by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
BackgroundFRROM’s first releases of 2017 are a pair of civilian Northrop Delta’s, a highly advanced all-metal passenger monoplane of the early 1930s, which would almost certainly have seen widespread service with US airlines had it not been for a new regulation that prohibited single-engined airliners from operating at night or over rugged terrain. As it was, only three Deltas had been built before the ban was imposed, effectively dooming sales of the aircraft in its intended role on the domestic market.
The KitFRROM have released two boxings of their kit:
FR0032 - Delta 1C - Swedish, TWA and Mexican Service
FR0033 - Delta 1C Over Spain
The two kits are identical except for the decal options. Each is packed in a sturdy and attractive top-opening box, with the parts and accessories bagged together in a polythene bag. Both review kits arrived perfectly intact.
Each of FRROM’s Deltas comprises:
73 x grey styrene parts
15 x clear styrene parts
Decals for 3 x colour schemes
The kit is produced for FRROM in the Czech Republic and is typical of Special Hobby’s recent “semi-short-run” models. The moulding is very clean, but do expect to do a bit of extra preparation compared with the latest mainstream kits.
The sample kits show no real flash to worry about or any sign of sink marks. There are some injection pin marks on the interior of the cabin, but the way they’re positioned should make them pretty simple to remove. To be honest, though, I wonder how much will be visible of the kit’s interior anyway.
The surface finish comprises crisply scribed panel lines along with a few raised details such as the prominent ribs on the flaps.
Test FitClean-up is quick and easy, and the main parts line-up very neatly. There are no locating pins on the fuselage, but the two halves are dead straight and match up precisely. The full span lower wing panel slots in firmly and the fit at the roots looks like it will be no problem at all.
The tailplanes will take a little more work. For one thing, they’re split top and bottom and the trailing edges are rather thick. Also, although there are locating tabs, they are a bit vague, so it’ll probably be easier to trim them off and line things up by eye – nothing that anyone used to semi-short-run kits won’t be used to.
A Few DetailsConstruction kicks off logically with the interior. The pilot’s position in neatly detailed for this scale with a seat, control wheel, side consoles and instrument panel. The rudder pedals are moulded onto the floor. Behind him are crisply moulded seats for 8 passengers and a rear bulkhead. There are no seat belts provided, but these will be simple to add if you wish, although I’m not sure they’ll be very visible through the small windows. If you’re building the aircraft as a mailplane, it’s likely that most (if not all) of the seats were removed, so you could simply omit the kit parts and turn the floor with its moulded seat pedestals over and either skin it with thin plastic card, or just fill the holes.
The engine is only two pieces, but nicely moulded and should look fine with careful painting. Two propellers are supplied, but only the 2-blader is appropriate for the machines covered in these boxings.
Similarly, alternative crankcases, different style trousers for the undercarriage, plus a machine gun are a clear sign that FRROM have more Deltas and Gammas in the works.
The clear parts are well moulded - nice and thin with no flow marks in the sample kits. You could probably replace the fuselage windows with Kristal Kleer (or similar) if you prefer, because the apertures are quite small.
Talking of windows, you’ll need to make a modification for Delta No. 7 and FRROM provide a vinyl template to allow you to either scribe a larger door, or use the template itself to represent it. The latter is certainly the simpler option, although the thickness of the vinyl might look a bit overscale in 1:72, plus I’d want to be sure it was stuck down permanently.
Instructions & DecalsThe assembly guide in each kit is a neat 8-page A5 booklet, with a small additional sheet explaining the door modification. The construction is broken down into 11 straightforward steps with colour call-outs for Gunze Sangyo paints.
The decal options for the two kits are as follows:
A. Northrop Delta 1C, c/n 7, SE-ADI, A.B. Aerotransport Airline, Sweden, 1934
B. Northrop Delta 1C, c/n 3, X12292, Trans World Airlines, USA, 1933
C. Northrop Delta 1C, c/n 4, X-ABED, Aerovias Centrales A.A., Mexico, 1934
A. Northrop Delta 1C, c/n 7, EC-AGC (ex-SE-ADI), L.A.P.E. Airline, Spanish Republic, 1937
B. Northrop Delta 1C, c/n 7, EC-AGC (ex-SE-ADI), L.A.P.E. Airline, in revised markings 1938/39
C. Northrop Delta 1C, c/n 7, 43-18 (ex-SE-ADI/EC-AGC), Spanish Air Force, 1939-45
The decals themselves look to be excellent quality, being thin and glossy with precise registration on the sample sheets.
ConclusionFRROM deserve to do well with their Northrop Deltas. They are well designed kits of an attractive subject that should appeal to all Golden Age enthusiasts.
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