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 SMER/Frog 1/72 Vultee V-72/A-31 Vengeance

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Posts : 320
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: SMER/Frog 1/72 Vultee V-72/A-31 Vengeance   Tue Feb 21 2017, 07:12

Manufacturer: SMĔR (Frog / NOVO)

Model: Vultee V-72/A-31 Vengeance

Scale: 1/72

Decals / Markings: Vengeance Mk. II, RAF Squadron 45, Khumbirgam, India, 1943 or Vultee A-35, U.S. Army Air Force, 1943

History / description:

The successful engagement of the German Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers in Poland and France during 1939 and early 1940 roused great interest in this type of aircraft in the United Kingdom. As local manufacturers had their hands full with the production of Spitfires and Hurricanes, suppliers of aircraft were sought from abroad. Eventually in 1940, the British purchasing commission requested that Vultee, a U.S. company, develop a dive-bomber that could destroy specific targets. In time, 1,205 of the new aircraft designated as the V-72 Vengeance were delivered to the Royal Air Force, which initially assigned them to duty in Burma. Several machines were delivered to the Indian Air Force, another 29 planes served in Brazil, and 50 Vultee V-72’s were flown by De Gaulle’s French army in North Africa. But it was in the hands of Australian pilots that the type achieved its greatest success when fighting the Japanese in New Guinea.

Australian squadrons equipped with the Vengeance included Nos. 12, 21, 23, 24 and 25 Squadrons. Of these, all but 25 Squadron served briefly in the New Guinea campaign. Australian Vengeances flew their last operational sorties on March 8, 1944, as they were considered less efficient than fighter bombers, having a short range and requiring a long runway, and as such, the Vengeances were withdrawn to allow for more effective fighter bombers to move into the forward area.

The U.S. Army also ordered the first version of the plane, the A-31, which was later christened the A-35. A total of 323 Vengeances were used by the United States, mainly as training planes, “enemy” planes for air combat training, and chiefly for towing aerial targets. In U.S. service, the A-31/35 was generally considered to be a failure. One U.S. Army officer described the Vultee A-35 Vengeance as being “a waste of time, material, and manpower.”

The kit:

This model is a re-issue of an older Frog / NOVO kit released back in the sixties. Re-issued by SMĔR, the kit comes molded in a soft, dark gray plastic with a two scheme decal sheet by Scale Master. The molding is clean with no plastic flash and has very thin, raised panel lines and finely recessed control surfaces.

The kit goes together nicely straight out of the box. A little bit of putty was needed where the two fuselage halves were joined. The only major issue was gluing the engine cowling to the fuselage. This left a huge gap which I filled with putty and sanded. The wings fit snugly into recessed attachment points and the main gears are designed to be sub-assemblies that fit into recessed openings in each wing similar to the way landing gear are handled by Corgi.

The cockpit is well detailed and it includes two crew members (which are just awful so I replaced them), a control stick, the mid cockpit equipment bay, and a highly detailed rear gun. The canopy was a bit thick and had some molding air bubbles, but once the raised framing is carefully painted, it doesn’t look too bad.

For painting I used Tamiya acrylics (XF-64 Red Brown & XF-61 Dark Green) and a generic blue found in a plastic bottle from a craft store. A matte acrylic overspray was used once the decals were applied.

Overall, a really fun kit to build of a not so famous (nor successful) aircraft from WWII.

Pictures of the completed build for your viewing pleasure:

The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad"
Alice: “I’m afraid so. . . you’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. . . All the BEST people are.”
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