Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

venomvixen

Dragon Sea Venom FAW-21 second impressions.

Recommended Posts

Cyber Hobby DeHavilland Sea Venom FAW-21

For the purposes of this review I will be using the following references:

AP4360B Volume 1 Sea Venom FAW 21 General and Technical Information

AP4360C Volume 1 Sea Venom FAW 53 General and Technical Information

AP4360C Volume 6 Sea Venom FAW 53 Structural Repair Manual

1/72nd Scale plans by G.A Cox

and

Former Royal Australian Navy Sea Venom FAW 53 WZ-907, currently with the

Thomas Aircraft Collection, Harrington Park NSW.

1WZ-907.jpg

The kit comes in Dragons trade mark packaging. Three grey sprues, one clear and a set of etched brass wing fences are individually packed with the clear sprue and etch in separate bags taped to a cardboard header. For photo's of the box art, sprue's and decals please refer to Mr AH's reveiw in the aircraft review section.

The instructions are Dragons usual pictorial format.

Initial inspection shows the parts to be finely moulded with no flash evident. Surface detail is quite subtle around panel lines etc but over done in other area's i.e. fuel fillers. These will be discussed later.

The fuselage and inner wings are split horizontally with the tail booms as separate assemblies. This will ease the usually tricky job of aligning the booms. Comparing the major airframe components against Mr Cox's plans reveal several issues.

Using the trailing edge of the wing in the plan as a datum point the fuselage appears to be 3 millimetres to short. this is not including the radome. The rear cone and deck hook fairing is 2mm to long.

The fuselage is poor in cross section being to flat along its upper surfaces from the upper nose right back to the rear cone. Compare the kit parts to the photo of WZ-935, the missing curvature can be clearly seen.

2.jpg

3.jpg

WZ-935 wreck NAS Nowra 2006

The arrestor hook fairing is to wide. The kit measures 24mm at the arrestor hook mount and 14mm at the jet pipe. The plan measures 19.5mm and 10mm respectively.

4.jpg

5.jpg

The booms appear to be 2mm to long and the fin is 1mm to high. The curvature in cross section of the booms has been missed making them appear slab sided and to thin.

Outer wings are 4mm to long out board of the aileron.

Construction would have you start by installing the undercarriage, flaps and arrestor hook into the fuselage halves. Great for those who enjoy breaking stuff!

The landing gear is extremely well detailed. The wheel hub detail is spot on, the gear legs feature fine and accurate detail. The main gear wells have adequate detail but the shape is suspect, as are the gear doors. The nose gear well completely misses the recess for the wheel and is overall far too shallow.

6-1.jpg

7-1.jpg

Main Gear Well WZ-907

8-1.jpg

Main gear leg WZ-907

9-1.jpg

Nose gear well looking aft - WZ-907

The flaps and arrestor hook are excellent, the included insert for the arrestor hook fairing is most welcome, as are the included drop tanks.

The fairing over the main wheel well is poorly defined and the shape is off. On the prototype the fairing is a sheet metal section riveted to the upper wing. Dragon have portrayed it as integral with the wing skin.

10-1.jpg

WZ-907 Starboard wing

11.jpg

As can be seen the kit fairing is to wide compared to the prototype.

There has been some discussion that the kit is of an "Export" version of the Sea Venom. The FAW-21, FAW-22 and FAW-53 are all the same airframe, the only differences being the avionics fit and engine (Ghost 104 in the 21 & 53, Ghost 105 in the 22)

The fuel filler caps on a Sea Venom are flush with the wing skins and have four small holes in them to allow the use of the fuel cap spanner in opening them

12.jpg

Number 1 tank filler cap (Right hand round panel)

Dragon has moulded the caps as deep recess's that are in the wrong position.

Most of the access panels seen on the prototype are missing or poorly shaped. The heat exchanger panels are missing the large exhaust vent.

13.jpg

Left wing heat exchanger vent WZ-907

The radio/ammunition tank access panels have their opening handles moulded as deep circles where in they should be a thin metal handle, on the left hand side the panel has been missed entirely.

14.jpg

Radio /Ammunition tank access panel is in the lower right of the photo.

On the underside, only two link chutes have been moulded, strangely they are on the center line. There should be four, two on each side of the gun bay doors.

15.jpg

16.jpg

Link chutes viewed from the left WZ-907

Dragon have supplied a rendition of the DeHavilland Ghost 104 turbo jet. made up of 16 parts including the firewall and intake ducts. The engine is the high point of this kit, the detail is first class right down to the twin Rotax generators mounted on top of the wheel case. The intake duct is complete up to the engine face, thankfully no blade detail is included (it is a centrifugal compressor after all) The only let down is the misshapen firewall, it is far too short and lacks the oval shape of the original.

17.jpg

18.jpg

WZ-895 derelict at NAS Nowra, note the circular shape of the fire wall

The cockpit is composed of a base and aft bulkhead, two side consoles and an instrument panel plus two ejection seats.

