Croco 1/72 Miles M-8 'Peregrine'
Scott Van Aken
Short run resin kit with vacuform clear parts.
The M.8 Peregrine was the first twin-engined aircraft developed by
Miles Aircraft. It was a low-wing monoplane with retractable tailwheel
undercarriage. Powered by two 205 hp de Havilland Gipsy Six II engines it
had accommodation for two crew and six passengers. The prototype was built
at Woodley and first flown there on 12 September 1936. It was entered into
the Schlesinger Race between England and Johannesburg but was not ready on
time and had been dismantled by late 1937. The aircraft performed well but
due to the Woodley factory pre-occupied with building the Miles
Magister military trainer the aircraft did not enter production. One further
example was built with two 290 hp (216 kW) Menasco Buccaneer B6S engines for
the Royal Aircraft Establishment.
This is very much a rare bird with only two planes being built and the
prototype being flown a minimal number of hours. Still, it is a nice looking
plane, somewhat reminiscent of the Airspeed Oxford. An internet search
turned up some images of this plane including one in RAF camouflage. All are
from the right side and there are not very many of them.
Casting is very nicely done and I did not spot any casting flaws at all.
There are two fuselage halves and the interior includes both nice cockpit
with seats, control wheels and rudder pedals. An instrument panel and side
console is also included. In the cabin there are six seats.
Once the interior is closed, a vacuform section that includes the upper roof
and area in front of the windscreen as well as all the side windows is attached. Having this as one piece
makes it easier to assemble than installing individual windows. A spare is
included. The wing has a center section with nacelles and gear wells. Two
outer pieces are then attached. There is a separate rudder and tailplanes
along with the engines themselves.
Landing gear is somewhat complex but should be properly sturdy once
completed. The tail gear piece is quite scale and I'm concerned that it may
not be strong enough. For things like this, cast metal might be an option.
Instructions are hand drawn and quite well done with detail images to help.
There is a tiny decal sheet with the not-used racing number that one sees in
it is great that folks take the time to mold kits like
this. Due to its nature it is best for experienced modelers, thanks to the small
parts. Speaking of which, many of the small bits in my kit were broken and that
includes the prop blades, which snapped off the spinner. I think it is a case of
being in a box with a lot of heavier pieces. Going through the mails, these kits
are not handled gently and the boxes get tossed around a lot. One thing that
might help would be to tape some of these delicate sprues to a piece of
cardboard before packaging. It isn't a disaster, as those with the skills to
build this kit can certainly fabricate replacements or repair what is there. One
thing for certain, when done, you will have a very nice model of a most unusual
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information and costs. You can also find these on ebay.
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