Azur 1/72 Potex 452






Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run kit`


Let's say you wanted to build a model of an odd looking plane. Chances are you would choose something French. If you wanted to choose an odd looking French plane, then perhaps Potez would fill the bill. Especially if that aircraft was a small flying boat. Not to slam the French for their aviation abilities, but many of us think that pre WWII French planes were, for the most part, a bit unusual looking compared to contemporaries.

My database includes darn little on this genre of aircraft so I'll have to crib from the instructions for a history. The Potez 452 was built to a requirement for a shipboard observation seaplane. The prototype flew in 1935 and was also chosen by the Spanish. However no Spanish planes were built due to the untimely Spanish Civil War. In France, they saw service aboard several French capital ships, including the battleship Lorraine. Post 1940 armistice, these aircraft were used in combat in French Indochina against the Thai. The type remained in service until 1944 with the Vichy French air force.



Whatcha got here is your typical Czech short run kit. You got your sprue of finely detailed plastic, your vacuformed canopies, your resin bits and your Propagteam decals. You also have your French blue that is too light on the decals. The overall exterior detailing is quite good. For the interior you have two seats, a floor, a control stick, two instrument panels and rudder pedals. Any additional detailing is completely up to the builder. You also have a single defensive machine gun for the back seater.

The rest of the kit is pretty straight-forward. Parts are butt joined and this particular one has a LOT of struts due to its parasol wing. However, Azur has provided a plastic template to be used when positioning the wing so that you get the engine angle of incidence correct. The resin bits are for the Handly Page leading edge slats, which would be difficult to mold in styrene. A great deal of careful construction will be needed to build this kit because of all the strut work. However, the instructions are well done and so you should have no real trouble getting things properly placed.

As mentioned, the decals are from Propagteam so will be excellent. The blue is also a bit too light compared to the box art and to just about all references to French aircraft of the period. You have three schemes to choose from, all of them painted light blue grey uppers with matte black float and hull undersides. One from the battleship Lorraine, one with Vichy stripes (have fun painting those), and the other land based at Ream in early 1940. You get extra red, white and blue stripes to do the elevators of two plane and you get the upper and lower tricolor wing stripes for the Vichy plane.


If you have experience with short run kits, then this one should not be too much of a problem. Beginners to the genre should not choose this one to start with as the struts will probably be too much. One thing is for certain, when done, it will be a centerpiece of attention!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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