Starting with the floor / bulkhead the detail is ok if a little heavy. Dragon have missed the area behind the seats (a nightmare of black boxes and wiring on the original) choosing to mould the seat mounts ala Matchbox's 1/32 scale kit. The right hand console is totally devoid of detail while the right has the throttle box and wing fold included but has the area forward of the throttle box far too high, this in turn throws out the sit of the instrument panel.

The instrument panel is wildly inaccurate but does come with some nice (but inaccurate) decal instruments. The panel bears no relation to the actual aircraft.

19.jpg

20.jpg

The seats are undersized and are missing the characteristic horse shoe shaped parachute pack. The control column has the brake actuator handle mounted half way down its length. Very handy for the longer fingered pilot but not accurate.

Behind the seats Dragon have moulded a quite accurate voltage regulator and hydraulic tank. Unfortunately they are in the wrong position and the left hand voltage reg / main circuit breakers have been omitted. They have also missed the housing for the canopy gun that is quite prominent in this area but they have moulded the cover at the front of this part that was only seen on the FAW-20 and early FAW-21's

21.jpg

22.jpg

Right hand voltage regulators WZ-907

23.jpg

Hydraulic tank and main circuit breakers WZ-907

24.jpg

Aft canopy frame WZ-907, note the canopy gun tunnel in the center of the shot.

The fuselage halves are now joined and the tail booms, stabiliser and separate control surfaces are added. Other than the previously mentioned issues with the booms, this area appears ok. The clear lens for the formation light is a nice touch.

Dragon give the builder the two radome side access doors as separate parts. No interior detail is provided. The doors again feature recessed locking handles but these again are flush mounted on the prototype.

25.jpg

26.jpg

Left hand radome access door WZ-907 note the flush mounted handles.

The engine access cover has the generator air intake moulded separately, this has the intakes moulded open. Nice touch but the shape is off, being too wide.

28.jpg

The outer wings are next, though to long they can be fixed by cutting off the tank and removing the unwanted length before refitting the tank.

The separate ailerons and etch boundary fences are next. The ailerons are fine but the fences are somewhat oversize, by somewhat I mean if they were any bigger Roger Waters would have to be forcibly stopped from projecting large images of marching hammers on them and performing very good concerts in front of them! Replace them with 10 thou sheet. The leading edge slats are separate parts and beautifully done.

29.jpg

The builder has the option to display the aircraft folded or spread. The wing fold inserts are not 100% accurate but are fine in this scale.

The last stage of construction is fitting the one piece canopy. This distinctive part of the aircraft is badly out, being some 3mm to narrow compared to Mr Cox's plan. The Falcon aftermarket canopy appears to fit with some brute force and profanity. The builder will need to supply her own canopy centre beam as it is missing from the kit.

30.jpg

There are no antennas nor aerials supplied in the kit, this is from the radio section of the relevant AP for the FAW 21

31.jpg

The decal sheet gives two schemes

XG693 of No 894 Squadron, HMS Albion (I believe this aircraft is a FAW22)

WW189 of 892 Squadron, HMS Ark Royal.

The decals are nicely printed with accurate colours and register.

Conclusions.

Unfortunately another disappointment for those of us looking for an accurate Sea Venom in any scale. While this kit is state of the art in moulding and presentation it is sadly lacking in accuracy. In fact the ancient Frog kit is far better in outline. If your not that fussed with accuracy then go for it, it should be a nice build.

With a bit of scratch building and leaving everything open then it may be possible to build a reasonable model from it. Or you can wait for the other one.

Credibility Intact!

Edited by venomvixen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review here, thanks a lot for posting !

I'm very disappointed by the flaws you've found, a product that for complexity and price is intended to be at the top end of the market simply can not show all these problems. The designers at Dragon really need to put their acts together !

Guess I'll pass on this one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that, a very objective review from someone with access to the plans and most importantly airframes!

Now you just need to do me a complete walkaround so I can add it to the site :D

Cheers,

Julien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review and timely as I just got mine. I would add one more issue, the kits painting instructions have the 892 Sqd. plane identified as HMS Ark Royal Suez 1956. First I knew that the Ark was in Musketeer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dannielle, that may just be the best kit review I have read. Objective, meticulously researched and well illustrated - 10/10!

Richard in NZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

most people judge kits by comparing them to books... other people by comparing them to the real thing! Amazing review and yes, after this, I'm disappointed of the new sea venom.

Thanks for the review!

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff Danni, so glad you took the time to do this, I will be waiting for the other one, probably not a lot different in price anyway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice to see an objective review from someone who seems to know what they are talking about (:>) You'd think they did it for a living! I'd go along with 10/10.

It compliments the kit on its good points but doesn't gloss over the bad points.

It seems that an accurate model requires a fair bit of work from this kit but it's not impossible.

I gather the CMR kit may in fact be a little cheaper than this one but final pricing hasn't been decided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Danni,

Well done! acurate, data supported and balanced. I wish I could write papers as well as this!

Now, a quickie; what about the Matchbox/Revell Sea Venom? What would you do to it? (rubbish skip is not an option!) and how?

