Planet Models 1/48
Designed by Eric Schatski,
formerly of Fokker Company the FK58 was a single seat low wing monoplane fighter
of mixed construction. It was designed in great haste to meet a great
requirement for a fighter to operate in Indo-China. The prototype flew for the
first time on
17th July 1938;
only three months after the first drawings had been made. A robust unattractive
aircraft, the FK58 had an enclosed cockpit for a single seater with a rearwards
sliding canopy, inward retracting main landing gear units and a strut bared tail
plane. The fighter was manufactured by N.V.Koolhoven Vliegtuiegen, Waalhaven,
The prototype was shown for the first time at the
Air Show in November 1938. The type was accepted by the Dutch Army Air Service
and production commenced during 1939.
Prior to the beginning of WWII,
domestic manufacture in
was not sufficient to equip the Armee’ de l’Air with modern fighters and it
decided to purchase the FK.58. It was intended to be a cheap, high performance
fighter of composite construction. When displayed in
the aircraft was regarded as the fastest fighter in the world. The French placed
an order for 50 aircraft, but the type flew only about 47 operational sorties.
After the armistice all the aircraft were scrapped.
Planet model of the FK58 is titled as the FK58C.1. It has 67 cream coloured
resin pieces and two clear vac-form canopies with raised framing. There is a
4-page A4 size instruction sheet containing eight stages of assembly on two
sides, and history and colour detail on the other two. A good decal sheet with
French roundels in good register is included for one aircraft. The resin parts
are fine, with engraved panel lines and are pore free. Resin kits generally
contain heavy moulded blocks that serve as efficient feeding heads to produce
sound thick sections free from shrinkage and other defects.
a change I am altering to a 1/48 scale model and in this case makes it the
largest resin kit I have ever made. Being a bigger scale than what I normally do
there will be more detail into it and this should prove to be an interesting and
a not so common subject too.
Great care is needed
when separating the parts from the thick runners, using a fine saw. Care is
always required especially when cleaning the intricate fine parts like the gun
sight, seat, undercarriage and several other small items to avoid damage. The
kit contains a detailed radial engine. This is broken down into single cylinders
for which there are five spares. The fuselage parts have delicately moulded
surface detail including ribbing and canvas texture. Some cleaning of the mating
edges was needed in order to produce a perfect fit all around the fuselage
sections. The same was required on the leading edges of the single piece wing
part. These were smoothened with wet and dry sanding. The engine cylinders
needed sanding down in overall height before fitting to the central engine body.
Once reduced and built into a two-row radial engine, the unit fits inside a one
piece cowling part without problems. It should fit deeply enough that only the
central pin for the spinner should protrudes from the cowling front. The parts
are fixed using super glue and the rear engine bulkhead is inserted at the rear
of the cowling. To complete the engine/cowling subassembly, two circular and one
oval flat intake are placed on the upper half of the engine front.
The next stage
assembles the cockpit interior, which consists of a cockpit floor, two cockpit
side panels and interior stiffeners fitted to the rear of the seat. These are
thin resin strips, and four fine crossbars were added from scratch built pieces
of Contrail rod. Drilling a small locating hole in each side of the fuselage
will simplify matters when it comes to fixing these in place. They are glued to
one half and when the two halves are joined together the cross bars are fixed at
the other end as well. The cockpit interior was painted cockpit green and all
the other details fitted to the sidewalls. The inst
panel, control column, rudder pedals, seat, etc, were all painted according to
the instructions. At this stage the fuselage halves were joined together.
The main planes came
as one piece and also show fine engraved panel lines. In my example one side of
the wing was slightly warped, but I managed to straighten it without any effort
by immersing it in warm water. It was then bent gently to the required final
shape. The next stage involved fitting the lower fuselage detail parts. This
included a long intake duct under the cowling, the undercarriage legs, and wheel
well doors, and ‘L’ shaped cockpit access step. Two-underwing gun pods have
rectangular slots that needed cleaning. The pods were drilled at the forward
ends to take the gun barrels and were then painted black inside. They were
fitted under the wings at the locations faintly marked on the wing parts.
The main wheels also
exhibit detail and care is needed to separate them from their moulding blocks.
They have ‘flats’ to be assembled in contact with the ground and the tyre sides
bulges to simulate the weight of the aircraft. In order to ensure that the flats
touch the ground when the model is sitting on its wheels, the wheels had a shaft
inserted into them and holes drilled into oleos. The model was then placed on
its wheels and once the flat position was touching, as it should, a tiny amount
of super glue was added to fix the assembly. Note that the oleo has an internal
metal reinforcement and there is a limit to how deeply one can drill.
colour box art shows the aircraft to good effect, giving a clue to the shades of
the three-tone colour camouflage of brown, medium green and blue grey upper
surfaces and medium grey to the lower surfaces. The pattern of the camouflage is
also given in the instructions. The kit was airbrushed in the respective colours
using Modelmaster brand of paint. It was then given a coat of Klear, decals
applied and finally given an overall coat of semi matt varnish.
The kit builds into a very
pleasing model and should appeal to modellers keen on French fighters or to
those interested on little known types, it is also a change from the long list
of Bf 109s and FW 190s. I highly recommend the kit to those who work with resin.
Carmel J. Attard
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please
me or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review