

All control surfaces are separately cast, as are the flaps, whose internal structure is reproduced by a series of photo-etched metal ribs. The undercarriage is also accurately molded, and the bottoms of its compartments are sealed with tarpaulins. The plastic brake lines and hoses are very well made, and certainly easier to use than homemade pieces of metal… It just takes a lot of dexterity to remove them from the sprues.

This brings us to the specifications of this model, which, thanks to small magnets, offers interchangeable options for a closed cowling or a complete engine mounted on its frame with all its accessories, pipes, and wiring harness, a highly original first to our knowledge. The more than 90 parts dedicated to this engine are a good indication of the level of detail offered in this model.

Fortunately, the full-color assembly instructions are very precise, helping you to position the various pipes correctly. A stand is also included for those who wish to display the engine alongside the aircraft with the cowls closed. The ends of the exhaust pipes are hollowed out. Of course, this model is not intended for beginners, but the various articles devoted to its construction describe practically perfect adjustments and the absence of difficulties for those who follow the instructions carefully. A poster format color plate shows a scale camouflage plan for the model. The decals include six “Tiger” options with menacing shark mouths, including three of the famous Hell’s Angels. The camouflage is British but with American equivalents in green and brown.

Final verdict: The perfection of this model, unfortunately, comes at a price. Tempting, yes, but perhaps too expensive.

Special Hobby 1/48 “Maryland” Mk I/II “Warburton’s War”

It’s been 13 years since this “Glenn” was first released, but the “limited series” model has lost none of its interest. The box still contains resin components (engines, machine guns, radio) and photoetched metal. The surfaces are engraved simply, reliably, and precisely, and the control surfaces are realistically reproduced. The crew positions are well-detailed, including harnesses and belts. The resin engines are well reproduced but do not fit easily into their covers.

Analysis of the assembly reveals several assembly challenges – front canopy, engine cowlings, thickness of one of the wings at the root. It is therefore advisable to check the fit of the various components and make any necessary corrections before final gluing. Resin engines are assembled cylinder by cylinder. Thin clear canopies must be handled with care. Gear compartments are simple.

Decals offer four options: two sand and brown camouflage planes, a third in green and brown, and most notably, the three-color French camouflage with British roundels, which is beautifully illustrated on the box. Their history is told in the leaflet.

Final verdict: Good quality model, but with some assembly challenges. It is a nice machine with interesting camouflage; unfortunately, there are no French roundels in this edition.

Revell 1/144 Airbus A330-300 Lufthansa “New Livery”

This model, first released 30 years ago, has been updated with new engines and decals to match the new Lufthansa livery. The engraving is precise and true to scale. The portholes are drilled, but there are no transparent parts to represent them; two types of decals (transparent or black) are available to represent these small windows. Of course, there is always the option of using a “crystal clear” product that hardens as it dries and remains transparent.

The landing gear and its compartments are correctly scaled. The engines are some very realistic Rolls-Royce “Trent” 700s. The decals include service markings and a good representation of the numerous doors and access hatches. Eight registration options are provided.

Final verdict: This simple model has good qualities, and its scale is well-suited for reproducing large airliners. The new livery is very elegant.

Revell 1/72 P-series Arado Ar E.555

Released in 1998, this model is back in the catalog and should satisfy fans of futuristic projects such as this flying wing designed by German engineers in 1944, a machine that may have inspired the director of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The surfaces are simple but finely engraved.

The cockpit, bomb bay, and wheel wells are accurately reproduced. The six jet engines are shown as a single unit; it’s best to position the air inlets and nozzles before closing the two half-shells. Five large bombs can fill the payload bay.

The kit is well-designed and easy to assemble. The decals include a variety of service markings. They include two camouflage schemes based on gray 75 dots on a blue-gray 76 background, which are as fictitious as the aircraft itself, so you are free to choose the scheme you think best suits the shape of this flying wing.

Final verdict: a good quality model for an entertaining piece of fictional aircraft.

Revell 1:32 F-16 “Falcon” 50th Anniversary

The original mold for this model is over four decades old. It has been updated with a few parts, such as the seat and missiles, but retains the characteristics of the 1980s models, i.e., delineated surface panels in relief and a basic level of detail compared to today’s productions.

It’s an easy kit for beginners, but others may want to at least complete the cockpit, improve the air intake duct and nozzle, and redo the engraving before sanding the surfaces. The one-piece trailing edges are realistically thick, and the tires separate from the rims for easy painting. A variety of bombs and rockets and an additional fuel tank complete the warlike appearance.

The decals correspond to a special decoration applied to a Belgian aircraft to mark the 50th anniversary of its entry into service in that country and the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings: the two “Spitfire” that decorate the tail fin are supplied as decals, while the landing stripes have to be painted. The basic camouflage is in classic grey tones.

Final verdict: A rework of a 1980s model with a new, original scheme. The price should be reasonable.

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