Azur 1/48 Latecoere 298




@$45 AUD


Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run kit with vac canopy and resin bits


Now you are probably thinking that this is just another ugly French aircraft. Fortunately, this one is somewhat nicer looking than the average pre-war Gallic construct. The Late 298 was a multi-place, multi-purpose twin float seaplane that first flew in mid 1936. Its intended missions were torpedo bombing and shallow glide bombing using two 150 kg bombs. It had twin forward firing 7.5mm machine guns with a third in the rear on a flexible mounting.

A total of 130 were built, including 20 built just for the Vichy government after the fall of France. Two escadrilles operated from the seaplane tender Commandant Teste and the type was mildly successful in May-June 1940 against the Germans and their blitzkrieg. Many were able to continue operation with the Vichy as well as Free French forces. Several were also used by the Luftwaffe for liaison duties. Those that survived the war were used by the Aeronavale for several more years before being replaced by more modern types.


As you undoubtedly know by now, Azur is one of the MPM family of companies. As MPM improves so so all the others. This kit is one of the best so far. The sprue attachment points are small, the detailing on the surface is excellent. There is practically no flash, sink marks or ejector pin marks. The larger pieces do have some small ejector towers to remove, but that is to be expected from any short run kit. Unlike other MPM kits, the Azur brand includes two canopies, both of these being vac formed.

The resin parts are mostly for the interior. In this case it is very well equipped with full sidewall and floor detail. The cockpit floor is actually attached to the back side of the bomb/torpedo bay. In addition to the usual seats and control sticks, there are extra pieces for bracing and instrument panels. Oddly, there are no rudder pedals that I could see. Resin is also used for the torpedo fins and prop as well as for many of the scoops that festoon the airframe.

The wings and tail planes are butt joined, but shouldn't be a problem. The rather large floats are each of four pieces plus struts. While it looks complicated, it really isn't and should be a very sturdy assembly. Though I'm not sure if this will tail sit or not, I'd be inclined to add some weight to the front of the floats just to be sure. The only weapon given with the kit is the torpedo. Bombs were most likely the weapons used during their short war use and if doing the Luftwaffe version, there would probably be no weapon carried at all as, to my knowledge,  the Luftwaffe didn't use them offensively.

The instructions are what we have come to expect from MPM/Azur and are well done. There plenty of alignment diagrams provided and the painting/decal guides are well done. Markings are for two aircraft; one from Escquadrille HB 1 as shown on the box art. The other is for a Luftwaffe machine in the sea scheme of RLM 72/73/65. The rudder/elevator stripes on the French version will have to be painted. Decals are superbly done by Propagteam and should fit extremely well.



For those whose tastes run toward the more unusual, this one certainly fits the bill. Engineering and fit of Azur kits has been improving over time and this one looks to be one of the best. Recommended to all who have an interest in the type and have had a bit of experience with short run multimedia kits. Now all we have to do is get these with injected plastic canopies!

Review kit courtesy of the author.

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