December 30, 2013
Hangar 47 takes a look in the box with previews of the Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka by Fine Molds, the Fairey Fulmar by Smer, and the L-39 Albatros by Eduard...
Entering service in April 1945 during the battle for Okinawa, the rocket-powered Ohka was a fearsome and deadly weapon limited in effectiveness only by its lack of range. Dependent on mother ships to carry them into a target area, with only a few minutes' flight time before their solid propellant fuel gave out, many Ohkas never reached the U.S. naval vessels they were meant to destroy. But, capable of sudden bursts of speed under rocket power exceeding 400 mph, when the Ohkas were able to drive home their attack, their 2,600 lb. warheads had devastating results. Fine Molds' Ohka has engraved panel lines, a detailed cockpit and highly detailed exterior with a towing dolly, as well as internal rocket engine and warhead assemblies.
Designed in 1938 to meet Admiralty specifications for a modern naval fighter, the Fairey Fulmar had a dubious lineage, being a scaled down version of the larger Fairey Battle, a light bomber that would later be shot to pieces by the Luftwaffe in the skies over France in 1940. Entering service in July 1940, just months after the Battle's mauling by German fighters during the ill-fated French campaign, the two-seater Fulmar proved somewhat slow and under-powered for its intended role of fleet defense, but was still a marked improvement over its predecessors -- and a simple derivative of an existing type that met the need for rapid availability. Generally effective against torpedo and patrol bombers, it was forced to retire when confronted by modern, single-seat enemy fighters or determined Stuka attacks. Like other Allied fighters in the dark, early days of World War II, the Fulmar held the line until newer, more effective aircraft became available. Smer's Fulmar has engraved panel lines, a one-piece canopy, and markings for two Fleet Air Arm aircraft.
First flown in November 1968, Aero's subsonic L-39 became the standard military jet trainer for the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies from 1974 until the end of the Cold War, and continues in service with many of those nations today. Replacing the L-29 Delfin, it was so effective that it was purchased by countries outside the communist bloc, including Libya, Afghanistan and Thailand. Eduard's L-39 has engraved panel lines, a highly detailed cockpit, multi-part optional position canopy, optional ordnance for the L-39D armed trainer version including a gun pod and bombs, photo-etch details and paint masks, along with markings for eight different versions.