KIT: Airfix  1/72 BAC Concorde
KIT #: 11050
PRICE: £20.00
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Paul Kirsopp
NOTES: Set includes paint, brushes, glue and other goodies

HISTORY

What can be said, one of the most famous aircraft ever and, in my view, certainly one of, if not the, best looking aircraft ever to fly.

First conceived in the 1950ís Concorde entered fare paying service on January 21st 1976.

Due in part to environmental protest and the soaring cost of fuel Concorde never reached itís full sales potential with only nine airframes being completed, each costing about $60m.

However, no jumbo is ever going to give itís passengers their own mach meter, nor will that meter read M2.05 (1,350 mph)  It has been said that getting Concorde into service with the technology available at the time was equivalent to putting a man on the moon.

Itís a crying shame sheís gone.

THE KIT

      Before I ordered this kit I took a quick look at a 1/144 Concorde, not very big so I took the plunge.  Now stop reading and go get a tape measure. The box for this kit is;

600mm long, 350mm wide and 120mm deep, (thatís 23.5Ē x 13.75Ē x 4.75Ē)

This is one big model.

     The box says 90 parts, I counted 151 on 12 sprues, (not counting a 6 part stand that looks like it could support my car!) You also get 1 tube of glue, 1 tube of clearfix, 2 brushes 12 pots of paint and 2 metal rods for the core of the main undercarriage units and decal sheet that is 570mm x 230mm (22.5Ē x 9Ē)  O.K. whatís this cost?, £20.00, yes I did say £20.00.

     The detail is engraved, not to Tamiyaís standard but itís mostly ok though on some items such as the undercarriage legs itís a bit Ďsoftí and you get Ďreal rubberí tyres, love them or loath them.  (Hannants in the UK are stating on their web site that replacement wheels are in the offing.)

     I may be miss judging Airfix but we have a multi part fuselage.  The first is the cock- pit to forward of the wing,(I think the nose may Ďdroopí as in the prototype) second is to the trailing edge/flaperons, and third is the tail unit and then the nose and tail cones.  No less than six bulkheads are provided and looking at the instructions it should be a fairly solid unit when built, however, we are left with two major vertical joints on the fuselage as well as the usual horizontal joint, lets hope itís a well engineered set of moulds.  There are also some ejector pin marks that will need to be filled.

     The next thing to mention is the kit is moulded in three colours, white, silver and black.  The reason seems to be that you can build a Ďfull colourí model without opening the paint, so why supply the paint?  The instructions also show how and where to fasten thread to hang the thing off the ceiling, well the box does say age 8 up, though I donít believe many 8 year olds will be able to make this kit without some adult help, I for one  had to study the instructions for some time before some sections made sense. (I know we all should but when youíre 8 you want it built yesterday.)

     The decal sheet is comprehensive offering three schemes, all BA, seen during Concords service.  Of course being Airfix theyíre out of register, only slightly but enough to make several items unusable, Airfix, please wake up and either get your quality control right or buy in from a manufacturer who can do it right first time, please.

     As Iíve said, Hannants are apparently going to offer replacement wheels & tyres and I would imagine that other accessories will be obtainable soon.

CONCLUSIONS

Iíve taken the plunge and removed some parts for dry fitting and I have to say Iím hopeful that construction shouldnít present too many disasters.  I tried the fuselage halfís, (I didnít use the bulkheads), the nose and tail assemblies, and one upper wing panel to the lower centre section, and they all seem to fit quite well, shear size may present the main problem, weíll have to wait and see.

    I am desperate to start this kit but I am going to have to find some place I can display it when itís finished.

   Overall I would give it  8/10 before I attempt to build the thing.  As for value for money I really canít fault it, I mean, £20.00, even if you throw out the paint, glue, ect itís still remarkable value (other manufacturers may have produced a better engineered kit but what would the asking price be, not £20.00 Iíll bet)

    By and large I think Airfix deserve a resounding well done for producing this kit, thereís not a lot to mark the passing of one of the most graceful aircraft ever to fly, itíll be an impressive sight when built, I just wonder how many Iíll see.

October 2004

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