Airfix 1/48 DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Chipmunk was the first post-war project designed and manufactured by De Havilland Canada. The first flight was on 22 May 1946 at Downsview, Toronto, Ontario and it entered service with the Royal Canadian Air Force during April, 1948.
de Havilland Canada constructed the type at its factory in Downsview where it produced 217 Chipmunks during the 1940s and 1950s, the las one completed in 1956. Another 1,066 were built by the parent company in the UK, with 735 entering RAF service, replacing the DH Tiger Moth.
The all-metal fuselage featured stress-skinned alloy with the forward portions of the wings metal overlay and aft portions fabric. The rudder was fabric covered and the rest of the empennage metal skinned. Other features included hand-operated single-slotted wing flaps, anti-spin strakes, disc brakes on the wheeled undercarriage, a thin propeller composed of a solid lightweight alloy, driven by a Gipsy Major engine, plus the adoption of an engine-driven vacuum pump in place of external venturi tubes to power cockpit instrumentation, Optional features included an electric or Coffman cartridge engine starter, cockpit lighting, onboard radio system, and an external identification light underneath the starboard wing.
On 2 June 2015, retired de Havilland Canada test pilot George Neal set a new world record flying a chipmunk for the oldest active licensed pilot at the age of 96 years 194 days.
A single bag holds three light gray sprues and the clear parts are in their own bag within the primary bag. The decals are found in the folds of the instructions.
The parts are well molded with crisp detail, no flash, and seams almost nonexistent. There is just enough texture on the surface to soften the sheen of the plastic. Fabric detail is nicely restrained. The instrument panels have raised details and decals for the dials. 76 parts are on the gray sprues, including two pilot figures and an assembly jig for the canopies. The clear sprue holds eight parts and they have great clarity. Photo-etch harnesses for the seats are not included, so you’re on your own sourcing them if the figures are not installed.
The instructions are in a 16-page booklet. The first two pages cover a brief history in five languages and the usual cautions and symbol explanations. Two airframe options are available and their differences are subtle. The next 10 pages illustrate a conventional assembly sequence starting at the cockpit and continues over 54 steps. Most of the steps show only one or two pieces added.
One can add hinges to display the cowl panels opened plus, there is the choice of landing gear struts compressed if on the ground, or extended if flying. Also of note is that the lower wing piece is offered up first, then the upper pieces.
The only color call-outs are on the final four pages and list the overall schemes of the four decal options. The colors appear to be linked to Humbrol paints, but not specified. A search on the internet revealed the cockpit interior is dark gray. Engine bearers and firewall can be either British interior green or black.
Decal options are: 1) a 2020 restoration of WB585 on view at Audley End Airfield. This paint scheme is white over red fuselage and red forward of light gray horizontal flying surfaces. 2) WB549 as seen in 1949 with overall silver and yellow marking bands. 3) WK608 during the 2009 Roya Navy Historic Flight with gray fuselage and wing with nose, outer wing panels, ant tail red. 4) A dark earth, dark green Army aircraft WP964 circa 1968.
I’m delighted to see the revitalized “New Airfix”. More attention to detail and better engineering puts this kit into the first-class category. This should be a straight forward build out of the box. There is enough interest in this kit that there are already numerous after-market decal sets available, making paint schemes as simple or complicated as one wishes.
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