Signifer 1/48 JRF-5 'Goose'
|KIT #:||SIG 48001|
|PRICE:||€35.88 from Signifer|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Multimedia kit with a ton of resin.|
As well as being marketed to small air carriers, the G-21 was also promoted as a military transport. In 1938, the US Army Air Force purchased the type as the OA-9 (later, in the war years, examples bought from civilian owners were designated the OA-13A) the United States Navy variants were designated the JRF.
The amphibian was soon adopted by the Coast Guard and, during World War II, it also served with the RCAF in the transport, reconnaissance, rescue and training roles, and used for air-sea rescue duties by the RAF. The RAF, in a common naming convention with all of its aircraft, designated it "Goose".
On returning to civilian service, after the war, the Goose found use from the wilderness of Alaska to the sunny climes of Catalina.
A total of 345 were built, with about 60 still airworthy today, some of them in modified forms.
The first thing I'll say is that this is definitely not the Czech Model kit. Signifer prides itself in producing high quality kits with superb detailing and this one definitely has that. The surface detailing on the plastic parts is crisply done with engraved panel lines and other detailing. To be sure it is still in the realm of short run. Injected plastic is basically used for the airframe itself with the majority of detail parts being done in resin. The quality of the molding and level of detail in these resin parts is second to none. Though the colors may be a bit different from what you are used to, you'll be extremely pleased with the attention to detail.
As you can see from the two parts images, there are two sprues of injected plastic that cover the basic airframe. OK, three as there is an injected windscreen. There are fuselage halves, upper and lower wings, engine cowlings, props, interior floor and a couple of smaller bits. Just about everything else is resin. The only exception to that are some sections of wire and a vacuformed windscreen. I guess the vac windscreen is a backup to the injected one. The cabin windows are pre-punched sections of acetate that fit into indentations around the inside of the windows.
A couple of things about the resin parts. First is the they will need some cleanup to remove attachment stubs and perhaps a little bit of flash. Secondly, the one-piece outer floats have piano wire encased in the attachment struts. This is also true of the main landing gear legs (molded in tan). There are also clear resin formation lights. All of the control surfaces are resin as are the tailplanes. Three major interior bits, the very forward anchor locker, the cockpit forward section that includes the side panels and instrument panel, and the very well detailed overhead panel/aft cockpit bulkhead section are incredibly detailed. There are four interior seats that are properly plush.
Instructions are very well done with a layout of all the parts and a full side diagram that shows where in the interior all the various pieces fit in relation to each other. The main construction steps are really a series of detail construction procedures covering different areas of interest. Throughout it shows any additional drilling that might be needed to ensure a good fit. Inside color information is also provided, though I'm not sure I know of anyone who makes Light Fawn. Some parts, like the pitot tube are to be made from the wire provided with the copper wire to be used for spark plug leads on the engines.
The two decal sheets provide markings for one of four airplanes. One is a French Navy version in overall sea blue, a US Navy aircraft in the tri-color scheme, an RAF aircraft in a segmented camouflage scheme and a post war Japanese plane in what seems to be overall light grey. All the camouflage colors are shown with Gunze and Humbrol references. The two decal sheets are very nicely done and do not appear to suffer from any problems with registration.
I have to say that by looking at all the parts and the general quality of detailing that this is the antithesis of the common perception of French short run kits. It looks to be an outstanding kit and an equally outstanding value, especially when one considers all the resin you get with this kit. At the current exchange rate and the non-VAT €30.00 price, this kit is under $40. Priority shipping still brings it under the MSRP for the inferior Czech Model kit.
My thanks to Signifer
for the preview kit. Get yours on-line from the link. Overseas gets a break on
the 19% French VAT.
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