FAA MODELS


FAAM48001 FAA Models 1/48 Fairey Gannet Weapons Bay (for Classic Airframes kit)


Review by David Harvey


Review Type
First Look
Scale:
N/A
Price:
£8.50 from A2zee Models in the UK
Contents and Media:
7 x resin components and one page of instructions
Advantages:
A good base to start working on
Disadvantages:
Some of the dinternal dimensions may be suspect
Recommendation:
Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

In 2006 Classic Airframes brought out the first Injection molded kit in 1/48 of the Fairey Gannet. The Gannet had long been wanted by modellers but had only been produced in Vacform, which tended to scare of the punters. As with all Classic Airframes kits it did not come with a Bomb Bay as it would of added considerably to the price of the kit. Apart from that, when sitting on the ground the weapons bay would have been hard to see in due to the nature of the aircrafts set up. Luckily FAA Models thought that some of out there that actualy managed to aquire the kit may be interested in opening up the bomb bay so they produced this converion set.

The Instructions

The instructions are a double sided A4 colour printed affair. The main problem with the instructions is that whilst they do give a good description of what is needed to be done the supporting images are either too small or not detailed enough. I would personally like to have seen an extra page with larger images, a more detailed view of what is needed to be constructed and where things should be positioned.

You are given a few references to view more information but I found that the Grubby Fingers Aircraft Illustrations website was a good source of images of an Australian Gannet. I based the review of the components of this set on those images.

The conversion

The set provides seven gray resin components to make up the weapons bay, these being:

  • Bomb bay front bulkhead x 1
  • Bomb bay upper bulkhead x 1
  • Bomb bay rear bulkhead x 1
  • Port and starboard bomb bay doors x 1 each
  • Port and starboard bomb bay interior side skirts x 2

All the parts come attached to the casting block but thankfully FAA Models has thought things through and they are easily removed. The only real drawback I see with the parts is that there are a number of tool marks or rough areas from casting on most of the larger pieces that will need cleaning up. This should be easily achieved by scraping with a scalpel.

Whilst looking at the set something kept nagging me as being wrong or out of whack. I finally took a ruler to the casting of the bomb bay roof and realised that the casting is lopsided. Using the rails in the centre of the bomb bay as a guide I measured the sides from there and found that each side was different length to the other. As I don’t have a real Gannet sitting by me to measure this may in fact be correct for the aircraft. In reality you would not notice this once the parts were in the model as it is difficult to see in the bomb bay when on the ground without either lifting the model or using a mirror base.

You are required to do a bit of scratch building to open the Bomb Bay:

  • 2 x Hydraulic rams for each door
  • 4 x hinge plates per door.

Looking at images of an Australian Gannet Bomb Bay on the Grubby Fingers Aircraft Illustration site it showed that the set is not that accurate in some ways compared to the original. An example is that on the real bomb bay roof the cross members are a curved design whilst on the resin they are straight. Once again this will not be that visible when in the kit or bombed up but for those that are after accuracy you may need to do a bit of correcting. The bomb bay would also require a fair amount of scratch building to put in all the items that can’t be reproduced in resin ie cables and the like.

On the Bomb Bay doors there are four evenly spaced lumps. I originally thought these were poor representations of the Flare Holders but on reviewing images of the real thing it turns out that they are the attachment mounts for the Flare Holders. The Flare Holders are not provided in the Bomb Bay kit but in the FAA Models Gannet Bomb Bay Weapons Set (this will be review elsewhere). The Bomb Bay Doors may also need a bit of bending to fit the fueslage judging by the reference images supplied on the instructions.

 

Recommendation

Despite the niggly faults I do like the set as it is a good base to represent the bomb bay of the Gannet and it gives the modeller somewhere to stick the armament of an ‘in service’ Gannet.

I highly recommend the set.

Review set courtesy of my wallet from A2zee models.

Reference:


 

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