Thanks to Moebius Models for providing the kit!
Here are the photos from the review.
This review was done for IPMS, and is published on the IPMS website. The complete review can be found by clicking here.
Thanks to Moebius Models for providing the kit!
Here are the photos from the review.
For sci-fi modelers, one of the most anticipated releases of 2015 is the 1/1000 Romulan Bird of Prey, released by Round 2 Models. The kit was released in the beginning of July, and since then, our own HobbyTownUSA in Little Rock has had trouble keeping them in stock. In fact, every shipment of these kits has sold out within 24 hours of arriving! So, what makes these kits so popular, and do they live up to the hype?
The Romulan Bird of Prey has been a holy grail kit of many sci-fi modelers for decades. The original studio model was designed and built by Wah Ming Chang. The model appeared in the 1966 Star Trek episode “Balance of Terror,” then disappeared shortly after filming. It is believed that Chang was angry and destroyed the model when the propmaker’s union prevented him from being paid for his work since he wasn’t a member. There are other theories, but the absence of the studio model has made it difficult to produce an accurate kit, and the low resolution of 1960’s film doesn’t help. In recent years, a few photographs have surfaced, showing greater detail of the studio model.
For many years, the 1/650 kit was the only version available, and it is very inaccurate, the parts do not fit together well, the decals are hard to manage, and the kit has had limited re-released since its debut in the 1970s. A 1/1600 version has been available since the ‘70s in a set of three ships, but this version is also inaccurate. A new, more accurate 1/2500 version has been available since 2013 as part of 3 ship set, but the 1/1000 scale allows for more detail without being overly large, and fits in well with the already available 1/1000 Enterprise and Klingon D7. While there have been resin and vacuform versions available, this kit is the first mass produced styrene kit of the ship with this level of detail in a larger scale.
The new kit is a snap together kit, much like the 1/1000 Enterprise and D7. The ship is molded In 12 white styrene parts, and 2 clear parts. There was some minor flashing on 2 of the parts, but overall, they appear very clean with no visible mold lines or injector pin marks. It also comes with a stand that allows you to display the ship in a flying position. It has a detailed decal sheet that includes the large bird on the bottom of the ship, which is separated into 3 parts. There are also window decals for the front of the ship, and you have the option of using the light or dark windows.
Initial dry fitting of the parts indicate that there shouldn’t be any major issues with the parts fitting together. Of course, cutting out most of the male portions of the snap together parts will facilitate an even better fit for gluing and should require only minor puttying.
Looking at the accuracy of the kit, there are many features that are not seen on the 1/650 kit. The angle of the wings as they meet the nacelles matches the pictures of the studio model. The recessed edge around the top of the hull, which is completely missing the 1/650 kit, is present and appears to be accurately scaled. The “V” shaped areas on the top and bottom of the hull are also improvements over the old kit, not the mention the overall shape and width of the hull.
The only complaint I’ve heard mentioned of this kit is about the raised ports on the top of the hull. However, when compared to the photos of the studio model, and even to the remastered CGI version of the ship from 2006, the raised ports are accurate. Close inspection reveals that there are small indentions within the port, so you can detail these with a wash or watercolors, or drill them out for lighting.
Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of this model. It is much more accurate than earlier kits, and well made with no major indications of fit issues. The 1/1000 scale is large enough to make a nice display, but not so large as to take up too much shelf space. This model will look great built straight out of the box, but it is possible to add lighting as well, although it will be tight getting wires though the wings into the nacelles. I highly recommend this kit and consider it to be a must have for any fan of Star Trek modeling!
Join Ken Childres as he transforms a Toyota truck into a Zombie Truck. His reproduction of rust is outstanding.
It’s been a few years since Eduard first announced their 1/48 MiG-21 kit. Eduard has wisely listened to modelers' inputs, and they seem to have covered all bases in this kit when it comes to detail accuracy and the subtle differences between variants. This first release is the widely used and widely exported MF variant and its essentially identical Soviet Air Force equivalent, the SM.
The kit features a box top painting of a pair Egyptian MiG 21’s over the Great Pyramids. It comprises eight dark grey sprues, one clear sprue, a set of masks, two sheets of photo etch (one colored), plus a bonus of "Brassin" UB-16 rocket pods.
All parts are extremely finely molded, with no trace of flash or mold misalignment noted. The very few ejector pin marks I found are well hidden, and mostly not a factor in final assembly. Panel lines are very finely engraved throughout, with a few raised details where appropriate, mainly the weld seams on the drop tanks. There are a couple of prominent oval panel lines on the upper wing surfaces are not molded in place. Instead, Eduard provides a photo etched template allowing the modeler to add these panels if the subject requires them the or the modeller can use the decals provided on the stencils sheet.
Airframe breakdown is essentially conventional, although Eduard has obviously put a great deal of thought into the balance between modularity (catering to the different variants to be released), detail, and ease of build. The entire wing lower surfaces and a large section of the lower fuselage are a single piece. This allows a significant amount of detail to be included in the wheel wells (hydraulic and pneumatic accumulator bottles, etc) Molded-in detail is impressive in all three wheel wells. Separate drop-in sections are provided allowing display of the prominent belly-mounted air brake either open or closed. The separate open air brake has impressive interior detail.
Internally, much detail is provided that has been absent or simplified in other kits. The well appointed cockpit/nose gear well assembly is made up of separate side consoles using both plastic and colored PE parts. The modeler will have to match the blue-green shade of the PE parts for the balance of the cockpit.
All control surfaces are separate parts. MiG-21s are invariably parked with flaps up, but dropping them will be no problem, at least with blown-flap (SPS) variants. Earlier variants had a Fowler type flap. The many small cooling intakes on the aft fuselage, the control surface actuator fairings, and the five-part GSh-23 gun fairing are all separate parts (leaving off the gun fairing and using the main canopy without a rear view mirror will give you a MiG-21S). Fences on the upper wings are provided both in styrene and PE. As noted above, the main under-fuselage air brake can be assembled open or closed. The twin forward fuselage air brakes are molded closed, however separate wells, actuators, and the brakes themselves are provided, requiring cutting out the molded-in brakes to display them in the open position. The small gun gas deflector plates just forward of the forward air brakes are also provided in styrene and PE. The landing gear exhibits the same superb level of detail seen throughout the rest of the kit. Each leg is made up of multiple parts, with separate oleo scissors. Each wheel is made up of two tire halves, with separate hubs and brake assemblies. Both early and late style main gear hubs are provided. The gear doors are well detailed, with separate actuator arms for the main doors.
Decals printed by Cartograf are provided for six different MiG-21MF/SM's. A full set of stencils in both Czech and Russian are provided. Or at least that appears to be what Eduard were aiming for. The Czech language stencils look fine, but most of the Cyrillic stencils are gibberish. The decals are well printed, with perfect register and great color. Aircraft included are:
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