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Minicraft 1/48 Piper Super Cub

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Back again with a plane! 1/48 is an unusual scale for me, I admit I only have ONE other 1/48 aeroplane (an F-86, will be posted at some time...), but I thought 1/72 was a bit small for the Super Cub! This is also my first civil light plane.

The kit; it's poo. Only get one if you are used to short run! This is because the moulds are rather old - misaligned parts, one fuselage half shorter than the other (or maybe that was my fault...) and some rather nasty flash on what were originally very delicately tooled parts. Detail and scale "look" is good, so this is a shame. I read somewhere these kits were originally by Bandai.

It's also a bit overcomplex, which would be ok if the moulding was good. The engine for example is a multi part kit in itself, but the parts are so out of kilter it's very difficult to fix it so the prop is on straight. You also will have trouble displaying the cowling open, as there is some crude "retooling" inside the doors. This is the case in many other bits too. "Made in Korea" has been partly ground off the sprues in places, replaced by "made in China" - obviously not the same factory as Hobby Boss etc.!

Interior is basic but workable - two seats, control columns that look like old gear shift levers and slices of cake to represent rudder pedals... oh dear. Reference via the internet shows that no two Super Cubs are alike in the interior. I added typical T shaped rudder pedals out of rod, a new firewall, side throttles, new joy sticks and seat belts. I also detailed up the instrument panel a bit. And guess what? You can't see much of this because the transparencies are a bit thick... Moving on, the frame structure in the canopy is shown the wrong way round in the instructions. The V shaped piece goes in the windscreen. I realised this after sticking it in and making a new windscreen frame out of rod, fogging the inside of the transparency with the superglue in the process. As I say, moving on...

The wings and fuselage have to be painted before assembly. I used Humbrol matt trainer yellow, then a coat of Klear. Side transparencies are tricky to locate, I used Perfect Materials glue 'n' glaze, which is ok but hard to get off once dry.

Surprisingly the wings and struts went together quite nicely, although the tailwheel is fragile as I found out...

Decal sheet provides markings for German, US, Canadian and Brit registrations, plus enough numbers and letters to make your own. Probably to compensate for what is a rather dodgy kit, like certain Revell re-releases... the decals are rather shiny, and as you can see didn't like the sprayed Klear surface and silvered. I should probably have used Humbrol decalfix, as this tends to wipe out the Curse of Silver. My usual decal solvent just dries things out! This is all a question of what you put the decals on, most of the time they only settle on a shiny surface - spraying Klear etc. usually gives you a granular one. Surface I mean.

OK, there it is - was it worth the aggro? Yeah, it looks nice, and it's an interesting aeroplane.





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Bad luck with the silvering. I think Klear works a lot better when brushed, you get a much smoother surface than with spraying it.

That apart, a lovely model and as a Super Cub fan I am very pleased to see one in here.

Yeah, I keep airbrushing the stuff and I just get this... either that or always use gloss paint... seems Super Cubs attract a loyal following anyway!

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