by: Richard West [ ]
HistoryThe Trojan C was the United States Navy's carrier landing version of the North American trainer. The B, the Navy's primary version differed from the Air Force's A variant, having the much more powerful R-1820 engine as opposed to the R-1300, and a ventral air brake mounted mid-fuselage. The C variant further tailored the aircraft for Navy use by adding an abbreviated rudder to accommodate an arrestor hook and shorter propeller blades. Combined with the air brake and powerful engine of the Trojan B, these allowed the Trojan C operate from carrier decks.
OverviewInside the corrugated box there are six plastic sprues and one for clear parts, as well as a full-size set of monochromatic instructions and a respectable decal sheet. Parts to build the Trojan B and D are included on the sprues, so there will be a spare rudder, propeller, set of wingtips, drop tanks and mg barrels.
The plastic itself is roughly gull grey, the panel lines are crisp but on the wider and deeper side. There is some very delicate flash but certainly nothing to complain about. Setting aside the tiny flash the moulding is very good. The finer parts, probes, pitots and undercarriage linkages are all sufficiently delicate looking. Detail on the landing struts is the strongest looking element. The engine is good but not great, the cylinders are quite dumbed-down and lack the overall crispness one would like to see.
Cockpit and Landing GearIncluding the tub itself there appears to be 26 parts for the cockpit. Detail on the IP's is good, but the side console is a bit less crisp. Which is unfortunate given that this area is much more visible when finished. Rudder pedals, throttle and control stick are all rendered well. The seats are respectable enough and thankfully without moulded-on belts.
The undercarriage appears to have 29 parts, including doors. Here there is very little to complain about. As out-of-the-box lading gear goes this is a very strong showing. Scissors, oleos, brakes, struts and rams are all well depicted. Only the addition of some brake lines will yield a truly good result.
Airframe and PowerplantCanopy, flaps, rudder, ailerons, air brake, and arrestor hook are all positionable. As well as four (two on either side) vents on the cowling. Only the elevators require cutting away to be posed. All of the poseable control surfaces are moulded in two pieces. But the horizontal stabilizers are moulded whole. When one considers this it seems a bit like halving the other surfaces was simply padding the parts count. A small sin, but it's nice to have to do that much less gluing now and then.
The engine is nine pieces, seven of which will be visible. Seperate pushrods, exhausts and fuel delivery are all moulded to make the engine more interesting. Like the cooling vanes on the cylinders they are all a bit meaty, but at least the effort was made.
The DecalsMarkings for two aircraft are provided. One attached to CV-16 USS Lexington ~1971 that sports a yellow cat's mouth and eyes at the cowl, red and white livery and a sundowner style rudder. The second aircraft is from VA-122 in Lemoore California ~1977. This aircraft is far more subdued sporting gull grey on white akin to contemporaneous non-training navy aircraft. The sheet has a pleasing number of stencils, likely all that were present on these aircraft but that is difficult to know for certain. They have no printer's mark save for the word Roden.
ConclusionOverall this kit is very good. It has only one real shortcoming in the meaty moulding of the cylinder bank of the engine. Fortunately the kit redeems itself with superb poseability, excellent landing gear and a more than presentable cockpit.