In 1937, the Bugatti 100P was an extremely advanced airplane project designed by the Belgian Louis de Monge for Ettore Bugatti, the famous sportscars builder. The aircraft was build under contract of the French Air Force ministry and two version were planned. The first one was a speedrecord airplane while the second one (110P) was a military version.
The Model 100 was nearing completion when the Germans invaded France in 1940. The plane was loaded on a truck and hidden in a barn near the property of M. Bugatti, where it remained for nearly thirty years. Unfortunately it never flew but after going from hand to hand, the restored plane found it's way to the Air Venture museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, U.S.A., where it is still visible today.
The first time I saw the 1/48 scale Planet Model kit of the Bugatti 100P, I wondered how a it could fit in such a small box. Not only it does, but there is still plenty of room left! In fact the Bugatti is a very small aircraft and a quarter scale representation is accordingly tiny.
The resin parts of the kit are located within a single plastic bag divided in three pouches. The first one contains the airframe of the plane, the second one the detail parts and the third one the vacuformed canopy. No parts were damaged in my sample so this particular way of packaging, typical of this manufacturer, seems to be effective.
The main part representing the airframe is very nice and I only found small bubbles on the surface which will need some filler to get rid of. Other than that, the moulding is perfect with no deformations whatsoever. The fact that Planet Models managed to do the airframe in one piece without the presence of a huge casting block is quite an exploit and will make the construction of the model much easier. The panel lines are finely engraved and the representation of the radiator intakes located into the leading edges of the tail plane is very realistic. The radiator located in the small inferior vertical fin is missing though.
Here is a list of the resin parts located in the second pouch:
- Two wheels
- Two sets of landing gear doors
- Two exhaust stacks
- One propeller hub
- Four propeller blades
- One pilot seat
- One instrument panel
- One pilot stick
- One pair of rudder pedals
the landing gear legs are provided in white metal to give more strength to the undercarriage. They are perfectly moulded.
In the last pouch there are two vacuformed canopies. It's always good to have a spare part in case something goes wrong during construction. the transparency is excellent.
The instructions are printed in black & white on a single A4 sheet. There is an history of the plane as well as a parts layout on one side and the assembly guide as such on the other side. There are no drawings for the instructions but photos. However, for the simple design of the kit, this will be more than enough. A painting guide is also provided that show you how to paint the aircraft totally in blue!
Given the limited number of parts and the fact that the wing to fuselage assembly doesn't have to be done, this is a simple kit that shouldn't take too much time to complete. The only thing that will probably require more attention is the canopy to fuselage fit. Other than that I really don't expect this kit to be difficult to build.
Some other things I noticed: Planet Models forgot the air intake located on the fuselage top just aft of the cockpit. To represent it you can either engrave it's contours or scratchbuild one if you want to represent it in the opened position. The air intakes located in the wing roots should be elliptic and not round. The representation of the cockpit interior is simplified and some scratchbuilding may be necessary to build a more realistic model.
No decals are included in the kit since the aircraft never flew the races it was built for. The blue color is speculation based on the fact that it was Bugatti's favorite color for his cars.
The Bugatti 100P is not a well know aircraft but it as some kind of a "cult status" amongst airplane racer lovers. Quite a lot of websites are dedicated to the aircraft designed by Louis de Monge:
- Bugatti 100P at the AirVenture museum in Oshkosh
- Bugatti Aicraft Association
- Bugatti 100P revival project
- Bugatti 100P (in french)
- The Bugatti revue (part1)
- The Bugatti revue (part2)
- Bugatti 100P artwork on the Speedbirds website(1)
- Bugatti 100P artwork on the Speedbirds website (2)
- 1/43 scale Le Mans Miniatures model at Modeling Madness
Planet Models has made the dream of some modellers come true. Their Bugatti 100P kit is very nice and shouldn't be too difficult to build. In fact I would recommend it to everyone wanting to try a first all resin project. It may be simplified in some places (cockpit) but should nevertheless make into an acceptable replica of the real aircraft.
Planet Models' Bugatti 100P is available from Modelimex - specialists in Eastern European short run kits.
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