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Attacker

Classic Airframes 1/48 Attacker Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Classic Airframes
Subject Supermarine Attacker Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4102 Primary Media Styrene, Resin, Vac
Pros Nice detailing, especially with the resin castings Cons Canopy molded closed
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Attacker
Attacker
Attacker
Attacker
Attacker

The Supermarine Attacker was designed in response to 1944 Specification E.10/44 for a quick-build fighter that would use the Rolls Royce Nene engine. Supermarine's approach to this quick turnaround requirement was to use the existing wing and landing gear of the Spiteful.

The first prototype flew in July 1946 built to RAF specifications while the second and third prototypes were built to FAA specifications for carrier operations. The aircraft was eventually purchased for the Royal Navy as well as for the Royal Pakistan Air Force.

The FAA received three versions of the aircraft: the F.1 fighter, and the FB.1 and FB.2 fighter-bombers. The RPAF operated F.1 variants without the folding wings or other naval-unique equipment.

In the end, 181 Attackers were produced, with the first entering service in 1951 after a number of bugs were worked out of the aircraft.

Here is an interesting release from Classic Airframes: a 1/48 Supermarine Attacker. As is standard with most Classic Airframes' kits, this is molded in light gray styrene and features some nicely scribed details. Look at the detailing on the wings in the photos to the right.

In addition to the styrene parts, the kit is also comprised of some beautifully cast resin parts, including a complete cockpit tub, super-detailed ejection seat, tail cone/exhaust duct, main wheels, and under-fuselage tail wheel/tail hook bay. The kit is rounded out with a set of photo-etched parts for the seat belts/harness, turbine face, and a few other details. The PE frett wasn't imaged here as my example was missing the photo-etch.

The cockpit interior starts with that super-detailed ejection seat. The seat is mounted on a framework that includes foot rests, and this receives the photo-etched seat belts and harness. This is installed into the cockpit tub along with resin control stick, rudder pedals, and instrument panel.

Since the intakes were blended into the fuselage sides, the forward fuselage halves are mounted to the rear halves along with the splitter plates. The cockpit is installed into the completed fuselage halves along with the part that doubles and an intake engine face and wing main spar to assure proper dihedral. Nice engineering! The rear fuselage halves receive the tailwheel and arrestor hook bay. Once the fuselage halves are together, the tail cone goes on next.

The wings are designed with separate flap sections so you can portray your model with the flaps down. Assembly of the wings, 20mm gun inserts, main gear and flaps should be straightforward.

The kit includes a ventral fuel tank, though there are not notes or references as to which versions used this option. Wings of Fame #8 had a brief mention of the Attacker under the FAA history which indicates that the F.1 and FB.1 had single-piece, frameless canopies whereas the FB.2 had a framed canopy.

Decals are provided for three examples:

  • Attacker F.1, WA496, 800 Sqn, HMS Eagle, 1953
  • Attacker FB.2, WZ283, 1831 Sqn, RNVR, Cheshire, 1955
  • Attacker, R4032, RPAF, 1953

The color profiles in the kit are printed in black and white, but full-color profiles were available on the Classic Airframes' website.

This is another typically nice release from Classic Airframes. If early FAA aircraft are your interest, then you'll definitely want this kit on your scale flightline.

If you're wanting to do something different, look again at this kit. The Luft 46 crowd look at what might have been flying had Germany not fallen in 1945. This aircraft was being developed in 1944 for the RAF, the need for which disappeared at the end of the war. Had the war continued, Attacker development would have remained on the fast-track and an RAF Attacker would certainly meet these German jets in combat. To what end? I'll leave that to your imagination.

My sincere thanks to Classic Airframes for this review sample!

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