Azur 1/72 Vultee V-11 'Attack Bomber'
|PRICE:||$31.50 from GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with resin and vacuformed parts|
In 1935, Vultee produced a light bomber derivative of their single engined passenger transport, the Vultee V-1, which, while demonstrating good performance, was only sold in small numbers owing to competition from larger twin engined aircraft such as the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2 and increasing restrictions on the use of single engined aircraft for scheduled passenger transport operations.
The resulting aircraft, the Vultee V-11, retained the single engined, low wing format and all-metal stressed skin structure of the V-1. It combined a new fuselage with accommodation for the two or three crew members under a long canopy with the wings and tail surfaces of the Vultee V-1.
These aircraft were aggressively marketed to just about anyone who might have an interest in the type. The USAAC ordered a half dozen for comparison purposes as YA-19s, but they were found lacking in speed and carrying capability. Others were sold to China, Brazil, Turkey and the Soviet Union. The Chinese had production started but it was curtailed after only a few aircraft. The Soviet Union, however, built it as the Bsh-1, though production stopped after 32 aircraft. The largest user was Turkey with 40 aircraft delivered.
This is a typical "medium era" Azur/MPM kit. I say that as itrelies on resin for the finely detailed bits and still has vacuformed canopies. The newer kits have injected clear bits and less reliance on non-styrene parts for detail items. Since I've started talking about resin, that material is used for the landing gear doors/legs, internal framework, guns, rudder pedals and a ton of cockpit bits and pieces. This includes the lower gun position and the prop hub.
The kit also includes an acetate sheet that you can see atop the regular decals. These are used for side windows and a lower fuselage view window. I'm pleased to note that there are two of each so you have spares. There are also two different canopy sections, one with a one-piece windscreen. This was used on the Turkish and Brazilian planes. A DF 'football' is shown as being mounted on the aft fuselage, but none of the markings guide images show one. Might want to surf the net to see if a photo can be found regarding this.
Looking over the instructions, it seems like most of the fiddly work will be done prior to closing the fuselage halves. The rest seems very straight-forward. The instructions provide colors using Humbrol paints. The box art plane from China is green over aluminum. The Turkish option is a lighter green over aluminum with a red rudder and black wing walk areas. The final option for Brazil is overall aluminum with a green forward cowling and cheat line. The rudder has decals and forward anti-glare panel is black. As usual, the decal sheet is superbly printed.
This isn't a new kit but it is of a plane that no one else has done outside of the MPM family of kits. It is a historical footnote for the most part, and that is what helps make it so interesting.
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