ASM Review Articles
ASM Website Pages - Click on applicable Title below to visit that page.
|ASM HOME||ARTICLES||MODEL PICS||MEETING PICS||CONTEST RESULTS||POINT STANDINGS|
|MODEL OF YEAR||CONTEST SCHEDULE||NEWSLETTER||MODEL DISPLAYS||FIELD TRIPS||ENTRY FORMS|
|MEETING LOCATION||CONTEST GUIDELINES||ASM BY LAWS||ASM REVIEWS||NM STATE FAIR||WEBSITE UPDATES|
|ASM Reviews of Kits, Products, Books, Etc.|
All kit & product reviews submitted by ASM members will
be posted below with the most recent
article at the top of each category. New categories will be added as required.
Click on the links below to go to that category of reviews.
|Aircraft||Science Fiction / Real Space|
|Automotive||Books / Movies / Programs|
Fisher and his Skyraider
By John Tate
I first learned of Major Fisher, who retired from the Air Force at the grade of Colonel in 1974, from a Caracal 1/48 decal sheet on the A-1E Skyraider, which had markings for his plane. Wanting to know more, I read Colonel Fisher's 2004 autobiography, "Beyond the Call of Duty," which was a highly readable and enjoyable book about Colonel Fisher's career, Skyraider operations in Vietnam and the circumstances of the famous rescue. I was hooked, so had to build a model of his plane.
When it comes to modeling options for 1/48 A-1E Skyraiders, there's only one game in town, the four-decades-old Matchbox kit, re-released by Revell in 2013. It was very much a creature of its times, with toy-like folding wings and rudimentary representations of ordnance. But the good news was, it was generally accurate in shape and the cockpit was OK, at least with the canopy closed. So I got to work. Since I wanted a completed model I kept AMS to a minimum but still made some basic fixes and corrections for the sake of accuracy. One thing I didn't do was effect the suggested wing swap surgery with a 1/48 A-1H Skyraider kit; that was never going to look right and was more trouble than it's worth. Here's some of the work I did to the kit:
* Added seatbelts to the kit's non-ejection seats, correct for this plane
* Added a reflector gunsight to the instrument panel coaming.
* Added a prop, wheels and wing pylons from a Monogram 1/48 A-1H Skyraider kit.
* Added "iron bomb" ordnance, mostly 500 pounders, from the spares box.
* Added a variety of antennas to the aircraft spine, to match period photos of A-1E's.
* Shortened the landing gear legs to give the model a proper "sit."
* Scraped and sanded the heavy side braces off the windscreen, which were not present on the real plane, and added internal braces.
* Added a scratchbuilt windshield wiper.
* Added a correct centerline tank and pylon from the Tamiya Skyraider kit.
The biggest job was closing the folding wings but the task wasn't too bad, just tedious. When I got most of the work on the kit finished, I painted the model in an overall gray color, similar to USAF ADC Gray, which was correct for this early batch of Skyraiders, and added silver leading edges to the wings and horizontal stabilizers. Painting the "Blue Room" canopy was fun and easy.
The Caracal decals went on nicely, and were accurate for the plane, but make sure to check photos of real planes from the period to get placement correct.
I was proud of the model when I finished it, not because it's a contest-winner, but because I had to put some work into the model to get a nice replica, to honor a great aviator and American hero, Colonel Fisher, who passed away in 2014. With each year, the Vietnam War passes further out of human memory, and as modelers we can do our part to make sure history isn't forgotten. If you get a chance during the coming year, check your shelves for that Vietnam War model subject you overlooked, and like me, take a chance to learn something new about the story of the war and the men who served in it.
North Korean Prop Fighters in the
By Mike Blohm
This article covers
the model builds and a short history of two Soviet-built propellor-driven
fighters that saw service in the North Korean Air Force in the Korean War. These
include the Yakevlov Yak-9, NATO-reporting name "Frank" and the Lavochkin La-11
"Fang." Model kits involved include the 1/72 scale Encore Models Yak-9D and the
MPM La-9 / 11. These models were intended for ASM's "Korean War 80th
Anniversary" display at the 2020 New Mexico State Fair, which unfortunately was
a victim of the covid virus situation that shut down all of our planned displays
for 2020. Since I did get both models eventually built for our club's
Virtual Contests, I decided that doing an article on them would be a good
counterpart to the "F-86 Sabre Aces of the Korean War" article that I did at the
beginning of the year.
The North Korean Air Force - the Korean People's Air Force (KPAF) - had Yak-9s, La 9s, and La-11 aircraft in its inventory during the Korean War. This article includes short histories of the aircraft, their operational history during the war, and the builds of the two kits.
The Yakovlev Yak-9 was a single-engine single-seat multipurpose fighter aircraft used by the Soviet Union in World War II and through 1950. It was the last in a line of propeller-driven Yakovlev fighters that included the Yak-1, Yak-3, and Yak-7. The Yak 3 was the favored mount of the French Normandie-Nieman Escadrille that flew with the Soviets during WW II. The Yak-9 started arriving in Soviet fighter aviation regiments in late 1942 and played a major role in taking air superiority over the Luftwaffe's Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Bf 109G fighters during the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. The Yak-9D was a long-range version of the Yak-9. Further development of the design included the Yak-9U in 1943 and the Yak-9P in 1946. which was the most advanced. Some sources state that the Yak-9 was the equivalent of, or superior to the P-51D Mustang. The Yak-9 remained in roduction from 1942 to 1948, with 16,769 total built (14,579 during the war). Many of the surplus Yak-9Ps were supplied in 1949 to satellite nations in the Soviet bloc, including North Korea.