Akatombo Works 1/72 Sud-Est SE.5000 Baroudeur

KIT #: 2600
PRICE: $57.00 SRP from Cooper's Models
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run resin kit with vacuform canopy


SNCASE S.E.5000 Baroudeur was a lightweight fighter, designed to operate from grass airfields. It used a wheeled trolley that could be used for take off from grass, and three retractable skids, the third at the tail for landing and for take off from snow or ice-covered surfaces. The three wheeled trolley had provision to use rockets (two or four according to terrain plus two back-up) if needed to assist. Apart from the landing gear the aircraft was a conventional shoulder-wing monoplane with a 38 degree swept wing and tail surfaces and powered by a SNECMA Atar 101C turbojet with wing-root intakes. The first of two prototypes flew on the 1 August 1953. Three pre-production aircraft designated the S.E.5003 were also built with Atar 101D turbojet engines but the type was not ordered into production.

This is a short run resin kit straight from the old school of garage kits. This means that the parts are fairly well molded, though they have air pockets in various spots and there is a goodly amount of resin flash to take care of. Many of the parts are in resin wafers. I have not shown all the parts in the photo as most of them came loose from their sprues/wafers and were in with a mass of shavings in the bag. However, these images are pretty typical of how the pieces look.

It means that this kit is not for the beginner, but for those who have had experience building resin kits. And that is just fine. Modelers who are attracted to things like this are fully aware that additional and in some cases considerable work will need to be done to produce a finished model to acceptable standards.

There are about 20 parts to this kit, several of them making up the launching and handling trolley. The fuselage is in three parts; two main fuselage halves and a complete tail section. Test fitting of the forward halves shows the fit to be good and the panel lines match from side to side. The horizontal stab slots into the fin. Wings are of tab and slot, though Akatombo recommends a wire stub reinforcement. The cockpit is quite basic consisting of a seat and instrument panel/combing. No control stick, rudder pedals or other interior embellishments. The instructions recommends "Complete cockpit details by adding if desired". Five grams of nose weight is suggested and there is room in the hollowed out fuselage for that. A single vacuformed canopy is provided as is a mold for making more if you need to do so. This is a nice addition, though I would have rather had a ready to go spare canopy.

The trolley takes up a goodly number of parts with a frame, main wheels, nose 'strut' with dual wheels and fenders. There is supposed to be a wire mesh tray covering most of the underside, but this will have to be scratch built.

Instructions are basically a list of suggestions and an exploded view of all the parts. Pinched from Wings of Fame or Air International is a nicely drawn cut away. Another sheet includes 1/72 plans and there is a glossy sheet with well over a dozen nicely done photographs of the real aircraft to provide assistance. This includes several close up images of the skids and the trolley. A decal sheet is provided for the kit. The decals are nicel printed, quite flat and do not seem to have any carrier. However, Atakombo provides more than are needed so one can use one to experiment. One could use aftermarket for the roundels if needed. No markings diagram is given, though one has the box art and photos that can be used for this purpose. From what I recall reading one of the references  provided on the sheet several years back, the aircraft was unpainted metal.

I fully realize that kits like this are not everyone's idea of a nice time, but many of us like not only unusual subjects like this, but the challenge of making a nice model from these types of kits. French prototypes are not frequently found and I am glad that someone has taken the time to make things like this available to us. For those interested, apparently this kit is or will be available in 1/48 scale as well. I know that I will be starting on this soon so stay tuned.



My thanks to Cooper's Models for the review kit. Visit the link to order yours.

November 2011

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