|KIT:||ProResin 1/72 Boulton Paul P.120|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run resin kit with vac canopy|
The P.120 was a development of the earlier P.111 and P.111a aircraft and was intended to further the program of basic research into the delta wing planform. Although it looked like a straight-forward modification of the earlier airframe, with the provision for a swept fin and rudder and a horizontal tail surface (added to improve longitudinal and directional stability), it was a departure from the original design. For one thing, it was equipped with removable wing tips to explore how the differences in design would affect flight characteristics.
These differences might be thought to have a bearing on the aircraft's early demise, but, as shown during the investigation, had no bearing on the accident that destroyed the aircraft 23 days after its first flight in August of 1952. The first flight was not without incident and immediately showed the very powerful effect of the horizontal tailplane trimmer. Tests continued to open up the flight envelope and investigate the novel control layout when the pilot lost control and subsequently crashed the aircraft. It was the last aircraft to carry the Boulton Paul name.
Prior to this, the only kit in this scale of this plane that I can recall was the Project-X vacuformed kit produced by Maintrack Models. That was an excellent vacuformed kit, but this resin one is just that much better. This kit looks very much like the earlier P.111 kit and it is not surprising as many of the parts from that kit can be used on this one. This includes the fuselage, intake, exhaust, landing gear, interior; in short the tail section and wings are different. Molding quality is the same and very well done. I also found a few pin holes on the wings, fin and tailplane next to the pour block. Again, only a few and should be easily handled, but one should be very careful on sanding. I'm sure that removing the block will show a few more as this has happened on kits before. Primer or a dab or two of Mr. Surfacer 500 should fix those right up. Care needs to be taken when sanding as to not open new ones or damage the detail.
Again, I'd rather have a one-piece nose gear strut and fork, but ProResin must find it better to mold as two pieces. A superbly detailed cockpit is given along with the proper bang seat. Both fuselage halves will need to have the mating surfaces carefully sanded down to get a proper fit. There is excellent wheel wheel detail that extends to the wing root as well. This section helping to align the wings. One vacuformed canopy is provided and it is nicely done. The frame lines are not very prominent. Many of us prefer them to stand a bit proud. May not be prototypical, but does make it so much nicer to mask.
The instructions are very nicely done and provide all you need. There is a history of the type (which I pinched for much of the intro), a parts layout, and five very nicely drawn construction steps. These include some smaller diagrams for parts location. Color information is also given in the build sequence and on the back these colors are referenced to Humbrol, Revell and ModelMaster paints. The aircraft is an overall gloss black with matte black antiglare panel on the nose. Decals are very nicely done and seem to be in perfect register.
Another very nice British Prototype kit and one that I'm sure will be eagerly swept up from store shelves by those who like the unusual or who like prototype/experimental aircraft. This would make for an excellent first full resin kit as it is detailed enough to please most modelers and yet not so fussy that a beginner to the genre will have trouble.
My thanks to ProResin for the review kit.
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