Minicraft 1/48 Cessna 172

KIT #: 11635
PRICE: Around $30
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas


The Cessna 172 "Skyhawk" is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. Developed from the 1948 Cessna 170, it first flew in 1955. The "Skyhawk" name was originally used for a trim package, but was later applied to all standard-production 172 aircraft, while some upgraded versions were marketed as the "Cutlass". Measured by its longevity and popularity, it is the most successful aircraft in history, with more than 44,000 units built and remaining in production today. 


Minicraft introduced this kit in 2005, together with the seaplane version. The land version has been reboxed another three times (one of them being the T-41 Mescalero military version) and the floatplane once ever since. The specific copy is the initial landplane release and comes in a good quality top opening box, featuring an attractive box art of the N172MC machine.

Upon opening the box, I was greeted with 50 white styrene parts arranged in two large and one smaller spue. Detailing is engraved all over and molding is very good with no flash whatsoever. A comprehensive interior is provided with instrument panel, control yokes, compass, rudder pedals, four “normal” seats and a rear jump seat. Rest of the details are also well appointed, including a fine looking engine and a realistic landing gear.

Transparencies are on the thick side but otherwise very well done. Instructions are superb, coming in the form of an 8-page booklet that contains a short history of the type, a parts list, with the uncomplicated construction spread in 10 very clear steps, including internal color callouts in generic names and extra helpful notes where applicable. One basic scheme is provided, that of the N172MC machine, with additional American and European registration numbers as an option. Decals are superbly printed by Cartograf.

Instructions want you to assemble the interior, then attach the side windows at the inner sides of the fuselage halves and finally trap the interior between them. The following step is divided into four sub-steps and deals with engine assembly. The firewall is next attached, followed by the engine, the nose landing gear, the bottom cowling and the nose. Assembly and installation of the main wing comes after, together with attachment of the stabilizers, windscreen, rear windows, antennas, propeller and top cowling (the latter can optionally be left unglued, to allow viewing the engine).The main landing gear and wing support struts are finally attached,

A dedicated step advises on how to fabricate and attach a tail support rod from stretched sprue, in order to avoid tail-sitting, for this model being a prime candidate. Should you decide not to display the engine, then sufficient weight can be added in the engine compartment and avoid the rear rod. For an open cowling option, the only places seemingly left for adding weight would be the area just aft of the firewall and, possibly, under the floor.


This is definitely a good quality “modern” mainstream kit in all aspects, promising to provide an accurate representation of the iconic Cessna. Overall shape, details provided, molding and decals (together with instructions and boxing) display a high quality standard and fit is expected to be good. If you fancy building a quarter scale “172”, this kit is a good choice.  

Happy modeling!

Spiros Pendedekas

April 2022

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