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Curtiss A-12 Shrike

 

Czech Model

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: CM4813 - Curtiss A-12 Shrike
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 34 parts in short-run injected grey styrene; 72 parts in cream-coloured resin; 1 x white metal tail wheel and strut; 2 clear parts on a vacform sheet (canopy and spare); decals for three aircraft.
Price: USD$34.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Previously unavailable subject; high-quality plastic; good detail; crisply engraved surface features; well-cast resin parts; effective use of multi-media; interesting marking options
Disadvantages: No locating pins or tabs - "butt joins" for large parts; large casting blocks on floor and canopy coaming parts.
Recommendation: Recommended to modellers with some experience working with short run kits.


Reviewed by Brett Green


Czech Model's 1/48 scale Curtiss A-12 Shrike is available online from Squadron.com

FirstLook

 

Czech Models has followed up its late-2003 release of a 1/48 scale multimedia Curtiss A-8 Shrike with the A-12 variant.

The Curtiss Shrike was an advanced, all-metal attack monoplane . The in-line powered A-8 Shrike entered Squadron service in 1931. The A-12 Shrike with its radial engine was probably recognisable than the earlier variant, and produced in greater numbers.

46 A-12 Shrikes were built. Around 12 of these were shipped to China for a short-lived stand against Japanese forces.

Czech Models' A-12 is presented on three sprues of satin-textured, injection moulded styrene; XXX parts in cream-coloured resin and a small sheet of clear vacform plastic with two sets of canopies.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The 34 plastic parts are up to the same very high standard seen in the earlier Shrike release. The fuselage sprue is new, but the wing and wheel parts are common with the A-8 kit. The parts are crisply moulded with very little flash, panel lines are sharply engraved, and several panels are accurately depicted as raised from the surface. There are some raised ejector pins on the inner surfaces, but these can quickly be despatched with a hobby knife or sprue cutter.

Trailing edges are quite thin, and fabric surfaces on the elevators and rudder are nicely restrained.

The 72 resin parts are in the familiar style of True Details, with good detail, high quality casting and a simple parts breakdown. These resin parts will mostly be destined for the forward and rear cockpits, but a delicately detailed .30 cal machine gun is also included, as is a very nice radial engine.

The resin engine is made up from 21 resin parts, with separate cylinders and heads surrounding the beautifully detailed crankcase.

A set of bulged resin wheels supplement the plastic versions on the sprues.

 

 

Engineering is typical of limited run kits. There are no locating positions or tabs, so extra care and time will be required to ensure correct alignment and a secure bond, especially for the horizontal tail surfaces. The full-span lower wing will help firmly fix this important join.

Three marking options are included. One is in Olive Drab with yellow wings, another in Blue with yellow wings and the final option is a Nationalist Chinese Shrike camouflaged in Light Earth, Dark Green and Light Blue.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This version of the Curtiss Shrike should be warmly welcomed by between-the-wars modellers, who now have another significant gap in their collection filled. The A-12 variant also offers some great colour and markings options.

The relatively small number of parts and sensible engineering makes this kit a candidate for a modeller who wants to try their hand at limited run models.

With suitable preparation and care in alignment and assembly, Czech Models' 1/48 scale A-8 Shrike should deliver a great looking replica of this "Golden Era" attack aircraft.

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 08 June, 2004
Last updated 08 June, 2004

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