Roden 1/72 An-12 BK 'Cub'




$49.95   ($44.96 at Squadron)


Four aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The An-12 'Cub' is very much a Soviet C-130. The basic look of the airframe is the same, it has the same type of power-plants and it carried out pretty much the same job. Biggest difference is that the Cub is armed and there were no where near as many built.

A derivation of the twin engined An-8, the Cub had the similar large loading ramp, a feature that was somewhat novel with Soviet transports in the 50s, but is now considered required equipment of medium and heavy-lifters. Production commenced around 1958 and continued until 1973 with around 1,200 being built. The C-130 surpassed the 2,000 mark over a decade ago and is still in production. The Chinese version of the An-12 may still be in production

The main difference that makes this a BK is that it has uprated engines and somewhat different avionics from the previous variant. It is also the most common one used. As with many Soviet aircraft, it was exported to bloc and friendly countries. Those include Czechoslovakia, Poland, Jugoslavia, Cuba, India, Egypt, Iraq and a host of others. About 200 are still in active service with several countries and many are being used commercially as heavy lift cargo aircraft


I was quite surprised to see this kit show up at my door. It comes in a very large box and well it should as there are 8 light grey sprues and one of clear plastic. The fuselage is in two parts. I can only assume that the Roden's molding machine will not allow a larger piece to be done. Four of the sprues that hold engine/nacelle and wheel bits are identical. All of the parts are very well molded. Only a touch of flash was found on any of the parts, though some had some rough edges. I found a few small sink marks opposite some large ejector marks on the wings. The only other place I saw ejector pin marks were on some of the larger parts. The horizontal stabs had some ejector towers that will need to be removed prior to construction. 

The overall detailing is really very good. Nice engraved panel lines that are neither too large or too fine. The clear bits are really clear and not too thin. What is really nice is that this kit has a full cargo area. The full interior has all the needed ramps and cargo doors. There is also an external stand and additional ramps for the rear. The aft cargo door is molded in one piece in case you feel like chickening out and not building up the interior! There are no optional parts other than the open or closed rear cargo door.

The instructions are super and have the usual logical construction steps. Colors given are Humbrol paint numbers with regular color descriptions. There are four different aircraft given on the huge decal sheet. Two of these are for 'civil' Aeroflot transports, one for the Russian /Soviet Air Force, and one for the Ukraine Air Force. The decals are semi-matte, and are, for the most part in register. Two of the Ukraine wing insignia (on the left side of the sheet) look to be slightly off register. All of the planes are listed as being painted medium sea grey with aluminum leading edges.  If you have the references and the decals, you can do something other than the given markings as the Cub did have some interesting camo schemes applied when with other nations.



Well, I'm pretty impressed with the kit. There are a lot of parts in this one. I wouldn't give it to a new guy/gal to build, that's for sure! However, it doesn't look to be very difficult, just a lot of parts. It will be interesting to see how this one builds. One thing for sure, you'll need some space to display it. I've never done a Roden kit and having just finished a large Mach 2 kit, it HAS to be a better fitting model. Stay tuned.

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