MPM 1/72 A-29/PBO-1 Hudson
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter. The Hudson was the first significant aircraft construction contract for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation—the initial RAF order for 200 Hudsons far surpassed any previous order the company had received. The Hudson served throughout the war, mainly with Coastal Command but also in transport and training roles as well as delivering agents into occupied France. They were also used extensively with the Royal Canadian Air Force's anti-submarine squadrons and by the Royal Australian Air Force.
What you basically have here is a Hudson I/III as used by both the USAAF and the USN during the early part of America's entry in WWII. These were painted in pretty much the same scheme as used on the RAF planes. They did differ in terms of engines with the USAAF planes being Cyclone powered aircraft (A-29) without the British turret and the USN planes being Twin Wasp powered with the turret. While the kit does include both engines, the instructions would have you use Cyclones for all the options. The kit also only provides one set of cowlings, those being for the Cyclones. I believe that Twin Wasp powered aircraft would have the slightly less bulged cowlings, as shown on the box art.
Molding is quite nice and as usual, you get a fairly well appointed cockpit and bombardier's position. There is a cabin floor and a gunner's position provided as well. I notice that all the fuselage windows can be installed from the outside. All the flight surfaces are upper and lower halves with the wings trapping a gear well roof in between them. All the flap hinges are separate and all have sink areas in them. The nose section is all clear to help with masking and installation.
You are provided an upper fuselage insert for either the turret of the PBO-1 or the more simplified gunner's hatch for the A-29. You have the option for an open rear fuselage door, though you will need to cut away the one molded onto the fuselage. I am betting most will keep this closed. Props are a single piece and spinners are provided.
Instructions are well done with Gunze paint references. All the options are dark green/dark earth over sky. They also all have black anti-icing boots on the wings, fins and horizontal stabs so that will require some additional masking. The three USAAF options differ by serial number though one has the insignia without the red dot in the middle. The two USN planes are both with VP-82, one in early 1942 and the other a few months later after the tail stripes and red dot in the insignia were removed. Decals are very nicely done.
Though rather pricey, it is a nice looking kit and should provide no real surprises to those used to building MPM/Special Hobby kits. As seems to happen often, options provided cannot be accurately built with the parts supplied and I'm referring to the lack of proper cowlings for the USN planes. Still, you can do an A-29 and there are the proper bits to do an RAF plane if you have the decals for it.
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