Airfix, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
||Airfix Kit No. A12050 - BAe Nimrod
|Contents and Media:
||223 parts in grey coloured plastic; 26 clear plastic parts; decal sheet covering six marking options
||From GBP£33.18 plus shipping available online from Hannants
||First Nimrod in this scale; impressively large model; excellent quality mouding; crisp and consistent recessed panel lines; separate control surfaces and entry doors; well detailed exterior; massive number of ordnance options; good selection of markings; stout packaging.
||Minimal interior detail; some visible ejector pins; dot screen pattern on roundels
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The Nimrod is the only jet powered Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft in the world. It entered service in 1968, and remains an essential part of British defence strategy three decades later.
Airfix has decided to tackle this large subject in 1/72 scale. The model is stoutly packed in a double-thickness box. The box itself is huge, but every cubic inch is required to accommodate the plethora of plastic.
So, just how big is the Nimrod? Check out this photo comparing the1/72 scale Xtrakit Canberra, not a small aircraft itself, with the Airfix Nimrod fuselage.
Airfix's 1/72 scale BAe Nimrod comprises 223 parts in grey coloured plastic, 26 clear plastic parts and a large decal sheet covering six markings options. Parts are supplied to permit a Nimrod MR.1, MR.2 or the secretive R.1 to be built.
Moulding quality, and surface texture in particular, has been a bit of an issue with some recent Airfix releases, but this kit needs to offer no apologies. The plastic parts are perfectly smooth, with crispy recessed panel lines throughout and no sink marks to be seen anywhere. Ejector pin marks on major and minor parts have mainly been thoughtfully positioned to be hidden when the model is built. The exceptions are the main undercarriage gear legs, the interior of the ordnance bay doors (which do not have any structural detail), and the insides of the entry doors (although these last two will only be an issue if you pose the doors open).
Generally though, moulding quality is first class.
Exterior detail is good. In addition to the separate entry doors, the model features positionable flaps, elevators and rudder. The gear legs are nicely detailed too.
The large ordnance bay has separate doors and may be posed open. Nearly three entire sprues are dedicated to ordnance and avionics for the different versions. The instructions do a very good job of specifically calling out the avionics fit and loadout of each marking option.
Interior detail is a bit basic, with just a few slab-like seats, bulkheads and instrument decals for the panel. Little will be visible through the small canopy windows in any case. Three crew figures are supplied in typical Airfix style (in other words, good). Apart from the featureless front and rear bulkheads, there is no main cabin detail.
Clear parts include the canopy, blown and flat windows, navigation lights and pod cover. The transparencies are nice and clear.
Instructions are supplied in a 24 page stapled A4 booklet. Construction is covered in 36 illustrated steps. Comprehensive stencil marking guides are also included in this booklet for all six marking options.
The instructions are supplemented with a six page colour guide with one page per main marking option. The schemes include the early White and Grey of the MR.1, Hemp and Light Aircraft Grey for three options (including an Operation Fincastle machine competing in Australia and "zapped" with a red Kangaroo on top of each side of the fin), another MR.2 in overall Light Aircraft Grey plus a single R.1 in the current low-vis two-tone grey finish. Several of these options also include alternate serials for even more variety.
The decal sheet is large and very glossy. Saturation of the colours generally looks good, but the pink and light blue of the roundels look a bit odd to me. In common with other recent Airfix decals, non-primary colours have been printed using a dot screen method which is visible (especially on the pale roundels) when viewed close up.
Model Alliance has already released three after market decal sheets for the Nimrod. I am sure that we will see more soon too.
Airfix's new 1/72 scale BAe Nimrod is an impressive kit on a number of different levels. Its sheer size commands attention, while the option to build three variants from the one box, and with so many ordnance and avionics alternatives, is very welcome. The general quality of moulding is a noticeable improvement compared to recent releases, and augers well for the new stewardship of Airfix by Hornby Hobbies.
The lack of interior detail will be viewed as a shortcoming by some, but others will be pleased to be free of the extra time involved with fitting out a cockpit and cabin that will never be seen. I am certain that we will be seeing resin and photo-etched Nimrod interiors littering model shop shelves before long in any case.
Despite its size, this kit is quite conventional and simple in its parts breakdown. It should not present a challenge to any modeller with a few kits under his belt.
So clear the model shelves, boys. You are going to need some serious space to display your new Airfix Nimrod!
Thanks to Hannants for the sample
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2008 by Brett Green
Page Created 22 February, 2008
22 February, 2008
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