Minicraft 1/48 Bonanza F33

KIT #: 11670
PRICE: $29.99 SRP
DECALS: Two aircraft, N5599P and N5585Y
REVIEWER: Matt Gunsch


Designed by a team led by Ralph Harmon, the model 35 Bonanza was a relatively fast, low-wing monoplane at a time when most light aircraft were still made of wood and fabric. The Model 35 featured retractable landing gear, and its signature V-tail (equipped with a combination elevator-rudder called a ruddervator), which made it both efficient and the most distinctive private aircraft in the sky. The prototype 35 Bonanza made its first flight on 22 December 1945, with the first production aircraft debuting as 1947 models. The first 3040 Bonanzas produced had fabric-covered flaps and ailerons, after which, those surfaces were covered with magnesium alloy sheet.

In 1982 the production of the V-tail Bonanza stopped but the conventional-tail Model 33 continued in production until 1995, still built today is the Model 36 Bonanza, a longer-bodied, straight-tail variant of the original design, introduced in 1968.


 I was in the local hobby shop this afternoon and stumbled across the new Minicraft F-33 Bonanza, and imagine my surprise when I noticed the markings are 2 of the planes I deal with on a daily basis as a Quality Assurance inspector at Airline Training Center Arizona. At the time of this writing N5599P and N5585Y have both flown 24,000 hours, all in the course of training new pilots for Lufthansa Airlines, the parent company of Airline Training Center, Arizona

The kit has 4 sprues of white plastic,  a sprue of clear parts and a black stand for displaying the completed model on. One of the sprues are the parts needed to convert the kit from the V tail to the conventional  tail, consisting of the upper aft section of fuselage, a vertical fin and rudder and a 3 bladed Hartzell propeller.  Decals are by Cartograph and look very good. The box states the markings are from 1998 and show 85Y as overall white with red trim, currently 85Y is still overall white, but with blue tail with Lufthansa markings.


 At first look the kits looks like it will build a good representation of a F-33, but if you want to do Niner Niner Pop or Eight Five Yankee, I would recommend sealing the cowling as the engine and mount in the kit bear no resemblance to how the engine is mounted a F-33, Better yet, use the front of the engine to hold the prop and fill the cowling with enough weight to allow the kit to sit on the gear correctly.  Make sure you use the exhaust pipes that are located in the cowl flap opening and not those that come straight out of the bottom of the cowling.  The cockpit would need a couple of things, both planes only fly with the first 2 rows of seats and the yoke would need to have another arm and wheel added to the existing wheel and yoke . The Prop should be painted Hartzell grey on the front face of the blades, flat black on the aft face with white tips and a polished aluminum spinner.

Kit review compliments of my wallet and years of taking care of Niner Niner Pop and Eight Five Yankee.

 Matt Gunsch

January 2014

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