DORA WINGS’ NAVY SCHOOLHOUSE
The brand-new kit from Dora Wings portrays an interesting training type - the SNC-1 Falcon – and the company has more than done it justice says CHRIS CLIFFORD.
A development of Curtiss-Wright’s CW-19 and -21, the CW-22 was sold to the US Navy as the SNC-1 Falcon in 1940 as a trainer. It’s an esoteric subject, but that’s the stock-in-trade for Ukraine’s Dora Wings. It’s become adept at unusual types, and this particular boxing (DW48041) is superb.
While it initially has that certain look of a typical limited-run kit, the moulding is extremely fine, the locating points are delicate and there’s a mixed-media element in the shape of vinyl paint masks, and photo-etched brass details. Ultimately, it’s a classy product for the more experienced modeller. Seven grey styrene runners and one clear frame carry almost 100 components, all crisply moulded. The detail is generally exquisite, and none more so than on the centre section of the wing underside, and the undercarriage bays.
Above: Those familiar with Curtiss-Wright aircraft will spot the provenance of the SNC-1, itself a development of the CW-19 and CW-22. Dora Wings' kit replicates the Falcon very well.
Above: A feast of fine detail adorns the wing undersides and elsewhere.
Above: Even the inner faces of the undercarriage sponsons are well moulded.
Another pleasing aspect is the engine… a double-bank radial with beautifully rendered valve push-rod tubes and cylinder fins, a PE ignition cable ring, separate exhaust unit and other accoutrements. The powerplant fits to bearers which, in turn, attach to a firewall. There’s plenty to savour in the ‘office’, too, as the cockpit comprises many styrene parts and PE rudder pedal bars. While the instrument panels feature raised detail, dial/bezel decals are also provided, and the PE fret also offers seatbelts with dainty buckles and fasteners.
Moving to the undercarriage, Dora Wings tackles the complex nature of the wheel hubs by providing a separate spoke insert that’s sandwiched between the wheel halves. PE bracing parts enliven the undercarriage sponsons, the latter having very good moulded detail on the inner faces.
The cockpit glazing comes in one piece, which is slightly frustrating as it makes it a little harder to enjoy the cockpit detail. But the clear plastic is blemish free, with prominent frames, and the paint masks will be a huge help in keeping the glazing clean come painting time.
Above: This cockpit floor soon gets busy with a multitude of styrene and PE parts.
Above: The instrument panels have moulded features.
Three very attractive colour schemes are supplied via a decal sheet that exhibits good colour and register, and thin, gloss carrier film. The US Navy machine wears Blue-Gray over Gray, with a red/white-striped rudder (decal), and the Ecuadorian example is in silver with yellow upper wings, while overall dark blue adorns the Peruvian option. The airframes in detail are:
• SNC-1, NAS Corpus Christi, April 1942
• SNC-1, 42, Ecuador, 1943
• SNC-1, 1-2, 15 Escuadrilla de Observación Terrestre, Peru, 1942-45
Dora Wings should be congratulated on its continued pursuit of the unusual, and this splendid package for £30.95 will appeal not just to modellers who favour trainers, but also those that simply have an interest in rarer wartime types. And if you like this, you may be please to know that DW is also to release the forerunner of the SNC-1, the CW-22, also in 1/48 scale.
The company’s kits are available in the UK via: www.albionhobbies.com