|KIT:||Pavla 1/72 Miles Master I/IA|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run kit|
In the mid 1930s there was a requirement for an advanced trainer that would allow future fighter pilots to be able to get used to modern low wing aircraft with retractable landing gear. The Miles company offered its M.9, a Rolls-Royce Kestrel powered aircraft which basically met all the requirements. Its maiden flight was in June of 1937 and in 1938, the RAF ordered 900 aircraft (!). The only change from the prototype was to move the radiator back to even with the wing and the substitution of a 715 hp Kestrel XVI engine. The tailplane was also enlarged to provide greater control and stability. The first production aircraft was delivered in march 1939.
The aircraft was able to handle small bombs and a gun pod for use in gunnery training. When the war got bleak in 1940, Miles offered a single seat 'emergency fighter' with six Browning .0303 machine guns. Only 24 were built and later converted back to trainers. During production the canopy was altered to a more slanted front and cut down rear section to allow the instructor better side view. This became the Master IA. In total, 898 of the 900 ordered were built in two production blocks.
This is a very typical Pavla kit. There is a single sprue of injected plastic, one bag of resin parts and two sets of vacuformed canopies. All of the plastic parts suffer somewhat from varying degrees of flash, though non of it is severe. Most of the small detail bits are in resin and that includes the cockpit floor, seats, instrument panels, control sticks, sidewall boxes, radiator, wheels, and individual exhaust stacks. There are two different vacuformed canopies provided, depending on if you are doing a Master I or Master IA. Each type offers a duplicate vacuform canopy (thank you).
There are large ejector towers in the wings and fuselage that will have to be removed. I also found that the three individual prop blades have sink areas on them that will need to be filled. The kit provided the large wing leading edge landing light assembly, but you'll have to cut away the area on the wing and find your own clear lens to fit in its place. If doing the Master IA, you will have to cut away the rear section of the cockpit side to accommodate the deeper cockpit transparency. The instructions have a drawing to assist in both situations.
Instructions are very well done, not only providing color information, but several smaller instructional drawings to show how to perform any surgery or what the end result of that subassembly should look like. Most helpful. The color chart offers generic, Humbrol and Aga color information as well as any FS 595 numbers should they be needed. Markings are for two aircraft, both of which are shown on the box art. N7576 is a Mk I while N7547 is the Mk IA. Both are in the standard training scheme of Dark Earth and Dark Green over Trainer Yellow. The decals are very well printed and should work beautifully. One thing that Czech kits generally have are superior decals.
Here is yet another replacement for an old Frog kit. It is something that would have minimal appeal in most respects as it doesn't carry things that explode or knock holes in other things. Yet there are enough folks out there who like trainers to make it a worth while purchase.
This kit is courtesy of me
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