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Special Hobby 1/71 scale Hunting Percival Pembroke C Mk 1

Kit: SH 72105
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Special Hobby, from Squadron Mail Order,
Price: $38
Comments: Mixed media, 219 parts
(154 injection-molded, 37 photoetched, 28 resin), decals
Pros: Interesting subject, excellent decal sheet, excellent photoetched details
Cons: Poor fit, small resin and photoetched parts are hard to handle
The Pembroke and its sibling, the Prince/Sea Prince, were unsung heroes of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, and other countries' air arms throughout their service lives, regularly performing varied but vital tasks as support aircraft.

The plastic parts show good recessed panel lines, but some of the smaller details need refining to bring them down to scale. A basic, fairly complete interior is provided, but is largely unseen when the fuselage is closed up.

The parts fit isn't precise; I used lots of gap-filling super glue. The eight-piece wing assembly features separate wingtip panels, which are butt-glued to the inner wings. I inserted brass wire to pin and strengthen them. Both wingtips were of different thickness than the adjacent wing, and the left wing was thicker than the fuselage stub where it attached. I had to cut and sand the left wing attachment tabs to achieve a smooth surface across the top of the fuselage.

Plastic shims and filler were needed where the engine nacelles attached to the wings and on the nose/fuselage joint. The kit provides a resin tail stand to keep the model on its nose gear, but I added nose weight instead.

Some of the resin parts are tiny and difficult to handle while cleaning up their pour stubs, and the small intakes on top of the cowlings are too large, according to my reference photos. The resin "towel bar" antenna on the fuselage spine is delicate and takes patience to clean up.

The photoetched fret provides nice details, including static-discharge wicks, windshield wipers, and landing-gear oleo scissors links. All the clear parts are nicely done, and after shimming the cockpit area to square up the mating surfaces, the windscreen fit perfectly. The clear navigation light lenses are a nice touch. I shortened all landing gear legs about 1/8" to get the Pembroke's correct "squat."

Using Gunze Sangyo acrylics, I finished my model as an RAF 60th Squadron machine based at Wildenrath, Germany. The Aviprint decals were beautifully printed, though the white in the roundels is slightly translucent. All the markings snuggled down beautifully, even though I didn't use setting solution. Three markings options are given, but certain components like I.D. bands, propeller stripes, and de-icer boots have to be painted on.

Considering the work needed on improving the fit, I consider this a kit for the modeler, not for the assembler. I spent 35 hours constructing mine, and it's a welcome addition to my shelf of Cold War aircraft.

- Walt Fink


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