|KIT:||Special Hobby 1/72 Hunting Percival Pembroke|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Entering service in 1953, the
Pembroke took over from the venerable Anson in the light transport and
communications role. It was developed from the Prince civil transport
having a longer wing to carry an increased all-up weight.
The prototype flew on 21 November 1952 and forty-five were produced for the RAF, the last one being completed in February 1958. Rearward facing seats for the passengers were fitted for safety in common with other RAF transport aircraft.
As well as the standard transport variants, the Pembroke could also be fitted with dual controls, as a pilot trainer, or could be converted to a flying classroom for training navigators or air signallers.
Six photographic reconnaissance aircraft were produced and were used by No.81 Squadron in Malaya. Others operated from Kuwait and Bahrain in the communications role.
Pembroke’s were modified to extend their fatigue life in 1970. No.60 Squadron was still operating seven in 1987 but after a total of 35 years service they were finally withdrawn in 1988.
The Pembroke also saw service with
other countries such as Belgium and West Germany.
If you have seen Special Hobby/MPM kits as of late, they have come quite a way in the last 15 years to where they are very much knocking on the door of the other major kit makers in the world. I'd have to compare their latest kits with those of Eduard, another company that has greatly improved. Finely engraved panel lines have always been the norm with SH and this kit is no exception. There are still ejector towers on the inside of the larger bits such as the fuselage and wing halves. I noted no sink areas though these may appear when I get to building the kit. I was also very happy to see that there are complete props without having to deal with the separate blades deal that I so despise in these kinds of kits. A full set of clear bits is provided in injected plastic so no more vac clear bits. There are still a few resin bits for the control wheels and center console.
There is a pretty complete cabin with two basic configurations. One is for a VIP bird with large, comfy chairs and the other is a general transport with most of the chairs facing aft as they usually are in military transports. Each of the seats has several additional bits that have to be attached from the basic frame. There are also other differences as one option is single control and the other a dual control aircraft. There is also a choice of clear nose pieces. It is obvious that the Prince or Sea Prince will be kitted as the longer wings of the Proctor are added as inserts while there are the shorter wingtips in the 'unused' pile. A solid nose is also in the kit as 'unused'. With a rather short wheel base, this one will need a lot of weight in the nose to keep from tail sitting. Unfortunately, nothing specific as to how much is provided.
Instructions are the usual we can expect from MPM with nicely drawn construction steps and some alignment drawings to help out. Color information is provided in generic terms during the construction. When one gets to the camo and decal placement diagrams, there are Gunze and/or FS 595 references provided. There are two aircraft provided on the decal sheet. One is the box art plane from a West German telecommunications squadron in OD and Dark Grey upper with 'Grey' undersides. This aircraft has several da-glo areas on it so that should make for a very colorful aircraft when done. The other is an overall white VIP bird with the Belgian Air Force, complete with civil registration. The red cheat stripe is provided as a decal. Speaking of which, the decals are very nicely printed by a company called Aviprint and appear to be in register. If you are really willing to dig through the old decals, I'm sure you could do a 60 Sq RAF aircraft as well.
Chalk up another aircraft that I never thought I'd see done in injected plastic. Obviously MPM/Special Hobby has been combing the references for kits that can be done in several variants and this one definitely qualifies!
You can thank me and my penchant for desiring the unusual for this one.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has nearly 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page