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Aero C-3B Czechoslovak Bomber-Trainer (SH48217) 1:48


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Aero C-3B Czechoslovak Bomber-Trainer (SH48217)

1:48 Special Hobby




The Aero C-3 was the Czech built Siebel Si 204, which was in turn based on the earlier Siebel Fh 104 Hallore.  It was initially ordered by the Luftwaffe for the same role it performed in their service, having its canopy altered to the stepless type, possibly to mimic that of the He.111 that pilots might progress to.  As a footnote to its German service a Siebel had the dubious honour of being the last aircraft to be shot down by the Allies in WWII.  After WWII Czech company Aero produced almost 200 airframes in training (C-3A), bombardier training (C-3B), transport (D-44) and civilian (C-103) flavours, which carried on in service until the end of the 40s and beyond, while a few airframes soldiered on a little longer in Hungarian service.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of a 2019 tooling from Special Hobby with some additional parts to depict this variant, and although I’d never heard of it until the original sample arrived, it has an ungainly appeal with its strangely shaped fuselage, blunt glazed nose and long narrow wings.  It arrives in a standard blue/white themed Special Hobby box, and inside are a surprising nine grey sprues, one clear sprue and a new nose glazing in a Ziploc bag, the decal sheet and instruction booklet. The wingspan hits you immediately, as it has surprisingly long wings, and the boxy fuselage isn’t exactly tiny either.  The external surfaces are engraved with SH’s usual fine panel lines, and the part count for the detailed internals is also pretty high, although some parts aren’t used, particularly on sprue F and the main clear sprue, which has only about half the parts used.
















Construction begins with the cockpit, which is assembled on a wide floor part with side consoles, centre console, detailed seat on large framed base with curved head armour, instrument panel and control column, backed by a bulkhead with doorway into the rear of the aircraft.  Unlike many aircraft models, the floor doesn’t end behind that bulkhead, but extends all the way to the rear, with a well-detailed radio rack, navigation table, additional seat, a section of the main spar and two upstands that bracket the bomb bay front and rear.  The two bomb racks hold four bombs each, which have separate perpendicular fins and a small locating hole on the backside.  The two completed racks are then inserted into notches in the bay aperture, and are braced against the fuselage roof by a three-part triangular frame.  Another bulkhead with open door and stowage rack is added half way to the tail, then another shorter bulkhead terminates the interior in front of the tail.  If you want to pose the rear fuselage door open, the instructions show where to cut the fuselage as well as the two halves of the bomb bay doors in the underside of the fuselage.  The resulting interior is finished at the front with the rudder pedal assembly, plus the instrument panel, control column with decals, and an overhead insert.  Before closing up the fuselage, the windows and the wing root covers that prevent you from seeing the attachment points are glued in, and the interior is painted.  With the interior glued into the starboard side, a vertical beam is inserted between the wing spar and roof, then the two halves are joined.


The canopy is applied to the stepped front, consisting of the domed nose part and a separate saddle-shaped canopy, the former having a few small details added inside before it is fixed in position.  The C-3B has long wings mounted low on the fuselage, so each one is made up from two parts that incorporates the rear nacelle fairings to which the cowling, exhausts and central intake trunking are added, then each one is slotted into the appropriate wing root and is joined by the H-shaped tail, which fits on two smaller tabs at the rear.  A pair of clear wingtip lights are supplied, as are two new bomb bay doors and their actuators.   The landing gear can be left off until after painting, and consists of a sloped leg with integral brace to which two more are added on the sides.  The oleo then attaches to this assembly and is bracketed by a pair of gear bay doors and a two-part wheel with smooth tread.  There is a wheel under each nacelle as you’d expect plus a small tail wheel with split yoke.  Horn balances are fitted to the top and bottom of each elevator, a pair of short antennae at the rear of the cockpit with wires leading to the rudders, then the turret is made up.  It starts with the two-part circular base, with the underside brace and seat made up first while it is inverted, then once it is flipped over, the gun and its concertina fed dump-bag are inserted and surrounded by additional parts.  Beneath the bag another C-shaped foot rest for the gunner is added.  A pair of flared gun muzzle stubs are inserted into the underside of the nose, a couple of external bomb racks with anti-sway braces are fixed just in front of the small bomb bay, with a D/F loop and rod antenna being fixed behind it.  a pair of two-bladed props with serrated spinner caps are made up from four parts each, then if you have opened up the hatch on the side, the replacement door is fitted along with a ladder.  The circular turret opening has a number of tubular rails glued on around the perimeter, then the turret is dropped into position and covered over with a shallow clear dome, or a flat cover for one of the decal options that doesn’t mount the top turret.  Two grab-handles are fixed on the sides of the fuselage next to a pair of aerodynamic fairings, probably for access or egress of the gunner.




There are three decal options included on the decal sheet with four-view drawings in colour at the rear of the instruction booklet, with all of them wearing the standard olive green over light blue scheme, all noted with Gunze Sangyo codes.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • Aero C-3B, V-15, S/n.401, Aeronautical Centre, Letnany, 1947
  • Aero C-3B, A360, S/n.413, 3rd Training Flight, Training Sqn. Of the Air Force Academy, Hradec Kralove, 1947
  • Aero C-3B, PU-18, 1st Flight, No.41 TG Masaryk Air Regiment, ozi Dar-Milovice, Spring 1949






The decals are printed in-house with good register, sharpness and colour density, and include a number of instrument decals for the interior.




This is a great kit of an unusual (from a British point of view) and interesting aircraft, with some excellent internal detail and some simple schemes that will speed and likeliness of your finishing.   If you have a problem with completing kits like I do, one of the Olive Drab machines would make an ideal sanity build that wouldn’t over-face you with masking.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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  • Mike changed the title to Aero C-3B Czechoslovak Bomber-Trainer (SH48217) 1:48

Thanks to @Val_Ukraine for adding a like to this one that drew my attention to the fact that I'd put 1:4 in the title by mistake.  My damn 8 key is playing up, double-entering and occasionally not entering at all, just to keep me on my toes :dull:

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