Italeri 1/72 C-27J Spartan Kit First Look
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||December 2010 (Updated February 2011)||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||1284||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First styrene kit of this subject||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$79.00|
The story of the Spartan begins with the Aeritalia G.222 which was the Italian answer to a 1962 NATO requirement for a V/STOL transport. The first G.222 prototype flew in Italy in 1970 and the US Air Force also successfully evaluated the G.222 and ordered 44 aircraft. In 1990 The USAF designated the G.222 as C-27J Spartan and stationed 10 of them at Panama. The C-27J was withdrawn from USAF service in 1999.
In 1995 ideas about revamping the G.222 started to come about and they ranged from using the four blade engines of the C-130 to a glass cockpit C-130J style, etc. Alenia and Lockheed Martin put together a plan to use the Rolls Royce 6 blade props for the Spartan but it was only later when Alenia joined forces with L-3 and Boeing and created the C-27J.
The C-27J with its new engines and still very capable airframe can cruise 15% faster than the G.222 and has 35% increased range. Now it has the highest power to weight ration in its class and has the ability to pool up to 3Gs in maneuvering making it a favorite in air shows. The C-27J is serving with the Air Forces of Italy, Greece, Lithuania and Bulgaria. The Spartan J is also under production for the U.S. Army and Air Force's Joint Cargo Aircraft program. Presently the C-27J is the best selling twin-turboprop military tactical cargo aircraft in the world.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the kit waiting for me at my doorstep sent courtesy of my best buddy Alex from Athens, Greece. The kit was out sooner on that side of the pond and Alex was nice enough to send me a copy. The box is fairly sizable and the parts sprues are packed in individual plastic bags.
The panel lines on all the parts are very nice and crisp. The fuselage comes in a left right and bottom configuration. The kit designers opted for a full fuselage interior which includes a complete cargo interior with quilted sides, a floor and all the bulkheads. It will surely give great pleasure to the modelers who enjoy to pose their cargo planes with the loading ramp open.
Ailerons and elevators are provided as separate parts but the rudder is molded with the tail.
The refueling probe is the only part in the whole kit that will need attention as it has a minor sink mark due to its one piece thick design. The cockpit is very complete for a 1/72 scale kit all the panels, consoles and bulkheads depicted very nicely.
The landing gear looks very nice and I appreciate the effort on the designers part to have the wheel spokes open all the way through as opposed to having just a notional depression. This will make the wheels look really nice after being painted.
The engines look great with full intake, compressor blade and exhaust trunking. The prop blades are offered as separate pieces and care will need to be take to have them feathered and aligned correctly. Nothing much to note on the clear parts other than they are cleanly molded and distortion free but I always recommend a dip in Future for maximum effect.
The decals look amazing as they are done by Cartograf of Italy with great register and very nice hues especially on the Hellenic Air Force roundels. The blue Spartan head looks really cool too by the way. The Italian Air Force decals steal the show though with their commemorative 5000 Flight Hours logo. Again, very nicely done work on the decals. Another great surprise with this great kit is the inclusion of a booklet full of photos of the real aircraft and complete walkarounds and interior shots.
All in all this is a great modern kit with attention to detail good value for money and it basically does not look like it needs any aftermarket stuff for producing a very respectable model. Very much recommended.
My sincere thanks to MRC for the review sample!.