|KIT:||Planet Models 1/72 SNCASE SE.100|
|PRICE:||$53.50 from GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin with vacuformed clear bits.|
In the mid-late 1930s, the French realized that there was going to be trouble and so many designs for new, more modern aircraft were created. One was for a heavy fighter and the private company Loriet et Olivier (LeO) put forth the LeO 50. This company was nationalized and put under the SNCASE concern, ergo the change in design name to SE.100.
This unconventional aircraft had a steel tube fuselage covered with duralumin and wooden wings. Two Gnome Rhone 14N radials were the power. Undercarriage was quite unusual with a large and bulky front gear and small auxiliary wheels in the base of the fins. Armament consisted of four nose guns and one large cannon in the rear.
The initial flight of the prototype took place in early 1939 and several variants were planned. Flight performance was excellent and production plans were hurriedly made to get the aircraft into production. However in April of 1940 the prototype was destroyed due to one of the engine's props going into reverse pitch while landing. This was not good and the second prototype was hurried to completion. This latter aircraft was to be larger in all dimensions, but the German occupation of Paris put the end to all additional development and the aircraft disappeared into history.
Planet Models has been producing quality resin kits for a long time and is one of the better companies in terms of the quality of their products. Shipped in the now familiar segmented bag, the parts have the usual small amounts of flash and some pinholes or air pockets in a few places. Nothing major that an experienced resin kit builder cannot overcome.
This kit does have quite a few parts as there is a lot of detail in the bags. It does provide the proper handed prop blades as well as a most complete and detailed interior; both for the pilot and for the rear gunner/radio operator. The complex design of the main landing gear is very well executed and one can pose the main entry door and rear transparency open or closed. A second set of transparencies is included and I do appreciate their kindness in doing so.
Instructions are superb with five major construction steps and smaller sub-steps for doing some of the more detailed stuff. Color information is provided during the build and while it is generic in nature, most of us can find paints to match. Typically, a few small bits are required to be made from stretched sprue or wire. Color options are for one aircraft in natural metal and one that is camouflaged in a disruptive pattern. Planet goofed on the well printed decal sheet by only supplying one set of rudder tricolors, when there should be two. I have sent a letter to the company requesting a second set of decals as their website has not been updated since its inception nearly a year and a half ago, and provides no contact information.
Yet another interesting and unusual aircraft that one can only find in 1/72 scale and in a medium other than injected styrene. I've enjoyed all the previous Planet Model builds and expect this one to be just as enjoyable. It is a kit I'd recommend to those with a few simpler resin kits under your belts as much to the complexity of it as anything else.
I used the kit instructions on this one.
You can find this and other fine products at GreatModels
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