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 Smer 1/72: Breguet 693 ground attack aircraft

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Smer 1/72: Breguet 693 ground attack aircraft   Sun Feb 26 2017, 00:50

Oof, this kit almost made it into the Hall Of Shame. Shocked

The Breguet 693

This aircraft began life in 1934 as an answer to the French Air Force's request for a ground-attack fighter-bomber. First flying in 1938 as the Br. 691, it was found to be a promising design although one beset with performance problems owing to the Hispano-Suiza radial engines it was initially equipped with. One hundred examples of the Br. 691 were ordered into production. Once a better engine became available, in this case the Gnome-Rhone 14M radial engine, production was switched to that powerplant and the aircraft was now called the Br.693. Production of the Br. 263 was limited to less than two hundred aircraft.

The aircraft were used heavily during the Battle Of France and losses to ground fire and the Luftwaffe were extensive. At France's surrender, many pilots attempted to fly their aircraft to other countries to continue the fight. But, owing to the short range to the aircraft, many did not make their intended destinations and were lost or captured by the Germans and their Allies.

Breguet 693 Specifications*:

Engine: Two Gnôme & Rhône 14M6/7 14-cylinder air-cooled radials
Power: 700hp each
Crew: 2
Wing span: 50ft 6in (15.4m)
Length: 31ft 10in (9.7m)
Height: 10ft 6in (3.2m)
Empty Weight: 6,627lb (3,006kg)
Maximum Weight: 10,785lb (4,892kg)
Max Speed: 304mph (490km/h) at 16,404ft (5,000m)
Service Ceiling: 31,168ft (9,500m)
Range: 939 miles (1,350km)
Armament: Three fixed forward firing guns - one 20mm cannons and two 7.5mm machine guns, one rear-firing 7.5mm machine gun
Bomb-load: 882lb (400kg) in internal bomb bay

* Information courtesy of the historyofwar.org web site.

The Kit

This kit is a reissue of the original Heller kit from the early 1980s. From Smer, it is kit # 0844 and is in 1:72 scale. The kit contains two parts sprues in soft white plastic, I bag with clear parts, and a bag with decals for one aircraft. Initial inspection found that many, if not all, parts would require some prep work before assembly. Not a horrible amount, mind you, but enough to slow things down quite a bit as a lot of flash needed to be removed and sanded.

The kit is extremely basic with no cockpit or interior whatsoever. The model is basically a shell. The good news is that the assembly instructions were able to take advantage of this and make for an easy build. What they didn't do, however, is provide an help in painting or decals. That was dismal and required many trips to the PC for help. The kit is also missing a lot of things that SHOULD be there (as they are shown on the box art) - like underwing counter-weights, a gunsight for the pilot, external bomb racks, and engine cowling air scoops. All fairly easy to scrtach build if you are so inclined. I wasn't.

I have only built one other Smer kit, the Amiot bomber I reviewed last year, and I can at least say the decals in this kit are a tremendous improvement over those of that kit. They are thin, but not so transparent.

Assembly was not bad aside from all the extra effort to clean and fit various parts. Painting was not a good experience, but I got it done. Although incomplete, due to the missing parts, it still came out as an interesting French vision of a ground-attack aircraft. It reminds me a lot of the RAF's Beaufighter - just smaller.

I tried a few different (for me) techniques and used ground pastels for the engine exhaust and, what I hoped would be, mud on the wheels and underside of the plane. I also tried a bit of "chipping" by cheating with a metallic silver marker. Mr. Green

Conclusions

Not a horrible model but far from a good one. I think only Heller and Smer make a model of the Br. 693 so your options here are limited. If you want something unusual (and aren't all French aircraft like that? Wink ) this is a nice addition to your collection. With extra effort you can turn this turkey into a swan. I hope you like the pics and I hope you feel free to let me know what I can improve on.

Thanks!


















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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: Smer 1/72: Breguet 693 ground attack aircraft   Tue May 16 2017, 14:37

Prop wash wrote:
If you want something unusual (and aren't all French aircraft like that? Wink ) this is a nice addition to your collection.

That's a polite way of putting it Very Happy But, I do love French subjects and your Br. 693 looks lovely. Azur have done a more recent 1/72 kit but it's probably more work than the Heller/SMER model.

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Kyushu J7W

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PostSubject: Re: Smer 1/72: Breguet 693 ground attack aircraft   Mon May 29 2017, 16:45

Another unusual subject and often ignore airforce. One wonders what might have been had the French been able to hold off the Panzer breakthroughs. Thansk for showing us this build.

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