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Grand Models T-6A Texan II

Experiencing déjà vu? If you read my review of the Isracast T-6A (October 2016 FSM), you might have that feeling. But no, despite being the same subject, scale, and medium, Grand Models T-6 is not Isracast’s kit.

The parts breakdown is similar: one-piece fuselage and one-piece wing. Differences are: metal weight cast into the nose that keeps the nose wheel grounded, and separate ailerons, rudder, and elevator.

The well-detailed resin parts have minor flash on most mold-parting lines. The pour stubs on some of the small parts are equally small, so it’s difficult to determine what to remove.

The cockpit interior features excellent ejection seats, and instrument panels molded with their coamings. Photo-etch and decals detail the panels. The coamings are different, but the instructions are vague about which one goes in the front and which goes in the rear. The one with the more rounded shape goes in front.

This is one example of the unclear instructions. In addition, no part numbers are given on the instructions or the PE fret. The PE parts are tinted orange in the diagrams and most are shown in place. Tiny parts, such as blade antennas, oleo scissors, and pitot tubes, are barely visible in the drawings and easy to miss.

The instructions show how to make lights for the wingtips by heating clear plastic sprue (not provided) and pressing it through a hole in the PE fret. Cool idea, but then where do they go? Nav lights on the T-6 make up the front corner of the wingtip, not an easy shape to fashion.

The instructions also show a front view with locations for six underwing pylons and the ordnance that can be carried on each. But the kit comes with only four pylons and just a pair of drop tanks and gun pods for the armed variants.

The vacuum-formed canopy fits pretty well. Once the canopy was in place and the separate fin/rudder assembly attached to the fuselage, I could see subtle but noticeable differences in overall shape and size of the profile contours versus the Isracast kit. Comparing them with a profile photo of an full-size T-6A made it clear that Grand Models got the sizes and shapes right; Isracast’s shapes are lower and more streamlined.

The nose gear strut with reinforcing wire has a correct nose wheel and small fender.

Decals provide markings for two Greek T-6s, and one each for U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Israeli, Moroccan, Iraqi, and Mexican planes. Well-printed, the decals went on without problems.

I spent 23 hours on this model, most of it painting, decaling, and carefully fitting the canopy. Grand Models captures the shapes of the Texan II.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2017 issue.

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