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It is said there https://bluejacket.com/ww2_12-07-41_carriers.html that at the time of Pearl Harbor attack four USN flattop-based units were using (as supplementary type of course) the SNJ-3 Texan scouts. Has anybody ever seen the gray-painted SNJ-3 sporting 5-S-... (Yorktown), 41-F-... (Ranger), 6-T-... (Enterprise), 8-F-... (Hornet) or 72-F-... (Wasp) fuselage codes? Were these aircraft hook-equipped SNJ-3Cs or "plain" SNJ-3s with no arrester gear? Did they have the rear-cockpit gun or not? Cheers Michael
North American T-6 Texan 1:32 KittyHawk History The Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (first flown on April 1, 1935) which, modified as the NA-26, was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat" aircraft competition in March, 1937. The first model went into production and 180 were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 and 400 to the RAF as the Harvard I. The US Navy received 16 modified aircraft, designated the SNJ-1, and a further 61 as the SNJ-2 with a different engine. The BC-1 was the production version of the NA-26 prototype, with retractable tailwheel landing gear and the provision for armament, a two-way radio, and the 550 hp (410 kW) R-1340-47 engine as standard equipment. Production versions included the BC-1 (Model NA-36) with only minor modifications (177 built), of which 30 were modified as BC-1I instrument trainers; the BC-1A (NA-55) with airframe revisions (92 built); and a single BC-1B with a modified wing center-section. Three BC-2 aircraft were built before the shift to the "advanced trainer" designation, AT-6, which was equivalent to the BC-1A. The differences between the AT-6 and the BC-1 were new outer wing panels with a swept forward trailing edge, squared-off wingtips and a triangular rudder, producing the canonical Texan silhouette. After a change to the rear of the canopy, the AT-6 was designated the Harvard II for RAF/RCAF orders and 1,173 were supplied by purchase or Lend Lease, mostly operating in Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The next variant, the AT-6A, was based on the NA-77 design and was powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-1340-49 Wasp radial engine. The USAAF received 1,549 and the US Navy 270 (as the SNJ-3). The AT-6B was built for gunnery training and could mount a .30 in machine gun on the forward fuselage. It used the R-1340-AN-1 engine, which was to become the standard for the remaining T-6 production. Canada's Noorduyn Aviation built an R-1340-AN-1-powered version of the AT-6A, which was supplied to the USAAF as the AT-16 (1,500 aircraft) and the RAF/RCAF as the Harvard IIB (2,485 aircraft), some of which also served with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Canadian Navy. The NA-88 design resulted in 2,970 AT-6C Texans and 2,400 as the SNJ-4. The RAF received 726 of the AT-6C as the Harvard IIA. Modifications to the electrical system produced the AT-6D (3,713 produced) and SNJ-5 (1,357 produced). The AT-6D, redesignated the Harvard III, was supplied to the RAF (351 aircraft) and Fleet Air Arm (564 aircraft). The AT-6G (SNJ-5) involved major advancements including a full-time hydraulic system and a steerable tailwheel and persisted into the 1950s as the USAF advanced trainer. Subsequently the NA-121 design with a completely clear rearmost section on the canopy, gave rise to 25 AT-6F Texans for the USAAF and 931, as the SNJ-6 for the US Navy. The ultimate version, the Harvard 4, was produced by Canada Car and Foundry during the 1950s, and supplied to the RCAF, USAF and Bundeswehr. A total of 15,495 T-6s of all variants were built, quite a few of which are still used as warbirds, demonstrations, by flight experience companies, plus used as film extras and stars. The Model This is a wholly new tooling from KittyHawk it’s certainly great to see it being released in 1:32 scale, being their first in this scale. Arriving in a very attractively designed box, with one an artists representation the aircraft in flight over a somewhat rocky area of the US. On each side are colour profiles of four of the eight colour schemes included in the kit. The box is quite deep and it’s easy to see why, as on opening it is full of styrene. The kit is contained on 6 large sprues of bluey grey styrene, with one of clear styrene and a small etched brass sheet for the seat belts. The main sprues, some of which are folded over from the centre, one of KittyHawks little idiosyncrasies, and need to snapped apart before inspecting the parts. Detail looks very refined, with engraved panel lines and raised areas where required. The styrene feels quite soft so take care when removing from the sprues. There is no sign of flash or moulding pips, but there are a number of parts which have quite large injection towers, particularly the inside of the engine cylinder parts, which will need to be carefully removed before assembling. The clear parts are very well protected from damage by being in their own separate cardboard box. The build begins with the construction of the complex looking cockpit. The seat pans are attached to the supports and each fitted with a grab handle and seat a lowering/raising bar. The cockpit floor looks like it’s meant to represent the upperside of the centre wing, but isn’t curved enough as in the real thing there is no floor for the front pilot, only the for the rear. Still once all the parts are added and the completed assembly fitted to the fuselage I doubt much of it will be seen. There is a choice of joystick styles, depending on the variant being built and these are attached to the cockpit floor, along with a pair of fott runners and a foot rest for the front pilot. The nicely moulded tubular cockpit structure is fitted out with throttle quadrants, a fire extinguisher and radio box, whilst the two rudder pedal pairs are attached to their connecting rods. The instrument panel is made up of upper and lower sections onto which the decals are positioned and a back piece, with the instrument backs moulded into it, is attached to the rear of the upper panel. The floor, tubular sides, front instrument panel and rudder pedal assembly are then assembled. The rear bulkhead is the, made up of the bulkhead, rear decking and semi circular support, is attached to the rear of the cockpit whilst the single piece front bulkhead is, naturally, fitted to the front of the cockpit. A shelf, fitted with two trim wheels, control levers and other items