Pro Resin 1/72 Seagull ASR.1
|Scott Van Aken
|Resin kit with vacuformed clear parts
The Supermarine Seagull ASR-1 was a British amphibious, military flying boat and the last to be built by the Supermarine company. Design started during the Second World War but it did not fly until three years after the war had ended and the project was cancelled without it being adopted for service.
In October 1940, the British Air Ministry issued Specification S.12/40 to Supermarine and Fairey for a catapult-launched, amphibian, reconnaissance and spotter aircraft to replace the Supermarine Walrus and Supermarine Sea Otter. An order for three prototypes of Supermarine's aircraft was issued in April 1943.
There was an interruption in design due to the necessity of moving the Supermarine design office, after the bombing of the facility at Woolston. Further delays were caused by the extensive wind tunnel testing that was needed and the change from a Rolls-Royce Merlin to the more powerful Rolls-Royce Griffon. Also, the design specification was changed in 1944 to a new requirement, S.14/44 (later S.14/44/2) - the role of the aircraft being changed from reconnaissance and gunnery spotting to Air-sea rescue. This change removed the four-gun turret the design had featured.
The first prototype - Seagull serial PA143 - first took off on 14 July, 1948 from Southampton Water, flown by test pilot Mike Lithgow. The second aircraft - PA147 - flew in September 1949, and was used for carrier trials on HMS Ark Royal later in that year, during which it demonstrated the capability to carry five passengers. Experiments were also carried out with rocket assisted take-offs.
By the early 1950s, helicopters were taking over the air-sea rescue role. In 1952, the two completed prototypes and the partially-built third aircraft, PA152, were scrapped.
ProResin has chosen a most interesting subject for their next resin kit. The Seagull ASR.1 kit is molded in ProResin's usual high quality resin. The detail is very good with almost no molding glitches that one usually gets with resin kits. The full fuselage halves have nicely done detail molded into the inside. The kit includes a full cockpit section with seats, control wheels and other interior details. The instrument panel is provided with a decal. There are a pair of well done vacuform canopies to fill the cockpit area and a sheet of clear film for the cabin windows.
As this is a tail dragger, there is no need to be concerned about nose weight. The sturdy landing gear fits into separate wheel wells that are cemented to the inside of the hull. This aircraft has a contra-rotating prop and ProResin has provided a pre-drilled spinner in which one simply installs the prop blaces. The instructions don't really show that the fore and aft set of blades face in different directions so one needs to keep that in mind for the build. I also had some of my blades warped by being trapped in another larger part in the bag, but some hot air from a hair dryer will easily straighten those out. The one piece wings butt join to the engine nacelle piece. Those who are concerned about them staying in place can drill out areas for metal rod sections to strengthen the join.
Instructions are on a single folded piece of paper that has the history of the type and the color and markings guide on one side with the construction details on the other. The drawings are superbly done and there are a variety of paint company options provided. Decals for the lone prototype are superbly printed and appear quite thin.
This is a superb kit of a very interesting subject, especially if you are into prototypes or seaplanes. It is a cool looking aircraft in its own right and will be a real talking point when you show it to your friends.
March 2011 Thanks to Pro Resin for the preview kit. Visit their website for a list of retailers, one of which iswww.rollmodels.com If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Review Index Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to Pro Resin for the preview kit. Visit their website for a list of retailers, one of which iswww.rollmodels.com
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page
Back to the Previews Index Page