Dekno 1/72 Cessna CR-3
KIT #: 720200
PRICE: $32.00 direct
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Resin kit with vac windscreen


After parting with the company that bears his name, Clyde Cessna and his brother Eldon rented the defunct Travel Air facility and built some tiny racing planes. One of these was the CR-3 racing aircraft of 1933. The CR-3 was ordered by Johnny Livingston and built by Clyde and Eldon Cessna as a modification of the mid-winged CR-2.

 First flying on June 11th. 1933, the CR-3 won a number of races, and set a world speed record, for aircraft with engines under 500 cubic inches, of 237.4 mph on 1st. July 1933. After undercarriage problems, Livingston baled out and the aircraft crashed in August 1933.


About 25 resin parts in a segmented bag, come in a tiny box, for a non-tiny price. There is a vac-formed windscreen, and a decal sheet in several pieces, with the garish markings of the only one built. The parts are very cleanly cast, with fine detail and only a tiny mould seam and some flash to clean up. Only the smaller parts are still attached to a pouring stub, so very little preparation is needed. A first examination found no signs of moulding glitches or bubbles.

The tiny windscreen is slightly cloudy. The decals appear to be crisply printed with no registration problems, coming with a correction sheet, with a revised decal for the side of the plane, three stripes instead of two, and a couple of letter 'N's which were left off the registrations. The instructions show 4 assembly steps, a painting and decal guide, and a brief history. Location of the small parts is vague, and without part numbers a bit of guess work will be required. There is no detail paint information provided.


First of all the resin parts were all washed in warm soapy water to remove any mould release oil. The fuselage halves were cleaned up and given a light sand on the mating surfaces. I then joined up the fuselage halves. The seat and control stick were installed. The instrument panel was fitted to the underside of the wing centre section. I painted the cockpit floor, sidewalls and undercarriage bay buff, the seat and instrument panel brown, and picked out details in black and silver. I added etched lap straps from the spares stash. Then I added the one piece wing. The wing roots needed a little sanding to get it to fit properly.

There was small gaps where the wing meets the top of the fuselage. These were filled with superglue. I put a thin bead of Mr Surfacer around the fuselage main joint. When it was all dry and hard, I sanded all the joints lightly, and touched up a few spots. While the filler on the main parts was drying I got on with preparing the rest of the parts. Using a scalpel, I removed the tailplane and rudder castings from the pouring stubs, and cleaned them up. I dipped the vac-formed windscreen in floor polish and set it aside.

 The tail plane and rudder were added after a light sand on the mating surfaces, they are butt joined with no location tabs, I ran a fillet of superglue over the tailplane joints to add a little strength.


I gave the model a good wash with warm soapy water to remove any dust and crud. First a overall spray with Tamiya white primer, found a few spots that needed repair. The instructions specified overall “yellow”. I used gloss golden yellow, which is a little orange. I did a check after the first coat, did some dust removal and illed a couple of spots. It needed three coats altogether, the yellow covered well over white primer.

The kit decals were applied using micro set. Suffered a bit from breaking, but not too bad. The Cessna logo for some reason is spelt 'Cessn' but it's so small I doubt anybody other than the laser police would notice. I used the two stripe version, as that what the few photos I could find showed. The kit instructions show three stripes, but the box art showed two! A minor problem was the provision of three left hand and only one right hand decal for the tailplane leading edges, I put one on upside down under the tailplane to get over that, and used plenty of micro-set. I then gave the leading edge decals a coat of micro sol, to help them conform. A coat of floor polish protected them and hid the carrier film.


I added the resin engine and cowling, painting the engine Mr Metal Colour 'Iron' and the inside of the cowling 'Aluminium'. Then I hand painted the cowling and front fuselage using Dulux 'Wildfire Red' enamel. 

I managed to lose one of the tiny undercarriage struts, and another broke, so I replaced them with wire of about the same gauge, then decided to go whole hog and replaced the main legs as well. My new wire assembly is much stronger, and even though the model is tiny, I really don't trust resin legs in the long term. The instructions were very vague about how the u/c went together, I think I got it right using some reference photos. The undercarriage doors were fitted sometime in July of 1933, and the rear canopy was modified. The resin wheels were nice, with a little hub detail, but the doors were plain, so I left them off.

The tail skid, prop and the windscreen were added. I attached the tiny screen with a film of floor polish. Made a pitot using a bit of fishing line, it's shown on the right wing on the box-art, should be on the left wing. I then did a little detail painting, and went over the leading edges with gloss red to hide the gap between the decals. I did not do any weathering. Gave it another overall coat of floor polish.


 A very small kit which can easily find a home in the display case. The decals had a few minor errors, and were a bit fragile, but nothing that could not be easily dealt with or ignored. The only real problem I had was with the undercarriage, but that was easily overcome. Fit was very good for a resin kit.   

A very enjoyable build, a good first resin kit for those hesitant to try their hand at them. Recommended for all.


 Kit Instructions.

Peter Burstow

March 2014

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