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Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III

 

Sword

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: KPS48002
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 46 parts in grey styrene; 2 vacform canopies; markings for three aircraft
Price: USD$25.46 from Squadron.com
Review Type: QuickLook
Advantages: Nice rib/fabric representation on fuselage; thin trailing edges; good quality decals and interesting marking options.
Disadvantages: Some minor flash; fairly sparse interior; some experience will be helpful for vacform canopy and alignment/securing of wing to canopy.
Recommendation: Recommended to modellers with some experience building limited run kits

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Sword's 1/48 scale Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III is available online from Squadron.com

 

QuickLook

 

Sword's latest 1/48 scale release is the Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III, an American designed, British license-built Aerial Observation Post and Communications aircraft.

Most of Sword's releases over the last few years have included multi-media detail parts. The Auster does not. This is more than likely because the aircraft is so simple that resin parts would be overkill.

Sword's 1/48 scale Auster Mk. III comprises 46 parts in grey styrene, a vacform canopy and a spare in case of mishap. The plastic is shiny but has a nice consistency - not too brittle and not too soft. I like the rendition of fabric over framework on the fuselage.

 

 

The moulding quality is very good too. There are no sink holes or ejector pin marks on the visible surfaces of any of the kit parts. Sprue attachment points are fairly narrow and trailing edges of the flying surfaces are adequately thin.

 

 

The vacform canopy will be a prominent feature of the finished kit. It will stand up to close inspection, as it is thin and quite clear, with sharply formed canopy frames.

 

 

The total of 47 parts might imply that this is a simple kit. In many respects it is. The cockpit is quite bare (not inappropriate, although a couple of sets of rudder pedals and a little more detail would have been appreciated), the engine is a single-part insert behind the forward cowl and most of the construction will be straightforward.

However, the combination of that high wing, the vacform canopy and the absence of locating pins or tabs means that some experience with limited run kits will be helpful.

The vacform canopy sits over a styrene framework which is anchored in the cockpit. I recommend preparing the canopy for assembly prior to fitting the cockpit framework so that the canopy can be test fitted over the framing, permitting adjustment before the glue has dried on the framework.

The port and starboard wings are each made up of a lower and upper half. These solid wings will be relatively heavy, and the majority of this weight will have to be borne by the vacform canopy. The instructions suggest that the wings should be glued to the side of the vacform canopy using a simple butt join. I propose that some further reinforcement should be employed to supplement the support strut between the bottom of the wing and the fuselage. A really ambitious modeller might want to replace some of the plastic canopy framing with a spar (or two) of metal rod or tube extending into each wing root.

Instructions are straightforward, called out over six steps with various diagrams explaining the detail of assembly. Markings for three aircraft are supplied.

  • 663 Squadron Army Co-Operation in Italy, 1945 - an interesting wrap around finish of Dark Earth and Dark Green

  • A spotter from an unknown unit in Normandy, August 1944 - same wraparound scheme but with invasion stripes; and

  • 16 or 17 AOP Flight, Royal Australian Air Force, Pacific Area (I know, not very helpful) 1944-45 - This aircraft is finished in overall RAAF Foliage Green (although it is called out as Dark Green in the instructions - the colour is actually closer to US Medium Green). This RAAF machine features a shark's mouth and eyes - very attractive, if a little incongruous on this innocuous little aeroplane!

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is fairly rare to see a communications or AOP aircraft as a new release, even in these boom times for modellers. Sword's 1/48 scale Auster Mk. III is a nice kit which will look nice when finished - especially with the authentic internal framing visible through the big canopy.

Recommended to modellers with some experience building limited-run kits.

 


Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 13 December, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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