MPM 1/72 Lockheed Vega





Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken




One of Jack Northrop's most successful designs was the Lockheed Vega. This high winged monoplane was basically made out of wood and with its monocoque construction and self supporting wing was a very smooth and aerodynamic airframe. It was used a great deal in the in the late 20s and throughout the 30s to set records in terms of speed and distance. The type could be operated on floats, wheels, or skis. The main difference between the variants were in terms of engines and the design of the cowling. The Vega 5 had the large NACA cowling over it and was probably the most widely used.

When war broke out, all personal and private aircraft were commandeered by the military and used as transports and hacks in various parts of the country. The Vega was given the designation of UC-101 (U for Utility). The type was also used by many other countries throughout the world. Those that survived use by the Army were returned to their owners after the war.



As MPM kits go, this one is pretty simple. The cockpit is fairly well done with a three-piece tub, seat, instrument panel and control stick. The cabin area is comprised of four single and one double seat. A separate cabin door is provided should you wish to cut the one from the fuselage and pose it open. All the cabin windows are separate and can be cemented from the outside. Other than the door, the only option is in the landing gear. The civil version has spatted gear, and the military version has a choice of unspatted wheels.

The instructions are typical MPM and do actually provide generic names for all the paint colors needed as well as Humbrol numbers. The exterior colors also include an FS 595 number, which is nice. Markings are quite different from each other. The military version as shown on the box art, is in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey and portrays a hack from March Field in 1942. The other is a Shell plane in bright yellow with red trim. Painting this civil version will be a bit of a challenge, but should make for a really great looking model. Decals are typically excellent appearing and should go on without too much fuss.



It is really nice to see this aircraft being done. Perhaps it will foretell the addition of other 'Golden Age' aircraft to the mix. With the improvement in these kits, like the inclusion of injected clear bits, and the, thankfully, single piece prop (you'll notice NO resin bits), I'm looking forward to their next releases.

Kit courtesy of my inability to keep my wallet closed when seeing neat kits!

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