Azur/FRROM 1/72 Potez 25 A2/B2 Hispano

KIT #: FR0038
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2019 tooling. Short run with p.e.


Potez 25 (also written as Potez XXV) was a French twin-seat, single-engine biplane designed during the 1920s. A multi-purpose fighter-bomber, it was designed as a line aircraft and used in a variety of roles, including fighter and escort missions, tactical bombing and reconnaissance missions. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Potez 25 was the standard multi-purpose aircraft of over 20 air forces, including French, Polish and American. It was also popular among private operators, notably mail transport companies.

2,500 aircraft were built in France with license production taking place in Yugoslavia, Poland and Romania as well as other countries.. The popularity of the type was in part due to the airframe being able to be adapted to a variety of engines. This particular kit provides the option to build a Hispano powered aircraft.

Azur/FRROM kits are all made by the MPM/Special Hobby group. This one is typical with the molding in a light grey plastic. As the base sprues are used for other variants, you'll fine several parts not used in this boxing, which is for the Hispano powered aircraft. Typical of these sorts of kits, you will need to drill some holes and fill a bit to properly portray this variant. The instructions show you exactly where this needs to be done so it would be wise to actually read through it before starting. The photo etch fret is fairly extensive. It consists of the wire wheels, control actuators and rigging attachment points. This latter feature is the first I've seen in a kit of this scale.

Construction starts logically with the interior and is quite complete with both the pilot and observer/gunner's positions. In addition to the rear gun (which is on a Scarff ring and installed near the end), you are provided with a camera. Fuselage is in left and right halves with a separate bottom. The forward fuselage is also separate to deal with the different engines. Two cowling options are provided depending on the markings option you choose. Attaching the upper cowling pieces traps a set of cabane struts. Lower wings are a single piece and while the 'hills and valleys' may be a bit much for some, this can be sanded or even filled in if you wish.

One thing to note is that one of the options is for a parasol version of this aircraft without the lower wing. The construction sequence for that option will be different from the other three so be sure to pay attention. There is no rigging diagram for this option so I have to assume that only the cabane struts are rigged. Not having a lower wing also precludes the use of the bomb racks.

Once the nose is attached, then comes the upper wing. Some of these planes had fuel tanks attached and the instructions guide you through that. All the other struts are single pieces so some sort of jig would probably be useful. Next the tailplanes are attached and the landing gear made up. Not all options use wire wheels so you need to know which set of markings you'll be using fairly early. If you do pick the wire wheels, you'll need to replace the axle stubs with something thinner.

One of the final steps is rigging. The kit provides wire attachment areas in the p.e. set. You are also provided a complete rigging diagram for the biplane options. After that, one attaches the bomb racks and bombs if you are using those as well as the gun and the proper propeller depending on the markings option chosen.

Instructions are excellent and in color. It provides Gunze paint references. First is the box art plane with the Greek air force in 1941 during the German invasion. Next we have two Romanian planes, one of which is a parasol wing version. Finally a Yugoslav version from 1928. All but the Greek plane are in overall dark green. The large decal sheet is very nicely done.

Let me preface this build by stating that I am terrible when it comes to aircraft that require more than minimal rigging. These projects often last years. I'm simply not good at it so avoid these sorts of kits when it comes time to plunk something on the bench. However, this kit offered me a way out which I will comment on later in the build.

As most of you know, Azur/FRROM kits are tooled by Special Hobby/MPM so are of good quality. They are still short run kits and need to be treated as such. For this build I followed the instructions pretty much to the letter. The cockpit is one where you have to do a lot of prepainting as there is sidewall detail to deal with. In addition a lot of fairly small parts have to be placed throughout building the interior. I found the installation of the floor to be particularly tricky as the control sticks tend to be mounted so far forward that you cannot get them in place once you have installed the instrument panels.

The fuselage halves do not include the bottom which is a separate piece. The bottom section is attached with a 45 degree chamfered edge that makes proper placement somewhat tricky. Building up the separate engine also caused me some issues. You can't really attach the nose halves to the fuselage before as the rear cabane struts are trapped between the engine and fuselage. Besides, the join is pretty much a butt join as the tiny tab is not very helpful. I left off the exhaust until near the end after all had been painted.

Now for the saving grace for me. Potez 25s were often flown as parasol aircraft without the lower wing. Apparently they were interchangeable. One of the options is for such a configuration and that is the one I chose. This means a plug where the lower wing would normally go. Again if choosing the lower wing, you have to attach this prior to attaching the nose as the wings are a single piece.

This did not get me totally out of the woods as the attaching wing struts are very long with no really positive locators. Just some dimples and a small slot or two. Since I did not do a great job attaching the nose, some of these were off a bit and that made attaching the struts a major challenge requiring super glue and accelerator.

With that fairly solid, I attached the appropriate fin/rudder for this version and the horizontal stabilizers. I then built up the landing gear using the required axle and wheels, though did not attach the wheels at this point. Then the tail skid. The small upper wing airfoil pieces were a disaster. I did not realize that the attachment bits were also provided in plastic so used the p.e. bits, which I totally hosed. Same with the aileron hinges.

At this point I had the airframe at a point where I could paint. Now I have to mention that I stopped and started this kit multiple times so the overall time frame of what preceded was about 4 months. I stuffed the cockpits with tissue and headed for the paint shop.


This plane was to be painted in an overall dark green. The instructions called for Gunze H36, which I do not have. So instead, I used Russian armor green as the shade is very dark. I then gave the airframe a coat of Future in preparation for the decals. I had chosen one of the Romanian options that has some fairly large markings. I had no issues getting the decals on the model. They are admirably thin and reacted well to Microsol setting solution, one of the milder ones out there. However, they are not very opaque and the dark color under them darkened the colors of the roundels and fin flashes as they are not backed up by white. No issues at all with the white markings.

With those on, the airframe was given a coat of Tamiya clear matte and I added the final bits, which were the windscreen, gun, and wheels.  I also lost the step to the zing monster so made one from a pin.

This was a kit that I had trouble building. It is not the fault of the kit. I am not used to kits like this with lots of struts and rigging so when I eventually build one, I tend to make a bit of a mess of things. Means it takes me a while to finish. However, the end result is pleasing enough if you don't look too close.

It is great seeing interwar planes being kitted. Especially this one as it was used so widely in the late 1920s and the 1930s. There are additional boxings so that you can build other variations.


April 2020

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