Croco 1/72 Clark GA.43
KIT #: ?
PRICE: $
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run resin kit for the experienced modeler.

HISTORY

The General Aviation GA-43 was an airliner produced in small numbers in the United States in the mid-1930s, also known as the Pilgrim 150, Fairchild 150, and Clark GA-43. The prototype was developed and built by Fairchild's American Pilgrim division, but the program was taken over by General Aviation when the firm purchased American Pilgrim shortly before the prototype had flown. Although this first flight took place in 1932, manufacture did not commence until 1934, by which time General Motors had, in turn, gained a controlling interest in North American Aviation and merged it with General Aviation, which they already owned. The upshot of this was that the GA-43 became the first aircraft produced by North American. The GA-43 was a conventional low-wing cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction. The prototype had fixed tailwheel landing gear, but the main units of this were later changed to be made retractable, and three of the four production examples also had retractable mainwheels, the fourth aircraft having twin pontoons instead. The oval-section fuselage contained a ten-seat passenger cabin, and the cockpit was located atop the fuselage under a separate canopy.

THE KIT

This is very much your standard garage kit, but without the issue of molding glitches. That means no air bubbles or pockets, though you do have to trim a bit of resin flash and the remove some of the pour stubs from parts prior to use. Not a big deal and standard stuff for those who build these sorts of kits.

The sturdy box comes with two bags that contain the various parts and one that has duplicates of the vacuformed clear bits. A nice decal sheet is also provided. This kit does not rely on p.e. for detail bits.

The interior is nicely done with a cockpit that contains a pair of seats, control columns and an instrument panel on which are attached the rudder pedals. There is a bulkhead that opens to the cabin. Within this cabin are ten three piece passenger seats along with an overhead storage rack. The seats attach to the sidewalls after one installs the clear vacuform windows. In the back is a bulkhead and each fuselage half has a separate entrance door that you can pose open if you so wish. There is a detail drawing to assist in getting the seats in place.

The tail section has a separate fin and stabilizers along with a separate tail cone. The vac windscreen section fits into a roof section and this is then glued to the upper fuselage.

Wings are three pieces with a center section and two outer wings. There is overlap between the center section and each wing. Landing gear are in pods that fit into recesses in the wing center section. The landing gear are reinforced with wire to hold the weight of of the completed kit. The engine fits into a single piece cowling with a three piece prop. Two different styles of tail gear are also provided.

Instructions are well drawn on a single sheet of paper. Again, the parts are numbered, but there is no parts diagram for reference. Easy enough to find the bits in the bags. Markings are provided for two planes. Both are in overall unpainted metal with one being the box photo plane with Swissair and another with LAPE  (Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas), was the Spanish national airline during the Second Spanish Republic. You can find a fair number of photos on the 'net to help you with markings placement as Croco does not supply painting and markings information with their kits.

CONCLUSIONS

The only way to get interesting kits like this is with resin as the major kits makers won't touch them. If you have the skills for a resin kit, then you should have no issues with this one.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Aviation_GA-43

June 2020

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Thanks to Croco  for the review kit. Contact the owner at You can find this kit on line by doing a search. You can also contact them direct at sniff23@inbox.lv.

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