by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History Faced with wartime metal shortages, and a need to extend the range of fighter craft heading to Europe, the British came up with an ingenious design for auxiliary drop tanks, making them out of resorcinol glue-impregnated kraft paper, which while having excellent tolerance characteristics for extreme heat and cold necessary for operation on an aircraft as well as being waterproof, the glue would slowly dissolve from the solvent effects of the fuel contained within the tank, developing leaks within a few hours of being loaded with fuel, making them a strictly a one-time use item, filled right before takeoff.
The tanks were not considered robust enough to land a plane with them attached, so if a mission was scrubbed, pilots were required to drop their sometimes still-full tanks at a specified drop point, usually the airfield’s dump where the tanks would be jettisoned.
Info from www.warbirdsnews.com
In the box Packed in Eduard's standard blister pack, the 8 resin parts and one Photo etch sheet are well protected by foam and a cardboard backing sheet. A small instruction sheet and a small decal sheet make up the contents of the pack.
The resin parts are cast in a light grey resin and are attached to a casting block by the mating surfaces. The body of the tanks are moulded to the casting block along the length of the body, and looks easy to remove with a bit of sanding needed to smooth the attach point out.
Detail is very nice with raised detail for the "ribbed" effect along the nose, and a recessed fuel cap for the nose and tail parts.
Each tank is made up of three resin parts each, with a tail and a nose section to attach to the body. Two different nose parts are supplied, one early and one late, the difference being the late has two recessed areas on the nose, which holds two P.E parts.
What has impressed me with this "kit" is that Eduard have included the plumbing for the tanks, which runs along the top of the tank, then into the carrying aircraft.
For each tank there is around 12 P.E parts, which includes two filler caps, two metal straps, and all the plumbing. A couple of parts will need bending such as the straps, and a couple of the plumbing lines, but nothing to difficult.
There does seem to be a few spares on the fret, so the Carpet Monster can be fed.
Decals and Instructions The small decal sheet has the stencils for the tanks, and as usual from Eduard, do look pretty good, with minimal carrier film.
The instruction sheet contains a two part build sequence, and a paint and decal placement guide. Colours for painting are the usual Mr Color and Gunze paint lines.
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