Dora Wings 1/48 Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep Kit Build Review
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review
|Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep
|Crisp moldings, fine recessed scribing, clear instructions, beautifully printed decals
|Novices might consider kit complexity daunting
This little trainer got pilots ready for twin engine fighter aircraft like the P-38. It looks a bit like the Bobcat which I also would like to build. There is wiki material to read up on or you can also buy the only book I know of: Hagedorn AT-9 book.
I built another AT-9 not too long ago Collect-Aire AT-9 and was surprised to see that a plastic Jeep was getting released by Dora Wings. It figures. It always happens that way. The Dora Wings kit is pretty nice and accurate, somewhat limited run and it is much more advanced than the resin kit. I really wanted to do an metallic finish and the resin kit was not the right platform for such a job.
Building the kit takes some thinking and in my case, I did not follow the instructions completely. I chose to attach one of the sidewalls to the cockpit floor to help line things up with how it would fit inside the fuselage. The general fit is not bad, but you have to go slow and take your time with assembly.
I was happy with the interior that Dora Wings provides, and it does not much else when it is all together. I plan to pose the cockpit doors open and have the interior visible.
I was not happy with the main and tail wing sink marks, especially for my metal finish. They required some work but they came out okay in the end.
One think to pay attention to are the pushrods which will brake easily if you try to use sprue cutters. Try to saw them off gently instead. One at a time, time consuming process but they dress up the engines nicely when done.
Once I was happy with all the surfaces, I polished the kit and sprayed AK aluminum which was followed by red stripes and tail. Next will be the black anti-slip wing stripes to be followed by attaching the engines and cowlings.
Working on the cowlings was tough. In my previous test fitting stages and per the instructions, I tried to attach the engine supports with the engines and they looked flimsy and did not allow the engine panels to fit properly and there was engine interference with the front cowling as well. I decided that cowling fit was more important and instead I glued the engines inside the cowlings and attached the assemblies to the wings. The decals went on next. Very sensitive. Do not go liberal with your softener use. Once they are down, you have very few chances for sliding and positioning. Lastly all the tinny bits went on. Doors are open to see the interior (and also because they would not fit well closed up).
In general, I like the results. Toughest parts for me were the cowlings/engines/supports and the fit of the canopy with the doors. Recommended to modelers with some experience with limited run kits. At least now I have an NMF Jeep in my collection.