by: kenaz raynor [ ]
Now I love weird airplanes, I'm a huge fan of various British naval aviation "uglies" such as the Fairey Gannet, and this one is no exception - a huge plane with a whirling Veg-o-Matic on the front has to be a great subject any day of the week right ?!
The Westland Wyvern S.Mk4, is perhaps the definitive version of this massive warbird. I wont bore you with the history as its included in the kit as with most companies products . So just how good is Classic Airframes' 1/48 Wyvern? Well lets see, upon receipt of the model you are presented with a substantial box that has a nice artistic rendition of one of the versions of the Wyvern included in the kit - and the box is pretty full of goodies.
I have heard a great deal, before about limited run injection kits - some good and some inevitably bad. I wasn't sure what to expect really, but I was pleasantly surprised. The instructions are very comprehensive and wouldn't pose any problems for a fairly experienced modeller, and are quite detailed, and clear , the profile markings leaflet is in black and white but is also very clear, and provides the web site address for them to be viewed in colour, at Classic Airframes.
main partsThe injection mouldings are generally very well executed with fine recessed panel lines, and very little discernible flash present, although the plastic does have a strange gritty feel to it. On my example, though, this is very very slight and not noticeable when examined under direct light, so shouldn't present many if any problems?
There are some weaker areas however, which is quite puzzling, the undercarriage for example is perhaps the weakest area detail-wise, with soft surface details and some pretty hefty mould seam lines present on my example, but again no biggie for a reasonably experienced modeller. The puzzling part for me is overall surface details, as these are by comparison easily on a par with companies such as Revell and Italeri, with very nice details such as the airbrakes and actuator rods etc.
The inside of the fuselage and wing halves have no locator pins for alignment with each other or the cockpit insert, so care will be needed to align these well. I should also mention the drop-tanks are moulded as one with their pylons, though in two halves. They exhibit hefty sink marks and the details on the 2 in rockets are non existent. Is this a problem? - not really, and would be easy to rectify and detail accordingly if desired.
Resin partsThe resin parts are, I think, the star of this nice kit ,and serve to only further enhance an already fabulous product . They exhibit some very fine details indeed and are totally air bubble and flash free, including buckles and belts moulded onto the seat, and a nicely rendered instrument panel, although no instrument dials are present. Careful painting or A/M decals will take care of that.
The cockpit tub is quite spare looking when compared to other cockpit components but this maybe a reflection of the real aircraft? However one thing I didn't notice in mine was a control stick? It was maybe left out accidentally?
The wheel wells are crisp with fine plumbing included, as are the wheels themselves - though the tyres are not weighted, this wouldn't be hard to do .
The resin parts are quite greasy though, so these will need careful cleaning before painting can begin.
Clear partsThe canopy is nice and a polish plus some Johnson's Klear wouldn't go a miss, and is represented in two pieces to enable an open position to be utilised if desired.
Decal optionsSo this brings me to the decals. These are by Microscale and are very nice indeed. They exhibit A/M quality and are in perfect register. Markings include examples of 3 aircraft from:
No 827 NAS aboard HMS Eagle in 1955,
RNAS Stretton / HMS Blackcap1957 and - my favourite...
No 830 NAS, HMS Eagle "operation Musketeer" Suez Crisis, 1956.
Also included is a full set of stencil Data .
Overall this is a great kit of a rare and hard to find subject in injection-moulded styrene especially in 1/48 scale, (although I believe Trumpeter is bringing out a 1/48 version of this kit in the future). This kit is not for beginners though, with some fiddly cleaning up to do. The detail already provided serves as a great platform for OOB builders and Super Detail nuts like me to while away many an hour with great pleasure .
ConclusionPROS: Unusual subject, great surface detail and fineley recessed panel lines.Highly detailed resin components, superb decals.
CONS : Weak U/C details, lack of control stick. Some flash