New this month: Eastern Express 1/144 Convair 880; Zvezda 1/144 Airbus A.320; FRsin Lockheed 18; Dujin 1/72 Centrair C201; Adrien Roy Bernard HV.41. From the time vault: Matchbox 1/72 Westland Lysander I.
The Eastern Express 1/144 Convair 880 is one of the most enjoyable model build experiences I’ve had in months. Apart from the fact that I’ve been wanting to make a Convair 880 for some time because I think it is the most elegant of that generation of airliners, my delight came from the kit itself which is a little gem. The only thing I didn’t like about this kit was the cost but I suppose that airliner models is a niche market and we should be thankful that this kit exists at all.
I experimented with some SMS Aluminum lacquer this time and was not disappointed. The white upper fuselage was painted in the customary Tamiya Pure White. Despite having some aftermarket decals fot Convair 880s I decided to use the decals that come in the TWA kit. The end result is very attractive, I think.
This Zvezda 1/144 Airbus A.320 is, you will have guessed by now, one of a series of A.320s in regional livery. I had not planned to make any outside Australian and New Zealand liveries but I recently discovered that French registered Aircalin A.320s fly out of New Caledonia into destinations including Australia, so I decided to make it too. The Zvezda A.320 is another delightful kit to make (apart from the flaps and slats) and after making perhaps a dozen of them I think I might have figured out all the kit’s little quirks by now. The main colour is Tamiya rattle can pure white and the decals are from Draw Decals.
This Frsin 1/144 Lockheed 18 is one of their range of interesting airliner subjects that I always enjoy. The design of these kits is usually a little simplified but in this scale that is not a great problem and they can always be improved with a little scratch building if that is your inclination. Until I discovered that one of the decal options for this kit was Trans-Australia Airlines I did not know that airline had used these airliners but research shows me that two flew for the airline in north Queensland in 1953-53 for about a year. The kit offers the option of making both aircraft. The main airframe colour is Tamiya AS-12 and the fuselage top is Tamiya Pure White. In summary, a simple but delightful little model
This Dujin 1/72 Centrair C201 is one of a few glider kits that the French kit maker Jean Pierre Dujin produced in his workshop and is one of several hundred kits of otherwise unkitted models that he made. His resin kits are not for everyone but I love them. This Centrair glider is generally a simple model to make but the cockpit detail was rather lacking so I had to build it up a bit since the large canopy is rather exposing. Apart from that, the model is Tamiya Pure White all over (yes, I do go through a lot of it) and the kit decals went on very nicely.
The third model to come out of France this month is Adrien Roy’s lovely little 1/72 Bernard HV.42, a racing hydroplane that did not quite make it into the 1929 Schneider Trophy competition. It is one of a series of inter-was French racing planes that Roy has made. This kit is, like the Dujin kit above, resin, and beautifully cast resin too, which results in delightful kits that can be made into very nice little models. I made a mess of painting this one the first time and had strip it back to bare resin before starting again, but I think it has turned out very nicely.
OUT OF THE TIME VAULT
I made this Matchbox 1/72 Westland Lysander Mk I in 1979. By this time I’d begun using either Humbrol of Model Master ‘authentic’ colours so it looks something like the real thing. In 2021 this might not be the most advanced kit of the Lysander but back then, and with only the old Airfix kit as competition, this was a very nice looking Lysander indeed.