by: Andy Brazier [ ]
HistoryThe Beech C18S American Passenger 'Dumbo III' One of the most successful and famous aircraft in the world aviation history was the Beech Model 18 nicknamed Twin Beech.
It was designed as light twin-engine 6-8-seat light passenger aircraft. The maiden flight was in January 1937.
With the entry of the US into World War II Army Air Force began to feel the need in a light military transport plane. In 1943, the company Beechcraft was issued an order for the production of 1522 improved C18S model aircraft.
Some of these aircraft were used after WWII as civil passenger planes.
In the box Packed in a sturdy hinge lidded box with an extra lid for the artwork. The grey sprues are in one resealable bag, and the clear sprues in a separate bag, the instructions are at the base of the box with the decal sheet placed in-between the pages.
Seven grey sprues and one clear sprue make up the kits contents.
The fuselage along with the tail wheel assembly are on one sprue with two more sprues for the wings, which are split into lower and upper halves. The other main sprue holds assorted smaller parts, with the two smaller sprues holding parts for the engine nacelles/undercarriage bays.
One clear sprue completes the parts.
Interior detail although not great, is pretty good for a passenger aircraft, with four seats for the cabin, and two for the cockpit. No belts are supplied, but these can be added to up the detail.
Unfortunately the doors to the cabin are modelled closed, and don't feature any detail on the inside faces, so scratch building some detail in the interior will need to be done.
The cockpit has a instrument panel with some raised bevels for the dials and switches. No decals are supplied so this will need to be painted. Rudder pedals attach to the bottom of the panel.
Two seats which are made up of four parts each adorn the cockpit along with a pair of two piece control columns.
Engine detail is a little basic, with the engine faces just sporting a series of lumps and bumps for the cylinders. Adding some wiring would improve the look.
The engine nacelles, double up as the main undercarriage bays, and has some nice detail installed, although is does look a little fiddly to put together.
The main undercarriage can be modelled up if you so desire.
The spinners for the props need a bit shaved off them, and the prop hubs need 2.7mm cut off them. Both schemes feature the spinners so this needs to be done.
Exterior detail is pretty good, with some nice recessed panel lines, and some rib detail which looks to my eyes a little overdone.
The fuselage has the ariels moulded onto one of the fuselage halves, so care needs to be taken that you don't knock them off during the build and painting.
The clear parts are a mix of nice and thin for the cockpit and pretty see through to thick and distorted for the cabin glazing.
The build up of the cockpit glass is rather novel with two sides parts that glue into the two fuselage halves, then the center part is glued at a later stage.
Instructions, markings and decals The instructions are the usual type we are all used too, with a parts tree at the beginning and the build set over 56 stages.
The build doesn't look to be complicated at all, with only a couple of parts fitted in each stage.
Any optional parts and any parts that need surgery are highlighted. Internal colours are also given along the way. Revell and Tamiya paints are used for the paint guide, which makes a nice change from the usual Mr Color paints most manufacturers seem to use.
The decal sheet is glossy with very little carrier film and is printed in house by ICM.
Two marking options are available, which are -
A C18S, Falcon Airways, Biggin Hill, 1959
BC18S, US Forest Services, Oakland, 1954
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