This morning I realised that I have had one sitting in the stash since 1981 and it might just be time to get around to it...

Again, well done.

Happy modelling,

Christian the Married

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Danni,

Well done! acurate, data supported and balanced. I wish I could write papers as well as this!

Now, a quickie; what about the Matchbox/Revell Sea Venom? What would you do to it? (rubbish skip is not an option!) and how?

This morning I realised that I have had one sitting in the stash since 1981 and it might just be time to get around to it...

Again, well done.

Happy modelling,

Christian the Married

Its typical Matchbox, quite accurate in outline but very lacking in detail.

I would leave it on the shelf for just a few more months as Harold from AMS is working on some very

nice goodies for it.

Or if you cant wait I can make a list B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started dry fitting some of the major parts together today.

The tail booms are 3mm to long, and the intake lips are inline with each other.

On the prototype the lower lip is farther back than the top. The intake strakes are not

mentioned on the instruction sheet but are included, albeit over scale.

I am debating if its worthwhile starting a build thread on a kit that may very well not get build

or even survive the build.

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am debating if its worthwhile starting a build thread on a kit that may very well not get build

or even survive the build.

Thoughts?

Go on, you know you want to :devil:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1/72nd Scale plans by G.A Cox

Danii,

On a scale of 1 to 100, how confident are you in the accuracy of these plans?

I'd like to track down a set, but as I understand it they're MAP plans and may no longer be easy to get - so I want a high degree of confidence before I start looking!

Rgds

Shane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Danii,

On a scale of 1 to 100, how confident are you in the accuracy of these plans?

I'd like to track down a set, but as I understand it they're MAP plans and may no longer be easy to get - so I want a high degree of confidence before I start looking!

Rgds

Shane

I've compared some of the measurements off the plan with the dimensions quoted in the AP's

I also did some measureing off WZ-907, converted them to 1/72 scale and compared them to the

plan.

I'm satisfied they are accurate.

I'm also satisfied doing maths gives me a headache!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to track down a set, but as I understand it they're MAP plans and may no longer be easy to get

Available from My Hobby Store www.myhobbystore.co.uk., under the original MAP no. 2680, at £12.50.

Edgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am debating if its worthwhile starting a build thread on a kit that may very well not get build

or even survive the build.

Thoughts?

Given what you say about accuracy I can see why you are hesitant. However, if you could build it you might help some people to decide whether to get one. Accuracy is important, but for many it is not the final deciding factor in whether a kit is bought. Otherwise we would not still see OOB builds of the Academy Spitfire Mk XIV. Some people will tolerate a certain degree of inaccuracy if the kit goes together well and they think they will enjoy it. Of course, others will never be able to put to one side the fact that they know the kit has inaccuracies, no matter how much of a joy it is to build.

If you could build the kit I'm sure many would follow the thread - but nobody would expect you to take time to do this if you are not going to enjoy the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. You'd think the Dragon designers would bother to measure up real airframes during their research - the Sea Vixen, now this....one wonders what Trevor Snowden thinks....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Danni,

I would be very happy to wait for you :D (whilst also waiting for Harold!)

Time is no problem, I´ve had it for 31 years ( :huh::wacko::blink: ) so a little longer should not be a problem :wicked:

Again, many thanks for a proper review.

Happy modelling,

Christian the Married

Its typical Matchbox, quite accurate in outline but very lacking in detail.

I would leave it on the shelf for just a few more months as Harold from AMS is working on some very

nice goodies for it.

Or if you cant wait I can make a list B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dani,

I'd say build it. While a couple of us would "look at it and say, nope, inaccurate, I don't want it," some would go, "oh, it's a nice new model!" and the latter group would love to know how it goes together. As Patsy would say, "it's only a model."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few mm's here and there I can live with but how do you make a fuselage that's not round in cross section!? Surely you would start of assuming it's round and then look for evidence that it's not. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one Dannielle,

Excellent review and as Mr. Mock says, YOUR credibility was NEVER in doubt and you've also pulled the teeth of the 'nay sayers'!

Wow. You'd think the Dragon designers would bother to measure up real airframes during their research - the Sea Vixen, now this....one wonders what Trevor Snowden thinks....

We don't know................and he won't tell! :whistle:

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mates,

I just got a price quote here in North America for the CMR 1:72 Sea Venom at $49 USD. Which includes two PE frets, several marking options (including Australia for Dannielle), resin cockpit (of course, the whole thing is resin :) ) several weapons and underwing load options, and canopy masks. The full description is now on their web site. A wing folding option is available separately. I haven't seen pictures of the components, yet.

Cheers,

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its typical Matchbox, quite accurate in outline but very lacking in detail.

I would leave it on the shelf for just a few more months as Harold from AMS is working on some very

nice goodies for it.

Or if you cant wait I can make a list B)

Hi Danni, Who is/are AMS? I'm also thinking of doing the Matchbox kit.

Great review of the Dragon kit. Perhaps a really well off modeller could purchase the kit for the undercarriage parts to duff up the FROG kit!

Thaks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×