TRUMPETER
1/72 FAIREY GANNET



by Haydn F. Neal


Introduction

References:   

  • Aviation News Dec88 Warpaint Plans – Ian Huntley
  • Maritime patrol Aircraft since 1921 – Topmill Press
  • Wings Across the Sea – Ross Gillett
  • Assorted pictures of the Moorabin Gannet

Initial impressions: - All in all it appears a well engineered kit that looks the part, streets ahead of the Frog jobbie and way cheaper than the CMR one.  If you’ve got the Aeroclub/Airwaves bits lying around (who hasn’t) you can make a call on how much you will want to substitute for the kit parts.

The comments below are a random walkover of the sprues vs the scant refs I have and come fully qualified.  Heck – to me the Frog beast looked the part ! If you didn’t have a plan set or a real Gannet nearby, you’d be pretty happy with the kit OOB.  I know i'll think long and hard about the return/reward before I correct anything on my build.

Fuselage:  Line of best fit reveals a discrepancy around the pilots canopy/windscreen line.

Compared to the plan the lower windscreen slopes up too gently ending up about 2mm too far forward. From the major vertical panel line (just forward of canopy) about 1mm needs to shaved off (and commensurate trimming of the canopy). This area is the ‘major‘ mismatch point twixt plans and plastic. But against the Mk1 eyeball, it doesn't look that different? 

Measuring off the Moorabin Gannet (which is now getting some attention and a lick of paint), confirms the approximate overrun.

 

A keen person may want to scribe in a missing panel line behind rear position and add the ‘taillight’ to the rudder.

 

From pictures it doesn’t totally capture the subtle bulge curves around the exhaust, but that’d be hard to rectify and better than the Frog kit (nitpicking). From the wing root back to the apex of the bulge it is a fairly straight line rather than curve, with a ‘step’ at the vertical panel line (where the red intake is).

There are separate exhaust ‘tubes’ with alignment notches in the fuselage, a nice touch.  The small (red) intakes are missing on both sides

Nose Intake:  Too thick/deep (looking from side). The old Aeroclub one matches the plan better, both in depth, and capturing the lower bulges (looking from front) – the Trump one is more ‘straight up and down’. Oddly they are pretty well the same size x-section at the rear but the Aeroclub part captures the more bulged look at the front, so no adaptive surgery should be needed. The Trump one has bulges in the intakes that don’t seem as prominent in  pictures of the plane, so maybe another vote for the Aeroclub piece.  The small intake on top of nose is better defined on the Aeroclub piece.

               

Spinner – is a smidgen big at the rear, but otherwise looks the part.  The Aeroclub spinner/blades are also on the money. 

Nose gear bay – it has ribbed interior effect with details on the interior of the separate gear doors.  This area has ejector marks to clean up.


+


Wings – pretty dang close (so are the Frog ones). If you really care you could cut of the wing tip on the extreme outer panel line, then take a millimetre off the wing and reglue the tip.  I think that’s where the ‘obvious’ difference lies.  Measurements off the Moorabin one confirms that suspicion.


Also there should be three subtlety bulged panels ( that cover flap actuators?).

Compared to the plans some of the aileron hinges are out of position but that’d be a bit of buggerizing around to fix for marginal benefit.  The kit has separate flaps and ailerons.  A smart addition is a central spar set that fits thru the fuselage to strengthen and align the wing/fuselage joint.

The kit has good deep wheel wells with simplified structural details, similar to the CMR ones I believe.  Heaps of scope for the detailers – wiring, compressed air bottle, assorted latches etc.



Wheel well looking rear                     Outboard bay – looking rear

 

Horizontal Stabilisers – spot on,  but the finlets(?) don’t seem to be ‘flat’ on the bottom in profile.  The Frog ones are only marginally better.  A judicious swipe of a sanding stick will provide the outline illusion but they’ll still be a tad undersize. 

Undercarriage – looks the part, good sturdy units with acceptable details.

Wheels – ok, maybe the Aeroclub ones have more depth to the detail of the wheel hub but a moments work with a drill bit and paint washes will enhance the kit parts.

Cockpit – the kit has basic tub details so don’t throw out your Airwaves etch set as it could easily find a good home in here, especially with the separate ie poseable, canopies. The Aeroclub or Airwaves detail set can be used for the various instrument/operator panels as they are far superior to the nondescript kit offerings.

 

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