|KIT:||Khee-Kha Art Products 1/72 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Vacuform with resin parts|
Introduced in 1929, the Bellanca CH-300 and PM-300 were developed from Guiseppe Bellanca's already successful line of pioneering monoplanes by the addition of the Wright J-6 engine. Establishing an early reputation for speed and efficiency at the 1929 National Air Races, Pacemakers were soon earning their keep with small airlines and charter operations.
Having good load hauling capabilities on wheels, skis or floats, these rugged workhorses quickly found their way into the bush country of Canada and Alaska. Some were also built under license for the RCAF. The PM-300, externally indistinguishable from the CH-300, was designed to be more easily converted from passenger to freight service and was the first to carry the name 'Pacemaker'.
It is often the case that to get the really interesting kits, one has to go to materials outside of the mainstream injected kits. This means either resin or vacuformed plastic. It is in this latter medium that Khee-Kha has chosen to mold this and some other pioneering bush aircraft of the 1920s and 30s. This Bellanca kit is pressed on a single sheet of relatively thick plastic and includes all of the basic airframe.
The sheet includes optional wheels as well as floor and bulkhead pieces. There is an instrument panel and parts for the interior seats as well. Some of the small detail bits will have to come from the spares box or will need to be scratch-built. A clear canopy and acetate sheet is provided as well. Resin is used for the nose section, engine, exhaust and propeller. These are quite nicely molded.
The instructions are very well done, taking the builder through each step of the construction process. Information on building helpful templates and on the handling of vac plastic is also given. I especially liked the additional drawings that are included on how to make some of these templates and other construction assistance. They provide the sort of depth that I wish some mainstream instruction sheets provided.
Though not a kit for beginners, if one is careful and reads the instructions, there should be no problem. No decals are provided though there are several profiles included for suggestions. A well done three-view is also given to help with the finished product. There is a link to Whiskey Jack decals on the website and several optional schemes are provided just for this kit.
Though not a kit for all of you, it is great that there is a manufacturer (and this is a cottage industry), that cares enough to provide the means to do some great bush aircraft. I particularly like the care that has gone into the instructions and the quality of the resin castings. If you have not tried a vacuformed kit and are ready to handle the additional work it takes to have something different from the norm, then I can recommend this one to you.
Thanks to Khee-Kha
for the review kit. Visit their website for more information on this and
other kits, as well as info on how to obtain decals.
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If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 350,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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Back to the Previews Index Page