Review by: Geoff Coughlin
Price (at time of review): £45.00
Kit reference: ACRK 48-03
Multi-media package including: Resin main components, white metal, etched brass, cast clear resin canopy, vinyl canopy paint masks and high quality water-slide decals.
Our thanks to A2Zee Models for kindly supplying our review sample. Get this excellent multi-media kit here now at: www.a2zeemodels.co.uk
If you’re not already in the mood…
N.B. Keep an eye on Build Now – I’ll be starting this one very soon! Geoff
Have a look in your Photo Reference Library right here in SMN (added April 2011), it has a complete internal and external walkaround for the Shorts Tucano Mk.1, shot in 2010.
OK, let’s get straight to it and show you what Alley Cat /A2Zee have produced in this package:
Click on Image to enlarge/go back.
The fuselage comes as one-piece with a separate nose section, one-piece wings, cockpit assemblies and separate control surfaces. The parts are very cleanly moulded with clear moulding blocks that are easily identifiable and can be easily removed to attach the parts. The fuselage is clever in that the cockpit side walls are well detailed and the separate tub will slip-in from underneath.
The resin Martin Baker seats are well detailed and all you may want to do is re-arrange the belt layout on one of them in order to present your cockpit and belt/harness arrangement more naturally. Many of you may not bother, it comes down to personal preference.
Staying with the cockpit, several smaller items like the canopy mirrors, throttle levers etc are provided on the etched brass fret. The main instrument panel has moulded dial faces, but no decals are included for each instrument dial and that’s a little disappointing.
Wheels, undercarriage doors, spinner and exhaust stubs are all very well detailed. The latter are particularly excellent and will paint up nicely in Alclad metallic and ‘hot-metal’ tones! In fact the two poly bags containing all the control surfaces and smaller parts are just full of perfectly moulded detail parts that will certainly make your Tucano look the part.
The wheel wells are excellent; extremely deep and detailed and very convincing.
The dropped flap option is superb and just what the doctor ordered. Tucano aircraft look so much better with the flaps dropped – anything to break-up that overall gloss black finish is going to be welcome. The decal schemes will help. More on those later.
The quality of the resin components is very high. The grey parts feature finely engraved panel line detail that looks accurate and well proportioned and should look impressive under paint. I’m not sure what, if any, of this detail I’ll accentuate when it comes to the weathering stages – gloss black is notoriously hard to achieve well on models, with it being very difficult I think to get an authentic finish.
So, therein lies the challenge. Rather than going for the 2010 Display Scheme (this features in the separate boxing of this kit: ACRK 48-02), I plan on doing one of the all-black machines offered in this kit.
Do note that the moulding gates between the resin parts and their moulding blocks are commendably thin and this should make removal of all these parts very straightforward and less hazardous, probably coming away with a few passes of a scalpel blade in most cases (e.g. control surfaces). Using a modeller’ razor saw will make short work of the heavier cast blocks.
The small fret that is included contains all manner of things; canopy mirrors as I’ve said, plus levers, blade aerials and a very nice touch, the flap actuators. These will add greatly to the finesse of your completed model.
The canopy is clear-cast resin and has minimal flash to clean off. Clarity is good and you even get vinyl masks for the internal and external painting; very thoughtful!