Hobbycraft 1/48 CT-114 Tutor Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2005||Manufacturer||Hobbycraft|
|Subject||Canadair CT-114 Tutor||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||HC1425||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build||Cons||Thick canopy, needs detailing in the cockpit|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$17.98|
The CT-114 Tutor was designed as a primary trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). First flown in 1960, this Canadair-designed aircraft bears a strong resemblance to the Cessna T-37 trainer flown by the USAF. Unlike the T-37, the aircraft is powered by only one engine, an Orenda-built GE J85. The other major difference is the horizontal stabilizer - on the CT-114 is mounted atop the vertical stabilizer
Canadair also developed the CL-41 which is essentially a CT-114 with provisions for external stores and armor plating to support light attack missions.
The CT-114 has been the primary show aircraft for the Snowbirds aerial demonstration team. What they lack in speed and afterburner climbs they more than make up with amazing formation flying that involve nine-ship take-offs, tight formations, and formation landings! The Snowbirds have flown the Tutor since their establishment in 1978.
Here is a 1/48 scale kit we have never seen in styrene before, the Canadair CT-114 Tutor. This kit is produced by Hobbycraft Canada and should be a quick build project.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and is presented on two parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. Detailing on the surface is scribed, though there is texture on the plastic that will need to be buffed smooth before painting.
The overall kit, like the aircraft, is simple. The main wheel wells are not visible because the doors are closed except during gear extension or retraction. The nosegear doors remain open on the ground, but there isn't much to see anyway. That means other than the paint job on the aircraft, the main feature for detailing is the cockpit.
The cockpit isn't bad. The ejection seats are workable but need activation handles, seatbelts and harnesses. The center console is barren and will need some work. Control sticks are provided and rudder pedals are present under the instrument panel. The rudder pedals will need to be moved further back under the instrument panel to look right.
The kit provides cockpit sidewalls, though the quilted insulation even shown in the instructions isn't really visible on the kit parts. There are no consoles on the left or right sides of the cockpit nor throttles included.
The instrument panel will be extremely visible in this model, but other than some circles representing instrument faces, the instrument panel is barren. No worries here - the Snowbirds website has a nice graphic that you can use to detail up that panel and provide instrument faces - check it out here.
The other challenge will be the canopy. The good news is that the windscreen, canopy clamshell and rear window are separate pieces. The bad news is that mine are a little thick and there is no provision to pose the clamshell canopy open. This looks like a job for my Kingston Vacuum Works vac machine!
Overall, all of the detail and surface issues should be workable with a few hours of work. The results would be worth it.
The kit comes with markings for two CT-114s, one RCAF and one Malaysian aircraft. At first I thought my kit was missing the painting and decal placement instructions, but thanks to POCSS Jamie McIntyre, he suggested I look UNDER the box - sure enough - there are the color profiles, hidden by gravity.
It is nice to see the Tutor in styrene, and it is nice that Hobbycraft tackled the project as I doubt we'll see this subject produced again any time soon. I have marked this kit for experienced builders as this will take a little experience to deal with the surface and cockpit detail issues.