U.S. Scooter with Crew

Published on
February 4, 2014
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Plusmodel - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Plusmodel - Website: Visit Site
Parts Package

If you are looking for another unique addition for your next 1/48 scale aircraft diorama, please allow me to direct your attention to the Plusmodel offering of a scooter and crew. The kit comes with decals for a US Air Force scooter as well as one labeled “Flight Operations”. The kit is simple and builds up with relative ease as long as you have some experience with small photo-etch items. As an added bonus to this particular release, a male pilot and female driver for the scooter are included. I would highly recommend this kit to anyone wanting something unique to sit next to their 1/48 scale aircraft.

I am going to start this part of my review a little different from usual as I am dedicating this appraisal to my Dad, who passed away on January 14. My Dad served in the USAF during Korea working on, and training others how to work on RADAR systems of that era. My review kit arrived just after his passing, so the USAF markings had to be used on my build. Although my Dad was more interested in trains than models, his inspiration led me to build my first kit at the age of six, and over forty years later, I am still at it. Thanks Dad!

As with my other recent review of a Plusmodel scooter in this scale, no manufacturer is mentioned for this vehicle. Research for this particular scooter was challenging, as I would not find any images of this particular variant, although I did find a photo where it was clear that the front section was converted to a freezer for ice cream. I found a photo of a USAF jeep during Korea that was painted blue, so I chose that color for my build. The company Plusmodel has released scooters in 1/48 as well as 1/35 scale, and in different forms used during their service life.

On opening the packaging for this kit, you will find fourteen resin items (four are for the figures), a photo-etch fret with twenty-five items, decals for two vehicles, and instructions. The resin parts in my sample had a fair amount of excess flash on them, but they cleaned up easily enough. The instructions are on the inside of a single sheet of paper folded in half, with the front being the color drawing of the completed scooter along with a pilot and driver. Decal options are for either the US Air Force or “Flight Operations” scooters, and are shown on the back page of the instructions.

As with my previous 1/48 scale scooter review kit, I found that this kit also built up quickly with no real issues slowing me down. I did decide early on to leave the front box and seat off during painting in order to get at the wheel wells easier. With my lessons learned from my previous Plusmodel kit, I used Thin CA for joining all of the parts, and had no issues as a result. As I mentioned previously, the only photo I could find online was that of a scooter where the front bench seat, and possibly the entire box, was made to work as a freezer for an ice cream vendor.

I used Model Master Acryl Dark Blue for the overall color along with Vallejo Dark Rubber (for the tires) and Flat Black (for the accelerator and brake pedals). The lights are Model Master Lacquer Silver with the brake light having Tamiya Clear Red added on top of the silver. I with a glossy paint, I did not pre-coat prior to installing decals, which worked fine with Micro Set and Micro Sol, and I used Model Master Metalizer Sealer for the final finish. The figure was more complex when it came to the painting, as I used several customized colors, but the basics ones were Vallejo Khaki, Leather Belt, and White along with Model Master Acryl Insignia Yellow, and Life Color Olive Drab.

As far as my hits of this kit are concerned, I really liked the uniqueness of the offering of a scooter, especially in this scale, as it will look nice parked next to any of the early USAF aircraft. The marking options are also nice as they cater to Air Force fans, but could also be used with post-WWII air racers. The pilot figure was a very nice for this scale, with great detail, and the parachute is a nice addition. The female driver could best be used for a display involving the factory pick-up of a new plane, or possibly at an air race.

My only real miss for this kit involved the instructions, as they can be a little vague for some items (such as the pedals for the driver, and support bracket for the steering post). I also found that the straps on the parachute did not line up properly with where they need to attach. I initially broke off one of the straps, but was fortunate enough to find it later on. If you pay attention, the instructions do show that the parachute for the pilot has a small bump that fits in an opening on the right calf. I personally would have liked some painting instructions for the figures, or at least a color photograph on the front page of the instructions to help me with some colors and part locations.

As I started my review, I would highly recommend this kit to any modeler wanting to pose this unique vehicle next to their 1/48 scale early USAF aircraft or post-WWII air racer. Anyone having experience with small photo-etch items should have no difficulties in building up this kit.

My thanks to the folks at Plusmodel for producing this unique kit, and for providing it as a review kit to the IPMS-USA Review Corps. I always like to thank Dave Morrissette and the folks who keep the Review Corps running as smoothly as it does, and always important are those who take the time to read my comments. Lastly, thanks to my Dad for his years of inspiration, and for leading me to a hobby that has entertained me for decades, and will likely continue to do so.


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