KIT:

Aerotech 1/72 Ta-183

KIT #

MA001

PRICE:

29.95 from Marsh Models

DECALS:

9 aircraft

REVIEWER:

William Moore

NOTES:

Mixed media kit

 

HISTORY

 

With Amtech's recent release of this kit in 1/48 there is not much need for a history with all that has been written. Basically if WW2 had kept going for another 6 months or so then the American B-17s and Mustangs were in for a rude shock. The Russians thought so much of the basic design that in a modified form it was the MiG 15. Check out www.luft46.com for more details.

THE KIT

This arrived on my front doorstep in a small box similar to that of Arbaand some Toad Resins kits. I was very shocked when I heard of this kit as following AMtech's release in 1/48. I was not expecting one in "the one true scale" as one friend of mine terms it. The only previous kit has been a plastic one from PM of Turkey and this is very simple, it is a good beginners kit for your kids. That is definitely not the case here.

The first thing out of the box were the instructions - 2 A4 sheets, thefirst page being a black and white assembly diagram and here you realize the work ahead of you. A detailed colour guide is included and a list of upcoming releases - all Luft46 though I believe this list is under revision. The back of this sheet has 3 colour photos of a completed kit with decal placement and suggestions on camouflage and even includes USAAF markings for a captured plane. The only thing I would disagree with here is that they state the decals will be fine over matt paint. A look at the Balkenkreuzes on the upper and lower wings of the completed kit confirms that you will get silvering unless you use Future or similar methods. The last page contains another 6 colour photos for detailing with photo-etch the engine, cockpit, flaps, u/c doors and the X-4 missiles. Painting instructions are again given for these photos. What can I say - in over 10 years of buying way too many resin kits and a few plastic ones this is undoubtedly the best instruction sheet I've ever seen. Tamiya etc could take lessons here.
 
Now to the actual kit. Nearly everything is in Ziploc bags - a good start. I picked up the 2 body halves and started to examine them. Big surprises here, the resin is grey rather than the usual cream and what's this - no smell. A friend of mine who buys the occasional resin kit always puts them away for at least 2 years to get rid of the smell - he calls it cellaring them, to me he's just collecting them. It does still have that slight resin pebble texture which is easily removed with a little sanding. The two body halves have 4 locator pins like an ordinary plastic kit though there are 3 moulding plugs and a little flash that will need removal.

The rest of the resin covers the u/c bays, tail plane, cockpit, rudder and flaps. The parts will need a little cleanup though nice touches are the tabs for adding the wings and cutouts for the wingtip lights (supplied as clear parts). The gun ports and shell ejection chutes are nicely moulded also. One of my wings is slightly bent but a quick soak in hot water, bending and immersion in cold water will straighten this out. On the whole this is quite nice so far. 

A minor disappointment is that the bomb bay between the main wheel bays is not shown as on the AMtech kit. I imagine this is a moulding limitation from using resin as to include it may have weakened this area too much.

Clear Parts - All separately bagged. These are the vacform wingtip lights and two canopies, one is a spare - someone has finally listened to the cries of reviewers. The two instrument panels (one is a spare) are printed on clear acetate (similar to those found in Eduard brass detail sets) and are slightly sticky on the back. This will really help in positioning these buggers - a very good thought.
 
White metal - this bag contains such things as the nose inlet and tail exhaust, pilot seat, u/c doors, u/c legs and pre-flattened wheels. The missile bodies are also in white metal, although puzzlingly here I have 2 with nose probes and 2 without. The only disappointment here is the nose inlet. It just appears too shallow and the p/e piece is not going to help, I am going to have to get out my drill on this.

Etched brass - 2 standard size sheets here in a goldy brass colour. The first sheet covers the missile fins (16), wheel hubs (very nice), flap details and some sundries. The second sheet covers details on the flaps, u/c bays, cockpit details and more stuff for the missiles - quite a lot of fine detail here.
 

CONCLUSIONS


Given it's price is it worth the money asked? YES, undoubtedly as this kit oozes quality and for a first kit it in this genre it is amazing. Inclusions like lots of etched brass, white metal, quality decals and a colour instructions sheet make this kit a rarity because the quality is so good. Based on this kit I will be purchasing Marsh Models' next kit and perhaps most tellingly this kit has leapt to the top of my work pile. Actually by the time you read this I hope to be well underway. And yes Scott you will get the review - slave-driver!

 Thank You to John at
Marsh Models for the review copy and my mate Simmo for editing.

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