|KIT:||Kiwi Resins 1/72 Percival Vega Gull|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin with vacuformed canopy|
The Percival Vega Gull was a pre-war civilian version of the Percival Proctor, which was also a development of the pre-war Gull. The prototype D.1 Gull (G-ABUR), a three seat tourer first appeared in 1932. This was followed by the D.2 which was more commonly known as the Gull IV. In 1934 Percival introduced the D.3 Gull Six which featured the DH Gipsy Six engine, improved undercarriage and cabin arrangements, but retained the Gull IV folding wing. It was in a Gull, G-ADPR that New Zealand Aviatrix Jean Batten set many of her records.
In November 1935 the four seat K.1
Vega Gull was introduced. Powered by the same DH Gipsy Six engine this
introduced dual controls and flaps, and was very successful with 90 being
produced up till July 1939.
A total of 7 Vega Gulls served with the Fleet Air Arm, 5 of which were impressed in January till March 1940, and another being ex RAF Middle East provided to the RN in Dekheila March 1941. It was primarily used for training and communication work.
The first Vega Gull P5986 was acquired in May 1939, and the first unit being equipped was 754 squadron at Lee on Solent on 24 May 1939. The aircraft G-AFIT served with 780 squadron briefly from June - July 1940 at the height of threat from Nazi invasion in the role of converting to naval standards civilian trained volunteer pilots.
The Vega Gull also served with the RAF and RAAF in a communications role. In fact, several other countries such as Spain and Belgium operated the type. A rather useful feature of the aircraft was the ability to fold back the wings for storage in small hangars. A rather substantial number of these aircraft are still on civil registries around the world.
It wasn't that long ago when nearly all resin kits were made by an individual working out of their garages. Of course, it is difficult to meet a large demand when working in this manner, but many very interesting kits were produced in this manner. Today a large number of resin bits and kits are somewhat mass produced and while the general quality of these parts is high, there is still room for the folks who sling resin out of their garages.
Kiwi Resin Models is one of those garage kit manufacturers who still do things the old ways and are able to produce some very interesting models as a result. This particular kit is cast in the usual tan resin and consists of some 25 resin and two vacuformed parts. The general level of the casting is quite good with nicely done detail. There are a few of the usual molding glitches that one finds with short run resin kits such as this. For instance there are air bubbles in the trailing edge of one wing and quite a few on the bottom of the fuselage. None will be difficult to fix using super glue or other fillers and such things are taken as a matter of course by those of us who build a lot of resin kits.
The fuselage has a hollowed out cockpit section into which are placed two front seats, a rear seat cushion, two control sticks, an instrument panel and panel anti-glare shield. The separate nose section glues onto the front and the spinner has separate props that are butt joined. While each wing is a solid piece, there are separate rudders and elevators. The landing gear are spatted and include the wheels. You may well notice the several resin wafers, well with small bits like are on them, it sometimes takes several castings to get all the bits right. Two vac canopies are provided (not shown), which is appreciated and the detail on them is good. One of mine has a large air bubble in one of the transparent areas, severely limiting its usefulness.
Instructions come on three sheets of standard paper. Two of the pages are a parts listing with the individual parts listed and checked off by Kiwi Resins to ensure all the bits are there. The rest of these two pages are some hints in construction. The third page is a very nice five view of the aircraft. There are no construction drawings so the builder is very much to their own devices when it comes to assembly. Fortunately, the Vega Gull is not a complex aircraft and construction is quite straight forward. The kit does not supply any markings so one will have to do some research to come up with an appropriate scheme. The box art photo shows a New Zealand version in what looks like Dark Earth/Dark Green over Yellow with basic roundels.
A most interesting kit and one that should be fun to build. Its basic construction makes this a kit that should appeal to those who like things a bit different and would make a good choice for those who are looking to building their first short run resin aircraft.
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Thanks to Kiwi Resin Models for the review sample. E-mail them at email@example.com for information on this and other Kiwi Resin kits.
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