Special Hobby 1/72 CASA C.212-100
|PRICE:||$32.53 plus shipping|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
During the late 1960s, the Spanish Air Force was still operating a number of outdated piston-engined transports, including the three-engined Junkers Ju 52 and two-engined Douglas C-47. In order to meet the Spanish Air Force's needs to modernise its transport force, CASA proposed the C-212, a twin engined 18 seat transport aircraft that would be capable of fulfilling a variety of military roles, including passenger transport, ambulance aircraft and paratroop carrier, while also being suitable for civil use. The first prototype flew on 26 March 1971. In 1974, the Spanish Air Force decided to acquire the Aviocar to update its fleet.
Airlines took note of the type's success with the military, so CASA developed a commercial version, the first examples of which were delivered in July 1975. In August 2006 a total of 30 CASA C-212 aircraft (all variants) remain in airline service around the world. The -400 was introduced in 1997 with a glass cockpit and more powerful engines.
In 2010, Airbus Military said it could no longer afford to produce the C212 in Europe and after production in Seville slowed to four in two years, the last C-212 produced in Spain was delivered in late December 2012 to the Vietnam Marine Police. Over 42 years, 477 aircraft have been produced for 92 operators.
To my knowledge, this is the first mainstream injected kit of this aircraft in this scale. I know there have been vacuform kits, but it is nice to see this in a more standard kit.
The tooling is very nicely done and it is quite typical of modern MPM/Special Hobby kits with superb surface detailing, no visible ejector pin marks, no sink areas, no resin and no photoetch. This latter really shows how far the company has come as the use of resin and photo etch are usually a sign that they don't have the ability to make smaller pieces.
A few things are holdovers from their short run days. Those are the lack of alignment pins and sockets, and the inclusion of a ton of parts that are not used in this boxing. In fact, I'd be surprised if, in terms of numbers, you use even half of the pieces available on the sprues. Obviously the C.212 was built in many variants and had a lot of options depending on the requirements of the customer. This has a real benefit for SH in that they can produce a rather large number of different boxings using the same basic sprues. Another benefit is that those who are knowledgeable on the aircraft can build something different from what is called for in the instructions.
Let me start off by discussing those bits that are different. There are large inserts for the forward door area on both sides of the fuselage and different rear doors. There are also different landing gear sponsons. Also different are horizontal stabs, elevators, rudders, props, instrument panels, noses, and windows. In fact, it looks as if one of the later boxings will have square rather than round windows on the side, which will mean either cutting the current round ones or different fuselage halves.
The cockpit is well appointed up to the bulkhead behind the seats. You have decals you can put on the instrument panel if you so wish. There is no cabin detail and you cannot pose the rear ramp down unless you do some cutting then there would be nothing to see inside. All of the clear bits save for the windscreen need to be installed from the inside so prepainting around those areas may be a good idea. I daresay considerable nose weight will be needed so you need to plan for that. No amount is specified in the instructions.
Wings are a single upper section with two lower halves. All the flap hinges are separate. Engine nacelles are three parts and you are to install the prop prior to gluing the engine face to the nacelle. Typical of modern planes, there are a number of antennas to add and you need to open holes for some, measure hole locations before drilling for others and on some parts of the airframe, there are panel lines that need to be filled. Note that this plane does not have retractable landing gear so no gear doors to worry about.
Instructions are very well done and with color to help you during construction. They also provide all the information on where to put antennas and what lines to fill. It looks like Gunze paints are the reference of choice on this. There are three markings options. One is the Spanish plane in the later greys, which should make for an easy paint. Second is a Chilean aircraft in what appears to be SEA camouflage. Finally, a Colombian Navy plane in light and medium grey. I expect all the camouflage schemes will be fairly hard edged. Decals are superbly printed by Eduard, which I found a bit surprising.
In all, this looks as if it will make into a superb model. Despite being a transport, it is not all that big and shouldn't take up a lot of space on your shelf. An interesting type that you can display with other transport twins.
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