HELLER REISSUES RODEN 1/48 TURBO PORTER

This excellent tooling of the multipurpose turboprop returns with Swiss Air Force and French civilian markings, as CHRIS CLIFFORD discovers.

This excellent tooling of the multipurpose turboprop returns with Swiss Air Force and French civilian markings, as CHRIS CLIFFORD discovers.  Pilatus’ Turbo Porter has been a true workhorse since it came into service. First flown with a piston engine in 1959, but powered by turboprop from 1961, this rugged and highly capable short take-off and landing aircraft performs many roles, such as paradrop, aero-medical, transport and surveillance. It gained notable fame after featuring in CIA/Vietnam-themed Hollywood movie Air America, and actually served for around a year in said conflict as the Peacemaker, armed with a 20mm rotary cannon.  Ukraine’s Roden issued the first 1/48 styrene kit of the Turbo Porter in 2010, and five re-releases followed, with different parts and decals. Now, French firm Heller has re-packaged Roden’s 1/48 parts with a new decal sheet as kit 30410. If you haven’t seen Roden’s Turbo Porter but fancy building it, you are in for a treat. Ten runners are provided, one being clear and the others in medium-grey styrene. All components are sharply moulded although a modicum of flash appears on several parts in this release. Surface texture of the fuselage and wing halves is matt in finish, so very gentle sanding with fine Wet and Dry or Micromesh will add more smoothness… although some of the currently available primers such as Mr Surfacer will also suffice. Fine panel line engraving is employed throughout.  Assembly begins with the main cabin, fuselage halves, doors and the instrument panel. This last item builds from four pieces and receives a detailed dial decal. All doors are separate items and while the instructions show these being glued closed, more experienced modellers could certainly tweak the parts to pose them open. Note, though, that some of the doors have ejector-pin marks on their inner faces so you’d need to neaten these. This version comes with two passenger seats for the rear part of the cabin, besides the two seats for the cockpit. The latter units build from four parts each, while

Pilatus’

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