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Curtiss-Wright CW-22B (DW48036) 1:48


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Curtiss-Wright CW-22B (DW48036)

1:48 Dora Wings via Albion Alloys




The Curtiss-Wright CW-22 was developed as a light trainer and reconnaissance aircraft, flying as early as 1940, then entering service from 1941.  It was a small aircraft with two seats and large canopy that afforded the pilots an excellent view of proceedings.  A number were exported to various operators including the Dutch, although because of the state of the war, they were delivered to them in the Dutch East Indies, totalling 25 airframes.  The US forces ordered a number to fill gaps in their inventory, with successive increases in the orders resulting in just over 300 airframes entering service in total.  A small number also found their way into Japanese service after being captured from the Dutch during their advances across Asia.



The Kit

This is a reboxing with new parts of a recent tool from Dora Wings of this unusual little aircraft, and the first mainstream kit in this scale, although there have been a few others over the years from niche producers in resin and other materials.  It arrives in their appealing top-opening box with glossy sections picked out, and inside are seven sprues in mid grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, vinyl masks, decal sheet and instruction booklet that is printed in colour, roughly A5 in a portrait format.  Perusing the sprues reveals a nicely detailed kit that shows continued improvement from their initial releases, and it is a comprehensive package with a crystal-clear single-part canopy.





















Construction begins with the cockpit, with the two instrument panels attached to their bulkhead hoops and detailed with a decal for each one.  The cockpit floor is outfitted with controls, fire extinguisher and several other frames, including a pair of PE rudder pedals on an inverted U-shaped former.  The two seats are on a separate sprue, and each has a PE four-point harness fitted before they are installed in the cockpit, with a forward and aft bulkhead bracketing the assembly.  The fuselage halves are prepared internally with a long insert that covers up the wing root, adding throttle quadrants, levers and instrument boxes, with a little painting to finish off.  The engine must be made up before the fuselage can be closed, and this is depicted by a two-part cylinder bank, a PE wiring loom and a front bell-housing that is then surrounded by the exhaust collector, and you can drill out the aggregation outlet, which exposes the hollow interior that runs all the way around the ring.  A flattened intake and some small parts are fitted to the front and sides of the engine, then at the rear the intake tubing spider is fixed over a toroidal spacer and has a simplified depiction of the ancillaries and an exterior ring added before it is glued to the front of the cockpit on a pair of Z-shaped mounts.  The fuselage can then be closed around the assembly, and the wings are made up.


The lower wings are full-width with some nice detail moulded into the central section, and as expected the upper wings are separated with a gap for the fuselage to fill.  The ailerons are separate, and a two-part U-shaped fairing is installed around the main gear bays for later completion, then the tail feathers are installed, all with separate flying surfaces and fine trailing edges.  Four small PE cross-members are fixed within each of the main bays, and the lower engine cowling is installed around the exhaust. The wheels are inventive, having two outer halves and a central boss between the halves that gives a see-thru look if aligned correctly.  The struts are single parts with a perpendicular axle, plus separate oleo-scissor link and retraction jacks at the base of each leg, fixed between two triangular pivots.  Actuators within the bays join the doors together; the landing lights are inserted into depressions under the wings; actuators for the ailerons are added to the wingtips, and the tail-wheel fits into a small hole in the rear of the fuselage.


An anti-roll-over cage is placed on a faired over section between the two pilots within the cockpit.  The canopy is a single part, which is a shame for this model, as the cockpit is open and well-detailed out of the box.  It is very clear however, so your hard work will still be seen.  A pitot probe is mounted in the leading edge of the port wing, and the twin-blade prop with a boss and axle is inserted into the hole in the front of the bell-housing. 




There are three decal options in the box, two from the Dutch East Indies, and one captured airframe in Japanese colours, with the same basic scheme shared by all options.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • Dutch East Indies Air Force, Java 1941
  • Dutch East Indies Air Force, Java 1941
  • Captured by Imperial Japanese Air Force, 1942






Decals are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas, and as mentioned there are decals for the instrument panels in the cockpit.




The CW-22B is an extremely niche subject, and it’s an interesting shape.  The detail is good, and the model should build up into a good replica of a left-of-field subject, which is Dora Wings’ stock-in-trade.


Highly recommended.


Available in the UK in all good model shops.

Review sample courtesy of



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