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T-50 Golden Eagle

Academy 1/72 T-50 Golden Eagle Build Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2015 Manufacturer Academy
Subject T-50 Golden Eagle Scale 1/72
Kit Number 12519 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Ideal entry-level kit Cons See text
Skill Level Beginner MSRP (USD) TBA

Build Review

If you'd like to take a look at the kit as it comes out of the box, check out the in-box review previously published here on Cybermodeler Online. When I looked at the box, it lists the kit at four years or greater but the kit (all 25 parts) goes together in less than an hour. Okay, it was referring to the recommended age of the builder but given then gridlock on my bench, it might have been right on duration as well.

I followed the instructions in the kit and took care to clean the remaining sprue stub off the part as well as the occasional bit of flash. This resulted in a great fit as this model is well engineered. The flash was very minimal in comparison to snap kits from other companies. I didn't use any paint or filler in this build though I did use a little drop of Tamiya Liquid Cement here and there. You can see the fit of the model is spot on.

T-50 Golden Eagle T-50 Golden Eagle T-50 Golden Eagle

If I'd have stopped there, this would have been a normal 'quick build' review, but I thought I'd try the stickers out to see how these work. First I cleaned the surface of the model as I would before painting to remove residue that might affect the adhesion of the stickers. I started with the red markings using my fingers and they went into place just fine but they were a little hard to maneuver and remnants of my fingerprints could be seen in the sticker glue. After the first few of these, I switched to tweezers and that worked out perfectly. One complaint is that after getting the model together, you need to remove the tail, centerline tank, and ventral antenna to get the stickers in place. I didn't glue these so that wasn't a big deal. What was more of a problem was some of the stickers are being applied to areas with surface detail and those just won't work. I didn't even try to apply the rear portion of the ventral stripe as it would not go down over the tail hook.

T-50 Golden Eagle T-50 Golden Eagle T-50 Golden Eagle T-50 Golden Eagle T-50 Golden Eagle

This was a fun and quick build. I can easily recommend this kit for a young modeler. The stickers are a bit more challenging and took me longer to apply than to assemble the model. I really wish Academy had included water slide decals as an option as they've done in similar releases.

Is this just a young person's kit? Not at all. As I was enjoying the detail in this model and started wondering about how it would look in paint, it dawned on me that this model would look good as a company desk model. For those of you who remember (and collected) company models, many of these started out in metal or wood, but eventually found their way into plastic. There aren't that many company models left though you can still get them at museum gift shops and at the company stores for those aircraft manufacturers. There are a group of modelers out there that like to build their models in company display style and this kit comes right out of the box that way.

Whatever your goals, this is another nice release from Academy and is just the fun diversion to get my creative building on the move again.

Thanks to MRC for this review sample.