Valom 1/48 An-2 Colt Kit Build Review
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||April 2019||Manufacturer||Valom|
|Kit Number||48002||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Best styrene kit of the An-2 in this scale||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Antonov An-2 is a love it or hate it proposition. You can blame it for being huge for a biplane, ungainly, maybe a bit weird but you cannot call it ordinary! This thing has been around since around WWII and is still very active around the world! Personally, I find it very appealing. I remember seeing my first one, live and up close in 2007 at the Casa Grande Cactus Fly-In.
For the longest time there were no real models of this aircraft. Then there was an all resin kit in 48th scale by Neomega. And then the flood gates opened some years later and there were injected kits by Valom, Bilek and HobbyBoss in 48th scale! I bought all three at different times. I like the Valom kit surface detail the best. The Bilek is so so and HobbyBoss kit is not so good. As such, I ignored the HobbyBoss kit and focused on the Valom kit.
After I started the project my Russian expert Dimitri from DMold told me that he too does not like the HobbyBoss kit surface details but he like the front fuselage area the best. I think he has a good point, but I am not going to graft it onto my Valom kit.
I stole the detailed resin multi piece engine compartment from the Bilek kit which is very nice (Bilek gives just a generic engine front) and used the Neomega cockpit that is also sold separately. The Neomega cockpit is nice but it misses the top bulkhead structure. I cut that portion out of the Bilek kit and adapted it to the resin cockpit.
So far, I have completed the engine and the interior and added my own parts where necessary. Closing up all that will be interesting, and I fully expect some adjustments to be made.
Some parts fit great, like the clear fuselage windows. They went in very well and a little bit of the Tamiya glue fixed them in place just fine. The rest of the story is not so great. Part of it is that the model is fighting me and part of it is me adding complexity with resin and modified parts.
The fuselage took days to close and it still had issues. I started from the tail and slowly worked towards the nose. Still, putty was required and a lot of rescribing and riveting will be needed. I also added wiring and details on the back side of the instrument panel as it will show through the canopy. The wings are butt joints and good luck with that if you just freestyle it. I drilled holes on the wings and fuselage and inserted rods as guides. This took two days. Doing the top wing also took two days because it was next to impossible to align the two wings and keep them at the proper dihedral at the same time. The Bilek kit on the other hand has a much better top wing execution since it keeps the whole top wing in one piece (even if it has less detail or not a great fabric execution).
Once I finally had an airframe together, I moved back to working the engine. There are parts from two kits here and extras like Quickboost resin and a REXx metal exhaust. Naturally, little of this fits together and the engine assembly does not fit to the fuselage without surgery. The resin cooling flaps fit OK in some areas and are short in others. I added styrene to make the improvement parts look right for the kit openings. The metal exhaust will not fit this kit as it is made for the Valom kit (even though it says that it fits the Bilek kit as well) so I had to Dremel a path for it.
This model is fighting me every step of the way. I have doubts that it will come out nicely in the end. I went for the beautiful surface detail but that was all that was good about it so far!
Stay tuned for more progress.