Category Archives: Kit reviews

Scale model kit reviews

Zvezda 1/72 Soviet Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6187

Strictly following the beaten path of releasing two opposing sets each time, Zvezda has provided a VVS ground crew to match the Luftwaffe set 6188.

Zvezda 1/72 Soviet Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6187
Zvezda 1/72 Soviet Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6187

There’s a reason the review is uploaded after the German crew – the kit has something special in it. Figures are made after the characters from the Soviet movie “Only Old Men Are Going to Battle” – a fragment is shown below:

Just have a look at these two (esp. the one on the left):

and you will understand what I mean.

Now… “Old men” is rather used for experienced ones rather than aged. In war where life expectancy on the battlefield was measured in hours and medals were presented for surviving 20 combat flights you could consider such a veteran the squadron’s old man. But I digress.

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Zvezda 1/72 German Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6188

In recent years Zvezda has released multiple snap-fit aircraft kits in 1/72 scale that include excellent pilot figures. They have now “gone full circle” by releasing ground crews to accompany these kits. First off – the Luftwaffe crew.

Zvezda 1/72 German Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6188
Zvezda 1/72 German Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6188

As shown on the now-standard box – there are 5 figures, a bomb trolley with a bomb, a fuel drum and a jerry can included. As with some other sets you can either use a single base for all the guys,  or use individual ones.

Zvezda 1/72 German Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6188
Zvezda 1/72 German Air Force Ground Crew, kit 6188

Typical for the Art of tactic game series the plastic is light gray, parts are on 2 sprues.

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Zvezda 1/72 ZIS-3 with crew, kit 6253

Zvezda 1/72 ZIS-3 with crew, kit 6253
Zvezda 1/72 ZIS-3 with crew, kit 6253

The Soviet union started the war with the F-22 and USV divisional guns as the mainstays of its artillery. In 1942 they were replaced by the lighter, faster-firing and more modern ZIS-3 design that was more suited to war time production and maintenance capabilities of the vast country. Over 45,000 guns were built during war years; many were towed, some served on anti-tank SPGs like the SU-76 and SU-76M.

Italeri and UM have already produced kits of the subject, the first one even included crew in winter uniform. My personal opinion is that either kit suffer from oversimplification, so the kit from Zvezda is a welcome addition to the market despite positioned as the wargaming piece that the Italeri rendition is.

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Zvezda 1/72 PAK-40 with crew, kit 6257

Zvezda 1/72 PAK-40 with crew, kit 6257
Zvezda 1/72 PAK-40 with crew, kit 6257

Italeri, Heller, and more recently Roden and Dragon have released PAK-40 in 1/72. There have also been wargaming models in the scale.

Italeri’s crew are softer plastic than I like, Dragon’s “bundle” with the PAK-36 and 5 crewfigures is excellent, but hard to find and expensive. Preiser’s 5-member gun crew is similarly elusive, but tops all of them.

The cons above – along with aggressive pricing of about $3 – puts Zvezda’s new set at a very competitive position, despite the crew consisting of just 3 figures. The two sprues are molded in grey and reasonably well-detailed.

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Eduard 1/48 Bf-109G-6, kit 8268

Eduard 1/48 Bf-109G-6, boxtop
Box top

The Bf (or Me) 109 needs no introduction. It is such an important aircraft in the history of aviation (and the world) that I am unable to think of a mainstream modelling company that has NOT offered a version of the 109. In 2014 Eduard unsurprisingly extended their product line with a G-6, the most numerous of the WWII versions.

There are just 4 sprues in the standard box (used for most 1/48 scale aircraft the company produces AND the Royal Class editions), so contents will rattle about as you’re taking it home. Thankfully all frames are tightly packed in sealing bags and there is little to no chance parts will be damaged.

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Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026 – Small scale Zveroboy

Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026
Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026

Announced back in 2013 (or was it 2012?) the expected development of IS-2 is finally here. Please welcome ISU-152 by Zvezda!

Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026
Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026

Previous Zvezda kits in the scale had sprues on their own inside the box. That made each sound like a baby’s rattle. Parts here are sealed in a soft plastic bag, which prevents parts loss, and makes plastic less prone to breaks.

Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026
Zvezda’s 1/72 ISU-152, kit 5026

The ISU-152 is big, grey and bad@$$, and at first sight appears to have a very small amount of parts in common with the IS-2 kit from the past year (which is a very good one if I may say).  That’s sort of misleading because there is still a lot from the IS-2 – the sprues are simply re-done and parts are re-arranged for the new machine.

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Revell 1/144 MiG-29 “The Swifts”, kit 04007

Revell 04007 MiG-29 "The Swifts"
Revell 04007 MiG-29 “The Swifts”

MiG-29 has attracted the attention of multiple scale model manufacturers even when it was only seen in blurry pictures. Available kits vary in scale, accuracy and markings in area so wide it would take a book to describe.

The reason I picked up Revell’s 1/144th MiG-29 was its R-60 missiles that I used in another model. I was thinking of giving it away, because strange as it may sound I am not a big fan of the aircraft for a number of reasons. I elected to keep it though, so it will be briefly presented in this article.

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Academy 1/144 F-15A

Academy 1/144 F-15A
Academy 1/144 F-15A

It’s been some time since an aircraft has been featured on this site, so here’s one completed last year. It’s LS’s ancient 1/144 F-15A, later packed by Academy/Minicraft (and perhaps a few other companies. Inside you will discover a rather schematic scaled-down version of the famous aircraft. Panel lines are engraved, but are deep and wide, especially so in the vertical stabilizers.

There are no pylons whatsoever. Armament is limited to 4xAIM-7 Sparrows, there is no centerline hardpoint/wetpoint with fuel tank, and no trace of Sidewinders at all. No cockpit is provided, there is a transparent canopy that covers the nothing underneath. No probes or antennae whatsoever, and you can forger about the dropped flaps on the boxart.

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Zvezda 1/72 Russian Missile System “Topol” (SS-25 Sickle), kit 5003

Zvezda 1:72 Russian Missile System Topol (SS-25 Sickle)
Zvezda 1:72 Russian Missile System Topol (SS-25 Sickle)

The expected kit of 2013, which did not show up until mid-February 2014. Here it is in all its 300+ part glory.

What you will notice is not just the 2 options – there are two full suspension sets for either option:

– set on the ground under the full 100 ton load,

– and “jacked up – wheels hanging” pose, ready for launch. All parts modified, including wishbones and driveshafts drooping,  steering rods also extended.

The two hydraulic portals that lift the whole TEL up also have different parts for the two modes, as do the support plates and the “fifth leg” behind the right cockpit.

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