AZ model 1/72 Breda Ba.27 "Over China"
|KIT #:||AZ 7243|
|PRICE:||$34.15 from GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with resin, etched metal and acetate parts.|
The Ba.27 was a low-wing braced monoplane with fixed tailwheel undercarriage. As originally designed, the Ba.27 had a fuselage of steel tube construction skinned with light, corrugated alloy metal and wooden wings and tailplane. Evaluation of the two prototypes by the Regia Aeronautica in 1933 was strongly negative, resulting in an extensive redesign of the aircraft. The fuselage shape was made more rounded and the pilot's open cockpit was moved higher and more forward to improve visibility. The corrugated skinning was also replaced with smooth sheet.
A prototype of this revised version, known as the Metallico, was first flown in June 1934, but Regia Aeronautica appraisal was little more positive.
Despite the lack of domestic interest, the type was ordered by the Republic of China to use against Japan. Out of 18 machines ordered, only 11 were actually delivered.
I have heard quite a bit about AZ models over the last few years; most of it somewhat mixed as there are those who think they are great and others whose opinions are somewhat the opposite. I decided to see for myself and ordered several different kits of which this is the first.
In brief, it is a short run kit. There are all the usual things one expects from a short run kit; one sprue of plastic with some flash on the parts, a small bag of resin bits, a photo etch fret and a small acetate sheet for clear parts. MPM this kit is not, looking more like what MPM did about 10 years or so ago. It seems that just about every short run kit company runs through the same process in providing kits. Why they can't skip all the early stuff and go straight to very good is beyond me, but there it is.
Anyway, the plastic parts are fairly well molded with find engraved detail and somewhat large mold seams. There are no alignment pins and all the parts are butt joined, but we have come to expect that in kits like this. There is some rudimentary framework on the cockpit sidewalls. Wings are well done and I'd anticipate having to do some shaving down to get nicely done trailing edges. The engine cowling and exhaust are part of the sprue as are the upper wing struts and the tail skid.
Resin is used for the engine and the main cockpit tub parts. This includes the control stick which is butt fit to the floor of the cockpit. The seat is injected plastic. The spats with wheels are also in resin and quite well done. The engine is a fine mold, but hampered by large resin blobs in between some of the cylinders. A real mess to cut out and of course, you'll remove all the cylinder fin detail when grinding out these chunks. It seems that quality assurance was on a coffee break for this piece. No self respecting company would even allow this to continue on and I can see where people have been disappointed by this sort of thing on their other kits.
Photo etch is provided for the seat harness, horizontal stab braces, forward cockpit/instrument panel brace, instrument panel (which has to be bent in place), rudder pedals, some sidewall bits, and pitot tube. The acetate is for the windscreen and instruments, though really, putting what are basically black blobs (no detail can be seen) behind a black panel makes one wonder why it is included.
Instructions are a piece of folded paper on which the construction steps have been photocopied. There are 15 well drawn construction steps that include color information as well as rigging where that is appropriate. You'll have to make each of the sections of rigging, and dimensions are provided. So are those parts that need to be made from stretched sprue or rod. Camouflage and markings information is in full color on the back of the box. Both options are Chinese with differences only in underside color and aircraft number. The decals are well done by Aviprint
These sorts of subjects are perfect for short run kits and we have come to sort of expect them. I can see that the kit won't be super easy to build, despite a relatively low parts count. One should have experience with similar types of kits before starting off on this one. The condition of the resin engine is inexcusable in a kit of this price. Having said all that, I'm sure that with care and patience, a superb model can be made of this one and it is something one doesn't see every day.
You can find this and many other great kits and accessories atGreatModels
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