This is another in the Cushman Scooter series of models recently released by Plus Model.
Cushman made 4,734 airborne scooters for the military beginning in 1944. The rugged, simple Model 53 could travel through water, climb a 25 percent grade and had a range of approximately 100 miles. Some scooters had a hitch to pull a utility cart. This version of the Cushman airborne scooter was configured to carry a sidecar with either an additional seat or a utility bin.
The kit has 21 light gray resin parts, one clear headlamp, one piece of wire, four photoetch pieces, and one detail sheet. The instructions include three color schemes – U.S. Navy (gray), U.S. Army (olive drab) and Airfield Service (deep yellow).
The resin is fairly soft and all of the parts have casting blocks and flash that must be removed. The parts do have good detail for their small size.
Be careful removing the flash from the frame, part #1 and the front fork part #2. Examine each piece carefully to determine what is flash to be removed, particularly the front fork part #2. Do not remove the small post that holds the fork to the tube on the chassis.
The front wheel has pegs for an axle that should align with the pegs on the front fork. It is difficult to get the wheel alignment on the small pins on the fork. It would probably be better to drill the fork and wheel and install a small piece of wire for an axle. I installed the wheel first and then the front fender, part #5, which seemed to work okay and allowed centering the fender on the fork.
I installed the gas pedal, part #M4, as it will be under the body, but held off the other photoetch parts until later in the assembly to avoid breaking them off.
In the fourth and fifth steps, installation of the frame and axle for the sidecar, parts #16 & #17 is very difficult. I broke part #16 three times before getting it removed from the casting block and installed on the Scooter. The location and angle of the frame on the underside of the scooter is a little vague and I ended up gluing the frame to the sidecar first, and then gluing both to the Scooter.
In the fifth step installation of the axle, part #17, is also unclear. I installed it where I thought it should be but it ended up tipping the Scooter quite a bit when I installed the Sidecar wheel.
In the sixth and last step there is an optional seat, parts #14 and #19, which I installed. It also shows a bracket and spare tire on the rear of the sidecar, however the fourth tire is not provided with the kit. The instructions don’t show installation of part #20, but it goes on the left side of the handlebar as shown on the examples of the finished Scooter.
I painted the Scooter in the U.S. Army olive drab scheme using LifeColor faded olive drab, and applied a MIG dark wash.
This kit was more difficult than other Plus Model scooters I’ve built. The basic kit is OK, but the attachment of the sidecar needs to be carefully aligned so the scooter stands straight.
This is a fun kit of an unusual subject and can be built and painted in one day. The scooter will be a nice diorama accessory. Plus Model has done nice work with the series of scooters and has produced several very nice versions. Thanks to Plus Model for this and all their other great products.
Thanks also to the great IPMS review staff for all the work they do and for letting me do this review.