|Scott Van Aken
|Short run resin kit with vacuform clear parts
The UT-3 was to serve as a training aircraft for pilots of multi-engine aircraft and for training air gunners, bomb aimers, navigators and radio operators. The airframe was constructed largely of wood and fabric-covered mild steel tubing. The prototype was powered by imported French Renault 6Q-01 220 hp (160 kW) six-cylinder inline engines but production aircraft may have used the Voronezh MV-6 (Soviet-built Bengali 6 copy).
Testing was undertaken in 1938 and the aircraft was approved for construction as the UT-3. While the prototype had been fitted with 2x 7.62 mm (0.300 in) ShKAS machine guns and racks for four FAB 50 bombs, the production model was unarmed and more austere. Production was ordered in 1940 at two factories, No. 135 in Leningrad and No. 272 in Kazan. Only around thirty aircraft were built before orders were cancelled as the VVS high command decided to use multi-engine combat aircraft, modified for dual control, in place of dedicated training types.
Despite a seemingly bright future, the UT-3 was only produced in limited numbers, due to slow development and the cessation of MV-6 and Kossov MG-31F engine production.
Croco has been around for several years and are known for producing some fairly esoteric kits. I have to admit that frequently I have to look up the subjects they produce, but I'm pleased that they are offering these kits to the 1/72 modeler.
This one is no exception. The resin is actually quite well done with some interior detail and fine engraved surface detailing. This one is a somewhat complex kit as it is a twin engine aircraft. I've test fit a few pieces and found that while not Tamiya quality, it is actually quite good. The interior is probably the most complex portion of the build. The fuselage has two sides with the upper and lower rear fuselage being separate pieces The wings are generally a single piece for the left and right with the lower inner section also comprising the lower forward fuselage.
The landing gear bays fit into the underside of both wings and there are solid engine cowlings with separate forward sections. Onto these are two blade props which consist of a spinner and separate blades. All the landing gear items are reinforced with wire to hold the weight of the kit. The kit includes two full sets of vacuform transparencies.
Instructions are a folded sheet with an exploded view on both sides. More than adequate. No color information is provided, but from the look of what I've found on the web, these were simply dark green upper with light blue-grey undersides. The small decal sheet is nicely printed and should work fine. Note that you'll need to paint the red and white rudder stripes.
This is another interesting and little-known subject. If you like second-line aircraft, then this one should pique your interest. As with all of Croco's kits, this one is for an experienced builder who is used to dealing with short run resin kits and vacuformed clear parts.
Thanks to Croco for the review kit. You can find this kit on line by doing a search. You can also contact them direct at email@example.com.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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