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Canadair Challenger CL-604 / C-143 MRC2A - 1:72 BPK (Big Planes Kits)


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Canadair Challenger CL-604 / C-143 MRC2A
1:72 BPK (Big Planes Kits)


The Bombardier Challenger 600 is a business jet family originally developed by Bombardier following acquisition of the concept LearStar 600 from Bill Lear. Lear had really no influence on the design and development and thus Canadair took on the Challenger name for the aircraft. The prototype first flew in 1978. Following the acquisition of Canadair by Bombardier in 1986 the aircraft became known as the Bombarider Challenger. The aircraft can be distinguished by use of Fowler Flaps normally seen on airliners. Following The CL-601 is a newer version featuring winglets to reduce drag. As well as civilian operator many air arms acquired the aircraft for VIP and other duties. This was later followed by the CL-604, this incorperated new GE CF34-3B engines, new avionics from Rockwell Collins, an increased fuel capacity, and structuaral improvements to the wings and tail. As more fuel is carried the undercarrige has been replced by unit which can carry the increased weight. The US Coastguard has purchased a single aircraft which they have designated C-143A for the role of Medium Range Command & control (MRC2A).

The Kit
The kit arrives with 8 sprues of injected plastic, 2 of clear plastic, a photo-etched fret, 4 strips of resin parts, 6 resin parts for the engines, a decal sheet, and a sheet of masks. Panel lines are very lightly recessed, BPK have this exactly right as they are just deep enough to be visible, rather than the heavy 'trenches' that some manufacturers seem to favour. Unlike some of their larger airliner kits the clear area for the cockpit is only half of the fuselage not a complete round section. Like the bigger kits the main cabin windows come as a strip to fit into the fuselage. The lower wing is a single full span piece, the advantage of which is that the dihedral is perfectly set for you. The uppers are separate pieces for each side.


Construction begins with the interior of the jet. Here BPK provide a full interior front and back. The rear cabin has an executive/VIP fit with a couch and 8 seats, though I am pretty sure the Rega Air ambulance fit, and the Coastguard fit will be different. The cockpit has 2 seats and the control columns. Rudder pedals are moulded to the floor. the galley area between the front and rear is also built up here with bulkheads to separate everything. The overheads are provided for the rear section but the instructions are a little vague as to their exact location! Once the interior is complete it can be added into the main fuselage. As note here that the main cabin deck will need to be chamfered to match the fuselage profile for a good fit. Once the main fuselage is closed up the clear window parts can be added to their recesses.


Now its time to concentrate on the wings. The wheel wells need to be fitted into these first. The instructions would have you fit the lower wing part first (again the rear fuselage part needs to be chamfered), and then add the upper wing parts. For some structural stability I think I would be tempted to add the top of the wings first. The cockpit glazing can then be added at this time. I would be tempted to add this before adding the wings as it will be easier to work on just the fuselage. Once the wings are added the winglets can be added to their tips.





The engines are the next sub assembly to be done. The resin pats are sandwiched between the plastic cowlings and the engine pod is then attached to its mounting pylon. The main landing gear units are next up; the nose leg has four parts to the leg, a retraction strut and wheels. There are plastic two part wheels or resin 3 part wheels depending how the modeller want to approach this. The main gear units have two part leg, retraction strut an wheels. There are plastic two part wheels + a photo etch part, or resin 3 part wheels + a photo etch part depending how the modeller want to approach this Given the good looking resin units it would be a shame not to use them.



The vertical tail is added next along with the horizontal flying surfaces which attach at its top. The rear tailcone is then added under the vertical fin. This is followed by attaching both engines. There are some PE parts to add to the fuselage at this point also. The distinctive hinges for the Fowler Flaps are added along with the undercarriage. The last thing to be added is a fully detailed plastic and PE air stair for the aircraft.


In addition to the decals masks are provided form the USGC Strips, and the Reaga Checks. The decal sheet allows for two schemes;
  • C-143A US Coastguard, Tennessee, USA 2007.
  • CL-604 Rega Swiss Air Ambulance HB-JRA.


This is a great kit from BPK. They make the best use of the various material to bring you a great looking kit. Highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of logo.png

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