Pro Resin 1/72 Boeing P-12B/D

KIT #:  R72-030
PRICE: about $25.00 or so
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES:  Resin with photo-etch parts


The Boeing P-12B/D is a land based fighter, a type that was built as the Boeing Model 102 and was essentially identical to the US Navy’s F4B1 apart from its naval equipment. The P-12B had larger wheels and tyres than its predecessor XP-12A and the cylinder head fairings of the earlier P-12 and F4B-1 were deleted to improve cylinder head cooling. The power plant remained the Pratt & Whitney R-1340-Wasp Radial rated at 450HP. There was an initial order of 90 P-12Bs. The kit represents a P-12B in later service life which had the engine cowling ring. The aircraft had the lower wing smaller than the upper wing. These were largely fabric covered and of mixed metal and wood construction. The engine was installed under a full light alloy cowling which drove a two bladed metal Curtiss Reed tractor propeller. The type made the first flight on 30th May 1930 and the aircraft was introduced into service soon later.


 The Pro resin kit of the P-12B, Kit No R72-030, is one in a series of kits from the 30s era released to a scale of 1/72. It comes in a soft cardboard box with a detailed painting of the American fighter in flight. This in fact is a highly detailed resin model containing photo-etch detail parts and high quality Begemot decals. A small sealed bag contains a fret with 11 brass etch detail parts and a clear acetate instrument panel and cockpit wind shied. The parts have excellent surface detail engraving and apart from the presence of flash to thin parts in general are clean.  You can go here for a look at the preview.


There are five stages of construction with the first two dealing with assembly of the instruments and cockpit interior. Instruction was easy to follow with excellent exploded views to simplify reference to it as one goes along with assembly. As this is a resin kit I used super glue to fix parts together.

 The trailing edges of wing parts and tail unit are commendably thin with excellent surface ribbing to all parts. These were sanded smooth at their periphery using fine wet and dry prior to assembly. The fuselage is well shaped with canvass ribbing at the rear half. Therefore during construction care is taken not to spoil the surfaces with unintended superglue smears or prints. The radial engine is also accurately produced with separate resin pipe ducts detail parts that are attached to the rear of the engine part. There is a ‘Y’shaped exhaust pipe at the port side of the fuselage that I extended by a further 1/8 inches in length at the exhaust end to conform to the length of pipe shown on the side views. I also added a semi circular exhaust manifold to the starboard side of the fuselage just aft of the engine. This is made from stretch sprue and is bent to the diameter of the fuselage using a round former and bent accordingly. This manifold is also shown in black on the side view starboard side.

The control panel consists of a resin panel, acetate piece with black printed dials to fit and a front detail brass etch to complete the panel. A cockpit floor is provided on which are fixed the control stick, foot rudder pedals and pilot seat with brass etch seat belts. I have found that in order to have the seat in line with the cockpit opening the whole floor needs to be shifted forward a little. Interior is painted yellow while detail instruments to the side of fuselage are black and grey. A two blade propeller is well shaped but it contained flash that required care to remove. The only defect that I encountered during the construction was fine porosity located at the leading edges of both the main planes and tail planes. Having built several resin kits in the past I have now to start to accept the presence of a certain amount of tiny bubbles with these kits in spite that this defect is more commonly trapped at thin sections and renders it difficult to attend to. The remedial action is to fill these tiny bubbles with super glue, followed by careful sanding when dry.

Caution is needed when separating the delicate undercarriage struts from the runner. A gun sight is provided and is best fixed in front of the cockpit before the upper wing is lowered on the wing struts. Two gun barrels in solid resin are provided which will fit to inserts on upper side of nose. I have replaced these with metal hollow tubes of equal diameter and cut to same length. I have also replaced the struts fitted under the tailplanes with a thinner replacement items using Contrail thin struts. Two types of undercarriage struts are provided for the two versions given. Apart from the decal sheet the two types of struts seems to be the difference between the B and the D version of the P-12. An accurate belly fuel tank that is externally fitted comes complete with a filling pipe that is attached to its side but I have preferred to leave this out as most of the pictures I have seen of the early P-12 did not have this fitted.

The sequence of fitting the wings is first fix the lower wings to side of fuselage in place, then secure the outer struts in marked position, the wings are joined together. When this is set firm the two control struts that fits inner of the main struts are fixed in place and finally the inner fuselage struts are simply fixed sideways at their respective place. With all the kit parts assembled and set then came the delicate of slowly drilling the 0.4mm diameter twin rigging holes at the various locations on the upper and lower wings using a hand drill. A rigging drawing is available on the instruction which is accurate as well as helpful. There is also rigging to the fin which joins the tail planes. Invisible thread was used for rigging and again secured in place using super glue.


With all the parts fixed in place the kit turns into a good and impressive detailed P-12 with very close resemblance to the real thing.  For the fuselage I have used Tamiya color XF-62 olive drab while the wings and tailplanes and fin were in Humbrol gloss yellow No69 with a few drops of red added to it. I started with the wings which were first given a semi matt white undercoat and after a few hours airbrushed in the yellow mix. The instructions clearly indicate that the lower wings centre section should also be painted yellow when in fact this is part of the fuselage that should be retained olive drab. The box art also shows that this mid section should be olive drab as also indicates photos published in Air Enthusiast No9 which has an article on the P-12, and also reference to SAM Vol 20,No 10 ‘Aircraft in detail drawing’ on P487.


 I enjoyed building this kit to represent a Boeing P-12B, 29-332, 1 of 95th Pursuit Squadron, I st Pursuit Group, 1931., made up into an interesting distinctive model of the 1930s era. This kit should appeal to those entire keen on biplane fighters particularly to those of the 1930s era.

December 2008

Carmel J. Attard

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