by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The A-25A Shrike, an aircraft ordered by the US Army Air Force (USAAF), in contrast to the Helldiver that was used by the US Navy (USN) during WWII. Curtiss built 900 Shrikes at its St. Louis plant, with the first flying in September 1942. While the first ten had folding wings, this feature was soon abandoned as being unnecessary, and production of the A-25A ceased in late 1943. Other differences compared to the Helldiver were the absence of a tail hook, larger wheels, a pneumatic tail wheel and etc.
In the box
For such a small model, the box the Shrike comes in is huge, and once you open the box, you will find the sprues tucked away in the corner somewhere, Cyber-Hobby obviously got a deal on one size of box from somewhere lol.
The box front features a painted representation of the Shrike in flight, whilst the sides and rear of the box show CAD images of all the new tooled parts for this variant.
The five sprues are moulded in light grey plastic and are packed separately. The one clear sprue is packed in its own sealed bag.
The kit has one fret of photo etch for the harnesses and flaps. The instructions and a very small decal sheet make up the rest of the contents.
The parts count is just over 170 parts, including the P.E fret, but 25 parts are not used on this version.
As expected from a new tooled release there is no flash.
Exterior detail is quite exquisite with finely engraved panel lines and rivets adorning the fuselage and wings.
The wings are split into five parts each as they are the same mouldings for the Helldiver that was released earlier, and feature the folded option which isn't used on this kit.
The flaps can be modelled open or closed and have exquisite detail moulded onto both sides of the parts. The flaps are made up of eleven parts per wing, of which four parts are made up of the P.E.
Interior detail matches the high standard you expect from Cyber-Hobby.
The cockpit is fully detailed, with the pilots seat having P.E harnesses, which does mean you will have to scrape off the moulded on ones lol. Floor detail, instrument panels and the rear bulkhead all have engraved and raised details. There does seem to be a few pin marks around, these might need to be filled, but looking at the instructions it seems a few parts go over these marks, but it remains to be seen if they are seen.
The rear gunner/radio operator has a full interior with various equipment, a very nicely rendered 50-cal MG, and a detailed cupola. The rear fairing can be modelled closed or open, so the gunner can deploy the 50 cals.
The interior bomb bay is just as detailed and holds two bombs, which the bomb bay can be modelled open or closed.
The engine is made up of five parts and is above average in the detail stakes in this scale. Only the front of the engine can be seen once the one piece cowling goes on.
The main undercarriage bays are moulded into the lower wings and are well detailed with spars and hydraulic lines moulded into them.
The undercarriage is reasonably detailed, and is made up of two parts per leg. The tyres are treadless and the hubs which are moulded onto the tyres have raised details moulded onto them. The tail wheel is moulded as one piece as is a new tooled part for this kit. Part of the moulded on tail wheel cover has to be removed from the fuselage halves for the new tail wheel to be installed.
The undercarriage can be modelled closed if that takes your fancy as a couple of separate wheel bay doors are supplied.
The clear parts are distortion free, well detailed with raised rivets and raised frames.
The canopies can be modelled open or closed. I hope someone makes a mask set for the clear parts as painting the frame work is going to take a steady hand as there are so many panels.
Instructions, Decals and markings
The instructions are a A3 size sheet which opens up to reveal the build over four pages. Black Line drawings with blue symbol boxes for various options make up the print. The build at first glance looks pretty easy with construction of the kit over twelve stages, but upon a closer look each stage as several subassemblies going on. No interior colours are given, so checking references is a must, and given the quality of the rest of the kit, is a bit of an own goal by Cyber-Hobby.
The instructions are the downfall of this kit, as well as the lack of interior colours, I did notice that the instructions state the pilots seat fits into, now you're going to think I say the cockpit, but nope Cyber-Hobby tell you it installs into the engine bay lol.
Careful examination of the instructions is going to be a must, not only as the build is quite complex, but just in case Cyber-Hobby have put any more gaffes in.
The markings for the aircraft are, err just one, an unidentified unit in 1944. The aircraft has Olive Drab uppers and Neutral Grey lowers.
The decal sheet is tiny and contains 4 US Star roundels, two aircraft codes and eight propeller decals. The decals are inregister, and have very little carrier film.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.