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Airfix Hunting Percival Jet Provost T.3

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with superb molding
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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A funny thing happened on my way to completing a “problem” model: I discovered this one. Initially, I only wanted a time-filler while that other beast’s putty was drying, but after beginning Airfix’s super little Jet Provost, I was hooked. Four short days after starting, this bird was ready for paint. Booyah!

Recessed panel lines and details are excellent. Optional parts include retracted or extended landing gear and two canopies, the “open” one being slightly wider. 

The cockpit interior is basic and well-planned with two nice multipart ejection seats plus a decal for the instrument panel. Built up and painted, the interior looks good.

Handy tip: nose weight can be added through the nose gear door opening instead of installing it before the fuselage halves are joined. Cementing the gear door in place seals the weight inside.  

The one-piece lower wing includes a goodly portion of the belly. The single-piece horizontal stabilizer is trapped in place by the jet exhaust/tailpipe and the rudder is separate. A little filler was needed on the fuselage and tip tank seams.

The landing gear features nice brake and strut detail, with the main struts being molded integral with the doors. The dual-profile nose wheel is a two-part assembly, and all wheels are weighted, with keyed main gear axles ensuring the wheels’ flat spots are at the bottom.         
    
Perfectly printed decals provide markings for early and late Royal Air Force trainers. The high-viz decals for the older scheme are printed on white backing to help the Day-Glo fluoresce. That also means they are stiff, brittle, and don’t follow compound curves without generous doses of solvent. Even at that, the decals that wrap the wing leading edges cracked. I removed them, sliced them into thirds, and applied one stripe to each upper and lower wing, close to the leading edges. The rest of the decals worked well.

The model scales out perfectly with my reference, but the dimensions stated in the instructions differ from those numbers. On the profile drawings for the newer red-and-white scheme, the tip tanks obscure the location of the color demarcation line on the fuselage sides above the wings. The aftmost part of the wing root fairing is shown as gray, but it’s actually part of the intake fairing, and should be red; this becomes clearer when painting the model.

This is a fine offering whose detail, decals, and complete stenciling result in a real gem of a model. In fact, I liked it so much I bought another one for a quick double build. The first took me 12 hours to finish, the second even less. “Fast” and “nice” are seldom used together to describe my models, but this one’s a rock star. The T in its title meant “tonic” for my state of mind over my other model’s difficulties, too.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2019 issue.

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