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Roden 1/48 scale North American T-28B Trojan

Kit:441 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$54.99
Roden, from Squadron Products, 877-414-0434
Good fit, cockpit and landing gear detail, color and markings choices
Unclear directions; decals translucent, impervious to solvents
Injection-molded, 149 parts, decals

Had my test scores been high enough back in 1958, I might have taken my U.S. Air Force primary flight training in T-28s. Many are still in flying condition; you see them every summer at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.

Roden made the right choice when it picked the Navy B version for its kit. Three-bladed prop, larger engine, all those colors — it is going to be popular.

I chose the second of three sets of markings provided, the aircraft boldly presented on the box cover: a U. S. Marine Corps aircraft based at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, in 1977. Many of the T-28s we see today carry those red markings.

The eight-page 25-step instructions include a history of the aircraft, a parts map, three-view drawings for color and markings, and a color chart for Humbrol, Testors, LifeColor, and Gunze Sangyo paints.

Assembly begins with the Wright Cyclone R-1820-9HD engine, followed by the landing gear. I never figured out how to install Part 37A on the nose gear in Step 3. It is too high on my model.

The cockpit tub gets 22 separate parts in steps 19, 20, and 21. I spent several hours masking and painting the side consoles. Parts 21D in Step 21 are most likely canopy rails. They are to be mounted to the inside edge of the cockpit opening. The problem is, do they go in parallel to the top of the fuselage, or at a 45-degree angle? Or are they at 90 degrees to the top of the fuselage? I never found an answer.

Step 21 recommends 25 grams (about 1 ounce) of weight in the nose before joining the fuselage halves. But 25 grams was not enough.

The landing gear struts are installed in Step 25. It was quickly apparent that the nose gear strut was not going to support the weight of the model. I reinforced that portion of the strut with repeated applications of super glue, which increased the thickness of the strut slightly and added considerable strength.

While the canopy parts are crisply molded and appropriately thin, I had trouble making the three parts fit. With the aft canopy and windshield in place, the pilot’s hood was too long and had to be sanded to fit. In addition, the hood seemed warped; it was too wide at the base and had to be installed under tension.

I used Tamiya clear red and green over white for the wingtip lights; I left the upper and lower fuselage beacons on the clear tree and dipped them in clear red.

The decals were prone to silvering, even on a gloss surface, and did not respond to Microscale or SuperScale solvents. I applied most of them over a drop of Pledge Future floor polish.

I spent slightly more than 36 hours on this kit, mostly fitting the canopy and masking and painting. The model measures slightly large for the scale, but no harm. It looks like the drawings and photos in my collection. I like it, and I want to do another. The next one will be yellow.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2012 FineScale Modeler.


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