The Northrop F-5E Tiger II is one of the most widely used light supersonic fighter aircraft in the world. First introduced in the 1960s, there are currently hundreds still being fielded by numerous air forces. The Tiger II is an improved second-generation of the F-5 Tiger and is used by American Cold War allies. The U.S armed forces had no need for a frontline light fighter but it operated the Tiger II as part of training and aggressor aircraft in limited quantities.
Many F-5s continue to serve as frontline aircraft into the 190s and 2000s and have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace wit the changing combat environment.
Wolfpack Design is a relatively new Korean aftermarket company specializing in resin detail sets for the aircraft genre. However, in a short period of time, they have released a lot of detail sets covering NATO-based aircraft, including the Tiger II.
Now the Tiger II kit itself is a pretty old kit. There have only been 2 manufacturers (that I know of) who has done the Tiger II; ESCI and Monogram (both defunct). Releases since the originals came out in the 1970s have always been one of these two molds, with the Monogram being the better of the two. Being a kit of its time, it has raised panel lines and pretty simple breakdown of parts. But it did build into a decent enough Tiger II as the shape was quite accurate.
The Wolfpack Design F-5E Tiger II Update set does exactly what it says, it provides the parts necessary to update the venerable kit into on of the current versions of Tiger II that are still operational in the world’s air forces including Brazil, Chile, Singapore and the ones operated by the USAF, USN and USMC (a full list of current Tiger II operators can be found here).
The set itself is simple enough. In the sturdy black box is just 10 parts with a full color A5-sized instruction sheet. Parts included are:
Combinations of these 10 parts will allow me to build almost every modern derivative of the Tiger II. The parts are molded in a light grey resin and are casted very nicely with absolutely no bubbles that I can see. Resin pour tabs to be removed are all easily cut away and I foresee little trouble in fitting this set to the Monogram kit. Wolfpack Design specifically states that this set is for the Monogram Tiger II. I don’t have the ESCI molding so I’m not sure whether this set will fit.
The instructions are very clear and concise and the best part, it tells you which parts you will need to use for each operator’s Tiger II as not all countries modified their Tigers the same way. Nice.
Unless you’re willing to do some scratchbuilding, I think this set is a must for any Tiger II fan!
The mass production capacity of the Federation basically churned out hundreds of GMs in a few short months and these were quickly introduced to the fronts, thus ensuring the Federation’s victory in the One Year War.
This is my first kit done only with spraypaint. Some mods done to improve the proportions, including lengthening the arms and the legs. The end result is a very tall (about half a head taller than the standard kit) and lithe-looking kit. List of mods include: Visor on head and slight reshaping of whole head
Very mild weathering was done. And not done very well I must say. The panel lining’s very roughly done. Need to find a better way of doing it actually. No drybrushing at all. I wanted to get it out of the way before it started to bog me down hehe.
Manufacturer: Moscato Hobby
First introduced in 2006, the MBR-04 series were the first combat-capable destroids. The Mk I Destroid, armed with rocket launchers and 2 arms, served as a basis for the variants. The Mk VI Tomahawk is the heaviest armed variant of the MBR-04 series. Deployed in 2007, there is no less than 7 different weapon systems on the Tomahawk.
The Destroid line quickly became obselete however when variable-technology was introduced. As such, Destroids became second-line units, assigned to garrison duties, riot control and more importantly, as mobile defensive weapons platforms for the SDF-1 Macross.
This is an extremely limited run resin model. I estimate there’s less than 100 in existence. How did I find it? The sculptor John Moscato hangs out in the Macross World forums and once in a while, he’ll do a limited run on his sculpts. I quickly jumped on the Tomahawk since it’s my favorite Destroid design. Old FASA Battletech players will also recognize the Tomahawk as the Warhammer, one of the most popular mech in that universe.
100 bucks isn’t cheap by any means, but receiving the kit I think it’s well worth it. A peek inside the box are: all the parts in 2 ziplock bags wrapped with a thin foam sheet and a decal sheet. No instructions here. It’s a garage kit so the instructions have to be downloaded from Moscato’s website.
