Croco 1/72 Avia 51
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin short run kit with vacuform transparencies|
The Avia 51 was a three-engined high-wing cantilever monoplane designed for the Czech national airlines CLS. It was built with a duraluminium monocoque fuselage and a fixed tailwheel landing gear. Powered by three Avia Rk.12 radial engines, two were fitted into the leading edges of the wing and one was nose-mounted. It had a two-man flight deck and an enclosed luxury cabin for five or six passengers which was not large enough to stand up (5 ft 1in), but did have a separate lavatory compartment, it also had three luggage and mail compartments.
The Avia 51 entered service on the Berlin-Prague-Vienna route, but with only a small passenger capacity it proved uneconomical to operate. In 1937 the aircraft were sold to the Estonian government One appeared operating for the Spanish Republican Air Force in the Spanish Civil War, and it was reported that the other two were lost at sea when the freighter carrying them to Bilbao was sunk.
Over the years, Croco has provided the modeler with some very unusual and interesting types. This kit adds to their growing catalog and is one of which I had not heard before. The molding of the resin parts is superb. Attachment points are all quite small or thin and this helps make removing the bits from the pour sprue just that much easier. Looking over the parts, there was no real flash and no molding defects such as pinholes that often make a resin kit a chore to build.
You get a fairly complete cockpit with a pair of seats and control wheels along with an instrument panel. The cabin is not left empty as you have five seats to fit there. The three seven cylinder engines are nicely molded and the cowlings come in halves so dealing with the seam at the lip will be a bit of a challenge. The main spatted landing gear is nicely done and the tail wheel is molded in with the housing. Wings are a solid piece and fit into an insert that goes on the upper fuselage. I'd recommend reinforcing this with small metal pins of some sort just to be sure. The tailplanes fit into holes or slots and you'll need to open these up for a positive fit. Transparencies are well done and you are provided with two sets. I'd use some sort of film for the cabin windows. Perhaps in the future, Croco will use clear resin for transparencies.
Instructions are a folded piece of paper with two exploded views, one on each side. There is a small decal sheet that provides the codes for the Spanish Repubican Air Force in olive green over a light grey. The rudder stripes and red bands will need to be painted. It would have been nice to have the airliner markings as well, but those should be fairly easy to make if you can find the proper font.
Overall, this is a very nicely done resin kit. It is not for beginners due to the very small parts, such as the multiple vee cowling braces and the challenge of attaching separate blades to the three spinners. However, if you are confident in your skills, this one will make an excellent addition to your collection.
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Thanks to Croco for the peview kit. You can find this kit by doing a web search. You can also contact them direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page
Back to the Previews Index Page