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  1. Hello everyone! Here is my latest kit. It's KP's 1:72 Piper L-21B Super Cub In 1952, the Exército Português (Portuguese Army) received 22 L-21Bs through MDAP. The Força Aérea Portuguesa was formed that year and received five civilian PA-18-125s in 1954. The Army's L-21Bs were finally taken over by the FAP in 1955 although they remained in the army co-operation role with the Esquadrilha de Ligação e Observação at BA3 Tancos, Portugal. When this role was taken over by helicopters, they were used for liaison and training until they were withdrawn from service in 1976. The kit represents 3218 (cn 18-2555) one of the original Army batch and is one of three owned by the Museu do Ar and was on display at the museum in Sintra in 2019 where I took the photo below. This was the first light aviation aircraft I have built and the first time I have built a kit of a plane I have actually seen. When I saw KP was going to release this with the Portuguese option, I bought it as soon as it became available and when it arrived I decided to make it my next project as I was about to finish my previous kit (the Fw 200). I started this kit in early July with the hopes of finishing it before going on holidays at the end of the month. As soon as I started it I realised it was not going to be. The parts need cleaning up and fit isn't great. The instructions are very vague and give no indication as to what optional parts go with which option other than marking the wings that are not to be used. Location of the parts is vague too. In other words, references are a must. I used the photos I took of this plane at Sintra and of 3212 which I had seen on display at the museum's section at Alverca the previous year plus a few more I found on internet as a guide. I made the following additions and modifications: - The rear V frame inside the canopy is shown the wrong way round in the instructions. It had to be shortened too. The forward one needed some filing to fit on the coaming. - I added the missing diagonal frames in the rear cockpit from stretched sprue. - I added belts from masking tape. - The tail wheel is completely wrong. I only used the fork and wheel itself and scratchbuilt the leg from stretched sprue. - I added the intakes and vents to the engine cover that I could discern from my photos. I used and modified some kit parts and scratchbuilt others. Once I glued the exhaust pipe, I cut it to the appropriate length and sanded the end to the right angle. The two on display had the same configuration of the engine cover but I noticed another machine now in civilian hands had a slightly different one so beware. - The engine didn't fit inside and I had to cut the cylinders shorter to get it in place. - I cut off the blobs representing the wingtip lights and replaced then with parts made from stretched sprue. - I added the radio antenna and the tailwing support cables from stretched sprue. The kit is designed to glue the wings to the canopy by slotting some rods attached to one wing half through it and then somehow glue this to the fuselage assembly. I didn't like this idea as I felt it was too complicated and indeed the fit of the canopy with the fuselage needed work. Therefore, I removed the rods from the wing and made new ones and slid them through holes I made in the canopy. I then opened holes in the wings to slide them into the rods later on. The main wing struts benefit from shortening 0.5 to 1mm (I found out too late). The kit was fully painted and varnished by brush. The decals were thin and settled well but were delicate and fragile. The printing resolution was a little low and the screen dots can be seen in some colours with the naked eye on close inspection. The tail decals were unfortunately oversized and I realised this when putting the first one. I managed to remove it and cut it in two (resulting in damage to the flag) to place the items a little better. I then used the scheme paint to make the flags a little smaller. Due to the damage, I had to paint over the flags. This kit was a struggle most of the way and I may have missed some details I could have added but I am very happy with the end result and glad I built it. Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome. Miguel
  2. Sports Plane (03835) 1:32 Carrera Revell The Piper PA-18 Super Cub was developed after WWII as a single-engined civilian aircraft, or “sports Plane” as it is sometimes referred to, especially on the front of model boxes. It was a development of the Cub line of aircraft, but was substantially different in that it was more powerful and a more “professional” type of aircraft, having flaps, twin fuel-tanks and a 150hp Lycoming engine as standard, although over the intervening years many have been re-engined with other power-plants, some more powerful, some not. Over 10,000 have been made, and they have seen use all over the world, with a particular following amongst bush pilots, who value its slow-speed handling, incredibly short take-off run and its simple mechanical make-up that makes it relatively easy to repair due to its tubular framework with doped canvas outer skin, and readily available spares. As well as the civilian operators, a number of military users have had them on charge over the years, with various designations beginning with L-18. The Civilian variant usually stuck with PA-18 and used various numbers in relation to the engine fitted at the factory, but as already mentioned there have been many alternatives used over the years. One inventive individual even converted the type to a biplane in order to improve its high-altitude handling so that it could be better used in extremely isolated mountainous regions. The Kit This is a re-release of the 2007 tooling from Revell as a special “Builder’s Choice” boxing, and it has been tricked out in a handsome set of German decals, including the colours of the modern German flag on the tailfin. It arrives in a shallow end-opening box with a painting of the aircraft in flight on the front, and inside are nine sprues of various sizes in white styrene, two in clear that were still tenuously linked together in my box, the instruction booklet and the decal sheet in between the safety sheet, which seems to have been printed on glossy paper this time. It’s a nicely detailed kit in this scale, although it does have a few features of its era, such as the occasional sink mark and ejector-pin here