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Farman (SMCAC) NC 223.3 B.N.5
French Heavy Bomber


Azur, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Azur kit no. AIR005 - Farman (SMCAC) NC 223.3 B.N.5  French Heavy Bomber
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 117 mid-grey plastic parts on five sprues, 9 clear parts on one sprue, 6 resin parts on two pour blocks, decals for three aircraft plus a 14 page A5 instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 14 build diagrams and 3 pages of paint/decal drawings.
Price: USD$79.46  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Unusual subject, highly detailed, excellent decals and resin.
Disadvantages: Make sure you have space for it! Not for beginners.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

 Azur's 1/72 scale Farman (SMCAC) NC 223.3 B.N.5
 is available online from Squadron.com



The pre-war French aircraft industry must have to come close to winning the prize for building the ugliest aircraft of the period. Post-war, they made up for it by building one of the prettiest aircraft ever - the Mirage III.

The Farman NC 223.3 B.N. 5, although perhaps not the ugliest, was certainly no beauty when you consider it was a contemporary of the Vickers Wellington.

First flown in January 1938, eight were ordered and supplied to the French Air Force in May and June 1940. After the Armistice, they were used by Vichy Aviation and Air France. One was captured and used by the Free French until 1945.

Bigger than a Wellington, this is going to be a fairly substantial model once completed. Most of the parts are plastic with only six in resin and no PE parts at all. The five large sprues are beautifully moulded in mid grey plastic with finely engraved panel detail.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The interior is nicely detailed except for the cockpit side walls but as most of the big clear canopy is painted, you won't be able to see much anyway. Although it is well moulded, you realize it is a short run kit when you see the big wings just butt joint onto the fuselage. It may be wise to try and make some sort of spar for the wings.

The six resin parts are on two identical pour blocks and are two coolant intakes, two sets of gill flaps and two oil cooler intakes. Unfortunately, two of these resin parts in the review sample were broken, but they are fixable.


The big decal sheet by Aviprint, has markings for three aircraft, two French Air Force in 1940 and one Free French aircraft with no date. The white looks like it may be a bit thin and unfortunately is slightly out of register with the other colours but with most of the markings still quite usable.


The four engines, in two Dornier like tractor/pusher nacelles, are slung beneath the high mounted wings on struts which I think could cause some problems for less experienced modellers. One problem is that the side profiles in the paint/decal instructions show an aircraft with a spat covering the tail wheel but there's no sign of this in the instructions or parts plan.

On the clear sprue, there are two cockpit canopies and three noses but only one canopy is for use here and only two of the noses. The parts plan dose not show which parts are not to be used so you will have to read the instructions carefully.


Notwithstanding the above minor criticism, Azur's Farman (SMCAC) NC 223.3 B.N.5 will build into a very detailed model and I have no hesitation in recommending it to all but the most inexperienced modellers.


Thanks to MPM/Azur for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright 2005 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 31 December, 2005
Last updated 30 December, 2005

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