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Koolhoven F.K. 58


Planet Models, 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 090 - Koolhoven F.K. 58
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 68 pieces in cream colored resin and 2 clear vac-form canopies. Instructions, painting guide and decal sheet for 2 aircraft.
Price: USD $49.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook - In Box
Advantages: Nicely engraved panel lines and fabric surfaces. Single piece cowling without pour stub.
Disadvantages: A bit of flash on many parts, extremely delicate parts in resin. Requires use of cyanoacrylic (super / crazy) glue and /or two-part epoxy.
Recommendation: Highly recommended for modelers who have experience with resin kits and parts.


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

Planet Models' 1/48 scale Koolhoven F.K. 58 
is available online from Squadron 




Last minute shopping...

With war clouds gathering over Europe, the French military went on a last minute buying spree to help build-up its inadequate air force. With Britain focusing on its own needs, and the United States providing what it could, the French turned to the Netherlands.
After shopping at Fokker, which was too busy, the French went to Koolhoven Vliegtuigen, where Frederik Koolhoven agreed to build the French a fighter, which was designated as Model 1166 and then F.K. 58 (Koolhoven’s 58th aircraft project).
The aircraft itself was of mixed construction.  The aft portion of the fuselage was made of steel tubes covered in fabric.  The forward fuselage was Duralumin.  The wing was of a single span going through the fuselage. It was of wood construction covered in plywood.
In a mere three months a prototype was produced.  In July 1938 the prototype was taken to France for display.  Even though it did not meet the speed requirements the French set, it was listed as the “fastest fighter in the world”.  The speed used was that of the aircraft in a dive, not level flight.
The French put in an order for 50 aircraft in January 1939.  In May 1939, the first four aircraft arrived, but were equipped with Hispano-Suiza engines, rather then the specified Gnome & Rhone engines.  These four were rejected and sent off to second line duties.

By the time war broke out in September 1939, only 10 aircraft had arrived.  By December, there were 40 assembled and another 23 unassembled aircraft in France. Of the 40 assembled K.H. 58s, only 18 made it into service, but without a clear purpose. The entire front line use of the F.K. 58 amounted to only 47 or so operational sorties.  After the armistice, all were scrapped.





Following on their beautifully done XP-40Q resin kit, Planet Models has produced another quality resin kit of a very minor aircraft of WW-2.
Unlike the XP-40Q, however, there are no etched metal parts. Rather, the very fine parts are done in resin.  Removing these parts from their molding blocks, and cleaning them up, as there is a small amount of flash, will require great care.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

When you open the parts bags and spill them onto your work surface, there appears to be an infinite number of infinitely small resin parts.  I actually received an additional set of five engine cylinders to add to the pile.  One thing that Planet models should be commended on is that the longer thinner resin pieces, such as the tail plane supports were packed separately, in a small bag, with a piece of cardboard to prevent bending and breaking.
Also, unlike the XP-40Q kit, this kit will require a little more cleanup on the fuselage mating surfaces and on the leading edge of the wing.  But a quick test fit showed that once the cleanup is done, the wing to fuselage join is excellent.
What I found amazing in this resin kit was that the cowling is molded as a single piece, but there is not the usual pour stub that must be removed.  The cowling is very thin and even the little cooling vents at the top are open.
There are two very thin and clear vac-form canopies. 



The canopy frames are distinct so masking will be reasonably easy. It should be noted that the rear part of the canopy forms part of the fuselage. It may be better to attach the canopy prior to painting to insure a clean join between canopy and fuselage.


The first set of markings is for a “pre-delivery” aircraft, at Waalhaven, Netherlands, in civilian registration, PH-AVL, without machine guns mounted.  The French roundels and rudder stripes were covered over.  The kit provides white decals that are to be used to cover over the tri-color roundels and rudder stripes.  As in pictures of the actual aircraft, the tri-color should be barely visible. 
The second set is for an aircraft of an anti-aircraft defense patrol D.A.T. (Polish) at Clermont-Aulnat, June 1940.  This aircraft uses the full national markings and merely has the number 11 on the rear of the fuselage.


I am quite glad to see that the registration information that appears on the rudder stripes are separate decals. I prefer to paint rudder stripes, rather than use the kit decals.
As for camouflage colors, the instruction show the aircraft in a two color topside scheme, rather than a three color scheme.  The underside is Light Blue-Gray, the topside is the Dark Blue-Gray with Mid-Green (Kahki) disruptive pattern randomly applied.
While the use of only two topside colors is more unusual, it was used on a number of different fighter types, including the Bloch.  Also, the pictures of “11”, although in black and white, give a distinct impression that only two topside colors were used.





I must admit that while this is an very nice kit, its appeal may be limited to those who have a thing for little known aircraft or the WW-2 French Air Force.  No question that the F.K. 58 is probably rivaled only by the Ambrosini SAI 207 (which was done in resin by LF Models) as one of the least known and less successful fighters of the Second World War.
For those who want something quite different and who want to work with resin, I highly recommend this kit.


French Aircraft 1939-1942, Volume 2: From Dewotine to Potez; by Andre Jouineau and Dominique Breffort; published by Histoire & Collections; 2005.

Thanks to MPM / Planet Models for the review sample.

MPM and Planet Model kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers worldwide and at Squadron.com

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 16 August, 2005
Last updated 15 August, 2005

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