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Huffers MD-1
Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3

North Star Models, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

North Star Models Item No. NSP-48904 – Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3

 

Scale:

1/48

Contents & Media

62 grey injection moulded parts on 3 sprues, 10 grey resin parts, 17 photoetch parts, decals and instructions.

Price:

€14.00 plus shipping available online from North Star Models

or see their list of global distributors by clicking here.

Click here for currency converter.

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

High quality moulding with an excellent level of detail. A worthy flight deck vehicles to complement your aircraft or diorama. Detailed enough to be a standalone kit if desired.

Disadvantages:

There are no colour call outs at all on the instructions which is disappointing given the quality of the rest of the kit. 

Conclusions:

An interesting subject to complement your 1960s US Navy aircraft on the deck.


Reviewed by David Couche


Eduard's 1/72 Avia B.534 IV serie Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

The MD-1 flight deck tractors entered service with the US Navy in the mid 1950s. Originally they were tasked with towing and positioning aircraft on the carriers. These were the Version 1 & 2 vehicles.

 With the introduction of jet powered aircraft on carriers, there came a need to expand upon the little vehicles abilities. There was the problem of starting the jet engines, to keep size and weight of aircraft down they had no starts as such…..no turning a key…so engineers came up with a way to solve this problem. This was called an “air start cart” and involved fitting a gas turbine engine mounted on a platform at the rear of the MD-1. This provided compressed air to the jet engine at a sufficient flow and pressure to turn the jet compressors at a high enough rpm to start the engine. They gained the nickname “Huffers” due to them producing the air for startup. These were the Version 3 MD-1s.

MD-1 tractors served on Essex, Oriskany, Midway Forrestal and Kitty Hawk class of carriers until the mid 1960’s. They were also used on the Royal Canadian HMCS Bonaventure and the Brazilian Navy’s Minas Gerais carriers.
These Huffers were used for aircraft such as the F3H Demon, F4D Skyray, FJ-4 Fury, F9F-8 Cougar, F11F Tiger as well as early variants of both the A4D Skyhawk and A3D Skywarrior.

 

 

FirstLook

 

North Star has produced a short run kit of the MD-1 Tractor. There are 3 grey sprue trees containing 62 parts, some which are quite tiny, so user beware or the carpet monster will eat them up.

 

  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
  • North Star Item No. NSP-48904  Huffers MD-1 Flight Deck Tractor Ver. 3 Review by David Couche: Image
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For a short run moulding, there is remarkably little flash or offset mould join lines. The quality of detail is very good, especially the tyre tread pattern.

 

 

A small ziplock bag contains 10 grey resin parts. These have beautiful detail, especially the front of the bonnet upper section. It also contains a number of small handles, well tiny really, and again these will be fragile and easily lost if not careful.

 

 

The small sheet of photoetch has 17 parts on it with the best being the beautiful mesh section that does need some intricate folding to create the cover/filter for the blower outlet.

 

 

Two small sheets of decal complete the contents with safety stripes and serial numbers.

 

 

The instructions are clear and concise in regards to the construction of the tractor and even the placement of the decals. One problem and disappointment is the total lack of any colour details and callouts for the kit. Any paint information, regardless of brand would be useful, instead of having to rely on an average drawing on the box lid. It will leave you to spent time trying to find research images to insure a correct finish.

Thanks to North Star Models for the review samples.


Review Text Copyright 2018 by David Couche
Page Created 1 August, 2018
Last updated 1 August, 2018

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