Testors 1/72 Waco CG-4 Hadrian




$5 back in 1984


Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Italeri kit`


Think of aircraft that helped win the Second World War and what you DON'T think of is the glider. Yet the glider was instrumental in a number of successful Allied assaults. The biggies were D-day and Market Garden in Europe an as an essential means of moving troops and supplies in the Burma campaign.

The most widely used US glider was the Waco CG-4A. The majority of the 13,000 built were built by Waco, an Ohio company whose expertise in light aircraft was critical to designing and building these planes as the technology was basically the same. Built of a  steel tube frame with some plywood and lots of fabric, the CG-4 was considered to be a one use aircraft, but it was found that with care, the plane could be used over and over again. Simple in design and relatively easy to fly, once it got up to speed, the CG-4 was able to carry 13 troops in addition to the pilot and co-pilot. It was also able to carry small vehicles like a jeep and perhaps a small field gun as well. The forward hinging cockpit section allowed for easy loading and unloading of troops and materiel.

The CG-4 was not a small glider and needed an aircraft with some heft to pull it into the air. The most common tow aircraft were C-47, which could pull two of them. If the C-46 was the tug, then three could be towed aloft. After the war there really was no longer a need for an assault glider and those CG-4s that were not lost in crashes were quickly broken up and destroyed.



Interestingly, Italeri's kit of the CG-4 is a highly sought after model. I'm basically showing you mine as a "Nya-nya, I have one and you don't..". No really, it is a super little kit and it is a wonder that Italeri does not reissue it. To my knowledge this boxing by Testors was the last time it was available. There is hope as the larger Horsa glider was resissued a year or so ago.

Typical of models of the time, the surface detailing is all of the raised panel line variety. Much of the kit is taken up with the interior. There are the side mounted canvas seats with lots of itty bitty seat supports to glue on. The cockpit section is designed to be hinged, just as on the real glider and is supplied with two seats, control sticks, rudder pedals and in a nice instrument console. Both wheels and skids are supplied as it seems that the CG-4 operated with both and probably jettisoned the wheels if the landing zone was too soft or rough for wheels. I don't think these gliders had wheel brakes, so landing must have been fun.

Instructions are superb as it was with all Testors kits of the time. Decals are offered for three versions and are done by Microscale. Two are US so are in the OD and neutral grey scheme. One with earlier markings to represent a glider in the Sicily invasion, and the other in later markings and D-day stripes for the D-day landings. You can replace the US with British markings to show a British glider, though I don't think the roundels and fin flash are proper for a wartime British aircraft. The third scheme is an overall aluminum enamel painted British training glider from 1950.

If you can find this kit and not have to pay a king's ransom for it, I would highly recommend it. If nothing else, it will be something different in your collection.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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