is fitted to the port side of the cockpit from the outside. The rear cockpit instrument panel is then fitted along with its associated coaming whilst the two piece starboard console for the front cockpit is also attached. There are two black boxes fitted to the rear decking, whilst a separate shelf is fitted to the rear bulkhead below it. A two piece rollover bar is attached between the cockpits and three internal structure parts are fitted to the rear deck. To the front bulkhead there is another control box and the two piece oil tank attached. Moving onto the engine, the first parts to be attached are the two cylinder bank halves, (once the injection posts have been removed). The cylinders are then attached to a backing plate and the valve rods are fitted to the front face, along with the magneto to the gearbox cover.. There is an option of having either a short exhaust or a long one, depending on the variant being modelled, each being in two parts, with the completed exhaust then fitted to the collector ring. This assembly is then attached to the cooling gill part along with the intake manifold and the engine fitted to the exhaust and intake manifolds. To the rear of the engine a multi part accessory gearbox is fitted as is an five piece air intake and filter. Four V shaped engine bearers are then fitted to the rear of the engine, followed by three plates that fit onto the outside strut of each bearer. The whole engine assembly is then attached to the front of the cockpit assembly and everything is sandwiched between the two fuselage halves, closing it all up. Once again depending on the option being modelled there are different parts for the front upper fuselage one with a slightly different shape for the SNJ, and the rear of the cockpit glazing, either framed or unframed. The rear upper fuselage is then fitted, as is the two piece rudder, starboard side air filter intake and two foot rests. The horizontal stabilisers are each made up of an upper and lower half and fitted with a single piece elevator. The completed parts are then attached to the rear fuselage. There doesn’t appear to be an option to have the engine cowling open so the four parts have to be glued together and slipped over the engine. The windscreen is now fitted and the option of two types of radio mast, or a DF loop fairing, large blade fairing and even what looks like a GPS fairing, again depending on which scheme the modeller is building. The propeller is made up of the two blades, four piece pitch mechanism and boss. Onto this there is a choice of either a two piece or a single piece spinner, should the option require them. The propeller can then be fitted as can the three piece cockpit canopy. The wheels are assembled from a single piece oleo/axle, onto which the two parts of the scissor link is attached. The tyres come in two halves with separate inner and outer hubs. With the main wheels done, it’s on to the wing centre section. Into the single piece lower part two pieces are added that represent the front spar that can be seen through the wheel wells. These have very prominent injection towers that need to be removed before fitting, fortunately though they are the rear face so any damage won’t be seen. With these fitted the two upper wing panels can be attached and, according to the instructions the centre flap, wheel assemblies and gear bay doors are also fitted at this time, but it may be prudent to leave until later. The outer wings, each of upper and lower halves and landing light innards which, when assembled, can be fitted out with the clear landing and navigation light glass parts, pitot probe, (on the port wing), ailerons, with mass balances and flaps.The outer wings are then attached to the centre section and the whole thing fitted to the fuselage. Finally the under nose air intake and the three piece tail wheel assembly are fitted completing the main build. Since these aircraft were used for weapon training etc, the kit comes with a variety of underwing stores, these include:- Six off T-10 Rockets and their launch rails Two off Matra 122 rocket launchers Four off 250kg Bombs Two off twin 7.7mm machine gun pods Two off 20 gallon drop tanks. Decals There are two large sheets of decals and one small, almost addendum style sheet, with markings for the following options, which I believe are all preserved machines:- USAF aircraft. Ser.No.N9623C, TA-349 “Deb”, in a very flash red white and blue scheme over natural metal. USN aircraft. Ser.No.93449, in a colourful yellow wing, medium sea grey fuselage scheme. USMC aircraft. Ser.No.90917 in overall silver scheme with yellow nose and green stripes on the wings and rear fuselage. Canadian Air Force aircraft. Ser.No. CF-UUU in overall trainer yellow with a blue nose. German Air Force aircraft. I.D. number BF + 056, in overall trainer yellow with green nose including a chequer board panel on either side. Italian Air Force aircraft. Ser.No. MM-54101 in overqall silver with yellow outer wings/tail and extreme nose of cowling. South African Air Force aircraft. In overall silver fuselage, with orange panels on the wings, tialplane and cowling plus medium sea grey panels on the upper wings. Royal Air Force aircraft. Ser.No. FT239 in brown and mid stone over light aircraft blue camouflage scheme. The decals look very well printed, with good opacity and density, in register and without too much carrier film, with the notable exception of the large USAF titles. There are a complete set of stencils for one aircraft included. Conclusion This is a great looking kit, especially considering it is Kitty Hawks first foray into 1:32 scale. The details on the parts are sharp and there is a nice finesse to them, especially the detail cockpit interior. With so many colour schemes offered, it will be difficult to choose which one to do and it’s good to see that it’s not just the schemes that change, with the different parts included; it is possible to represent each aircraft accurately as far as I can tell. There have been a number of grumbles about the cockpit floor, which, whilst it’s not accurate, it is a reasonable compromise to aid in making the kit easier to produce and perhaps build. You won’t see much of it anyway, unless the modeller wishes to de-skin the fuselage, in which case they will have the skills to reproduce the upper wing centre section. For those that want a good sized Texan/Harvard/SNJ in their collection I can highly recommend this kit. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops