|KIT:||Kora 1/72 Blackburn Ripon IIF|
|PRICE:||Approximately $51 at http://hobbyshop.cz|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin with etched brass parts.|
The Blackburn Ripon was a pre-war carrier-borne torpedo-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, a development of the Swift, Dart and Velos family. The Ripon was a conventional biplane which was first flown in 1928. The Blackburn Ripon saw service with the Fleet Air Arm as well as with the Finnish air force. Over 100 Ripons were built for the FAA. 60 were later converted to Blackburn Baffin. In addition there were some 25 Blackburn Ripon II F: a Finnish assembled Ripon. Based on a production Ripon acquired from Great Britain in 1928, these aircraft were subsequently assembled in Finland under license in 1931-34. The Finnish air force used Ripons as reconnaissance aircraft against the Soviet Union in the winter war and the continuation war. After losing an aircraft to soviet fighters in 1939, the Ripon was limited to night missions. The last missions were flown in 1944. One Ripon coded RI-140 was stored and has been reassembled and put on display in the Päijät-Häme aviation museum recently. It is the only preserved example.
Kora has established a reputation for producing quality resin kits, with a lot of subjects that are relevant to the Finnish AF. This one continues in that tradition by doing a Finnish AF Ripon IIF. The molding is of the best quality with well done and nicely detailed parts. The Ripon was not a small aircraft so neither is this kit. The wings and fuselage sections come in their own sealed polybags so I left them in situ and spread out a number of the other parts to help fill in the photo. There are still quite a few that I did not include in the photo. Some of the resin parts are very thin and so have some warpage. This can be easily cured by immersing the part in hot water (not boiling) and gently reshaping. It may take a couple of tries as resin does have a 'memory'. The engine is quite nicely done and consists of a central block, separate cylinders, and separate exhaust/intake manifold. Those not comfortable with building up a resin engine can probably find a cast metal one in the Aeroclub line.
With all the single struts and the butt joined lower wings, it may not be a bad idea to cobble together a jig of some sort in order to get all of that aligned. The interior is quite complete. Though there is no interior sidewall detail, Kora does give you a number of bits in both resin and photo etch to make the place look busy. In fact, most of the tiny detail parts are in photo etch, including the hinges for the Handley Page slats, pitot tubes, instrument panels, control wheels, bomb racks, gun mount, tail skid, aileron hinges and a number of additional bits and pieces. The etched fret is also for the liquid cooled Baffin so there are probably parts on there not needed for the Ripon. As this is the Finnish version, there is no torpedo provided, but a nice resin fuel tank instead. A section of very thick acetate is provided for the windscreen, though the instructions seem to miss this piece!
Instructions consist of three sheets. One smallish one for the cover and two view painting and markings guide. Another smallish one for parts layout, and a larger one with 8 well drawn construction steps, some of them concentrating on smaller sub assemblies. No color information is provided in the construction steps or anywhere else that will give a clue as to what shades interior parts are supposed to be, something of a rather major omission. I'll have to assume that things were in silver as that was a common shade for biplane interiors. Exterior colors are given as generic and Humbrol references. Decals are very nicely printed and seem to be ALPS printing as there are all sorts of warnings about using solvents on them and they are covered by a single carrier film.
This is a superb resin multi-media kit of a somewhat obscure aircraft, at least in regards to most of the world. Your editor has actually built a Ripon using the old Contrail kit. It was an experience to say the least and this one is a thousand times better in terms of detail. Because it is a biplane and has a lot of small parts, it would be best to not make this your first resin kit! However, with a few under your belt, it is one that I can most highly recommend.
August 2006 My Thanks tohttp://hobbyshop.cz for the review samples. Get yours on-line at the link to the left. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly by asite that has nearly 325,000 visitors a month, please contactme or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
My Thanks tohttp://hobbyshop.cz for the review samples. Get yours on-line at the link to the left.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly by asite that has nearly 325,000 visitors a month, please contactme or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page