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Dora Wings Percival Vega Gull

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with great decals
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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Dora Wings’ multimedia Vega Gull kit features crisp recessed panel lines, a well-done representation of the fabric-covered flying surfaces, and includes a fret of 37 photo-etched (PE) parts plus masks. 

Optional parts are given for different versions of the aircraft, but the instructions are vague and chaotic. Some part numbers and illustrations are incorrect, and although the instructions have an “A/B” notation for different versions, there’s no clear definition of which is which. There are no paint color callouts or interior color references. Another problem is the inclusion of parts for Dora Wings’ Proctor kit, as the instructions bounce back and forth between its parts and the Gull’s. 

In spite of that, the fit of parts is generally good, requiring only slight mold-line removal and deepening sockets for the locating pins. The clear cabin enclosure comprises five parts; when assembled, a step between its aft upper edge and the fuselage turtledeck needed building up with putty. The separate control surfaces required a little refining to fit their hinge points and adjacent flying surfaces. The film instrument panel to back up the corresponding PE part was missing from my sample. 

The wings have a slightly deeper cross-section than the fuselage wing root extensions. I matched the upper contours and used filler to even up the lower surfaces with the belly. To ease painting, I cut a notch into each main wheel so I could insert them into the finished fairings. 

I opted to build the Vega Gull flown by aviatrix Beryl Markham, the first pilot to fly east-to-west across the Atlantic. Basic color illustrations of the kit’s four markings schemes are supplied; I mixed my own turquoise color to match the decals using GSI Creos and Tamiya acrylics, with Testors Aluminum Metalizer for the silver-doped flying surfaces. The decals are terrific — they’re thin but tough and are a highpoint of the kit. I ultimately had to rely on online sources to replicate the aircraft’s minutia. 

This project took me into two areas of modeling I’d never been: 1930s civil aviation, and making plastic look like wood. Due to those hurdles, the many small PE parts, and the vague instructions, my Gull required about 30 hours to build. 

The model is true to scale and successfully captures the Gull’s jaunty appearance. However, due to the many difficulties, it is best suited for a modeler who either possesses a good knowledge of the subject matter or good references. 


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

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