Building a diorama is for many airplane modellers not as common as for those making figures or vehicles. Most likely, this is because the choice of themes is quite limited, as an aircraft is either in the air or parked at an airfield.
Nevertheless, even with airplanes you can build a nice diorama and today a campaign is running on Aeroscale that is all about dioramas (Ground force – dioramas). I am currently building a Canberra PR9 and I wanted to spice up the regular base with something extra. So I decided to look for kits of vehicles and tools of the RAF in the eighties. After browsing the Internet for a while, I came across the brand Flightpath that according to its website has ‘A range of kits, detail sets, & accessories for the scale aircraft modeller in 1/72nd, 1/48th, 1/32nd and 1/24th scales, with particular accent on RAF and USAF/US Navy subjects’. In the 1/72 scale they offer a wide variety of gear, among which is the Houchin Mk.5 Electrical Starter Unit, the subject of this review.
The kit is provided in a resealable bag. This bag contains a piece of cardboard with two small resealable bags attached to it, as well as a small set of photo etch. Furthermore, two pieces of A4 paper are included, one containing the instructions and one paper containing photos of the real deal. One of the small resealable bags contains a piece of resin, a small copper pipe, a rod of iron and a piece of acetate with the dials of the trolley printed on. The other small resealable bag contains several metal parts. As the kit was sent to me by regular mail in a bubble wrap envelope, the way of packing the kit in a resealable bag is sufficient and none of the parts were damaged. I was surprised that the small kit contained over 30 parts!
The main body of the trolley is made of a piece of resin and is of good quality. Only a few air bubbles are present, but all on the underside and none will be visible. The detail on the resin is good, like good representation of the grill and doors on the sides with louvers. A big advantage of the resin is that there is only a very small casting plug present, so clean up is easy.
Unfortunately, the sides of the resin body are not really flat, which makes representation of a metal body a bit difficult.
Many parts are of metal and detail (where present) is fine with only the wheels a bit simplified. Like the resin body, also the metal parts need little clean up. As the metal is quite soft, clean up of these parts will also be easy.
In addition to resin and metal, there is also a small set of PE. The small set contains 16 parts, among which several handles and the plate of the control panel. Detail is good, but some parts are very small and may not be suitable for everybody.
Finally, a sheet of acetate is present which contains the dials. The idea is to put this sheet on a white background to show the black needles. Together with the copper pipe and metal rod you can say that this small kit is a true multi-media kit.
The instructions are given by means of a diagram with exploded view. All parts of the same material have the same color, which makes finding parts easy. The diagram is supported by elaborate written instructions, which describes the preferred building sequence. A real benefit is that photos of a real trolley are supplied, which give good reference. Even more, because I could find only a few photo’s on the Internet.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: - Fine detail on parts.
- Little clean up of parts required.
- An interesting addition for a base.
- Reference photos supplied.Lows: - Some parts may be too small to handle properly.
- The resin body is not really flat, which makes it more difficult to create a metal look.Verdict: The Houchin Mk.5 Electrical Starter Unit is a nice addition for your Canberra, Hawk, Hawker Hunter or Westland Wessex base. Detail is fine, which can make it an small eye catcher.