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Piasecki H.21 Shawnee
Flying Banana


Fonderie Miniature 1/48


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: FN6017 - Piasecki H.21 Shawnee "Flying Banana"
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 97 injection moulded plastic parts, 5 resin parts, 55 white metal. 20 clear parts, and 2 photo-etched frets
Price: USD$59.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FullBuild
Advantages: Highly detailed resin; easy breakdown of parts; nice decals; comprehensive instructions
Disadvantages: Limited run injection moulded parts require some preparation and test fitting
Recommendation: Recommended for experienced modellers


Reviewed by Mick Evans

Fonderie Miniature's 1/48 H.21 Shawnee is available online from Squadron.com




Fonderie Miniatures has followed on its French flown aircraft theme with a 1/48 scale Piasecki H21 Shawnee.

The kit contains 97 moulded plastic styrene parts in a medium grey colour soft styrene plastic. As usual detail on these parts is not bad but the panel lines require a light re-scribe to obtain a consistent level of detail as some lines are not as clearly defined due to the moulding process. 20 clear parts are provided for the cabin windows. The main canopy is moulded in the typical vacu-formed style and as usual is not entirely crystal clear, but a quick dip in Future floor polish should fix the clarity to a good standard.
The resin parts are nicely moulded and add a high level of detail to the kit. There are 5 resin parts in all.



A major air bubble was evident on one of the main wheels and will require some extensive filling. The intermediate gearbox, instrument console, nose, and main wheels, are all cast and have a very realistic level of detail to them.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

55 cast metal parts are also included. Most of these will need a bit of clean up of the flash attached, and some need some gentle straightening, in particular the rotor heads. The level of detail is good and under a coat of paint will look great.

For the first time FM have provided an extensive step by step instruction sheet, with quite good detailed drawings and this is a vast improvement over previous kits. Mating surfaces need to be heavily sanded, in particular the trailing edges of all control surfaces to achieve a realistic thickness. The 2 fuselage halves do not marry up too good in circumference, but some gentle pressure while gluing should solve the problem. As with all the previous FM kits that I have built, I am sure that this is caused by, removing the parts from the mould while they are still hot. Interior detail provided is good with all the major bulkheads and cabin floor being provided. 18 web seats are provided for the cabin area, but these need some extensive cleanup. A fairly comprehensive cockpit is provided, and this should look fairly busy when complete. At the time of writing this review I had fitted most of the interior detail, and the look is very impressive.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The decals are clearly printed with the carrier film being thin. All decals are in register with good colour definition. Markings are provided for three aircraft:

  • A French Navy aircraft of Flotile 31F in overall Gloss Dark Sea Blue based in Algeria 1956,

  • A French Armee de Terre (ALAT) of 25eme Division de Parachutistes in overall Satin Olive Drab based in Algeria in 1958, and

  • A US Army version in overall Satin Olive Drab.

I have already started working on this kit, lightly rescribing panel lines and installing the interior parts in the fuselage.



There are no obvious problems to date.



Recommended for experienced modellers.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Model, Review and Images Copyright 2004 by Mick Evans
Page Created 20 September, 2004
Last updated 20 September, 2004

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