Matchbox 1/72 Provost T.1

KIT #: PK-30
PRICE: $4.00
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Percival P.56 Provost was a British ab initio trainer that was developed for the Royal Air Force in the 1950s as a replacement for the Percival Prentice. It was a low-wing, monoplane with a fixed, tailwheel undercarriage and had an unusual side-by-side seating arrangement. The Provost has the distinction of being the last piston-engine basic trainer aircraft to be operated by the RAF.

The Provost was later adapted to make use of a turbojet engine, producing the BAC Jet Provost. The type was withdrawn in the 1960s, in favour of its jet-powered successor. The aircraft was exported to Ireland, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Oman, Burma, Iraq, Malaysia, and Sudan. Several are still flying in the UK.


This is a standard series one Matchbox kit with the window in the box and multi-color sprues; in this case white and red are used. Detailing is of the raised variety and while the kit is pretty basic, it is also nicely done.

The cockpit is simply a tub in which the two seats, a roll bar and crew figures are placed. The engine face fits into a three piece cowling of which the front is a single piece. There is a one piece prop and a spinner to attach to it. Wings are two pieces on each side and slot into the fusleage. A one piece tail slots into the rear once the fuselage halves are glued together.

This aircraft has fixed gear with each leg having a separate wheel. A tail wheel is a single molding. Other bits are an exhaust stub, carb and oil cooler intake and a pitot tube. The canopy is a single piece with somewhat thick framelines.

Markings are for two planes. One is a camouflaged version with the Omani Air Force and the other is the box art plane with the RAF Central Flying School. I assume all of these are from the mid-late 1950s. Decals are nicely printed and I snipped a piece from the sheet to see if they were still viable, which, despite their age, they are. Good thing, too, as aftermarket sheets for this one are not common at all. You may notice that the reds are all off register to some extent or another, requiring new roundels at the very least. The instructions are typical of Matchbox for the time with all the detail painting information provided at the end of the instructions. My kit was missing the stand and the pilot figures as it was bought second-hand.


It is pretty clear from the lack of an upgraded kit that this isn't a hugely popular subject. However, that was one of the nice things about Matchbox in that they did things others did not and with a bit of looking, one can still find these.


April 2014

Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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