MPM 1/72 Hudson Mk.I/II Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2006||Manufacturer||MPM|
|Subject||Lockheed Hudson Mk.I/II||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||72518||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||All-styrene kit, nice detailing throughout||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$23.51|
The Hudson started life as the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra and was designed to compete in the civil aviation world against the new series of Douglas DC-X aircraft. The Model 14 was designed to operate with a variety of powerplants including the Wright Cyclone, Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp and the Pratt & Whitney Hornet. The prototype Model 14 first flew in July 1937, powered by the Pratt & Whitney Hornet.
As war was approaching in Europe, the RAF sought out aircraft that it could press into service almost immediately. The Model 14 was adopted with some modifications as the Hudson, first flying in December 1938. Thousands of Hudsons were produced between 1939 and 1943, with examples delivered to Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, China and the United States.
There were a number of variants of the Hudson. In British and allied service, there were the Marks I - V which were designed as patrol bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. All were equipped with a Boulton Paul dorsal turret and differed primarily in engine and propeller combinations. The Mark VI was designed as a transport version of the Hudson with the dorsal turret deleted.
In US operations, the Mark IIIA version (which was a Mark III with bench seats installed) served as the A-29 by the USAAF and as the PBO-1 by the USN. A transport version was also designated as the C-63. The Mk.VI transport version was also adopted as the A-28.
Two unique versions of the Hudson were also produced for the USAAF: the AT-18, which had a Martin dorsal turret in place of the Boulton Paul, which served as a aerial gunnery trainer; and the AT-18A, which had a US-styled bombardiers nose with the Norden bombsight installed for bombardier training.
Among the most notable historical tid-bits in the Hudson's operational history, it has the distinction of being the first US-built aircraft to achieve an aerial victory in WW2. Another incident involved a RAAF Hudson that was discovered by a flight of six A6M2 Zeros, one of which was flown by ace Saburo Sakai. While the Hudson was eventually shot down, the aggressive dogfight put up by the Hudson pilot amazed even veteran Sakai.
One of the more fun build projects I have done was the Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Hudson. When this MPM kit was released, I wondered how the kit would stack up against the Classic Airframes release. When this kit arrived from Hobbyshop.cz, I had the opportunity to discover first-hand.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. It is clear from the smaller trees as will as the third large tree that this won't be the only version of the Hudson to be released in this scale.
Out of the box, the kit has all of the parts to render the Hudson Mk.I or Mk.II variants. The extra engines on tree three and the solid nose tell of the future versions to come.
Construction begins in the cockpit (of course) and there is lots of detail in here. Now that I've seen this layout, I now know what I need to do to render a more accurate interior for the Classic Airframes kit. The cockpit is standard single-pilot configuration with a jump seat for the bombardier/navigator so sit in when not up in the glass nose. Behind the pilot is the radio operator's position and a full rack of radio gear.
Unlike the Classic kit, this one has a detailed main cabin interior and the option for an open main cabin door. Most of the other details in this kit are similar to the Classic kit with one exception - the elevator is properly portrayed as a one-piece near-full-span surface.
The kit cones with markings for three examples:
- Hudson Mk.I, T9277, QX-W, 224 Sqn, Coastal Command, 1940
- Hudson Mk.I, N7288, NO-U, 320 Sqn, Coastal Command, 1940
- Hudson Mk.I, P5143, VX-M, 206 Sqn, Coastal Command, 1940
I like how the tail fin flashes are done - note that the hard-to-mask de-icing boots are provided in decal form as part of the fin flash. Nice job!
I wish MPM had scaled this one up to 1/48, but as I recall, I have another Classic Hudson stashed away for a rainy day. I sense some rain clouds coming now that I have a good three-dimensional reference to detail out the interior of the Classic Airframes kit. Heck, I might just build this in 1/72 scale too! In any case, this will look good on your scale flightline!
My sincere thanks to Hobbyshop.cz for this review sample!