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Sikorsky R-4 / Hoverfly Mk.1 With Floats


Special Hobby, 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: SH48030 - Sikorsky R-4 / Hoverfly Mk.1 With Floats
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 55 parts in grey styrene, 1 vacform sheet, 15 pieces in cream colored resin, 20 etched metal piece and printed film for the instrument panels. Markings for three aircraft.
Price: USD$29.96 on line from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook - In Box
Advantages: A unique offering of a pioneering aircraft.
Disadvantages: Pips on clear parts may be a challenge to clean up
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by
Rodger Kelly

Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Sikorsky R-4 / Hoverfly Mk.1 With Floats
is available online from Squadron



If there is one thing you can count on from MPM's Special Hobby, itís the unusual! 

With this in mind, you won't be surprised to hear that the pioneering Sikorsky R-4/Hoverfly Mk 1 (with floats) is one of their latest releases. 

The kit differs little from Special Hobby's earlier Sikorsky R-4 boxing.  In fact it comprises the same plastic sprues and resin parts.  The only areas in which it differs is by the inclusion of a further plastic sprue that contains the pontoon floats, the exhaust pipes, and the associated bracing to attach the pontoons to the fuselage.  The photo-etch sheet also differs from the original in that it contains the 'lacing' for the pontoons as does the decal sheet. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

So what do you get?

  • 55 limited run injection molded plastic pieces.  The plastic is reasonably soft if anything, a little brittle.  As can be expected of a limited run kit, the parts contain a fair amount of flash.  Not really too much of a problem really the plastic is soft and the flash is easily cleaned up.  Thankfully, no attempt has been made by Special Hobby to try and replicate a 'canvas' texture to the sides of the fuselage.
  • 15 resin parts.  These look to have been produced by Airies so you know the detail is crisp and plentiful.  No pinholes or miscasts are evident in my example.
  • 20 photo-etch pieces.  These look to be made from stainless steel so will require some firm bending to assume the desired shapes.
  • A vacuform sheet that carries the forward fuselage/windscreen and side windows.  This part looks to be a bit of a bear as it has moulding pips all over it that will require some delicate cleaning up before use.  Thankfully, none of these pips are on the parts that have to remain clear.  The other downside is that it is moulded as left and right hand sides so you will have to join it down the centre.  Whilst the join is on a frame line, it will still require a delicate touch to avoid damaging the clear parts of the canopy.
  • Decals for three different options, two Royal Navy examples and a US Navy one.  Not a lot of colour here really as all three were finished in olive drab over neutral grey  with white letters or numbers squadron markings and serials as well as national insignia

Packaging is via a single heat sealed plastic bag containing the plastic sprues and the vac-form canopy sheet. 

The bag also contains the assembly instructions, the etch-metal fret and the decal sheet that are packed in there own heat sealed plastic bag and the resin parts in a further separate zip-loc bag.  All of these are then placed in a flimsy open-end cardboard box. 

The assembly instructions are simple line drawings of the 'exploded view' type.  The assembly instructions also contain a brief history of the machine as well as a 'parts map' and painting instructions. 

Be aware that that this kit is of the 'limited run' variety and as such it requires the use of modelling skills.  The assembly instructions call for the fabrication of several small lengths of stretched sprue to construct the tail rotor and rotor mast, something you won't find in Tamiya or Hasegawa kits! 

In summary though, this is a nice kit from Special Hobby.  All the ingredients are there. Just add some time and patience and you will be rewarded with a nice kit of an early helicopter. 



Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the review sample.

MPM kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers worldwide

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 10 May, 2005
Last updated 10 May, 2005

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