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Supermarine S.6B/S.6A
1931 Schneider Trophy Winner

 

Pavla, 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Pavla 72060 Supermarine S.6B/S.6A
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 21 short-run dark grey plastic parts on one sprue, 1 vac-formed part containing two canopies, 24 resin parts on 9 casting blocks, decals for three aircraft plus an 8 page A5 instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 18 build drawings including a rigging diagram and 3 pages of paint/decal diagrams.
Price: 16.50 available online from Hannants and specialist retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Long awaited subject in this scale; highly detailed; excellent resin and decals; alternative rudder supplied.
Disadvantages: Plastic mouldings are a bit rough; alternative props supplied but I can't see any difference; mounting the floats may be a challenge without a jig.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Glen Porter


Pavla's 1/72 scale S.6B/S.6A will be available online from Squadron.com
 

Background

 

Started in 1913 and run every two years after 1925, the last Schneider Trophy was run in 1931. One of the rules for the trophy was that if any country won it on three consecutive occasions, they would keep it and that would be the end of the competition. 1927 was won by Great Britain with the Supermarine S.5 designed by Reginald Mitchell and the next race, held in 1929 was also won by the same team with the S.6.

In 1931, Great Britain entered the Supermarine S.6B, an improved aircraft based on the S.6 with the Rolls Royce R V 12 engine which formed the basis for the WWII Griffin engine - a big motor in a little aeroplane. It not only won the Schneider Trophy for the third time running therefore giving Great Britain the trophy for all time but also, several days later, set a new World Air Speed Record of 379.05mph.

 

 

FirstLook

 

I have a very vague memory of building the old Airfix S.6B when I was very young and remember that I had a lot of trouble putting the floats on it. I haven't seen and Airfix S.6B for a long time now so I can't really say whether the moulding quality for this Pavla kit is any improvement over Airfix's.

This is not the cleanest plastic moulding from Pavla although the surface detail is very good with fine engraved panel detail, raised where necessary, but lots of flash and obvious seam lines which will require attention on every part. There is nothing petite about this plastic and, although they give you optional props, there is so much flash I can't see any difference. However, most of the really small parts are moulded in resin which, as usual from Pavla, is very good.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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One area where I believe the Pavla kit is clearly superior to the old Airfix offering is that they supply a resin beaching trolley. Apart from the idea that a seaplane looks better on a trolley rather than sitting on its floats, it should also be an aid to mounting the floats as a makeshift jig. It will at least keep the parts aligned with each other and the right distance apart. That's half the problem solved.

Other resin parts include two wheels for the beaching trolley, 4 saw horses, cockpit rear bulkhead and seat, forward bulkhead and instrument panel mount, engine cam cover panels and control surface balancers. The instrument panel and control column are in plastic on the main sprue.

 



Markings are supplied for three aircraft. The Trophy winning S.6B, S 1595 flown by Fl/Lt John N. Boothman, September 1931, S.6B, S 1596 flown by Fl/Lt G. H. Stainford to gain the World Air Speed Record of 379.05mph on the 13th of September 1931 and S.6A, N247 (I'm told it should be N248 as N247 crashed in practice) which was an S.6 brought up to S.6B standard and used for practice and reserve. The decals are very well printed with good register, colour density and minimum carrier film. All markings are supplied including racing numbers, trolley position markings for the floats and serial numbers.

 

 

Conclusion

 

As mentioned earlier, I can't really compare this kit from Pavla with the old Airfix offering, but I guess anything would be better than an old Airfix moulding and I do mean old.

There is no doubt that this Pavla kit will take some extra work but then it is short-run technology; and with the resin is certainly not for the inexperienced. However, with care and patience it could be made into a well detailed and impressive display piece.

This S.6B is the first in a new 1/72 scale series by Pavla. The next two offerings are pictured on the box top, the Macchi Castoldi MC.72 and the Curtiss CR-3, two of the other very important Schneider racers.

This is a good time to be a Braille Scale Modeller.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Pavla for the review sample


Review Text Copyright 2007 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 November, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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