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Azur FrRom CASA C-212-100/300 Aviocar

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with build options

The CASA C-212 is a medium short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft ordered into production in the 1960s by Spain’s government to replace aging DC-3, DC-4 and Ju 52 fleets. 

Manufactured from 1971 to 2012, the boxy military transport has been used around the world for rainmaking, surveillance, and search and rescue. The U.S. Special Operations Command uses the aircraft, designated C-41A, for supply drops, infiltration, and exfiltration. Many have been used as airliners, and the rear ramp makes it a popular drop ship for smoke jumpers and skydivers.

Azur FrRom’s contains parts for many versions of the C-212, including optional noses, doors, fuel tanks, landing-gear sponsons, horizontal stabilizers, instrument panels, and props. More than half of the parts included aren’t used, so your spares box will get a boost. 

Molded in a soft gray plastic, the parts have recessed panel lines and surface detail; the molding is good but not outstanding. Fit was generally good throughout.

As molded, the fuselage represents the short-nose 100-series airframe. To convert it to the long-nose 300 series, I carefully cut halves along scored lines behind the cockpit. A stepped tab is left at the seam to align and attach the new nose pieces. That is one of the hardest things on the build. 

Before joining the fuselage halves, 13 cabin windows must be inserted. Fear not: There are small tabs on each one to aid gluing them in place. I secured each with a drop of super glue on a toothpick. Then, I masked each window with a drop of white glue. It is easily removed with a hobby knife or toothpick after painting.

The simple cockpit includes good decals for the instrument panel. 

The join between the wing and fuselage was perfect and needed no filler. The kit has the option for open doors but since there is no interior I left them closed. A open rear cargo ramp would have been nice with some interior detail.

Decals provide markings for four French C-212s, two from the French air force flight test center, and two civilian aircraft. I painted my model with Testors light gray and U.S. Navy blue to replicate the wild paint scheme on the aircraft from French CAE Aviation. 

Unfortunately, the decals for the stripes were extremely fragile and came apart. The other decals are printed by Cartograf and performed perfectly. 

I spent about 43 hours on my Aviocar, mostly because of the conversion surgery and decal problems. I recommend that less experienced modelers stay with the 100 version.

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


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