I’m not really sure squeezing eveything into 2 ziplock bags is a good idea since there are some fine parts in the kit. In fact, those parts that are more fragile are put into a smaller ziplock bag which is itself put inside one of the 2 larger ones.
Anyhow, the parts are on the whole very nicely done. Rivet counters will love the intricate details Moscato did on the sculpt since the whole mecha has finely done rivets all over. I love the small details included: extra threads on the sides of the feet, fine engraved panel lines along some of the parts, removable missiles on the shoulder missile pack and even clear parts for the canopy!
Out of the box, the kit is meant to be a fixed pose model with brass rods working as pins but with some additional polycaps and joints from Kotobukiya, I’m sure some enterprising modeler can turn this into a fairly poseable kit. I plan to keep it fixed pose though. It also builds into a big bulky tank-looking mecha which is a very nice contrast to the more lithe and mobile Battroid Valkyrie.
One of the cooler options for the Tomahawk is the modeler is given the choice to pose the torso missile covers either open or closed. The missiles themselves are very nicely done and to be honest, it will be a shame to model the Tomahawk with the covers closed. I haven’t made up my mind either way yet.
This being a garage kit, I was expecting some problem areas. Most online reviews of this kit said that all the parts were excellent. I guess I’m just unlucky as one part in particular will require extensive repair. It has a very nasty gouge in it which will require quite a bit of putty to fill up. Besides that, I’ll need to add back the details the gouge managed to destroy. In addition, the end of the part was molded pretty badly so that needs some fixing too. One of the gun barrels was also slightly warped which should be easily fixed.
Oh well, it ain’t modeling if it ain’t challenging I guess.
The decal sheet is nicely done by what I think is from an ALPS printer. The markings are generic enough that I’m sure stuff from the spares box can be used on the Tomahawk should that be required.
All in all, I love this kit. It’s the only 1/72 kit of the subject in the market right now. I don’t really see Hasegawa ever doing any of the Destroids frankly. My Tomahawk can then happily stand next to my Hasegawa Valkyries and not look out of scale. It also helps that it looks proportion-wise, very good.[Update] A Carl J. Wampler has kindly emailed me about a mistake I’ve made. His email as follows:
Sir, I would like to point out in your Review of the John F. Moscoto Kit that you have made an Error in your review.
The Kit that you have reviewed is 1 of 2 versions that John had produced
The kit that you have reviewed was the Battle Damaged version of the Kit. I am Attaching Pictures of the Kit to show you why John did this, It had been Stated on Samari Monkey and on Macross world forums that both kits would be created. You received the 2nd run of the kits that John had created. So in Error to your Review, this is only the 2nd and Battle Damaged Production of the kit.
My bad then! I’m keeping my initial review as is though. But let the records show that the kit is perfectly fine.
The Mirage 2000D is a variant of the Mirage 2000 tasked with conventional strike missions. It is a modification of the Mirage 2000N, which is tasked with nuclear strike missions. A total of 86 units were built and the first aircraft joined the French Air Force in April 1995.
The Mirage 2000D features an NVG-compatible cockpit, modernized navigation system and updated countermeasures systems. It’s designed to carry all major ‘dumb’ munitions, laser guided weapons from both French/US arsenals, the Exocet anti-ship missile and the ARMAT anti-radar missile. In 2001, the aircraft was further upgraded with improved capabilities.
Italeri kits can be hit or miss but so far, I’ve been lucky. The previous Italeri kit (the A-6E Intruder) I previewed looked to be a good kit. What about this one? The kit comes in the typical Italeri side opening box. There are two main trees of parts and 1 clear canopy tree in a plastic bag. Not much protection I must say, but at least there are no parts that fell off the tree.
58 parts is just right in my opinion so you won’t get bogged down during assembly. The kit comes with a centerline external fuel tank. The typical wing mounted fuel tanks are only available in Italeri’s Rafale release. It also comes with what looks like two air-to-air and two air-to-surface missiles. Not having any knowledge in French weapons, I can’t say much about whether they are accurate. However, they do look a but simplistic in my opinion.
