Heller 1/72 T-28 Trojan "Fennec"
$24 from auction
“Designed originally as a training aircraft, intended to replace the t-6 G
TEXAN, the T-28 TROJAN as a result of its qualities soon became a combat plane
specialised in supporting ground fire. It started its new career in the hands of
French pilots in french
and carried on in the mercenary wars in
where it prouved itself superior to its supersonic opposite numbers.” – from the
kit box, so the errors are their own!
American Aviation is far from a household name, but their aircraft are very
well-known. Their Second World War stable includes the T-6 Texan/SNJ/Harvard
advanced trainer, B-25 Mitchell bomber and P-51 Mustang fighter, and their F-86
Sabre jet revolutionised fighter design in the West during the Korean War. Super
Sabre, Bronco, Valkyrie, it’s hard to list all of their designs.
the T-28 is one, like the T-6, which endures today in large numbers. The
NAA-built Trojan and the French, licence-build Sud Aviation Fennec are
near-ubiquitous aircraft at airshows today, most likely due to its use by the
French in Algeria and in Vietnam with the US and South Vietnamese as
counter-insurgency machines, and its training role in the USA.
if you’re keen – and your bank/significant other allows – there are about 30 for
sale in the US as I type this. Check out the third link in the “References”
section if you dare.
more, this is one of those aircraft I grew up seeing at airshows – a T-28C was
imported into New Zealand in the late 80s and continues to fly from Ardmore,
Auckland with a syndicate – and as a result I desperately wanted a model of it.
The racket of the Wright Cyclone, its fighter-like performance, and the
nosewheel all added to the charm. From the looks of things this is the sole 1:72
option, but I’m happy to be corrected.
is another classic Heller kit with fine details throughout and minimal flash.
Based on the small amount of research I’ve done for this preview the kit is a
T-28D and a Fennec, with the canopy of a Fennec or A model.
(Editor's Note: Ignoring the too tall A model canopy, by removing and
filling in the air scoop atop the nose, one can do a pretty good D. A B can be
done by filling in or removing the weapons pylons/slots on the lower wing as
cockpit consists of a tub with some side console detailing, two different
control panels (one for each cockpit) and two sticks, generic seats and a
turnover truss. Aftermarket sets exist to replace this and make it all more
accurate. Likewise the engine: what’s provided should be fine for many, but
there’s at least one resin option on the market for those who would like
something more accurate.
outside seems pretty accurate, with its patchwork quilt of petite raised panel
lines and hatches marked by Matchbox-style trenches. The general shape seems
pretty good, and my only real complaint is that the very large inboard pylons
(presumably used for gun pods on Fennecs) are moulded to the lower wing half and
will need a lot of cutting, filling and sanding to get rid of if – like me – you
don’t intend to build one of the box options.
of which, there are two: a Republic of Vietnam Air Force
T-28D machine from the 1st
Air Commando in 1963 in light grey, and a French Light
Aviation Squadron (EALA) Fennec s/n 51-3557 of 2/72 in
Algeria in 1960. Interestingly this machine survived long enough to reach the US
civil register. There are no stencils but the colours seem fine, as with many
older sheets though the VNAF star-and-bar look off kilter.
just one clear part, the big canopy moulded as one piece. Vacform replacements
are out there if one wishes to pose it open. It’s nice and clear, however, with
the framing quite obvious to help with painting.
what I can tell it’s the only game in The True Scale and thus the best, unless
Roden were to downsize their apparently superlative 1:48 range. If you want a
T-28 or Fennec and aren’t afraid to put in a bit of work, go for it! Alternately
it’ll be a great cure for AMS.
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