JACH 1/72 Baynes Bat

KIT #

72101

PRICE:

$21.98 ($19.97 at Squadron)

DECALS:

One option

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

Includes etched fret

BACKGROUND

For a look at what comes in the box and a short history, please visit the preview.
 

CONSTRUCTION

To repeat a cliché, I started with the interior. Not much there other than a floor, seat, stick and instrument panel. There is also a rear bulkhead. Interestingly, the floor is thicker at the front than the rear; a bit opposite of the way the fuselage is shaped so I had to do some trimming as the forward section was too wide. I also discovered that you can't have the instrument panel and the control stick in there at the same time as there isn't room. The cockpit also sits up a bit too high, but it won't fit any lower and the aft bulkhead doesn't reach down that far. I chose to leave off the control stick and glue in the instrument panel.

I then glue the fuselage halves together. No real problems here. There are sink holes on the upper wing stubs that need filler and that was done. I then glued on the wings. The left one wasn't any real problem though a little bit thicker than the wing root. The right one was even thicker than the left and the attachment tongue was such that it fit way too high on the top. I ended up cutting off the tongue and butt joining the right wing. As you can see from the image, it isn't a filler-free kit. You can also see the poor fit of the instrument panel and its odd location in the cockpit. Anyway, I applied a goodly amount of filler and after it dried, started sanding. It took another coat and more sanding but once that was done, it was nice a smooth.

I then glued the fins onto the wing tips. Then I painted the cockpit British Interior Green using the Testors ModelMaster enamels. I did no detail work at all as the cockpit is a bit too thick to actually see anything in there. I masked the canopy and glued it in place. Then it was time to paint.

COLORS AND MARKINGS

This is a rather colorful aircraft with lots of yellow. I first sprayed the entire underside and the outer upper wings in white using Floquil Reefer White lacquer paints. This provides a nice base for the yellow. Going over to the Xtracolor line, I used RAF Trainer Yellow over all the places that had been painted white. Once that had dried, I masked off the underside and sprayed the wide black bands with Floquil Engine Black lacquer. On the upper side, the yellow was masked and the remaining upper surface and fins were painted RAF Dark Green using Testors ModelMaster enamels. Then the Dark Green was masked and Testors paint was again used for the Dark Earth. All of this took several days. I removed the masking from all but the canopy and sprayed on some Future clear gloss acrylic.

Then it was time to attach all the etched pieces. This includes the landing skid, elevator and rudder balances, tow line attachment, pitot tube and a second tube sensor in the nose. For all the parts other than the skid, I drilled depressions so that it would be much easier to attach the P.E. parts. It may not be standard procedure, but it definitely helps. Then I made my one big screw-up. I tried to touchup the yellow on the nose that had gotten some overspray and made a huge mess of things. With all  the PE already in place and time running low, I tossed up my hands in resignation and continued on.

The kit decals were used for all but the upper wing insignia, which had become damaged during shipment. I used Modeldecal insignia in its place. The kit decals are thin, well printed and  impervious to setting solutions. I went through the whole gamut from Microscale to Solvaset and then Champ with no luck at all. Fortunately most of the decals are on flat areas of the kit, but those that have to conform to any depressions or ridges stubbornly refused to cooperate.

I then sprayed semi-gloss clear onto it, removed the masking from the canopy, touch-up painted the etched bits and I was done. 

CONCLUSIONS

Though not a weekend project (actually, I've not had one of those in about 20 years), it isn't that fussy a build. The fit of the parts is not great, but then again, it isn't that bad and for a short run kit, that is usually about the best one can hope for. Most of your time will be spent painting (as in many days) and attaching the photo-etched parts. It does make for a most interesting addition to one's collection. I'll leave the decision to pay out that kind of money on a kit like this to you.

March 2004
# 1309 in a series

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