Encore Models 1/48 A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2014||Manufacturer||Encore Models|
|Kit Number||48002||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||AMS version of Monogram kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$49.99|
A number of years ago, Monogram released this 1/48 scale kit of the Cessna A-37 and it was every bit as nice as the other kits in Monogram's line-up. In 2002, Revell/Germany reissued the kit after it had been unavailable for a while (you can see that first-look here) and this too sold out fairly quickly.
More recently, Squadron/MMD started releasing enhanced versions of different kits and here is the second one in their 1/48 scale series. Branded as 'Encore Models', this kit starts with the stock Revell-Monogram kit and then adds many of the items you'd look for in the aftermarket world including an Eduard color-printed photo-etch set, a True Details (another Squadron/MMD brand) resin detail set, and an Aeromaster (another Squadron/MMD brand) decal sheet. Let's take a look:
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. As with most of the kits in Monogram's line-up, this kit features finely molded raised details. This set includes a set of True Details resin parts including a completely new cockpit (tub, ejection seats, sidewalls, flight controls), landing gear wheels, rocket pods, and four Mk.82 slicks. Also included is a set of Eduard photo-etched parts including one color-printed fret with the two-layer replacement instrument panel and crew restraints, while the other sheet has intake grilles, exhaust shields, and other details that enhance the interior and exterior.
The stock kit requires around 25 grams of ballast in the nose to keep the aircraft from sitting on its tail, but I imagine that the resin parts will minimize or even eliminate the need for supplemental ballast.
Among the features of this kit:
- Super-detailed cockpit
- Positionable canopy
- Two optionnal seated pilot figures
- Positionable photo--etched FOD screens for the intakes
- Positionable ventral speed brake w/photo-etched details
- Optional air refueling probe
- Detailed wheel wells with photo-etched enhancements
For external stores:
- 3 x napalm canisters
- 2 x minigun pods
- 6 x Mk.82 slicks (four resin, two styrene)
- 2 x rocket pods (OA-37B)
- 4 x external tanks
Markings are provided for three examples:
- A-37B, 69-6350, 8 SOS, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam, 1971
- OA-37B, 73-1094, 103 FS/PA ANG, 1987
- OA-37B, 3701, Dominican Republic AF, 2000
The decals provide a nice set of maintenance stencils for the airframe as well as optional decals for the instrument panel and consoles. You'll note some interesting artwork on the lower right side of the decal sheet - these are farewell markings commemorating Captain John Lamb's final mission over Vietnam (first decal option).
I've built a few of these kits over the years and have enjoyed each one. With this enhanced kit, you have pretty much everything you'd need for an AMS modeler's Dragonfly. Until Revell reissues this kit again, the Encore Models A-37B/OA-37B kit is the only option unless you want to find the basic kit at a kit swap or online auction.