Mike Posted July 23, 2022 Share Posted July 23, 2022 RAF Houchin 25K VA Ground Power Unit (229732) 1:32 VideoAviation To some modellers the name of this essential piece of aircraft ground-handling kit might still garner a response such as "A what now?", but without these unassuming boxes that contain diesel or petrol engines to generate ground power for aircraft when their engines are off. Technicians and crews couldn't work on the systems without lighting up the engines so that the aircraft could have electrical power, which is expensive and dangerous if you’re not paying attention. Whenever an aircraft was preparing for flight, or engaged in maintenance, there would always be one of these nearby chugging away and generating the power needed to run the systems, plus a lot less pollution than the gas-guzzling jet engines otherwise would. This particular type of 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 the retirement of the older aircraft from the RAF's fleet. There are still some in service with conservation groups that have suitable aircraft in their hangars. The Kit The resin set is already available in 1:72 and 1:48 and now is out for the large-scale modeller. It arrives in a sturdy cardboard box, with the bright yellowy cream-coloured parts in Ziploc bags swaddled in bubble wrap. The instruction sheet also helps keep the parts safe, and details construction in an isometric format. Because this is larger scale, it comes with more detail than its smaller scale predecessors. This set includes seventeen resin parts, eight 3D Printed parts in grey resin, four clear resin parts, a length of flexible black tubing, plus a small sheet of decals with yellow stripes and data plates. The main body is a large hollow part to which you add the top panel with various circular caps, the bottom surface with the pivoting hole and guide arc, plus the radiator on the front of the device. The two axles are made up on palettes and are supported by leaf-springs, the front axle also having a peg on which it pivots. The front axle slots into the hole in the underside, while the rear slides under the back with a bumper/fender on the reverse. A 3D exhaust/muffler is glued into a hole in the underside, and more 3D parts are attached to the back for the towing hitch and filler tube. At the rear the control panel is inserted into a recess and is either enclosed by the two doors if you don’t want to paint the details, or you can leave them open to show off your hard work. The top of the unit is dotted with clear resin parts on the raised circular areas, and 3D lifting eyes are glued into little holes in the corners. The towing A-frame has a 3D tripod support fixed underneath and another 3D hitch on top, after which it is glued into the brackets on the front of the forward axle, with a narrow cable running to it from under the unit, which you’ll have to find from your own supplies. The thick AC/DC cable is made from the flexible hose, adding a 3D plug to the end. Markings The instructions provide a painting guide to the details, and advise you to look at their site for some painting assistance, which gives a choice of yellow, tan or green for the body, depending on whether you are modelling an early or late unit respectively. The decals include four yellow warning stripes, plus a pair of unit numbers for the top of each end. You can see the reference photos by clicking on the link below. Conclusion A great addition to any ground-handling diorama that won't tax your skills to complete, but will add some interest to your work. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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