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Auster A.O.P. Mk III / K-61

AZ Model, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

AZ7264 Auster A.O.P. Mk III / K-61

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media

40 x grey styrene (airframe), 1 x clear styrene (canopy), 1 x resin (exhaust panel) and decals for four subjects

Price:

Available on-line from Hannants for £11.74 and Modelimex for €12.61

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Generally nice kit with straightforward parts breakdown.

Disadvantages:

Rib-tape detail on the flying surfaces is a little heavy, and the prop needs refinement. The prominent exhaust pipes should have been supplied as a kit part(s).

Conclusions:

Despite the minor criticisms, a little effort refining things will produce a very nice model.

 

Reviewed by Mark Davies


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

Background

 

The Auster series of Air Observation Post (AOP) aircraft were British developments of an American Taylorcraft design. They were typical of this class of light aircraft, and were offered in a variety of versions, the difference between which was usually the type of engine fitted. Auster AOP’s were widely used by a number of air arms including the RAAF, RCAF, British Army, RAF, Israeli AF, Polish AF, Royal Netherlands AF, Royal Hong Kong Aux AF, and no doubt many more including civilian operators.

 

 

I recall reading a review stating that the very old Airfix kit was considered inaccurate. I do know that last one I owned was showing real signs of the mould getting tired. As such I should think that the new AZ Model release will be welcomed. Perhaps they may offer a float-equipped version as Airfix did with its attractive Antarctic survey scheme.

 

 

FirstLook

 

The AZ model kit consists of very cleanly moulded limited run parts on a single sprue. The one-part canopy clear enough and makes for simple construction. Surface detail is nicely done on the fuselage, but the rib tapes are a bit heavy on the flying surfaces, and will benefit from some judicious sanding to reduce their prominence.

As with many limited run kits with simple fixed-pitch props, this one is a bit clunky looking. Some paring and sanding will be needed to achieve a better scale effect and more authentic shape. I wish AZ Models and other manufacturers would consider supplying this type of propeller as a resin item, as they rarely seem to be very good when produced in simple 2-piece limited run tools. I don’t know if it’s a tooling or mastering issue, but it seems a common failing across several limited-run brands.

 

  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/72 scale Auster AOP Mk.III Review by Mark Davies: Image
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The one resin part supplied with the kit is a waste of this media’s potential, as it only consists of a simple flat panel to fit in the bottom of the engine cowl with some indentations where the exhaust pipes should go. Styrene would have been more than adequate for this. However the instructions show this part as a panel with four protruding exhaust pipes, which would make sense. As things stand the builder will need to make the exhaust pipes from scratch despite the instructions not mentioning this requirement. Unfortunately this is not the first time I have reviewed an AZ kit where the instructions draw the parts quite differently to the way they are supplied, and I feel it is something AZ should pay closer attention to on future releases.

The instructions do identify several parts that need to be scratch-built. These mainly consist of things like a knob on the instrument panel, ground handling bars on the side of the rear fuselage, undercarriage braces, and antenna mounts. All should be easy to make.

The main constructional challenge will be fixing the wings to the clear canopy without marring the latter.

 

 

I would be inclined to drill some holes through the canopy and insert lengths of brass right through side to side, having drilled the wing roots to receive the brass. If you do this it will be necessary to remove part of the styrene interior tubular framing and join it to your brass carry-through structure. This will take a bit of fiddling around to line everything up inside the canopy. Alternatively you could just use short brass or plastic rod stubs inserted into shallow holes in the canopy, and retain the styrene framing in tact.

The decals look to be well registered with good colour density.

 

 

They are for four aircraft all wearing an aluminium dope finish. Markings for the RAF, Israeli Air Force, and the armies of the Netherlands and Czecholovakia are provided. There is an alternate boxing of the same kit featuring camouflaged aircraft of the RAF, RAAF, IAF and Czechoslovak AF

 

 

Conclusion

 

This kit is a welcome addition for light aircraft fans, or those who need to add Auster AOP for their collection. Despite some minor criticisms this should build into a very nice replica.

Thanks to Legato  / AZ Models for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2009 by Mark Davies
Page Created 14 June, 2009
Last updated 15 June, 2009

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