The Grumman JRF / G-21 Goose is a true aviation classic. The aircraft first flew in 1937 as an 8-seat commercial amphibian and proved outstandingly successful. It wasn't long before the US military showed interest and the JRF Goose saw widespread service throughout WW2 and after.
The military version was used for utility, coastal patrol and air-sea rescue work and could carry a modest payload of bombs or depth-charges. The Goose served with many countries including the US, Britain, Canada, Portugal and France.
Czech Model's Goose is a short-run model aimed, as the box states, at adult collectors. The kit comprises 71 plastic parts along with a set of 31 resin components.
The plastic parts stand out from most short-run kits due to their highly-polished finish. Detail consists of nicely engraved panel lines, a number of raised panels and some rivet detail. The fabric effect on the wings and tail surfaces is depicted very subtly, but the the way the ribs are marked by engraved lines is a little odd. Overall the finish is very good - a touch soft in one or two places and with a few minor blemishes - but nothing a few minutes work shouldn't sort out.
The sprue attachments are quite thick , so a little extra care is needed removing the smaller parts, but there is very little flash evident, and I couldn't find any sink marks on my sample. There are a number of ejector pins on the inner surfaces. Most don't interfere with assembly, but a few are badly placed, obscuring detail inside the cabin and the wheel wells..
The main parts are well moulded in quite thick plastic with no sign of distortion. There are no locating pins, but the fuselage halves fit together well and the panel detail lines up nicely.
The wings are perfectly straight, with a full-span upper half incorporating the cabin roof. The lower panels fit fine, but the nacelle joints will need a little filler.The trailing edges are fairly thick, and they will look much better after some thinning down.
A little adjustment achieves a good, solid wing/fuselage joint. The parts capture the look of the full-sized aircraft, but a check against the plans in Steve Ginter's book show that the fuselage seems a bit over-scale, while the wings, tail and floats all match up pretty well. Still, it certainly looks like a Goose and should satisfy most modellers.
The cabin interior consists of a mixture of plastic parts and resin details which are one of the high points of the kit. The cockpit features beautifully detailed sidewalls and bulkhead along with excellent seats. The passenger seats have moulded on seat-belts, but the crew seats are bare.
Other details include bombs and shackles well-detailed exhausts. Resin engines replace the plastic parts also included and are neatly cast as single pieces.
The only disappointing resin parts are the wheels, which show clearly where filler has been applied to create a "weighted" look.
The clear parts are separately bagged to protect them from scratching. The canopy is shown in the instructions a single part, but is moulded in two pieces. The cabin windows are thin and clear. Intriguingly, a pair of clear blisters are included, but not shown in the instructions. According to Steve Ginter's book on the Goose, these were fitted to most (but not all) aircraft supplied to the British. The blisters covered the second window back from the canopy on either side of the fuselage, allowing an observer to lean out.
Instructions., Painting & decals
The instructions are well laid out and clearly illustrated in 10 stages. Colour details are noted throughout and a number of scrap views are included to aid in assembly.
The painting guide gives helpful notes for 4 schemes, which are also shown in colour on the back of the box. A huge decal sheet provides markings for 3 US Navy aircraft and an RAF Coastal Command machine. The decals excellent quality; they are printed perfectly in register and are very thin, with minimal carrier film. The red is used for the RAF roundels is rather bright but, since the markings were presumably applied at the factory, it might be correct. Most photos I've found of US aircraft painted Gloss Sea Blue seem to show white-only insignia.
Overall Czech Model's Goose is an excellent short-run model. It's not suitable for beginners, but the good fit of the main components and the excellent resin details mean modellers with a little experience should have little trouble building a very impressive model.
Thank you to MMD-Squadron for kindly supplying the review sample.