A quick look at the sprues indicate a decently molded kit. It’s a mixed bag of recessed and raised panel lines. The majority of the aircraft has recessed lines while the pylons and the centerline fuel tank all have raised panel lines. The kit is not as detailed as something like the Hasegawa F-14D kit, but the details are more than acceptable for any modeler. I find that compared to a typical Hasegawa kit, this one has deeper recessed lines. The good thing about that is of course it’s harder to obliterate the panel lines during the assembly stage. However, some of the panel lines do look a bit out of scale. I’m not that much of a stickler of that though.
The seats (which I think makes or breaks a cockpit) is decently molded and should be more than adequate. The control surfaces also comes with raised details which is a pleasant surprise. I was expecting the standard decals-for-cockpit-controls things. The landing gear doors are also molded in the open position so doing the Mirage 2000D in-flight will require a bit of modding. The landing gear also has decent details as expected from Italeri.
Decals options aplenty. No less than four! Italeri only gives the major stencils athough that’s not a big problem for me.
Registration is quite OK although my sample has started to yellow somewhat. I just have to get it shined by the Sun abit and the yellow should be easily gone. By all accounts, Italeri decals are good. It’s just a pity they didn’t include an option to do an in-service French AF Mirage.
I bought this kit knowing full well it was released one year BEFORE the actual Mirage 2000D was introduced into French service. Expecting some mistakes in the kit, I surfed around the Internet for some info on the kit. From what I could gather, there were some major mistakes: the real Mirage 2000D doesn’t have a pitot tube and the cockpit is located 5mm too far back on the kit. 5mm doesn’t sound like a lot but in 1/72 scale, that’s big enough to actually somewhat change the shape and look of the Mirage. I’m not sure at this point whether it’s an easy thing to fix to be honest or for that matter, whether I should just ignore the mistake. We’ll see.
This is so far the only game in town for the Mirage 2000D in 72 scale. If you can live with the inaccuracies then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick one up. It looks like a Mirage 2000D from two feet away anyway.
Price: S$17.50 (est. US$10.30)
The GZ-002 Cannon Fort is the Helic Republic’s primary light mobile artillery unit. Designed to look like the American Buffalo, the Cannon Fort sports a wide array of weapons for its mission of providing indirect fire on short notice. Two 120mm guns are mounted on a swivelling turret on the Zoid’s back to provide a wide field of fire, including the ability to elevate 30 degrees. The Cannon Fort is also armed with light weapons for self-defence purposes. To allow the Zoid to be mobile, armor is sacrificed. The light armament and armor of the Cannon Fort means that they are usually paired with other Zoids to form light strike mobile units: able to move from place to place and provide fire support for other Helic forces.
Note: This is my own created Battle Story for my Zoids. I don’t really like the official version. So sue me… 🙂
The Cannon Fort is a re-release of the 1980s original. The main difference between the two versions is the color and the markings: The new Cannon Fort is dark green and black while the old one has the green parts in a medium blue. The old kit also comes with 2 gold coated mind-riders instead of just 1 dark grey one for this release.
Each part of molded in their respective colors as typical of all Zoids kits. One mildly annoying thing is the copyright molded on the front right shoulder of the kit. While that’s easily removed, there are actually a lot of other places for the copyright notice without it being so conspicuous.
The inclusion of only 1 mind-rider is also surprising since the Cannon Fort has two crew compartments: one in the head, the other in a compartment on the main turret. The stickers included are also typical Zoid quality. One word: thick. The Cannon Fort also comes with dull red colored rubber pegs which IMO, doesn’t really complement the overall subdued colored scheme of the machine.
The age of the mold is pretty obvious as the quality of the details are not up to par to the newer Zoid designs. This might also be attributed to the limitation of technology during the 1980s or it could simply be a degradation of the mold through the decades.
Typically of all Zoids kits, there are parts that are hollowed out in the back. These include all the legs and the two main guns. Since Zoids are sold primarily as toys as opposed to models, this is pretty normal. Remedying it is a simple matter of filling the spaces with epoxy putty and sand to shape.
The Cannon Fort comes with a medium-sized wind up motor and when put into action, the Cannon Fort will move forward, the main turret will swivel side to side while the two main guns will alternatively elevate.
The Cannon Fort is actually one of those Zoids that I failed to get in its original run, so it’s nice to see it being re-released. Although I must say I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the molding.
Preview courtesy of my wallet