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 MPM 1/72 Fokker T.VIII w/G floatplane (Kit # 72080)

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Join date : 2017-02-18
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PostSubject: MPM 1/72 Fokker T.VIII w/G floatplane (Kit # 72080)   Thu Feb 23 2017, 00:17

When I saw this MPM kit I knew I had to add it to my collection. It was both an unusual subject (an aircraft flown by both the Allied and Axis Powers in WWII) and, for me at least, something quite different in design. This was a good build with few problems (all minor), but because it has so much "glass" it begs a modeler with good detailing skills to do a build of it (hello Migrant!) as so much of the interior is visible.

The Aircraft

In the late 1930's the Dutch Air Force asked for a modern floatplane, capable of carrying a torpedo or bombs, for coastal patrols. Eleven aircraft were completed upon entering Dutch service in 1938. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Dutch airmen were able to escape and fly their aircraft the England and France (two to England and nine to France) where they were put into service.

The two aircraft flown to England formed the basis for 320 Squadron (Dutch) in Coastal Command. They would be used on patrol until they could no longer be repaired (lack of spare parts) or maintained.

The aircraft that made their way to France were captured or destroyed when the Germans invaded that country a short time later. The Germans made use of any captured aircraft as well as aircraft still being completed at Fokker. The Luftwaffe would use the aircraft in patrolling the Black and the Mediterranean Seas.

The Fokker T.VIII came in three variants. This version (w/G) which was of composite wood and metal construction (and was manufactured in the greatest number). The all-metal w/M version. And the larger, and more powerful, w/C version.

Specifications (T.VIII W/G)
Data from Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft

General characteristics

Crew: 3
Length: 13 m (42 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 18 m (59 ft 1 in)
Height: 5 m (16 ft 5 in)
Gross weight: 5,000 kg (11,023 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-975-E3 Whirlwind 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engines, 336 kW (451 hp) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 285 km/h (177 mph; 154 kn) at 3,000 m (9,843 ft)
Range: 2,750 km (1,709 mi; 1,485 nmi)
Service ceiling: 6,800 m (22,310 ft) [7]

Armament

2 × 7.92 (0.312 in) machine guns
600 kg (1,323 lb) of bombs or torpedoes

The Kit

The kit is # 72080 and is made by MPM in 1:72 scale. The parts were all clean and well molded with minimal flash to clean. The canopies were molded in clear plastic with only slight distortion. Panel lines and details are a little on the light-side and not deeply etched. You also get a selection of PE parts.

The kit only builds the w/G version of the aircraft. However, you get decals for three different air services:

1. Dutch Air Force, GVT-2, Spring, 1940.

2. Royal Air Force, 320 Squadron.

3. Luftwaffe, SAGr 126, Aegean Sea.

I chose to do the Luftwaffe version as it had seen some long-term use. The Dutch version was just to dull (sorry to say) as it was silver on silver on silver. The RAF version was quite cool but I didn't feel I could do a decent job of the camo scheme on the floats (which helped sway me to do the Luftwaffe version). The decals are thin, but are nicely printed and of good quality.

The instructions were clearly illustrated (line drawings) but were otherwise only okay. The paint callouts could likewise be improved.

The Build

The build was mostly problem-free. The only real complaint I have is with how the rear gun was placed. The instructions were not very clear on this so I went by online research to place it. Since the canopy is one piece, you would need to do some surgery to open the aft portion of it to expose the machine gun as intended. So I chose to have the gun fixed in a lowered position within the closed canopy. I had to do a little work to make this happen but it came out okay.

There are hardly any interior pics of the real aircraft. I managed to find three and they were shots from the mid-section pointing through the cockpit and into the nose position. The nose position is not really correct in that there was a lot of equipment stashed up there. The kit has a bare cabin but I did what I could with it (I also built the bow machine gun inside). As previously mentioned, there is a lot of room inside to delight a detail-oriented builder and I wish I could have done more with it for that reason.

The decals were fairly easy to apply but require care owing to their thinness. They are not fragile, but they can be damaged if you aren't careful. I had one letter on the side identification numbers flip-back on itself and I couldn't save it. Otherwise they are good decals.

I'm happy with how the build went and how the model turned-out. I would easily recommend this to anyone looking for a neat-looking floatplane to add to their collection.












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