by: Kevin Brant [ ]
IntroductionThe C-45F, sometimes referred to as the Expeditor, was a military version of the Beechcraft Model C18S passenger aircraft. Developed in the 1930ís, the Model 18 was sometimes mistaken for the Lockheed Electra, as the two looked a lot alike. At the start of World War 2 Beechcraft started mounting the Pratt & Whitney R-985 engines as the US Military required a small passenger airplane. The C-45 flew with many countries and was in service with the USAF until 1963.
This kit from ICM Holding of the C-45F represents the World War 2 variant of the Beechcraft Model 18 passenger plane.
ContentsInside the box you will find:
Plastic upper and lower hulls
6 Sprues of plastic
1 Sprue of clear plastic Fret of photo-etched
1 Sheet of Decal
1 Instruction booklet
ReviewOpening the box, the first thing I noticed was the small number of parts. The kit is molded in grey plastic with the upper and lower wings on their own sprue each, and the fuselage halves sharing a sprue. That leaves the majority of the parts on one sprue. Looking at the moldings, they look to be rather well done with no real visible flash other than seam lines to clean up. I did find a number of ejector marks, some will be hidden with assembly, and some will need to be cleaned up.
The surface detail on the exterior of the aircraft looks good, including nice looking engraved panel lines. The top antenna are molded onto one of the fuselage halfís, and I did find one of the antenna broken off and in the bag, so I suggest you be careful unpacking the kit, and ensure you check the plastic bag.
The ICM kit does include a basic interior, to include seats, control sticks, and instrument panel. The instrument panel does include some real basic raised details and there is no decal included in the kit. If you are looking for a little more detail, some scratch building and/or aftermarket parts will be needed.
The engines in the kit are a bit of a disappointment as there is no surface detail on the pistons and the molded on push rods donít look the greatest. Due to the open cowlings, these will definitely need to be replaced with aftermarket parts. Vector makes a nice replacement, but the resin part and ICM kit will need some surgery to get the resin engine to fit.
The front landing bays look from the instructions to include some nice looking detail, and should build up nice. It should be noted from the instructions that the landing gear will have to be mounted prior to sandwiching the wings together.
The instructions look to be well laid out and should be easy to follow to assemble the aircraft. There are paint callouts referencing Model Master paint colors. The kit includes markings for three aircraft: USAF, Wright Field, 1944; French Air Force, Summer, 1944; and Italian Air Force, 1949. The decals look to be well printed, all within register and good looking color.
ConclusionThis does look to be nice looking kit from ICM of the Beechcraft C-45F. The overall moldings look to be well done, with some nice details, especially on the exterior. The crew and passenger compartment is a little barren, and there is no surface detail on the engines. If you are a fan of early passenger planes I would recommend this kit, as to outside of the kit markings, there is a lot of potential.
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