A-37B / OA-37B Dragonfly
Encore Models, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Encore Models Kit No. EC48002 - A-37B / OA-37B Dragonfly
|Contents and Media:
||125 parts in grey coloured plastic; 41 parts in grey coloured resin; two frets of photo-etched parts (one in colour); markings for three aircraft
||USD$44.99 available online from Squadron
||Classic Monogram kit used as a starting point; well cast, blemish-free resin enhancements; improvements over the original kit including complete replacement cockpit; choice of weapons; two excellent frets of etched metal parts including one that is pre-coloured; decals in perfect register with minimal carrier film; detailed instructions.
A well-thought out and comprehensive upgrade to a kit that is well worth building in the 21st century.
Encore Models' 1/48 scale A-37B / OA-37B Dragonfly is available online from Squadron.com
The A-37 Dragonfly was a light attack aircraft based on the Cessna T-37 two-seat trainer. The Dragonfly was envisaged in the 1960s for counter insurgency duties, but the escalating conflict in Vietnam demanded an aircraft with greater range and more flexible ordnance. The result was the A-37A.
With its straight wings and civil pedigree, the Dragonfly may not have been glamorous but it was easy to maintain and robust in service. In fact, the A-37 flew more than 160,000 combat sorties in South East Asia, and also saw later service in various Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units. The OA-37B Dragonfly has been exported to Thailand, South Korea and many nations in Central and South America since the 1970s too.
Monogram released their 1:48 scale A-37A/B Dragonfly in 1992. Typical of Monogram, the kit was dimensionally accurate, featured fine raised panel lines and a decent level of detail.
Encore Models has already upgraded one of Monogram’s classic kits – the F-102A Delta Dagger – with resin and photo-etch. The Super Tweet is now the latest in Monogram’s catalogue to receive the same treatment.
Encore Models’ 1:48 scale A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly comprises 125 grey plastic parts plus 8 in clear from the original Monogram kit; plus 41 crisply cast grey resin pieces and two photo-etched frets. A new decal sheet with three colourful marking options is included too.
The plastic parts are holding up very well, with minimal flash.
The real jewels in the crown, however, are the resin and photo-etched parts.
No less than 41 new resin parts are supplied. These include a complete replacement cockpit tub, separate quilted sidewalls, ejection seats with cast-on harness straps (my favourite depiction – the straps are draped differently on the two seats too), instrument coaming, wheels, rocket pods and bombs.
Casting quality is first rate, with no imperfections visible on my sample.
Photo-etch is produced by Eduard. The colour fret mainly concerns itself with the wide instrument panel and various cockpit consoles. T
he nickel-etched fret includes parts for the exterior such as the air brake and FOD screens.
The instructions are presented on a high-quality, full colour, glossy 12 page booklet. Construction is called out over 33 illustrated steps.
Three interesting colour schemes are covered:
- USAF A-37B of 8th Special Operations Squadron, Bien Hoa, Vietnam, 1971. This aircraft is finished in SEA colours with light grey lower surfaces.
- Pennsylvania Air National Guard OA-37B, 103rd FS, 1987. Finished in a wraparound scheme of Dark Grey FS36081 and Medium Green FS 34079.
- Fuerza Aera Domnicana OA-37B, Escuadron de Combate, San Isidro, 2000. This is a wild scheme in two greens and tan, with a shark’s mouth on the black nose.
Decals are printed by Cartograf.
They are as good as we have come to expect – in register, minimal carrier film and good looking colours.
Encore Models’ 1:48 scale A-37B / OA-37B Dragonfly marks the welcome return of a good kit made much better by the ample addition of resin and photo-etch. You won’t need to buy any after market accessories to deliver a great result from this box!
Encore Models are available online from Squadron www.squadron.com
Thanks to Squadron for the sample
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2011 by Brett Green
Page Created 25 September, 2011
25 September, 2011
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