Croco 1/72 Iomax Archangel

KIT #:
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin kit with vacuform clear parts and a photo etch fret


The Ayres Thrush, formerly the Snow S-2, Aero Commander Ag Commander, and Rockwell Thrush Commander, is an American agricultural aircraft produced by Ayres Corporation and more recently by Thrush Aircraft. It is one of the most successful and long-lived agricultural application aircraft types in the world, with almost 2,000 sold since the first example flew 63 years ago. Typical of agricultural aircraft, it is a single-seat monoplane of conventional taildragger configuration. Originally powered by a radial piston engine, most examples produced since the 1980s have been turboprop-powered.

Ayres developed a special anti-narcotics crop-spraying version of the Turbo-Thrush for the United States Department of State. This version, known as the Narcotics Eradication Delivery System (NEDS) featured an armored cockpit and engine to protect against hostile ground fire. Nine were sold to the Department of State between 1983 and 1985. Ayres also attempted to market a militarized version as the Ayres Vigilante, intended for the Close Air Support role, but this failed to attract customers.IOMAX USA of North Carolina, which had previously modified Air Tractor AT-802 agricultural aircraft as reconnaissance/attack aircraft, has developed the Archangel attack aircraft modeled on the S-2R-660. The United Arab Emirates has ordered 24 Archangels, with delivery from June 2015. The Archangel is powered by a 1,600 shp (1,200 kW) PT6A-67F engine. Fitted with 6 hardpoints for 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) of external stores

Apparently modified crop dusters is a going thing as doing research on this kit, I found that there are several other versions produced in other countries, though none quite as complete as this one. The kit is really well done with no discernible casting errors. The cockpit is quite complete with a floor, rudder pedals, control sticks, side consoles and a pair of seats.

The photo etch fret provides the small exterior components such as small antennas, hand holds and control actuating rods. The canopy and landing lights are in vacuformed plastic and you have spares, which I think is how all of these sorts of items should be provided.

You have two fuselage halves in which the cockpit, rear bulkhead and instrument panels are installed. The engine plugs into the nose section. Wings have a positive locator and fit very well. A single piece tailplane and fin/rudder complete the main airframe. There are no butt joins for the wings or engine, which I appreciate.

The majority of the parts count involves the underside of the aircraft. By this I mean the various actuators, hinges, struts, and pylons. You have two options for the tail gear. I should mention that it would be a good idea to replace some parts of the main and tail gear with something stronger than the resin parts as I'm not sure they can hold up under the weight of the finished kit. The prop has separate blades and fits into a hole in the nose section. You are provided the prominent centerline FLIR pod. A weapons set is available separately though the kit does include one of the rocket pods.

Instructions are several exploded views showing the placement of parts. A small diagram numbers the photo etch bits to make it easier to find them. No color information is provided, but there are lots of inside and outside photos available at the Iomax web site. Markings are provided for four aircraft. Apparently all are painted in a gloss olive drab color and you get four registration numbers as well as the large wing walk sections. Decals are very nicely printed.

Once again, Croco provides us with a very interesting and rather unusual type. These kits are not for beginners, but if you have experience with resin kits, then you should have no issues with this one.


March 2019

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