MPM 1/72 Fokker T.VIIIW

KIT #: 72080
PRICE: $
DECALS: Four Options
REVIEWER: Brian Baker
NOTES: Old kit, but still available on line.

HISTORY

In response to a Marine Luchtvaartdienst requirement for a successor to the Fokker T.IV floatplane, Fokker developed the T.VIIIW floatplane reconnaissance bomber in 1938. This plane had several functions, including coastal patrol, bombing, and torpedo attacks. Fourteen were produced before the German invasion in 1940, and the few survivors were evacuated to France, and later England, where they were used by No. 320 ( Dutch) squadron of Coastal Command until they ran out of spare parts and were replaced by Hudsons.  Those aircraft still on the production line or at the factory were taken over by the Luftwaffe, and these were used for coastal patrol over the Mediterranean. A number of an improved version were on order for Finland, but none of these was delivered, these being the ones the Germans appropriated.  At least one German example was tested with a fixed landing gear.  Flying characteristics were good, and the plane was popular with its crews.

THE KIT

This kit has to date back to the late nineties, as I built my model in 1999.  It consists of approximately 48 parts molded in light grey styrene, 5 resin parts, including engines and interior panel detail, 4 clear plastic parts, and about 28 PE parts, including cockpit details, control balances, etc.  The parts are nicely detailed and there is very little flash.  Decals are included for four aircraft:  2 Dutch, one RAF, and one Luftwaffe.   An instrument panel is provided, printed on photo negative film, to be cut out and glued to the PE panel.

Instructions are excellently done, with a history in Czech, French, German and English.  Why not in Dutch I canít say.  Drawings are clear, and color information is easy to figure out.  Color schemes are provided for all four aircraft, although the camouflage patterns for the RAF and Luftwaffe versions are not complete.

CONSTRUCTION

There are absolutely no surprises in this kit.  The interior contains a lot of parts which need to be prepared and painted before installation, but with a long greenhouse canopy, I would advise doing some research and  trying to find some photos of the cockpit interior.  I wasnít able to do this, so my model was pretty much straight out of the box. One weak point is the seats, which, except for the pilotís, are represented by shapeless blobs which need some work to be converted to real seats.  At least most of the details are in the kit, and these can be seen through the clear cockpit canopy.

 The rest of the kit goes together easily, and although there are no mounting tabs, none are really needed.  Very little filler is required, although I would suggest adding some weight to the nose. Probably the best place to do this would be the forward sections of the floats, as the cockpit leaves very little room for this, and the engines are a little too far back toward the CG.  Building a beaching dolly would be another solution to this problem if you can find a photograph of one, but balance will still be a problem.   Everything on this kit fits nicely, and very little filler is needed.  The struts are simple to install, although I would suggest that if you are building a ďone colorĒ version, attach everything to the airframe before you start painting.  If the German or British version is being done, donít attach the floats until after painting the airframe. This makes things much easier. Be sure to do your research, as there were detail differences between the Dutch British, and German aircraft. Check the photos to make sure.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 There are a number of sources of information on this plane, and accounts vary as to the actual colors. British and German aircraft  present no problems, but the Dutch versions were either overall aluminum or a medium grey with some aluminum trim.  The kit instructions say silver, while the Profile Publication shows a medium grey color overall.  I chose the grey. The decals were excellent, and the plane is quite colorful with the grey with orange insignias.  The planes were probably kept in pretty pristine condition up until the beginning of the war, so a lot of weathering is probably not necessary except for the British  and Luftwaffe versions.

CONCLUSIONS

 This kit isnít the only one in town: the  Burns lists a number of kits, including CMK/CMR, Czechmasters, Model Masters, OíNeil, Replica, Rudel, Wings, MPM, and WK, all in 1/72 scale, but the MPM is the only one Iíve seen. I donít know the production status of this kit, but I googled it and it appears that there are quite a few listed for sale from various sources. This kit is worth getting, and it was a fun build.  Get one and enjoy.

REFERENCES

 There are basically three reference works available on this aircraft. The Profile No. 176 on the T-VIII is quite good.  William Greenís little book,  Floatplanes, Vol. 7, has a good account of the typeís service career.  Harleyfordís Fokker, the Man and the Aircraft, also has good material. There are undoubtedly more, but these were all I had.

Brian Baker

June 2012

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