Beechcraft T Mk.1 T-6C Texan II (RAF version), Grand Models 1/72

Beechcraft T Mk.1 T-6CTexan II (RAF version), Grand Models 1/72
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Grand Models’ Beechcraft T Mk.1 T-6C Texan II military trainer in 1/72 scale is the latest version of the original T-6A multimedia kit (mainly resin & PE). It comprises 43 parts, finely moulded in grey coloured, good quality resin and there is also an all-new fret with 30 brass photo-etched parts for interior & exterior detail (the digital instrument panel of the improved T Mk.1 (T-6C) is included in PE with the relevant decal detail). The clear canopy is vacuformed, pressed from fine quality clear, extra transparent plastic material, guaranteed that will not turn yellow after a few years. The kit features generally accurate outline and shape.

The decal sheet provides three options: RAF, RCAF and RNZAF and the quality (Cartograf) is excellent (very thin film, correct and authentic colours).

The kit is designed so that the fuselage comes in one main part (no left and right half), making life easier for the modeller and an appropriate metal nose weight is hidden inside the fuselage, in order the completed model to balance properly on its tricycle undercarriage. The one-piece wing has separate ailerons parts. Rudder and elevators are also separately provided, so all control surfaces can be assembled in any desired position.

The level of detail is exceptional, inside and out. The external detail is finely engraved and very realistic, with crisply recessed panels and subtle rivet lines, where appropriate, following exact plans and information from first-hand aircraft research. Engraved lines may need some deepening with a scriber tool in some places.

Inside we have a very detailed cockpit, with ejection seats of outstanding detail: even the smaller cables and tubes stand out in the resin parts, ready for a very careful and rewarding painting. Control columns are separate items and look very convincing.

Both instrument panels have thin covers and instruments in photo-etched parts and decals, so it is easy to get a very convincing look.

Underwing racks are included, complete with ordnance, like twin 0.50 Caliber gun pods and external fuel tanks.

The undercarriage is very detailed, with nicely moulded wheels, legs, and covers. The main wheels hubs have delicate engraved detail. The wheel wells are also nicely detailed and are correctly concave. Spinner and propeller blades are all separate items but the assembly of this step is very easy and straightforward. Blades are thin and sharp at the edges, and accurate to 1/72 scale.

A multi-page booklet with assembly instructions and paint schemes is included with explanatory drawings, color profiles and information on painting.

Construction 

Assembly begins in the cockpit, which was painted with Humbrol Enamel No. 127. The respective decals were placed over the resin instrument panels, followed by the photo-etched parts over them, with excellent results. The side consoles were glued in place and painted with matt black. Ejection seats were also painted with the same color, then all details were easily highlighted with generous dark gray oil wash and some drybrushing.

Seat cushions were painted with deep blue and harness with dark grey and steel. The one-piece canopy was carefully cut/cleaned with a scalpel and “dressed” inside with appropriate Evergreen plastic styrene thin beams, using minimum traces of glue! All pieces of the cockpit were glued in place with a really good fit, the only exception being the seats, which needed a little sanding with a file on their sides, in order to sit a bit deeper to their final position. Next step was glueing the tail parts, first the horizontal and then the vertical surfaces and the rudder. Minimum putty had to be used to these joints. The main wing was glued in the fuselage using a strong 5-minute epoxy glue, to allow time for aligning it perfectly. (Cyanoacrylate instant glue was used for the rest of the built). By carefully wiping the seep out of the epoxy glue over the wing joint we eliminated the need for applying putty later.

The legs of the landing gear are thin and will require strong glue bonds. At this stage we temporarily placed the canopy in closed position (with a little masking fluid as a glue) and masked the legs of the undercarriage, preparing for painting.

Painting

The model was wiped with a soft lint-free cloth wetted in alcohol to remove dust and dirt residues, in order to have a smooth, clean surface, ready to receive the gloss black color. Using an airbrush we sprayed three successive coats of gloss black on all surfaces. At the same time, we checked for any blemishes and defects left over by sanding. When the paint had dried completely, we unmasked the areas which should be painted metal (wings & tail leading edges) with Alclad aluminum. Finally, we masked and sprayed the flat black anti-glare panel on top of the nose and the yellow triangular sections (wings & tail upper surfaces). All main colors being already gloss, there was no need to use a varnish before applying kit decals. These are very thin and have sufficient carrier film strength, but they do require cautious movements to be properly positioned. A three to five seconds dip in the water is enough time. They perform so well that there is practically no need to use a decal solution over or under them.

The finishing touch was given by spraying two coats of satin varnish, by mixing mat and gloss Gunze varnish (at a ratio of 30% & 70% respectively). Last pieces to be glued in place were the open canopy, propeller, exhaust tube, and the model was finally completed, showing the beautiful lines of this aggressive little trainer.

Final words…

Overall, the T-6 Texan II kit is a very welcome addition to any 1/72 scale collection. Surely this is not a model for the newcomer to the hobby, but it is ideal for the average modeller, who is -more or less- familiar with resin & PE parts. Whichever painting option you choose, the result will be really beautiful.

For more info: http://www.grandmodels.gr

Retail price is 34 euros (plus postage at cost)

The kit can be ordered directly from the manufacturer (above link) or by sending an e-mail: panbu at otenet point gr

Other versions of the same basic kit, also available with different markings from Grand Models e-shop. See reviews here and here.

 

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