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Paul A H

Potez 25 A2/B2 'Hispano' and 'Lorraine' - 1:72

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Potez 25 A2/B2 'Hispano' and 'Lorraine' (FR0037 and FR0038)

1:72 Azur Frrom

 

potez25hispano_01.jpg

 

The Potez 25 was a French single engined, two-seater biplane designed in the interwar period and used widely by air forces around the world. A flexible design, the Potez 25 was used in a variety of roles, including as a fighter, bomber escort, light bomber and reconnaissance platform. The A2 variant was primarily a reconnaissance aircraft, powered by either a 520hp Salmson 18Cmb radial engine, a Lorraine 12Eb inline engine or a Hispano Suiza 12Jb engine. The Potez 25 had a range of 373 miles and a maximum speed of 132 mph. Armed with 7.7mm machine guns, it was also capable of carrying 200kg of bombs. Curiously, the aircraft could quite easily be converted from biplane to parasol-winged monoplane and served with the Romanian Air Force in this configuration. In total, over 4,000 examples were built, including many under licence. 

 

The Potez 25 has not been brilliantly represented by kit manufacturers over the years. The last time I remember reviewing one was a fancy mixed media kit released by Grand Models around three or so years ago. Now Azur Frrom have stepped up to the plate with a modern, injection moulded kit of the type that offers both Hispano and Lorraine engined versions. Inside the box are five frames of grey plastic and a single clear frame, as well as photo etched parts and decals. The plastic parts are all nicely moulded and have plenty of fine detail. We'll take a look at the Hispano version first, before covering the differences with the Lorraine version. 

 

potez25hispano_02.jpg

 

potez25hispano_03.jpg

 

Construction starts with the well-detailed cockpit. This sub-assembly is made up of the floor detail, seats, instrument panels, control columns, rudder pedals and the podium and machine gun for the observer/gunner. The cockpit sidewalls are packed with detail too. Once complete, the cockpit detail is sandwiched between the fuselage halves and the underside of the fuselage, which is separately moulded. The engine cowling is next. The inner struts fit inside this structure and tiny holes must also be drilled in pre-marked points in order to accommodate the rigging. Once complete, the cowling/forward fuselage can be joined to the main section of the fuselage which, in turn, can be joined to the lower wing (or blanking piece if building one of the Romanian parasol-winged monoplane versions).

 

The upper wing joins to the fuselage and lower wing via a system of struts. There are different struts for the monoplane version. No jig is provided to help with alignment, so this model may be better suited to experienced biplane builders. The landing gear uses a similar system of individual struts. The instructions recommend making pins from brass rod to strengthen these parts and you will need to source this yourself as none is supplied. The main wheels benefit from some photo etched detail to represent the spoked wheels. More photo etched parts are used to represent the elevator control parts and the locating points for the rigging. Finishing touches include auxiliary fuel tanks and four small bombs. A choice of three different propellers is included, with helpful notes to explain which belongs to which of the different aircraft represented on the decal sheet. 

 

potez25hispano_04.jpg

 

potez25hispano_05.jpg

 

potez25hispano_06.jpg

 

potez25hispano_07.jpg

 

Four decal options are provided, which is pretty generous for a kit of this size:

  • Potez 25 B2, Royal Hellenic Air Force, coded Sigma 3, Athenes-Tatoï airfield, end of April or May 1941;
  • Potez 25 A2, Royal Romanian Air Force, Little Entente and Poland Air Race (placed 6th if you're wondering), Prague, August 1928;
  • Potez 25 A2, Royal Romanian Air Force (monoplane configuration), Little Entente and Poland Air Race (placed 4th), Prague, August 1928; and 
  • Potez 25, Yugoslav Army, Little Entente and Poland Air Race (not placed), Prague, August 1928.

The decals are nicely printed and the colours look nice and bold. 

 

potez25hispano_08.jpg

 

Potez 25 A2/B2 'Lorraine'

 

potez25lorraine_01.jpg

 

This version of the kit is virtually identical to the Hispano-powered version, but obviously has different parts for the engine cowling and radiator, which is at the front of the cowling rather than underneath. There is also no parasol-winged version in this boxing.

 

potez25lorraine_02.jpg

 

The decal options provided with this version are: 

  • Potez 25 A2 Nr 2054, White RF 22, Aéronautique militaire, Rochefort training unit, France, 1937;
  • Potez 25 B2  Nr 42.216, White 6, 34 th Squadron, 3 nd Regiment, Polish Air Force. Aircaft built by P&L. Poznan, Poland, 1932;
  • IAR-Potez 25 B2  Nr 211, Romanian Air Force. Aircraft built by IAR in Brasov probably in May 1934; and
  • Potez 25 A2 in French Indochina, captured by the Japanese in March 1945, sent to Thailand when the Japanese forces surrendered. Don Muang (Thailand), Autumn 1945

 

potez25lorraine_03.jpg

 

Conclusion

 

Three cheers for Azur Frrom for taking the initiative and producing an injection moulded model of this attractive and important interwar type. The kit is very nicely detailed indeed, although I have to say it probably isn't ideally suited to biplane virgins. That said, if you take your time and pay attention to the instructions, you should be rewarded with a really appealing model to which a huge variety of marking schemes can be applied. Recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of logo.gif


 

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Looks good! RHAF markings sell it to me.

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 8:31 PM, Rorynes said:

The kit looks nice and pretty but 30 quids for a 1/72 is far too expensive.

It depends how one is motivated to have it.

Look, let discuss it this way - 30 pounds is perhaps six beers in a pub. On the other hand how many eveings one play with model? Maybe 15 is not enough. Let say it is three weeks - all late afternoons and evenings to do it. So six beers for 21 days - is it a lot for a good time? ;)

Cheers!

J-W

 

Edited by JWM

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Considering this is a new tool and will sell no where near the numbers of a P-51/Spitfire/109 etc I think the cost is reasonable.

 

Julien

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I thought ithe price was reasonable, also. Enough so that I got both from from the big H. They came yesterday and they do look Very nice in the box. I was a little disappointed that the kit designer gave up on any attempt at positive location for the struttery and, instead sent us off looking for brass rod, bit of an admission that the kit cannot be built from what is in the box.

.A little lacking in French schemes, as well. On the plus side, much of what you need for the radial engine version is in both boxes, a sign that more are coming.

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I think I'll wait for a TOE version. But I can't speak for my wallet if I find the Lorraine version at a LHS.

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In this price I would expect more stuff inside like  string,brass tubes for rigging and some resin details.There are similar kits in 1/72 like AZ Avro 621 Tutor  and Special Hobby  Polikarpov R-Z which cost half the price almost.

I predict that the kit will sell a lot and the price was set so high on purpose because many people will choose Azur instead from Grand Models resit kit which is nice also.

 

Anyway it looks a very nice kit.

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