R-11 US/NATO Fuel Truck
For a long time I have been hoping for kits that could help me in building a small diorama with my - mainly jets and chopper - airplane models. I was really excited learning that Skunkmodels would produce this R-11 Fuel truck. Therefore I also jumped at the opportunity of reviewing it.
In the real world, the R-11 refeuler followed the R-9. The R-11 was introduced in service in 1989. The second generation appeared in 1994 and the third one in 2004. The fuel capacity is 23,000 liter and the truck can pump 2,300 liter a minute.
The instruction sheet makes you assume that the box contains a generation 3 truck.
The box seems fairly big for a 1/48 scale truck but is done very nicely; It informs the potential client that it contains one R-11 model, not the plane in the background, and that more than 130 individual parts can be found in the box.
A set of very nice colour pictures of the real thing, and a rather funny explanation of what an R-11 Fuel truck actually is, are more than enough to attract buyers for what seems to be a very professionally made model.
The plastic parts
Under the hood I find a sprue with a surprising high number of clear parts, and 3 large sprues with dark green plastic parts. All ejector marks are in places that will be invisible on the finalised model and there is absolutely no sign of flash or other shortcoming we hate to find on a new model.
The clear parts are the windows of the cabin and about every lamp/light that is on the truck. All that is very promising.
The instruction sheet
The sheet starts with the same amuzing text that I found on the box:
"The R-11 truck is used by the U.S. Air Force to refuel aircraft quickly and efficiently at critical times. The vehicle features a two door cabin and a six cylinder turbocharged engine that is liquid cooled, allowing the trucks to operate in hot places such as Iraq and Afghanistan without overheating".
Those with a technical background will understand that liquid cooling, turbocharging, or 6 cylinders don't automatically guarantee that operations in hot environments are a piece of cake.
What is far more important is that this sheet contains 10 pages that give a perfect overview on how the various parts need to be assembled.
However, there is aboslutely no information on painting.
The instruction sheet shows (on page 9 and 10) 3 different paint and finishing schemes, one of which gives a truck in "Stone" and "Aluminium". The other two options require a truck in "Gloss Green", "Gloss Black" with "black painted details" and "Aluminium".
Well, that is nice to know. There are no FS standard color codes or any other sign that shows that the manufacturer understands that "green" and "green" can be very different colors.
The box-art provides some assistance for painting the outside, but has no info on the inside of the cabin.
In search for better I find the reference to the www.kineticmodel.com (not skunkmodel?) site on the instruction sheet for more information. However, the R-11 truck can't be found on that site.
Some substantial searching on the web will be needed to paint this one.
And, does it fit?
I glued some parts together to get a feeling of fit and quality of the plastic.
The plastic is quite soft and using too much glue on this kit will inevitably lead to disasters. The fit is quite good but a highly visible seam runs around the the complete fuel tank. All pictures indicate that the surface of the tank is smooth, without any welding seams; This part will require some putty, and a lot of TLC (tender loving care) sanding and polishing.
The connections between the parts and the sprue are quite thick, sometimes leading to ugly dents in the parts if not very carefully removed.
For the rest of the assembly I have to wait until I have a decent view on the colors to use for all individual parts. This will be one subject for the building blog.
The decals are made by Cartograph and seem therefore beyond suspicion.
Careful, the sheet contains decals for trucks used top transport F-34 fuel (also called JP-8) and for F-37 (JP-8-100) fuel. From the info I found it appears that standard JP-8 is used for jets and the improved JP-8-100 for transport and commerical airplanes; This may not be entirely correct but it may be better not to put a R-11 touting JP-8-100 on a diorama refueling an F-16.
This fuel truck is a present from heaven, if not from Skunkmodels, Kinetic, or Lucky Models who all are brands involved in bringing this product to the market. Its definitively a high added value for any diorama of a modern time flightline.
Fairly detailed plastic, and decent building instrucitons make it into a great model.
However, the complete absence of paint instructions is a serious error. Assuming that all clients have access to the internet these days is no excuse.
Please tell vendors and retailers that you saw this model here - on Aeroscale.