by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Olimp Model's Curtiss P-6E arrives in an attractive conventional box and comprises:
2 x pale grey sprues containing 33 parts
1 x small darker grey containing 4 parts
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
The instructions show a clear windscreen, but this was missing in the review kit.
The parts are quite cleanly moulded on the main sprues; there's a touch of flash, but clean-up should be quick and very easy, and there's no sign of sink marks. The surface finish is quite smooth, with nicely restrained fabric effect on the wings and tail and engraved panel lines throughout. The small additional sprue seems to have been moulded differently from the main parts and is beautiful; no flash at all, extremely crisp and with some of the smallest and most delicate parts you could hope for in an injected kit.
Construction looks straightforward, with conventional fuselage halves and a drop-in forward top decking, plus full span lower wings that should provide a sturdy foundation for the build. The trailing edges are good and sharp and te arrangement of the struts looks simple enough for this to be suitable for anyone with a couple of biplanes under their belt - note: although the struts include locating pins, the look like they'll need opening up a bit.
Comparisons with the old 1960s Monogram kit are inevitable, and Olimp Models' new kit scores over its vintage predecessor with the inclusion of a cockpit interior comprising a floor, seat, joystick and instrument panel, plus neatly moulded exhaust stacks. The undercarriage is designed to allow for half-spatted or fully enclosed wheels and the ventral fuel tank is a separate item.
As noted above, the windscreen was missing on my kit, but it should be very simple to fold from clear plastic (and probably more to scale anyway).
Painting & decalsThe kit is accompanied by a clearly drawn set of instructions, with Humbrol ModelMaster and Revell paint matches keyed to the assembly. Rounding things off there's a very useful rigging diagram.
The kit includes decals for 2 aircraft. Strangely, the decal placement diagrams don't include painting guides, but the schemes are illustrated in colour on the sides of the kit's box:
A. Curtiss P-6E Hawk, Ohio, 1937 with a blue fuselage and yellow wings
B. Curtiss P-6E Hawk, 17th Pursuit Sqn., Selfridge Field, Michigan, 1933 with an olive drab fuselage adorned with a stylized eagle on the cowling and undercarriage spats and a diving eagle fuselage band.
The decals are nicely printed with a silk finish. The registration is pretty good, but there's a hint of white fringing on the stars - not a lot, but it could be really obvious once they're applied. As with the Olimp Models Curtiss JN-4s, the red ink looks slightly patchy on the review sheet. The colours are quite muted (particularly the red), but this could add to a "scale effect" and avoid the toy-like look of over-bright markings. The markings for the cowling and spats of colour scheme B are provided as separate items and will probably need setting agent to help them around the contours on such a small model. I don't know how Olimp Models' transfers react to the commonly available decal solutions, so test an unwanted item to be on the safe side.
ConclusionThis looks another very neat little kit from Olimp Models and should build into a detailed and attractive model that captures the spirit of aviation's Golden Age.
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