Reviewed by Peter Mitchell
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Back in June this year I had the pleasure of reviewing the long awaited 1/72 scale Xtrakit de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW 2/D 3. I was suitably impressed. Xtrakit had done a worthy job. However, in common with most short-run kits, I found that there were a few aspects that left some room for improvement.
At the time, I anticipated that some enterprising after-market manufacturer might be busily working on resin refinements.
I am therefore happy to report that FAA Models has produced not one, but three resin sets that address most of the issues I had noted in my review and go much further in providing the modeller scope to really enhance their kit of the Sea Vixen.
Each set deals with a different part of the aircraft and thus can be used individually or in combination depending on how you wish to spruce up the basic kit.
The parts are all cast from a solid cream resin. They are largely free of flash, have little or no air bubbles, contain crisp details and I expect that they will easily separate from their casting blocks. Each set comes with its own comprehensive instruction sheet complete with photos that details the modification required and the way each part is intended to be used.
Furthermore, while not intended for the FROG kit, with a little work, these sets can be adapted to fit this kit should the modeller wish to attempt this.
FAAM 72004 Sea Vixen Upgrade Set
This set contains twelve parts and mainly deals with improvements to the kits fuselage. Two finely cast ejector seats are direct replacements for the kit items (these were nicely detailed, but slightly undersize to facilitate the fit of the cockpit), new tailpipe assembly incorporating the arrestor hook housing allows the this area to be left open, replacement airbrake, airbrake housing and hydraulic assemblies allow this prominent feature of the Sea Vixen to be displayed at lowered attitude.
The fitting of the arrestor hook and airbrake housing will require some careful cutting and thinning of the sections of the kit fuselage. This will call for some care and patience.
Replacement engine facings for the Avon engines are included (although I thought the kit item was fine). Finally there are tail-boom plugs, these address perhaps the main construction weakness of the kit since the tail-boom originally butt joined to the main fuselage assembly, these critical joints would otherwise be quite weak... very helpful indeed!
FAAM 72005 Sea Vixen Radar Set
Strangely enough this set deals with the Sea Vixen nose radar.
Like the Buccaneer, the Sea Vixen had a rather large radar assembly housed in its voluminous nose cone. When serviced the nose cone swung to the starboard side exposing a prominent radar dish and the avionics bay.
This set contains five parts, these being a plug for the avionics bay, radar dish support, radar dish, radar receiver and nose cone.
The detail for the avionic bay is a little “blobby” and has the odd bubble, however it is debatable as to just how much of this will be evident once the radar dish is in place.
As such I feel that this set is quite “fit for purpose”.
FAAM 72006 Sea Vixen Wing Fold Set
The possibility of modelling the Sea Vixen with the wings folded is evidenced in the design of the Xtrakit kit.
Here the outer wing panels are separate and like the tail-booms simply butt join to the main wing sections.
They are lacking any detail whatsoever, thus this set provides eight parts that address this.
Four thin and satisfyingly detailed parts represent the ends for each wing, the hinges and lock mechanism provided as separate parts.
These resin detail sets from FAA Models provide all a modeller would really need to upgrade the 1/72 scale Xtrakit Sea Vixen kit.
Used individually or in combination a highly detailed and satisfying model will result. Having said that, these sets, like the Sea Vixen kit itself is not for beginners and some conversion/use of resin parts experience will be a must.
Thanks to A2Zee Models for
the review sample
Alley Cat and FAA Models'
accessories are available
from A2Zee Models website
or from their Ebay store
Review Text Copyright © 2008 by Peter Mitchell
Images Copyright © 2008 by Brett Green
Page Created 29 October, 2008
Last updated 29 October, 2008
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