Aircraft model reviews

General considerations

I build my planes in flight, which is what they are supposed to do. Ideally they should be in action, but since I couldn't find any pilot figures wearing oxygen masks, they don't really qualify as in action.

Building in-flight models is not always straightforward for several reasons:

- the nicely detailed cockpits in modern kits are not designed to accommodate a pilot figure. The seat is often too low or the cockpit is too narrow. I spend a lot of time jiggling the seat so that the pilot figure sits properly. His eyes must be above the front fuselage and his head shouldn't bump against the canopy. Last but not least once the pilot is placed, I add seat belts that attach to the top of the seat or wherever they should go.

- Pilots don't come in modern kits anymore. PJ Productions provide Allied and German seated pilots in 1/72. Thee are finely detailed in resin. They do look smallish for 1/72 compared to soldiers in that scale.

- Since I close the canopy, not a lot of the interior detail shows, the Shoki has a True Details resin interior, the Airfix Spit I a scratch interior that are in hindsight a total waste of time. Nothing below the canopy ledge can be seen unless you shine a spotlight directly into the cockpit. Moreover the PJ resin pilots have their left arm extended to reach the throttle control, which will hide all left sidewall detail.

- Most planes are designed to be modeled wheels down. Some work needs to be done to close the landing gear doors, ensuring they are flush with the wing. Sometimes the doors don't fit or retract/extend in open position so new ones have to be made. More work is needed if the wheel shows partially in retracted mode as in most WW2 fighters. In this case the well must be opened or the wheel sanded down to fit. Last but not least tail wheel doors need to be closed. The fit is not always great because of the curved shapes. In some cases, like the Tamyia and Academy Mustangs, the doors are molded open.

- All kits have engraved panel lines unless stated otherwise.


Kit Reviews

Note: Aircraft are categorized by country of origin.