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MS.472 Vanneau II
Radial Engine Version

 

Fonderie Miniatures


Fonderie Miniatures' 1/48 scale MS.472 is available online at Squadron.com

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Stock No. FN6027
Scale: 1/48 scale
Contents and Media: 30 limited-run injection plastic parts; 21 white metal parts; 6 resin parts; 2 vacform; 1 fret of photo-etched brass
Price: USD$50.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Interesting subject matter; effective and appropriate use of multi-media; good level of detail; robust engineering; detailed white-metal landing gear; spare vacform canopy supplied.
Disadvantages: Modelling skills required: possible challenges fitting rear windows; lots of flash; only one photo-etched instrument panel supplied.
Recommendation: Recommended to experienced modellers.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

Background

 

Design work on the Vanneau family of aircraft started as early as 1940.

The first prototype MS.470 took to the air in 1945. Various powerplants were used with the Vanneau during its development, including a batch of Gnome et Rhone air-cooled, double row radial engines left behind by German forces after the occupation. The MS.472 Vanneau II was powered by this engine.

The Vanneau II was used for training French Reserve Pilots in France and North Africa.

Fonderie Miniature continues to work its way through post-war French aviation, producing both familiar and lesser-known aircraft. I confess that I was not aware of the MS.472 Vanneau before taking delivery of the review kit, but it is an interesting subject.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Fonderie Miniature's new 1/48 scale Vanneau II is a limited-run, multi-media kit. The kit comprises 30 low-pressure injection moulded parts, 6 resin parts, 21 pieces in white metal and a small photo-etched fret. The canopy is provided as a vacform part, and a spare is supplied. Markings for two schemes are also included.

The bulk of the kit is styrene. The plastic parts feature engraved detail, and the surfaces of the main parts are smoother than in previous releases. However, there is a significant amount of ragged flash on most parts. I estimate that it will take less than an hour to remove all the parts, sand the surfaces and clean up the edges. This will be an hour well spent, especially considering the natural metal finish that will follow construction.

The wing trailing edges are quite thin, but a few seconds sanding the inside surfaces will also be a good investment.

Engineering is sound. The wings are full-span, upper and lower. The fuselage sits over a saddle on the upper wing half (which also contains the cockpit floor). A ridge on each side of the lower wing root should ensure a fairly precise fit.

 


The engine, seats, instrument panel mounts and main wheel well are all supplied in grey resin. The engine is especially well-detailed. The wheel well includes locating positions for the main gear legs and the retractions struts - a relative luxury for a limited-run kit like this.

 

 

Two harnesses and a single instrument panel are supplied on the photo-etched fret. It is a shame that the second instrument panel was not also supplied, as the photo-etched version is far superior to the white-metal alternative.

The undercarriage and a host of smaller details are supplied in white metal. This media will ensure maximum strength for the undercarriage plus a measure of adjustment after the legs are secured to the fuselage. The white metal parts are nicely detailed but some parts are surrounded by thin flash - they should look great after the customary clean-up.

The main gear legs include cast-on hydraulic lines, although one of my lines is short-shot (won't take long to replace with fusewire).

Those white-metal cowl flaps look like they will need a fair amount of work to fair-in to the cowl area.

 

 

The glasshouse canopy is supplied as a vacform part. This is quite thin, extremely clear and free of distortion. A spare is provided in case of mishaps while the canopy is being removed from its backing.

The rear windows are supplied as separate vacuum formed parts with recessed rims that appear to plug into rectangular openings in the mid fuselage.

 

 

Instructions and the marking guide are supplied on two double-sided sheets of A4 paper using exploded view drawings. The drawings and the sequence of assembly are quite straightforward. Fonderie Miniature has not numbered their parts but they have indicated whether the part is resin, white metal or photo-etched.

 

 

Markings for two North African based Vanneau IIs are supplied. The option pictured on the box top is especially colourful, with blue spinner cap, blue and yellow digit and a pirate motif on the fuselage side. Decals on my sample are thin and in perfect register.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Fonderie Miniature's 1/48 scale MS.472 is a nicely detailed, soundly designed kit that should look great when finished.

However, as is the case with other Fonderie Miniature releases, modelling skills are required - this is not a "shake and bake" proposition. Patience, planning and plenty of test-fitting will be the best formula for approaching this model.

The inclusion of resin, brass and metal pieces will lift the finished product to a high standard if adequate preparation and effort is applied.

So, if you have some experience with limited-run multi-media kits, FM's 1/48 scale MS.472 Vanneau II should present you with a rewarding building experience and a nice model as a result of your time and skill.

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample


Review and Images Copyright 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 16 June, 2003
Last updated 12 August, 2004

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