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SA Bulldog T.1 Limited Run (KPM0399) 1:72


Mike

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SA Bulldog T.1 Limited Run (KPM0399)

1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov

 

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The Bulldog was originally designed by Beagle Aircraft, who sadly went bust before they could honour any orders for this two-seat prop-driven trainer, the first customer being Sweden.  A new concern, Scottish Aviation took over and brought the Bulldog to market where it was used most notably by the RAF and Swedish Air Force, but by other countries too, as we’ll find out in later boxings. There were several models made, many of which were designed for the export market, with the RAF using the 121 as the T.1, while the 101 was developed for Sweden, where it was designated Sk 61 in the Air Force, or Fpl 61 in army use.

 

The Swedish aircraft differed mainly due to the additional two seats in the rear of the crew compartment behind the pilots who sat two abreast, with a wide expanse of Perspex giving excellent forward visibility over the relatively short nose. The last RAF airframes left service just after the new millennium, and many have gone into private hands from all variants across the world. The now familiar Grob Tutor replaced the Bulldog as the entry-level trainer with the RAF and continues to serve today, with some avionics upgrades to keep pace with technology.

 

 

The Kit

This is the latest in a new range of boxings in 1:72 from KP as a limited edition boxing that brings modern levels of detail to this scale.  The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the type on the front and the profiles for the decal options on the rear.  Inside the Ziploc bag is a single sprue in grey styrene, a small clear sprue, decal sheet and instruction booklet, the clear parts safely enclosed in their own Ziploc bag.  Detail is good, although there’s a tiny amount of flash here and there, but it’s minimal and mostly confined to the sprue runners.

 

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Construction starts predictably with the cockpit, with the blank instrument panel receiving an instrument decal to detail it, and both seats getting decal belts.  The floor is moulded into the one-part wing and has raised areas for the seats that are detailed with a pair of control columns, centre console and rear bulkhead, while the instrument panel is glued into the front of the cockpit opening after closing the fuselage halves.  A pair of side windows pop in from the inside, and the front is closed by adding the nose cowling, which has a depiction of the front bank of piston inserted behind it that will show through the oval intakes either side of the raised prop shaft surround.  The wings and fuselage are joined, and the single-part elevators with their ribbed flying surfaces moulded-in are glued into their slots in the rear.  The canopy is a single piece that has the framing engraved in, and it’s a crystal-clear part that will show off your work on the interior once its finished.  There are a couple of choices of antennae on the spine behind the cockpit, and a clear landing light fits into a recess in the leading edge of the starboard wing.

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To finish off the build, the landing gear legs are glued onto raised teardrop shapes under the cockpit, and it might be an idea to drill and pin these for extra strength, with the one-part wheels attached to the stub-axle on each leg.  The nose leg has its oleo-scissor link moulded in, and the wheel fixes to the axle moulded into the one-sided yoke.  The two bladed prop is moulded as one piece with a spinner sliding over it, and behind it there’s a cowling under the nose with two exhaust stacks sticking out, then at the rear are a choice of two antennae and a blade antenna under the trailing edge of the wing/fuselage.

 

 

Markings

The stencils are numerous and they are covered on the rear of the instruction booklet to avoid overly-busy diagrams on the back of the box, and there are three decal options, from which you can build one of the following:

 

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The decals appear to be printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas.  I mention Eduard because from 2021, the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film.  It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain.

 

There are seatbelts and an instrument decal on the sheet, which should add a little realism to your finished cockpit.

 

 

Conclusion

The Bulldog is a small aircraft, so the model is commensurately small and a simple build that’s very friendly to your pocket.  Clean up those moulding seams and you should end up with a really nice replica of this much-loved RAF trainer, with civilian options.

 

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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