PM 1/48 SIAT 223 Flamingo
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The MBB 223 Flamingo was a light aircraft developed in West Germany in the 1960s in response to a competition for a standard trainer for the country's aeroclubs. Designed by SIAT, it was a conventional low-wing monoplane with fixed tricycle undercarriage. The cockpit was enclosed by a large bubble canopy. SIAT had not undertaken much production of the type before the firm was acquired by MBB in 1970. Eventually, the new owners transferred production to CASA in Spain.
A fully acrobatic, single-seat version, and a four-seat utility version were also developed.
Initially released in 1986, this is one of PM's nicer looking kits. Aside from the clear sprue, the others are in red and white, undoubtedly to assist in doing the box art aircraft. Molding is quite good for the time and the lack of multiple parts makes this a great beginner's kit.
The interior is molded in one piece with only control sticks and an instrument panel needing to be installed. This is then trapped in the fuselage halves. No nose witht info is given, but you'll need quite a bit so pack it in. The forward cowling is separate, allowing you to install the prop so it can spin. Wings are upper and lower halves with separate wing tips. Tailplanes are a single piece.
All these are attached along with the large canopy piece. The landing gear is fixed and attaches either under the wings or the nose. Believe it or not, that's it.
Instructions are wholly in Turkish but the single exploded drawing is sufficient to built the kit. Markings for two planes are provided. One is the box art plane in red and white. This is apparently a civilian plane as it has registration numbers. The other is a Syrian Air Force plane. It is in sand and green over light grey. Here is a photo. The decal sheet is nicely done, gloss and on a near white backing. It includes an instrument panel decal so the interior must be in a grey. I don't know how viable it is, but there are NO aftermarket decals as it was only operated by civil operators and the Syrian Air Force.
By all accounts, this is a nice kit. Build-ups I've seen on the 'net look quite nice. If you are concerned about the decals, this kit was reboxed by Revell, which will probably have nicer decals.
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