S u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||46 parts in grey styrene; 2
vacform canopies; markings for three aircraft
USD$25.46 from Squadron.com
||Nice rib/fabric representation
on fuselage; thin trailing edges; good quality decals and interesting
||Some minor flash; fairly sparse
interior; some experience will be helpful for vacform canopy and
alignment/securing of wing to canopy.
||Recommended to modellers with
some experience building limited run kits
Reviewed by Brett Green
1/48 scale Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III is available online from Squadron.com
Sword's latest 1/48 scale release is the Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III, an
American designed, British license-built Aerial Observation Post and
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
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!
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
Recommended to modellers with some experience building
Review and Images Copyright © 2002 by
Page Created 13 December, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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