OZMODS


OzMods 1/144 DHC-4 Caribou


Review by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/144

Price:

$39.60 AUD from OzMods

Contents and Media:

16 x resin components, two vacform canopies, white metal props and landing gear and decals.

Advantages:

Nicely cast

Disadvantages:

Some clean up required around wing joint area

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

The Caribou was designed and built in Canada by Hawker De Havilland as a rugged STOL (Short Take Off & Landing) battlefield cargo aircraft.  It was designed to land on rough dirt runways or roads right near the battle front to quickly resupply troops and evacuate wounded, something it achieved quite successfully. Given the right conditions with a head wind the Caribou can take off in very short distances and can land in the same (depending on the load).

The Caribou can carry 32 fully armed troops, 22 stretcher cases or 2 x Land Rover or up to 4 tonnes of supplies and munitions.  It has a large rear access ramp for easy unloading and loading that can be opened in flight to allow paratroopers to jump out or to drop cargo with parachutes. I had the 'joy' of being in a 'bou' going from Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney to Singleton Army Base in NSW to go on Exercise and will not miss it......

The Caribou was first flown in July 1958 with the RAAF ordering its first Caribou in 1963 to replace the existing Dakota transport aircraft.  A total of 29 were acquired over the years with the loss of several during it's service due to crashes or enemy action with a number lost in Vietnam during Australia's deployment there. It also served in United Nations operations, exercises and activities in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia for mapping survey work, Malaysia and all over Australia. The aircraft also carried a large variety of schemes ranging from plain olive green to various shades of camouflage.

The Instructions

As the kit is very basic in the way of construction the instructions are very brief with only one page covering the parts to be put together. The rest of the instruction sheets cover the four different schemes the decals are provided for.

The Kit

The kit comes in a nice little box hidden by Styrofoam packing materials to ensure that it stays safe, this it achieves. The kit comprises the following components in polyurethane resin:

The following are supplied in white metal:

You are also provided two optional vacform canopies if you wish to carve away the cockpit area and put them on instead. These canopies are clear and the frames are visible so they should be relatively easy to paint consider their small size.

 

The components are well cast but there is a bit of cleaning up to do on the top of the rear fuselage, this won't be hard but to fix but it is there. The rest of the kit is very nicely done with all parts looking like they go together well. The wing to fuselage joint will require a small amount of filler to cover it up but this is also not a problem.

Despite it's small size there is a great deal of detailing that can be done on this kit eg antenna or the flap guides under the wings. The wheel wells are solid but I wouldn't want to try and carve them out to detail them, though I am sure someone will do it. The exhausts on top of the wings could do with being drilled out but this should only take a few minutes with a small drill bit and a steady hand. None of this detailing is essential and the kit can be built as is and still look very nice on the shelf.

The decals

The decals cover the following aircraft and schemes:

The decal sheet is small but it supplies all the markings you can actually see in this scale including walkways, serial numbers, national markings etc. The appear to be very nicely printed and I have not heard any complaints about these decals from others at this stage. On reflection I think the hardest part of this kit would be the paint job if you chose to do the RAAF schemes as it would be very finicky and require good painting with a brush.

 

Size comparison

To give you an indication of the size of the model the images below show it posed with the Hobbycraft 1/48 Sea Fury and the other image is the 1/144 fuselage next to the 1/48 Vacform Caribou from OzMods.

 

Recommendation

This is my first close up view of a 1/144 kit and it it not to bad at all. Despite the small amount of filling that needs to be done (done worse on a Classic Airframes kit) this is highly recommended for modelers who are in need of a small kit to fill a spot in the collection and don't want to go for the 1/48 Vacform kit.

Kit available direct from OzMods.