In-Box Review
CAC-12 Boomerang
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

The CAC Boomerang has long been a favourite many modellers of a "certain age" - largely inspired by Airfix's 1960s 1/72 scale kit. Strangely though, that's been the aircraft's only outing as a mainstream kit, and in 1/48n scale it's been its been the preserve of short-run companies, notably Kiwi Wings and LTD. Happily now, the situation's changed somewhat with the release of a brand-new quarterscale Boomerang from Special Hobby.

It's important to note that this is still a limited-run model - but it's been produced to far higher levels of detail and "buildability" than anything available before in this scale. Nevertheless, Special Hobby's Boomerang is only suitable for fairly experienced modellers.

Arriving in an attractive top-opening box, the parts are packed in separate bags and everything is well presented. Special Hobby's Boomerang comprises:

130 x grey styrene parts
19 x clear injected parts
30 x resin parts
31 x etched steel parts
Decals for 4 x colour schemes.

For a limited run model, the Boomerang is impressively produced. As you'd expect, a bit of extra clean-up will be needed compared to one of the "majors'" kits, but there's only a touch of flash here and there and few signs of sinkage. There are some ejector pin marks to trim off before assembly, but preparation should be generally quick and quite straightforward. Surface detail consists of fine engraved lines, some raised panels and subtle fabric surfaces. A brief test fit is a little mixed. The fuselage halves line up very neatly, but it looks like there'll be a few gaps at the wing roots.

A few details
A look at the parts count shows the kit is quite complex and Special Hobby have included a lot of detail - particularly for the cockpit, engine and wheel well. Because most of this detail is produced in styrene, it involves a number of mult-part sub-assemblies to overcome the limitations of limited-run moulding. The results should be impressive, but I can't help thinking that life would have been easier if Special Hobby had made greater use of resin for the details.

Still, looking at what you get, the cockpit is certainly detailed, with almost 70 parts crammed in! While the bulk of the parts are styrene, the pilot's seat is cast in resin and is excellent and there's a full etched harness provided. The instrument panel is a bit of a let down - while it has moulded instrument faces and some detail on the rear side, it could have been far better as an etched part than the plastic version provided. The rest of the phenomenal parts count (surely a record for a kit like this?) is accounted for by detailed side frames, bulkheads and consoles, plus a plethora of knobs and levers.

The engine is similarly detailed with 33 parts in all. There's a resin crankcase and separate cylinders, plus styrene engine bearers, exhausts and an engine accessories pack. Surprisingly, in view of the kit's etched fret, those no ignition wiring, but this won't be too hard to add from soft wire and the resulting engine should look great.

The undercarriage and main wheel well are well handled. The well includes a rear spar that will both add detail and maintain the contour of the centre section and counter the tendency for gaps at the wing-roots.

The clear parts are cleanly moulded, nice and thin with excellent clarity and crisp frames for the canopy.

Instructions and decals
The assembly diagrams are very well drawn, breaking the construction down into 24 stages and illustrating the complex sub-assemblies clearly. Colour matches are provided for Gunze Sangyo paints.

Special Hobby provide decals for four aircraft:

A. CAC Boomerang, A46-52, MH-E, 83 Sqn., RAAF, Camden, NSW, 1945
B. CAC Boomerang, A46-95, ZA-O, 8 CU, RAAF, New Guinea, 1943.
C. CAC Boomerang, A46-93, QE-S, 4 Sqn., RAAF, New Guinea, 1943.
D. CAC Boomerang, A46-62, "Sleepytime Girl", R, 84 Sqn. RAAF, Perth region, WA, 1943.

The decals are beautifully printed - thin, glossy and in perfect register with minimal carrier film. Along with the main markings, there's a comprehensive set of stencils included.

Special Hobby's Boomerang looks a great little kit that's absolutely packed with detail. It's certainly not a kit for inexperienced modellers, because you obviously can't expect all that detail to click together with "Tamigawa" precision. Ted Culotta has an excellent on-line build underway in the forum where you can see how impressively detailed the kit is. Special Hobby are to be applauded - they've really done the Boomerang proud! Recommended.

Special Hobby's Boomerange is available from Modelimex - specialists in Eastern European short run kits.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Highly detailed. Excellent decals.
Lows: Quite complex assemblies with small parts produced in stryrene when resin would have been simpler and preferable.
Verdict: A great kit for experienced modellers.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: SH48074
  Suggested Retail: 27.50
  PUBLISHED: May 26, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Australia

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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