I have always wanted to do a series of trainers, so when Kinetic announced this and it came up for review, I was ready to go. Add to that some excellent aftermarket from TwoMikes Resin (with new intakes and tail hook and fairings) and Caracal’s excellent sheet for the Salty Dogs, and we were off to the races.
Bill Kluge did a fantastic job reviewing and building the kit here (IPMS Review) and I will concentrate on the way I fixed the kit and the add-ons. The cockpit is straightforward and looks respectable. Resin could enhance it, but I don't think it is necessary. I did replace the seats with Wolfpack resin seats as they have seat belts and the kit seats do not- I added these later. The front wheel well was added without incident. I built the intake trunks but used TwoMikes resin intakes, which are better-looking and fit well. The fuselage was glued together – don't forget the weight in the nose! Here I ran into my first problem – after multiple tries, I could not get the fuselage to close. The fit at the top was good. The bottom, not so hot. When I went to add the wings (see Bill’s review), the gaps were huge. I used sprue chunks to spread the fuselage and got a decent fit on top. The front and back of the wings – not so great. I settled the wings into the back and fixed the gap up front. Since the overall plane is white, I added the landing gear. Be aware that the instructions call for the main gear struts to be put into the wrong place – they go all the way toward the outside and not in the center. Once the fit issues were addressed, the kit was ready for paint.
For gloss paint schemes, I love Tamiya Lacquer decanted from a spray can. Decanting is easy. I used a straw cut to about 1/3 size and have a plastic jar ready. I shake the can as per normal and tape the straw to the cap so it is sealed. I spray the paint into the bottle. It will drizzle in as the spray is lost in the straw. One caution: the paint comes out very cold and still has dissolved propellant in it. When the can is empty, I set the paint aside with the lid slightly off and let it warm to room temperature. I know of one case where a person stirred the cold paint and the bubbles erupted and sprayed everything with paint. Once decanted, it can be sprayed normally but with almost no sag, and it dried in an hour to a super-hard glossy finish. I masked the required areas for the VT-9 Salty Dog markings and sprayed the orange, and then masked the antiglare panel. The Caracal Models sheet is superb and includes markings for two complete planes. The decals were excellent and settled quickly. A note here – the kit decals are from TwoBobs and are also superb, so you can't lose either way you go with decals.
Once the decals settled, I used Alclad Semi Gloss for a nice semi-matte finish. The remaining parts were added and the plane was done.
I know I pointed out this kit’s issues, but in the end it builds into an excellent T-45 with just a little work. Are we not modelers? – sure, but with so many of the new kits being almost perfect, sometimes I wonder if we are spoiled. It takes a little love and some filling, but overall it is a nice kit. I do recommend this kit to those with some experience with fixing issues.
My thanks to Lucky Models for the review sample and IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.
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