This aircraft is – to me at least – at the top of the evolution pyramid amongst single-engined piston fighters. Years of design honing and fine-tuning have resulted in this series of the fastest, most maneuverable, most heavily-armed, the highest-flying and the most technologically advanced aircraft to date (1945). I was happy to get the kit and am more than willing to build it at first opportunity.
And it is rather good I have to say. First released in 1992 it features 90 parts according to my counting (78 in grey plastic, 2 transparent and 10 PE). Beyond the actual Ta-152 airframe parts there is a detailed engine bay (with engine and cannon), which could be posed open. Some have gone so far in criticizing the kit as to call it “over-engineered”, and hail the Aoshima H-0 and H-1 sets (which are based off the Dragon offering) as a better solution due to the small number of parts (about half the DML count) and lower price. I personally wouldn’t replace my kit for the Japanese one, and the pics below will tell you why.
The Nachtigall (Nightingale) is a radar-equipped variant of the Ar-234 jet bomber. It is armed with an underslung pod with two 20mm cannon, holding 200 rounds per gun.
Well, this is what the kit basically is – an armed bomber. So sprue A holds completely uneventluf stuff – common parts like fuselage, horizontal stabilizers, undercarriage, and even recce cameras intended for the bomber.
Sprue B has the wings, engines, and cockpit section – the whole nose is a separate unit to allow for construction of various versions. Each Jumo engine is made up by two halves, an inlet with integrally molded compressor face, and an exhaust “egg” – much similar to the Revell’s Me-262 (or vice-versa?).
A member of the “Golden Wings” series from the early 90s this kit represents a Luft ’46 aircraft. Me-1101’s partially completed prototype was captured by US forces at the end of WW2. It later flew in The States as Bell X-5, the first aircraft with variable wing geometry. The radar-and-missiles equipped night fighter you see below must only have been a paper-only project…
The original aircraft did not feature a T-tail, it might as well have been a Dragon invention. Anyway – liked the look of the thing and when opportunity came I snatched the kit off EvilBay. It arrived in excellent condition and revealed a curious packaging pattern – all sprue bags and the decals placed in a big bag stapled to the side.
There has always been something magnetic about this US amphibious vehicle. When the kit was recently presented to me I decided it deserves some attention, as it’s a whole bunch of firsts in a single package. Let’s see…
Spue A has the cupola (actually two – one of each pre- and post modernization), armament and smoke grenade launchers, the front fenders, and the old suspension. Two options are presented for the in-the-water propulsion system – propeller boxes can be shown opened or closed with two pairs of separate details. You can make up the relative sizes of the parts – the grid on the cutting mat is 1 cm square.
Well, some painted M1114s mod.2003 finally make it to The Web. Paints are mixes “by eye”. The green color is intended to simulate the green found on US military hardware, of whose official name I am totally clueless. I wanted to imitate replacement parts – such “patchy” machines can be seen on images across the web.
Well, after taking my time to describe the kit parts in as much detail on their own I’ll now try to shed some light on how the kit actually is building – something that is quite obviously missing in most kit reviews, filled with happy voices of how detailed and accurate those are.
As you will undoubtedly notice no kit part is present in the finished article un-altered. Truth is modifications to parts were not needed because I am such a great accuracy hunter, or because I was willing to display how much ignored the fit factor is these days. I had to alter the parts so they could actually FIT and the final article looks like a vehicle, and not a pile of parts thrown together.
I bought this double kit (kits of two vehicles are included) in 2007 from a trade section in a forum. Up-armored Humvees were in fashion back then, featured daily in the news – seen on patrols, guarding “The Green Zone” and all that. So when the opportunity came for me to try a Dragon kit of a wheeled vehicle with all the bells and whistles in the box I jumped in. So what’s under the cover of kit number 7295?
The first thought when looking at the kit parts was “Whoa, that’s nice!”. The precision of the molding on the new parts for the armored version were something I was seeing for the first time. Basically you get the whole lower portion of the vehicle (sans frame and suspension) in a single, separately bagged grey plastic part – “sprue” B. The additional armor on the chassis appears to represent the prototype vehicle configuration properly. The nuts and boltheads that keep the upgraded armor on the vehicle sides are also present – joy to rivetcounters and brushpainters’ nightmare.