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Italeri 1/72 scale Sunderland Mk.I

Kit:1302 // Scale:1/72 // Price:$79
Italeri Italeri, from Model Rectifier Corp., 732-225-2100
Monograph booklet included; great decals; nice interior; detail on small parts
Some part mismatches; minor coloring omissions on instruction sheet
Injection-molded, 256 parts (32 photoetched metal), decals

Clear the deck! Sunderland inbound!

No, seriously: Clear a big space on your workbench for this one, because you’re gonna need it. Trust me.

Italeri’s new kit features good detail and a super interior. Besides the 223 plastic parts and photoetched metal, you also get a length of “anchor cable” to display the model moored afloat, and — yep — the anchor and a boat hook are included if you want to tackle a “moored” diorama of heroic proportions. There’s also beaching gear, which is how I posed mine. 

Several other options are given — movable control surfaces, open or closed beam gun positions, retractable bomb aimer’s window and bow turret, and two bomb trolleys to hang on the tracks beneath the inboard wing sections, along with eight bombs for them.

For me, the coolest thing in the kit was Italeri’s inclusion of a small monograph booklet on the Sunderland containing line drawings and photographs showing details and colors. That was a valuable resource that negated the need to obtain additional reference material.

I decided to leave the bow boarding door open to show at least a little of the well-deck detail. But I closed the aft door, since it’s just a big cavern back there. Detail in the turrets and flight deck is excellent. There was a little easily-removed flash on the edges of the parts, and most everything fit nicely except for the upper and lower wings, which differed by 116" or so in chord — with the trailing edges matched up, an overhang resulted along the leading edges. 

The real aircraft is beefy and stout. Fortunately, so is the model. It withstood my repeatedly whacking its extremities on various workbench items as I built it. The floats seemed a little stalky to me, so instead of using stretched sprue (called “stirred plastic” in the instructions) for their bracing wires, I used ceramic wire. The monograph and the box art show several things not on the instruction sheet — yellow prop-blade tips, metallic cowling speed rings and exhausts, cables for the aileron control horns, and other details.

The clear parts are a little on the thick side. Each porthole window had a dimple in it, so I opted to omit those and fill the holes with clear acrylic glue after the model was painted. The retractable bomb aimer’s window wouldn’t extend far enough to suit me, so after removing its hinge pins, I just glued it in place. I wasn’t as successful in refining the canopy — its aft edge wasn’t a great match to the adjacent fuselage contour — nor the landing light lens covers, their poor fit a result of correcting the wing’s leading-edge mismatch.

The Cartograf decals worked like a charm, featuring optional markings for six different aircraft.

I spent about 40 hours on this kit, and other than the small photoetched-metal and detail parts, it’s not a complicated build. It just needs some elbow room.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2013 FineScale Modeler.

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