MONTEX 1/32 BOOMERANG

COMMENTS ON THE KIT


 

by Richard Hourigan


Introduction

Despite the valid glowing review by Patrick Sprau on AMI of the Montex 1/32 Boomerang, there are a few issues with this kit.

My connection with this kit first occurred in October 2006 when a local modeller, Lucas Kedzierski, contacted me on behalf of Montex seeking Flap Bay and Gun Bay detail. Apparently the project was well advanced at this time.

I was able to determine that they were using Polish author Zbiqnie Luvanc’s monograph and drawings. These drawings were based on data I supplied in 2000 and depicted the correct fuselage length of 26ft, 9 27/32 inch, not the much quoted 25ft 6 inches (despite this measurement being in the instruction sheet, the kit is the correct length).

Note – Imperial measurements are used because this aircraft was designed and built using this system.

As much data as seemed useful was supplied to Montex, but there was no direct contact from them so I was unable to give complete guidance, and had to rely on the preview photo’s by Jay Laverty on Large Scale Model’s web site. As more photos were displayed, additional material in the form of photos and drawings were sent to enable corrections and more in-depth detail via Lucas.

The details

Despite all this effort some data was not used and errors created. Some examples are –

  • Sagging fabric on the control surfaces, rather than the taut finish as depicted in photo’s.
  • Armour plate behind the seat not included.
  • Installation of the main wheels is back to front. The flat disk is the outer cover, the smaller disc is the brake drum which is located against the fork.
  • No cockpit floor and fuel gauges. This is actually the top of the wing centre section.
  • Canopy has excessively thick framing; it doesn’t match the photo sent!
  • The machine gun belts are not visible where they travel over the cannon as they are inside steel guides.
  • The aft end of the Flame Damper exhaust pipe is not open! It has a curved pipe exiting it, to duct hot air to the gun bays – details were sent!
  • The detailed painting guide I sent was not used either.

The installation booklet leaves a lot to be worked out by the modeller. Even with my detailed knowledge of the Boomerang, I had difficulty identifying all the small parts.

This article is not to be seen as denigrating this kit, as the majority of the creation is brilliant. There are only a few issues which an experienced modeller, with adequate data, can overcome. Some examples are:

  • Fill the sagging fabric until flush;
  • Reverse the wheel installation;
  • Paint the cockpit frame Grey Green FS34226, not light green.
  • Install the top skin between the front and rear spars of the wing centre section to create the cockpit floor.
  • Fix the square lower armour plate behind the pilots seat which seals the fuel tank off from the cockpit.

Other details of note are:

  • The surface finish of the metal wingtips was flush and even in this scale would be no different form the plywood items used later on.
  • It must be noted that Boomerangs DID NOT EVER have metal skinned ailerons this is a long perpetuated myth created by G. Pentland in 1963 by his reading the maintenance manual.
  • The wings will need spars to hold them at the correct 7 degrees dihedral as super glued butt joints do not have great shear strength.
  • The panel for the gun camera in the left wing needs engraving on the undersurface plus a clear lens cover.
  • Mr Sprau’s comment about the tyre tread is correct. A46-9 had smooth contour covers, the square tread tyres were later introduced to provide better traction.
  • The identification of F/LT D.H. Goode as the pilot of A46-128 is correct.
  • A46-9 is in the correct CAC applied colours.
  • A46-128 has the original colour scheme that has been partially modified by No 5 SQN, as there is no return in the lower colour under the tail plane and the serial number is now stenciled – CAC applied numbers were solid.
  • A46-211 – the demarcation of the white empennage has been altered from the factory applied coverage. This is confirmed by the absence of the CAC logo on the rudder and the stenciled serial number.
  • All of these schemes would have the maintenance stencils applied.
  • The F24 aerial camera in the rear fuselage of A46-211 had its lenses covered by a flush panel in the centre between the wing trailing edge fillets. There was a mud guard in front of this but the detail shape has eluded me.
  • The IFF antenna wires from the fuselage sides to the tail planes were not used on -211. A 19 inch rod antenna between the wheel wells replaced these.
  • The fuselage tank filler behind the cockpit left hand side was covered, usually by a flush panel, unless lost as seen in the photos of -128 and -211.
  • A very visible part missed from the cockpit is the arm rests which covered the upper longeron between the windscreen and rear window frame.
  • The control grip should only have one firing button as control for the cannon or machine guns was by electrical switches on the left hand sub-instrument panel.
  • The wing spar of 36ft equals 13.5 inches in 1/32 scale, the same as the kit. Forget metric as this introduces conversion errors!

The CD of photos taken by Lucas Kedzierski, who should have been credited for this, is good. But it leaves the modeller with a lot of research to do to determine details such as component location and colouring.

Conclusion

As a result of this article I will produce a modellers guide to provide more details to enable an accurate build and paint job for this kit. I envisage that it will contain a lot of photos and drawings both historic and current (from my rebuild project). Work is also in hand to produce an accurate cockpit canopy which will be in three separate sections.

I have asked Red Roo Models to sponsor this guide, however, as I will be overseas until December, I ask all kit owners to be patient as it will be 2008 before it is available due to their heavy work commitment.

Richard Hourigan - 14 Sep 2007

 

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