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Dora Wings Percival Proctor Mk.III

Review of the 1/48 scale aircraft kit with excellent decals but difficult clear parts
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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I had never heard of a 1/48 scale Percival Proctor, so figured this Dora Wings kit was worth a look. The box art is a nice painting of the Royal Air Force Proctor Mk.III (L2766) from the collection of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. The decal sheet provides markings for this aircraft and four others, including  another RAF, a USAAF liaison plane, and two post-war aircraft in Dutch and Danish service.

The 106 plastic parts are cleanly molded with little or no flash and surface detail looked appropriate for the scale. With the exception of the canopy and the cowl with the engine installed, parts fit was excellent.

The 12-page instructions include a brief history, parts maps, and 21 assembly steps. No color callouts are included.

Assembly begins with the instrument panel and its housing, followed by installation of the photo-etched (PE) seat belts. I noticed right away that the seat belts were narrow compared to many kits and aftermarket seat-belt decals in 1/48 scale.

Assembly of the tail wheel, main gear fairings and wheels, the rudder, and the stabilizers and elevators went smoothly.

Steps 9 to 11 cover engine assembly. It’s quite small making PE parts 6 and 7 difficult to install.

I had no problems assembling the wings and control surfaces, but the profile of the clear landing light covers doesn’t match the leading edge. I used filler, but wasn’t happy with the result.

Assembling the canopy was a challenge as it’s not a single piece. Rather it builds from six parts. All of the joining surfaces fall along frames so they will be hidden with paint, it was still necessary to join eight thin edges without getting glue on areas to remain clear. After all that, the assembled canopy was wider at the bottom than the cockpit opening. So, I used a bar clamp to align the bottom edges of the canopy while the glue set.

The cockpit presented a few issues. Parts E99 and E93 are incorrectly labeled; they should be E29. The rudder pedals (E18) are small and fiddly. Part E1 should be mounted in the center of the floor between the seats; this part isn’t identified.

In Step 18, parts E43 and E44 fit into the wing openings in the fuselage, but they don’t seem to have any purpose.

The assembled engine was too wide and flared the bottom of the nose.

In Step 19, a tiny PE piece must be bent in two directions around the front of the cowl just behind the spinner; I failed.

I airbrushed with Testors Model Master RAF colors: dark earth, dark green, and trainer yellow. The well-printed decals went on perfectly, but I floated each one into a puddle of water on the model to prevent the thin markings from folding under.

My final touch was an antenna wire stretched from the kit’s clear plastic. I brushed on a light coat of Metalizer burnt metal to eliminate shine.

Because of the engine installation problems, the trouble with the canopy parts, and a mistake I made installing the landing lights, I put in 50+ hours on this model.

However, it measures accurately and it looks OK sitting on the table, even if mine is not contest-quality.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2019 issue.

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