Platz has been a consistent supplier of new review kits to us, and I’m pleased to be able to review this recent release. Newly tooled and boxed, this kit is a joy to build with 4 great marking schemes available to share between the two complete models. Let’s dive in.
All parts are crisply molded with very nicely engraved panel and control surface lines. Instructions are in full color. The instrument panels are molded in clear plastic – when removing these from the sprue, be careful not to confuse the gunsight with the sprue – I accidentally clipped off the first gunsight in error when cutting parts. I used a toothpick to add white dots to the back face of the panel and then overpainted with black, resulting in a nice-looking panel (very little of which is visible once you button up the cockpit.) I added thin masking tape strips simulating harnesses, but again, you won’t see much with a closed canopy. I considered slicing one of the canopies open but didn’t want to risk the damage; one could add more detail if desired.
Make careful choices on weapons loads. You have the option of bombs, bazooka launchers, and drop tanks; each of these require opening up locating holes for the armament and racks.
Assembly overall was straightforward, with little filler required. One exception was where the one-piece lower wing forms part of the fuselage, I ended up with a step on both models just forward of the tailwheel.
I shot both models with Tamiya grey primer and cleaned up a few areas. I shot and masked the red flashes on one model and the blue and white cowl on the other before shooting TruColor Pain Metallic Silver, straight from the container at about 15psi. Thin coats result in a very hard metallic finish that I really liked, and I didn’t end up filling those really nice panel lines. You could add a wash for panel lines but in this scale, I felt that this would be overkill – your mileage may vary.
I dipped the clear bubbletop canopies in Pledge Multi Surface Polish. Then I moved on to decaling – this to me was one of the high points of this build – the decals are colorful, nicely printed, and fit perfectly. I particularly like the fact that Platz gives us decals for the canopy framing, and extras to boot – I wouldn’t care to try to mask and paint this in 1/144. Also included are the olive drab anti-glare panels – after I applied these I brush-painted Testor’s Dullcote over them.
Not much else to tell – I added landing gear and armament, radio antenna, and used a Sharpie to indicate port and starboard wingtip lights. I managed to lose one set of main landing gear somewhere in the build process and my replacement scratchbuilt gear are a bit shorter. (I’ll probably find them next year sometime).
In closing – if you enjoy the challenge of building in this small scale, you’ll really like these kits. I have the Platz F-8 Crusader in queue on the bench and I look forward to diving back in.
Thanks go to Platz and to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity.
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