NKR Winjeel


1/48 NKR Winjeel


by J.D King


Introduction

I bought this kit at the swap meet part of Scale ACT 2007.  A 1/48 Winjeel! I did not even know that the kit existed, but it sure fitted with my plan to build all the RAAF principal trainers.  I knew it was an old resin kit, but hey life’s all about the challenge.

The kit

NKR’s kit consists of a sturdy box containing two fuselage halves a single piece lower wing, two upper wings, single piece tailplane, a vertical tail, outline radial engine, prop, undercarriage basic interior of floor three seats and an instrument panel plus a vac single vac canopy. A decal sheet is provided with options of A85-405 in standard scheme and A85-443 in FAC camouflage.  Two, 2 sided A4 pages of instructions, one being marking guide and the other “written” construction instructions.   As shown below.  The kits surface is initially quite rough and covered in a thick sticky release agent (most probably age) no panel detail less control surfaces and cowling is given. 

Compilation of reference material commenced the build, along with a construction plan as I could see it would not fall together like a Tamiygawa.  I started by sanding off the release agent and dry fitting the major components which resulted in the first change to the plan before even reaching for the CA glue. The key challenges were going to be the cockpit and engine, but to build them prior to joining fuselage halves would compromise either the internal components or the join itself.   So I glued all major components and the commenced the major fill and sand job.

Once the major components were together I hit it with a basic primer to identify the surface imperfections, which were subsequently filled and sanded.  This took two attempts as I found the millyput would pull away in many instances, lashings of CA glue proved the answer.  Landing lights were scratched from clear sprue from another kit in the stash and sanded and polished before being masked out.  Once complete I drew on all panel lines and commenced to scribe.

The next challenge was the engine compartment, the open cowling vents of the Winjeel are very prominent and the kit simply depicts them as a scribed panel. My answer was to saw off the front end, grind out the inside and scratch a depiction of the inside of the cowling.  The front end was then glued back on and rescribed appropriately. On to the cockpit.

Discarding the kit floor as its fit was particularly poor, I set about scratching the interior from evergreen. This consisted of sidewall detail centre console and the rollover truss. The instrument panel and a number of other smaller fittings followed along with the prominent back deck. My internal reference photos were a little limited so there is probably a bit of fictitious detail, so long as it looks the part though. The cockpit was completed by separating the windscreen from the single piece vac canopy and much filling and sanding.

The engine is a compilation of the kit gear housing and cylinder detail from and old Nordsman kit with some scratched push rods and ignition leads. Final assembly was completed with wing ribs and undercarriage.  She was then ready from priming.

The kit is finished as the only Winjeel to wear the Fanta Can scheme, based upon the single colour photo in the Wilson book, and numerous of a Warbird so finished. Paint is a mix of Humbrol and Tamiya.  All national markings and from the kit sheet as is the stencil data. Numbers are from the Aussie decals range.  Final finished touched included brake lines the kit seats with lead foil belts some scratched windscreen wipers and canopy brace.

 

In all I most enjoyed this kit as it presented a challenge and filled an important gap in the collection.  If you have this kit sitting in the stash, or can lay your hands upon one I would thoroughly recommend it, with however the word of caution, it will test your skill and patience but the end result is worth the effort.

 


 

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