Academy 1/72 T-6G Texan
|PRICE:||$7.99 on the price sticker|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is a single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), United States Navy, Royal Air Force, and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard, the name by which it is best known outside of the US. After 1962, US forces designated it the T-6. It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for air show demonstrations and static displays. It has also been used many times to simulate various Japanese aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero in movies depicting World War II in the Pacific.The last military to use the T-6/Harvard was the South African Air Force which retired the last one in 1995.
The T-6G was an earlier model AT-6/T-6 re-built between 1949-1953 with improved
cockpit layout, increased fuel capacity, steerable tailwheel, updated radios and
a 600hp R-1340-AN-1 engine. Identifiable by simplified canopy framing. 2068
Academy's kit has been with us for nearly two decades and is a very nice kit. I includes a well appointed interior with sidewall detailing. The roll over bar is molded into these side pieces making for easy assembly. Probably the only thing missing are seat belts.
In the front is an engine face with separate exhaust system. A single piece prop has the option of a spinner if you wish to add it. The cowling is a single piece and lacks the wartime gun trough. For those wondering, a wartime AT-6/SNJ cannot be built using this kit without replacing the cowling, canopy and some other bits.
Wings are a full lower piece and separate upper halves. There is a centerpiece that fits in to be the roof of the main gear well. Interestingly, the clear bits are a separate windscreen, separate forward canopy and the rest of the clear pieces are molded as one. At this stage, I'm not sure if the forward canopy can be posed open or not. There are different radio masts and an ADF antenna to be fitted.
The wing has separate aileron hinges on the bottom, separate landing lights and a radio antenna. Landing gear is nicely done and you have gear doors that can be attached, though not all planes had doors so check your references.
Instructions are well done with generic color names in several
languages. Markings are for the box art plane of the Korean Air Force, and
unpainted USAF 'Mosquito' as used in the Korean War and a camouflaged Israeli
airplane. The decals look very nice and while I have never had issues with
Academy decals, others have so be advised.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I chose the USAF LT-6G option which meant overall aluminum with a black anti-glare panel. I filled the wheel wells with Silly Putty, attached the pitot tube and radio mast before painting everything with Alclad II aluminum. Main wheels and tail wheel assembly was also painted aluminum and later brush painted with Tamiya's NATO black.
With that all done, I cemented on the landing gear to keep the airframe off the ground and then attached the engine and exhaust. I had to cut the mounting points from the back of the engine piece to get the proper cowling alignment.
The LT-6G option has red, white, and blue wing tips and fin tip. The Academy decals for these areas gave me fits. They refused to conform over the wing tips using standard (Microsol) decal fluid. In fact, the parts that needed to curve around flaked off when forced. Stronger fluids caused the inks to run. If doing this option, I highly recommend painting these areas. They are straight lines so should be fairly easy to do. The rest of the markings, since they did not have to go around tight curves, worked fine. Note that you'll need to cut the side numbers where they go around the steps. Unfortunately, finding aftermarked for the T-6 in this scale is not simple as not that much has actually been done.
Last steps were the installation of the prop and the remaining antennas as well as the gear doors. The landing light covers were a perfect fit as well. The masking was taken off and that was it.
This is really a great little kit, marred only by the less than great
decals. It is much nicer than the Heller kit, and miles ahead of the Airfix kit
(which is only one that actually does a Harvard). I've not built the Hobby Boss
kit so cannot use that as a comparison. The kit builds quickly and the end
result is a very nice little model for the display shelves.
23 December 2016
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