Heller 1/72 T-28 Trojan "Fennec"

KIT #: 80279
PRICE: $24 from auction
DECALS: Two options
NOTES: Currently OOP


“Designed originally as a training aircraft, intended to replace the t-6 G TEXAN, the T-28 TROJAN as a result of its qualities soon became a combat plane specialised in supporting ground fire. It started its new career in the hands of French pilots in french North Africa and carried on in the mercenary wars in Africa and Vietnam where it prouved itself superior to its supersonic opposite numbers.” – from the kit box, so the errors are their own!

 North American Aviation is far from a household name, but their aircraft are very well-known. Their Second World War stable includes the T-6 Texan/SNJ/Harvard advanced trainer, B-25 Mitchell bomber and P-51 Mustang fighter, and their F-86 Sabre jet revolutionised fighter design in the West during the Korean War. Super Sabre, Bronco, Valkyrie, it’s hard to list all of their designs.

 But the T-28 is one, like the T-6, which endures today in large numbers. The NAA-built Trojan and the French, licence-build Sud Aviation Fennec are near-ubiquitous aircraft at airshows today, most likely due to its use by the French in Algeria and in Vietnam with the US and South Vietnamese as counter-insurgency machines, and its training role in the USA.

 And if you’re keen – and your bank/significant other allows – there are about 30 for sale in the US as I type this. Check out the third link in the “References” section if you dare.


Once more, this is one of those aircraft I grew up seeing at airshows – a T-28C was imported into New Zealand in the late 80s and continues to fly from Ardmore, Auckland with a syndicate – and as a result I desperately wanted a model of it. The racket of the Wright Cyclone, its fighter-like performance, and the nosewheel all added to the charm. From the looks of things this is the sole 1:72 option, but I’m happy to be corrected.

 This is another classic Heller kit with fine details throughout and minimal flash. Based on the small amount of research I’ve done for this preview the kit is a T-28D and a Fennec, with the canopy of a Fennec or A model. (Editor's Note: Ignoring the too tall A model canopy, by removing and filling in the air scoop atop the nose, one can do a pretty good D. A B can be done by filling in or removing the weapons pylons/slots on the lower wing as well.)

 The cockpit consists of a tub with some side console detailing, two different control panels (one for each cockpit) and two sticks, generic seats and a turnover truss. Aftermarket sets exist to replace this and make it all more accurate. Likewise the engine: what’s provided should be fine for many, but there’s at least one resin option on the market for those who would like something more accurate.

The outside seems pretty accurate, with its patchwork quilt of petite raised panel lines and hatches marked by Matchbox-style trenches. The general shape seems pretty good, and my only real complaint is that the very large inboard pylons (presumably used for gun pods on Fennecs) are moulded to the lower wing half and will need a lot of cutting, filling and sanding to get rid of if – like me – you don’t intend to build one of the box options.

 Speaking of which, there are two: a Republic of Vietnam Air Force T-28D machine from the 1st Air Commando in 1963 in light grey, and a French Light Aviation Squadron (EALA) Fennec s/n 51-3557 of 2/72 in Algeria in 1960. Interestingly this machine survived long enough to reach the US civil register. There are no stencils but the colours seem fine, as with many older sheets though the VNAF star-and-bar look off kilter.

 There’s just one clear part, the big canopy moulded as one piece. Vacform replacements are out there if one wishes to pose it open. It’s nice and clear, however, with the framing quite obvious to help with painting.


 From what I can tell it’s the only game in The True Scale and thus the best, unless Roden were to downsize their apparently superlative 1:48 range. If you want a T-28 or Fennec and aren’t afraid to put in a bit of work, go for it! Alternately it’ll be a great cure for AMS.





Zac Yates

June 2012

Thanks to If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page