by: Dave O'Meara [ ]
Opening the lid
Molded in the usual cream-colored resin, you are greeted with bags of goodies. To protect the kit and add strength to the box for shipping there is an additional cardboard insert. The fuselage halves are well molded, and straight, and appear blemish free on initial inspection. The wings also are single castings, and also appear blemish free. Pour plugs along the lower fuselage will need a little careful removal, and sanding to keep an even edge. Careful removal of the pour plugs on the leading edge of the wings and a little sanding should clean this area with no problems
The next bag contains the tail, stabilizers, and an assortment of smaller parts, and again, I noticed no blemishes or pinholes on initial inspection. All appeared to be well cast, including the propeller blades.
Canopies…. And more canopies…. And all are vac-u-formed!!! Lots of clear parts on this aircraft! If you don’t like vac-u-formed canopies, by the time you are finished with this kit, you will be an expert on cutting them out and installing them. All appear to be well formed, and exceptionally clear. Careful trimming and fitting will be the order of the day, actually the order of several days!!!
Sealed in a separate compartmented bag is the decal sheet, nose marking, and instrument panel. Also sealed in the bag with the decals are the photo-etched parts. A “warning” sheet about the decals is enclosed and I suggest following those instructions for the decal use.
The instruction sheet is a simple one page, printed on both sides. One side has a color print out of the assembled model, the other side, a parts layout and exploded diagram. If you are looking for a step-by-step, glue part A to part B, you are not going to find it here.
Certainly not a kit for the newcomer to resin kits! This kit is designed for the more experienced modelers period! The simple exploded assembly diagram is fine for them, but a beginner may find problems deciphering it. Combined with the tiny resin and photo-etched parts, a beginner will become extremely frustrated and turned off by this kit. The vac-u-form clear parts will certainly test your patience and resolve. At just about $60.00, not an unfair price for this kit (there are other 1/72 scale kits costing more than this) the modeler needs to be prepared for some extremely challenging modeling work.
Parts, molding, packaging, instructions, are all acceptable for the more experienced among us, but will turn away the new modeler, or those looking for a fast week end build. Certainly a kit to take your time with to get the most bang for you buck, and yes there probably will be another aircraft for the Model of the Month sometime this year from me.