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Houchin 25Kva Ground Power Unit 1:72 & 1:48 VideoAviation To a great many modellers the mentioning of the name of this essential piece of kit might still garner a response such as "A what now?", but without these unassuming boxes providing an aircraft on the ground with power, technicians and crews couldn't work on the systems without lighting up the engines so that the aircraft could have electrical power. Whenever an aircraft was preparing for flight, or engaging in maintenance, there would always be one of these nearby chugging away and generating the power needed to run the systems. This particular unit was used at the height of the Cold War to power the Lightning, Hunter, Phantom, Buccaneer, Harrier, Jaguar and Sea King to name a few, supplying them with 28v DC and 200v AC on two separate connections. It lapsed into obsolescence which the introduction of the Tornado which needed more power for its advanced systems, and retirement of the older aircraft from the RAF's fleet. The resin set is available in both scales, both of which arrive in almost identical clamshell boxes, with the light tan-coloured parts in ziplok bags swaddled in bubble wrap. Under the card insert is the instruction sheet, which details construction in an isometric format. The smaller set forgoes the opening stowage panniers, the small Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, and the hoses that can be stored inside. 1:48 Houchin 25Kva GPU (160948) This set includes sixteen resin parts, a small fret of PE and two gauges of flexible black tubing, plus a small sheet of decals with yellow stripes and data plate. Construction is simple, with the main body attaching to the chassis, and the four wheels on two axles, one of which is fixed, the other on a turntable for towing behind a suitable ground vehicle. The opening lids of the boxes are separate, as are the hubs of the wheels, and the PE is used for door latches, brackets and a towing eye on the rear of the body. The instructions providing painting guide to the details, and advise yellow or green for the body, depending on whether you are modelling an early or late device respectively. 1:72 Houchin 25Kva GPU (161272) Assembling in the same manner as the larger version, this set has only ten resin parts, as the storage panniers are moulded closed, and the hubs moulded into the wheels. At this scale the parts made from PE would have been too small to handle, so these have been moulded-in for ease. The decal sheet and colour call-outs are identical except for their size of course. Conclusion A great addition to any ground-handling diorama that won't tax your skills to complete. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Hobart AM32A-86 Generator 1:48 & 1:72 VideoAviation The Hobart Genny was dual voltage generator that was often seen plugged into an aircraft on the ground, running the electronics when the engine or APU wasn't turning to generate its own juice. It could deliver 400hz 115v or 200v AC power from a Detroit diesel power plant, and was introduced in the late 80s, being used by a number of Air Forces. The Kit Available in 1:72 and 1:48, this little kit is as comprehensive as you could wish for. It arrives in a small white card box with an almost full-face sticker on the top containing product details and a picture of the finished item. Under the instruction sheet you will find a ziplok bag of resin parts, the large body part wrapped in foam sheet, and another ziplok bag containing decals, a piece of clear acetate and some black rubber tubing. There are fifteen resin parts on eight pouring blocks in a dense light grey resin, and all parts have sensibly placed attachment points for easy release and minimal clean-up. The main part is the enclosure for the engine, which has a sliver of resin under it that can be sanded off (taking the usual precautions with resin), after which you can add the two fairings that house the wheel wells, and have a shallow upstand around their perimeter for stowage. The axles fit under the main body, locating in pairs of slots with triangular profile, after which you can install the four wheels with their separate hubs, towing pintle, and a (lifting?) eye on the top centre of the body. There are two small control panels set into the side of the body, which have clear covers over their surfaces. The larger panel at the top is covered completely by a small piece of acetate sheet that you will need to cut very carefully to shape, and it also has a small hand-hole for removal, which you can attempt if you are feeling brave. The lower panel has a small hood of clear material, which you should glue to the narrow triangular section that allows the real thing to swing out or slide flush, in the same manner as your cooker hood at home. You will probably want to fix these after painting is complete, and either clear gloss varnish, or G-S Hypo cement would be useful to fix them cleanly. The provided hose should be stowed in one of the sponson trays, with one end plugged into the hole in the little square upstand below the control panels. Markings It seems that most of these units were white green, or grey, but you can be assured that they saw some wear that took a toll on their appearance fairly quickly. The decals provided are printed by Fantasy Printshop, and consist primarily of edge and corner markers to prevent the erks from bumping into them, but there are also helpful pointers such as "Do not forklift" and the designation DG12, plus a pair of small data plates, and of course an emergency shut-down stencil in red. Decals are up to Fantasy Printshop's usual standard, and shouldn't give you any problems. Conclusion The kits are essentially the same in each scale, with the exception of the wheels for the 1:72 option being single parts due to their size, and the eye on the body pre-moulded to the top. They are simple kits, but look very effective when completed, and will give any diorama some additional appeal and realism. Highly recommended. 1:48 1:72 Review sample courtesy of
I don't suppose anyone has any better pictures of the Houchin 690 GPU than can be found on Google images? The 690 is the standard slidy cover towable GPU seen at many airports worldwide. I'm after a good clean shot from side on and from the rear/ front so I can get the angle right. An even better find would be some plans... https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&biw=1024&bih=672&site=imghp&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=Mw5HUpHfBsiM7AaEp4CACg&q=houchin+gpu&oq=houchin+gpu&gs_l=img.3..0.2525.3523.0.4322.214.171.124.0.0.0.128.591.3j3.6.0....0...1c.1.27.img..5.1.103.S4ZqmMCbORw#biv=i%7C5%3Bd%7CNz1W4pRpa3yfyM%3A