Airfix 1/72 Fokker F.27 Friendship Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2009||Manufacturer||Airfix|
|Subject||Fokker F.27 Friendship||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||5003||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, colorful livery||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$22.50|
After World War 2, long before the airline industry polarized into long-haul and regional segments, aircraft like the DC-3 were pressed into short range service or on segments were too low to allocate the newer (and more expensive to operate) four-engined airliners. By the early 1950s, Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker developed a new design twin-engine turboprop regional airliner that could carry more passengers at greater speeds than the DC-3 and therefore increase revenue for its operators. This aircraft was the F.27 and it was a great success.
The first F.27s entered service in 1958 and its popularity grew quickly. With a cruise speed of 320 knots and a capacity of more than 50 passengers, the F.27 had twice the passenger capacity of the DC-3 and could get those passengers to their destinations at more than twice the DC-3's cruise speed. The dawn of turboprop regional airliners was borne and carries on today.
According to sales figures, the F.27 was the most popular European-built turboprop airliner with nearly 800 examples produced. The aircraft was also produced under license by Fairchild in the United States as the US market would become the largest user of the F.27 in the world. While this Fokker is retired out of the airline industry, numerous examples remain in cargo service around the world today.
Airfix has really been getting its product portfolio back onto store shelves globally after it was purchased by Hornby. If you have been modeling a while, you know that Airfix has quite an extensive kit portfolio that extends across most popular scales.
One kit recently re-released is this nice gem, the Fokker F.27 in 1/72 scale. This kit is an easy build that renders the best F.27 produced in styrene in this scale. As I was recently reminded, ESCI also produced an F.27, but it wasn't as nice as the Airfix offering. As you can see in the images to the right, the kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on nine parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts.
Some of the great attractions of Airfix's kits are:
- Easy to build
- Great kits for younger modelers
- Great kits for AMS modelers to take to the next step
- Great value given the low retail prices
The kit has the following options/features:
- Positionable cabin doors (keep them closed if you don't care to scratchbuild the main cabin interior
- Optional passenger air-stair
- Positionable landing gear
- Positional ailerons, elevators, and rudder
- Choice of propeller types
- Choice of radomes
- Optional standing pilot figure
- Optional seated cockpit crew figures
Markings are provided for three examples:
- F.27, VH-TFF, Trans Australian Airways, 1965
- F.27, PH-FHF, Nderlandse Luchtvaart Maatschappij, 2008
- F.27, TC-TEK, Türk Hava Yollari, 1971
The decals are very nicely done and feature some colorful liveries that are well documented in the painting instructions and color profiles.
Here is a nice kit that can be a simple build or a detailed masterpiece. Given that most airliner projects center around the colorful paint schemes, this kit is definitely a nice canvas to render any one of the three airline liveries included in the box or perhaps for markings from one of your favorite aftermaket decal companies. In any case, have a little fun and do so with a nice inexpensive project like this F.27.
My sincere thanks to Airfix for this review sample!