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JRS-1 "Baby Clipper"
US Flying Boat


Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby No SH72111 - Sikorsky JRS-1 “Baby Clipper”
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 114 mid grey plastic parts on four sprues, 23 clear parts on one sprue, 27 resin parts on five casting blocks, 25 + PE parts on one fret plus a 16 page instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 10 pages of build diagrams and 3 pages of paint/decal drawings.
Price: USD$39.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: An attractive looking flying boat from a period many modellers are interested in plus all the usual MPM advantages.
Disadvantages: Although the clear parts are injection moulded, they are not quite as clear as we've become used to from MPM.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

 Special Hobby's 1/72 scale JRS-1 "Baby Clipper" is available online from Squadron.com



Designed and built by Sikorsky in 1935 as a scaled down version of the four engined S-42 Clipper, the two engined S-43 was known as the Baby Clipper and deployed to South America as a supplement to the S-42. The US Navy and Marines bought 17 of these boats under the designation of JRA-1 and used them as Utility Transport Aircraft through out WWII.

While doing research for this review, looking, among other places, at Seawings web site, I discovered that this very kit has previously been released by Sword. Not just the same aircraft but apparently the same kit. Scans of the Sword sprues on Seawings appear to be exactly the same as these. Now, I've got several Sword kits and, as good as they are, they are usually not as good as this so I have to conclude that the original kit was moulded for them by MPM. As far as I can see, this kit varies only in the decals and box art.

So, let's see what's in the box...


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Actually, before we open it, I must mention something about the box itself. Instead of the usual flimsy side-opening box, this time we have a sturdy affair with a separate lid. You could pile ten to twenty kits on top of this and it wouldn't crush. This, I believe, is something the other European manufacturers should take note of.

The box, the box, what's in the box! Sorry. There are five plastic sprues, one clear and the others mid-grey. All cleanly moulded with very little flash, small attachment points and excellent detail. The first has the two fuselage halves, fin/rudder, tale-plane, wing-tips, bulk-heads, etc. The next comes with the main-plane upper and lower, floats, cowlings, wing support and inner and outer wheel halves. Then comes floor, props, wing support struts, multi-piece under-carriage legs and other small odds and sods. The last of the four grey sprues is a bit of an oddity. It's the top of the fuselage, from the rear of the canopy to just behind the wing support in two halves. I'm not sure why they've done this as I doubt you would want to fit the interior after joining the fuselage halves. Thats certainly 'not' how it's shown in the instructions. The clear sprue is not as clear as I would like but I think a coat of Future or the like would fix things.

Resin parts are nicely cast and detailed but there aren't as many as you might expect for a model this size. Two radial engines, of cause, crew and passenger seats, exhausts and carburetor intakes, and some other small exterior bits.

Lots of PE bits, too many for my liking, but most modellers will rub their hands together. Fortunately for me, many of the PE parts are duplicated in plastic or resin.

The decals, the decals. Beautiful decals. Printed by Aviprint, there are markings for five aircraft, three from Pearl on the 7th of December 1941, (1-J-1, 2 and 3), in pre-war colours, one from VJ-1, US Navy 1942, location unknown, in Blue-Grey and Light-Grey and the fifth, bought by the Chinese Government for madam Chiang Kai-Shek in worn Dark Green and Silver. All the decals have good register, colour density and minimum carrier film as we've come to expect from Aviprint.


The instruction booklet is as usual from Special Hobby with good clear build diagrams but some of the PE parts in the instructions are mislabeled as PUR, which means resin, so care will have to be taken to study the diagrams before building.

Looking somewhat like a scaled-down Catalina, this is a very attractive aircraft and being an amphibian, one doesn't have to worry about beaching trolleys or the like. With those pre-war colours, this is another kit that I'm itching to get into.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to MPM/Special Hobby for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright © 2006 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2006 by Brett Green
Page Created 10 April, 2006
Last updated 09 April, 2006

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