and there, but it’s nothing to be overly concerned about unless you have a low panic threshold. Construction begins with the cockpit in a move that won’t surprise many modellers. The floor is quite substantially curved, as it follows the line of the fuselage underside, which it follows once completed. The two sidewalls have curved lower edges too as you’d expect, and each one has a short painting guide, which also points out some decals that are applied at the same time. The floor has a few ejector-pin marks to be hidden away before it is detailed with a number of controls, including the linked control columns, with the two seats and their moulded-in seatbelts added to raised parts of the floor. The belts are well-moulded, and are individually arranged on the seats, so should look good under some carefully-applied paint. The fuselage halves are then shown for painting of their interior, with a black lip around the edges of the windows at the rear. The cockpit is built up in a basket-like shape starting with the cockpit sides, with two rectangular frames tying the sides together along with a rear bulkhead, then the cockpit floor is placed inside and joined by the rear parcel shelf and the two-part structure that forms the head-liner over the shelf. Bracing rods are added across the roof and in a V-shape down the windscreen, locking into the two-part instrument panel, which has a decal for its dials. A brief interlude has you making the clear centre-panel of the upper wing spar by slipping two aerofoil-shapes over the fully clear part without glue, then setting it aside while you close up the fuselage around the cockpit, adding rear quarterlights from the inside as you go, and closing over the front with a firewall aft of the engine bay. With the glue cured on the fuselage, the upper centre wing is installed along with the rest of the glazing, with a curved windscreen and optional straight side windows, where your choice of glue will be important so you don’t fog the wide expanses of clear styrene. A section of the cockpit floor is added below, and the N-shaped engine mounts are glued to the firewall, with two scrap diagrams showing their orientation once installed. The Lycoming engine is a flat-four, with all cylinders depicted along with the various rods, housings and a long drive-shaft passing through it. Plenty of piping is woven around the block for air and exhaust pathways, with a final diagram showing the completed unit before it is bracketed by two L-shaped panels that have the cylinder head tops moulded into them. The engine fits neatly to the mounts, and the panelling is added around it, taking care to ensure that the circular drive-shaft opening in the front cowling is centred on the shaft itself. There’s another scrap diagram to assist you with the final arrangement here too. The wings are straight with round tips, and each one has a separate aileron and flap added as the top and bottom halves are joined, with small lollipop tip-lights also fitted into channels as you go. The port wing has a landing light cut from the leading edge that is fitted with a contoured clear part and a representation of the twin lenses within the wing. The completed wings slide onto the clear centre wing section, which has a vertical spar along its length to counter the brittle nature of thin clear styrene that we all know and loathe. There is a slot within the wing for the two to mate, and it would be an idea to consider using epoxy resin to glue the wings with, as it definitely won’t create any bloom in the clear part, which could conceivably creep into the centre section that we wish to remain clear. Each wing has a V-shaped support with another inverted trestle-shaped added at approximately half way. All the attachment points are already laid out on the wing and elsewhere, and there is just a short length of wire needed to link the ailerons to the controls within the wing. Wire, cord or stretched sprue would do the trick here. The landing gear is fixed, and is mounted on a tubular frame with aerodynamic fairings and fabric between the triangular interstices, and the latter is where you’ll find a few ejector-pin marks to fill. These and the extended X-shaped axles are fitted into sockets under the fuselage, then the wheels are made up. There are two sets of wheels of two parts each, so choose the correct type, which have circumferential tread on each half thanks to some stepping of the mould surface. They have their hubs added-in, with brake detail on the inner surface, to be slotted over the axles once complete. Oddly, a pair of small holes are filled in the rear of the fuselage, appearing to be somewhat out of sequence, but in fact it is the opening shot of the tail construction. The rudder is separate and has a pair of small clear lights fitted, one each top and rear, then it is glued to the fin along with the elevators, which need another few short lengths of control lines adding, as per the drawings. The elevators are moulded as one piece per side, and fit to the fuselage sides on three pins each, in much the same manner as the real ones. The tail wheel is a short, sprung strut with a diminutive wheel on a two-part yoke, which fits into a slot in the underside of the tail. To finish off the build, the starboard side of the cockpit has its clamshell door added in either open or closed positions, with the glazed half having sliding windows moulded-in, and a handle fixed to the long edge of the trapezoid lower door. The engine cowlings can also be fitted open or closed, but the two-bladed prop and spinner are generally required for flying. A pair of short antennae made from stretched sprue are applied to the upper wing over the cockpit, with some brief instructions showing you how to stretch your own sprue if you’re unsure. Markings There is only one set of markings in this special boxing, and it’s for an attractive silver-doped airframe with a black nose and wing leading edges and a white lightning flash down the sides, with a colourful German flag on the tail fin. The tail code is kind of appropriate too. From the box you can build this airframe: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion After dealing with a few ejector-pin marks here and there, the model should build up relatively swiftly into a classic of a design that’s wearing some handsome markings. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
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