White Ensign Models 1/700 Airstrike 700 Series First Look
|Date of Review||1999||Manufacturer||White Ensign Models|
|Subject||Airstrike 700 Series||Scale||1/700|
|Kit Number||See below||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Excellent variety for the scale flight deck||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Approx $4.00/set|
WEM was kind enough to send out four samples of their recent 'Airstrike 700' series. The first two are fixed wing aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder (AS7026) and the LTV A-7 Corsair II (AS7025). As you can see in the pictures below, the aircraft are finely molded and after removing the mold mark on the nose and applying whatever era paint scheme on the birds, your flight deck will be appropriately equipped. An optional photo-etched detail set (PE715) for their fixed wing aircraft add landing gear and other eye-pleasing details to your aircraft.
The second two samples are from their rotary wing line-up, the Westland Whirlwind (AS7042) and the Bell UH-1D/H Iroquois (AS7029). Their helicopters come with photo-etched details, including main and tail rotor assemblies and landing gear. The photos below tell the story.
Up until now, the average 1/700-1/720 ship builder could only use the aircraft offered in their kits and/or some of the aircraft packages from Japan to populate their flight decks, and for most projects, this is fine. For the master modeler however, these are not very good options. After detailing the ship and flight deck with photo-etched railings, antennas and other details, a mere hunk of plastic roughly the shape of an A-6 Intruder is not acceptable. Consequently the builder either had to scratch-build the aircraft, perform surgery on the supplied pieces, or leave the deck barren. The White Ensign line of 1/700 aircraft is over 120 different types and growing. Give 'em a try!
I see a project in the making: Two of the aircraft in their line-up are the CH-46 Seaknight (AS7041/AS7120) and the CH-53 Sea Stallion (AS7078). Their UH-1 (AS7029) is the single engined UH-1D/H version. I suspect that their AH-1 Cobra (AS7043) also is the single-engined US Army variant. If WEM adds the twin-engined UH-1N Iroquois and the twin-engined AH-1W Super Cobra into their line-up, we'd have a nice flight deck compliment for the USS Saipan/Tarawa/etc. If only we had a photo-etched detail set for the ship itself...
Drop into the White Ensign Models website for more information on their 1/350 and 1/700 kit and accessory offerings (their 1/350 HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier is due out soon and sounds like an outstanding project!).