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T-34C Turbo Mentor

 

Czech Model

 


Czech Model's 1/48 scale T-34C Turbo Mentor is available online from Squadron.com

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: CM4808
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 51 parts in short-run injected grey styrene; 9 parts in cream-coloured resin; 2 clear parts on a vacform sheet (canopy and spare); decals for two aircraft.
Price: USD$24.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Appealing subject; high-quality plastic; good detail; crisply engraved surface features; effective use of multi-media.
Disadvantages: Some flash; shiny surface could use with some basic preparation; no depiction of wing formation lights.
Recommendation: Recommended to modellers with some experience working with short run kits.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

The T-34 Mentor will be remembered with nostalgia by many US Naval aviators who undertook their training any time between the mid 1950s and the present day. The T-34C variant was a significantly modified Mentor airframe equipped with a Pratt & Whitney turboprop engine. The Turbo Mentor was built between 1977 and 1990.

Czech Model's 1/48 scale T-34C Turbo Mentor is a welcome addition to this company's growing range. The kit comprises 51 parts in grey styrene, 9 parts in cream-coloured resin, two vacform canopies (including a spare) and decals for two US Navy training aircraft.

The quality of the plastic parts is high, and surface detail is crisply engraved. The texture of the control surfaces (pressed metal?) is very nicely depicted.

The plastic is quite itself is quite shiny which, for me, was a bit off-putting at first. However, there are no sink marks or ejector pins in visible locations anywhere on the model. The sprue attachment points are quite restrained too. The trailing edges of the wings and tail surfaces are fairly thin, but a little sanding will not hurt.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Resin parts are supplied for the cockpit tub, seats, resin wheels, forward wheel well and intakes. These resin parts are very well done - detail is crisp and my sample displayed no casting imperfections. However, the cockpit tub and wheel well feature substantial casting blocks that will need to be carefully removed. Take your time with the seats too - it will be easy to cut through the bottom of the seat when these blocks are being removed.

 

 

A vacform canopy is supplied with a spare in case of disaster. The canopies are very clear and totally free of distortion.

Engineering is typical of a limited run kit. The wings mount flat against the fuselage, but the surface area of the join will be quite large so reinforcement may not be necessary. On the other hand, the tail surfaces should be reinforced with wire or rod to supplement the locating dimples. Some small details will need to be supplied by the modeller, such as a wire axle for the front wheel. Also, typical of limited run kits, there are no locating pins so care should be taken to align the parts accurately.

Instructions are called out over ten construction steps on four letter-sized pages. These instructions seem to be quite adequate.

 

 

Markings for two US Navy aircraft in white and orange are supplied on the decal sheet.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Czech Model's 1/48 scale T-34C Turbo Mentor lives up to the improving standards of this company's most recent releases.

Keep in mind that this model is not a "shake and bake" mainstream kit. As a limited run model, it will require a little extra time in preparation and assembly, but should deliver a good looking result when finished. Anyone with some experience of limited-run kits should be capable of completing this kit without much trouble.

Now I only hope that some decal company comes out with markings for Latin American camouflaged ground-attack Turbo Mentors!

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 21 November, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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