Heller 1/72 CM-170 Magister

Kit Number: 220

Price: $3.00

Decals : for one version, the Patrouille de France

Overall: see review

Comments: For a period of time in the 1980's, Heller made the best and most accurate kits on the market. For a number of subjects, this is still true. The Magister is a kit that, to my knowledge and at the time of this writing, is only made by Heller and Airfix and it is a super little kit.

It has almost no fit problems although it is a major tail sitter and little place for the weight. I have built several of these kits and have always had trouble getting the canopy from the tree without screwing it up. The attachment points are right on a clear spot instead of framing so any goof is nearly impossible to fix.

I built this kit as a basis for Daco's decal sheet for MT-30, a specially painted Belgian aircraft. Belgium and Italy are renown for their special schemes for aircraft, with the Belgians doing more schemes than anyone. Once the kit was built, I used Daco's specially mixed paint to apply the colors to the kit. This went on without a hitch. If I might comment on Daco's paint, I would rather have them put it is a metal tin as the plastic bottle with plastic snap top meant that the other three colors I bought have all dried up due to evaporation through the snap top. The Decal sheet comes with all the separate colors requiring a separate decal. This means that some of the unit insignia are built up of four or more decals. While this does eliminate registration problems, it also means that the decals end up being made of a mass of built up areas. It also gives one more opportunities for air bubbles. I'd rather have all the colors in one and chance the registration problems. This has prevented me from buying any other Daco decal sheets.

Anyway, the finished kit looks pretty good despite the decals. I would recommend this kit to any who like the Magister.

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