This product review will begin with a general introduction to GasPatch Models. GasPatch Models is located in Athens, Greece. GasPatch was founded in 2011 and produces plastic model kits and an excellent array of aftermarket parts intended for WWI aircraft subjects. One gets a sense of the professional nature of this enterprise by visiting the GasPatch website. The website is first-rate in appearance, navigation of the site is intuitive, and finding specific items is simple, easy, and quick. In a word…the site is an excellent site and reflects well on GasPatch as a company.
At the time of this writing, GasPatch has three variants of the Salmson 2A2 in the planning stages, all in 1/48th scale. This review, however, focuses on some GasPatch products that are already available. GasPatch produces a line of turnbuckles and air speed indicators in 1/48th and 1/32nd scales. This review focuses on these turnbuckle accessory packs.
The turnbuckles are metal, and thus one will need to use a glue that can bind metal to plastic. I have no idea as to how GasPatch manufactures the turnbuckles, but the end result is fantastic. The turnbuckles have an extremely detailed and realistic appearance. These turnbuckles are far and away more realistic than the vinyl tubing I currently use to simulate turnbuckles. They are also strong enough to withstand the tension applied to them when the rigging material is threaded into place and then drawn tight.
Each package of turnbuckles contains a small instruction sheet along with a carrier bar to which all of the turnbuckles are attached. The instruction sheet illustrates how to remove a single turnbuckle from the carrier bar. Basically, one grabs the turnbuckle with tweezers and carefully rocks the turnbuckle back and forth, weakening and finally breaking the attachment point. A small swipe with a sanding stick removes the nub left behind when the turnbuckle is detached.
Some research will be necessary to determine which type of turnbuckle is appropriate for a particular airframe. Often, the modeler will discover that several types of turnbuckles were used on a single airframe, and it is left to the modeler to do the research. Wingnut Wings kits come with a wonderful instruction sheet which will provide the modeler with a wealth of useful information in the form of images. Osprey publications will be a goldmine of information. Windsock is also an excellent source of information.
GasPatch offers 7 styles of turnbuckles in both scales. These offerings are labeled as:
- Type A - (1/48th Scale 12-48007)(1/32nd Scale 12-32004)
- Type B - (1/48th Scale 48008)(1/32nd Scale 12-32005)
- Type C - (1/48th Scale 12-48009)(1/32nd Scale 12-32006)
- Albatros - (1/48th Scale 13-48010)(1/32nd Scale 13-32011)
- One End - (1/48th Scale 13-48015)(1/32nd Scale 13-32014)
- Anchor Points/Eyelets - (1/48th Scale 48017)(1/32nd Scale 13-32016)
- RAF Late Type - (1/48th Scale 13-48019)(1/32nd Scale 13-32018)
Pricing: Check the GasPatch website for current prices. An international currency converter can be found online. At this time, with the conversion rate from Euro to US currency at its current level, the 32nd scale turnbuckle products are about $19.00 per package. The 48th turnbuckles run about $16 per package. Each package contains 30 items, so the cost per turnbuckle is in the neighborhood of 50 cents each. There are 60 anchor points contained in the Anchor Points packages and the average cost per anchor point comes in at about 25 cents.
Anchor Points/Eyelets: No anchor point/eyelet was provided for review; however, an Anchor Point can be seen in the image of the Type C turnbuckle. The Anchor is attached to one end of the Type C turnbuckle.
One End: The One End turnbuckle is a basic design. One end of the turnbuckle is formed into a loop, serving as the connection point for the rigging material. The other end of the turnbuckle, basically a straight section of rod, serves as the anchor point to the airframe.
Albatros: The Albatros design is similar to the One End turnbuckle with the notable exception of the anchor point. Whereas the One End turnbuckle anchor point is simply the end of the rod from which the turnbuckle is made, the Albatros anchor point is spherical in shape.
Type C: The Type C turnbuckle has loops on both ends of the turnbuckle.
Type A: The Type A turnbuckle is a combination of the Type C (two loops, one on either end) and an Anchor Point, which is attached to one end of the Type C turnbuckle.
Type B: The Type B turnbuckle has an attachment loop on one end and a flat plate on the other, which serves as the attachment point to the airframe.
These GasPatch products are highly recommended. They are very realistic in appearance and are easy to use. In fact, having been a “rigger” for a number of years, I would suggest that using these items will make a modeler’s first WWI project much easier in terms of technical difficulty when rigging an aircraft. These items represent a significant and notable advance in the quality of aftermarket parts for WWI aircraft.
Thanks to GasPatch Models for providing these samples for review, and IPMS for allowing me to review them.