Dora Wings 1/48 Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2021||Manufacturer||Dora Wings|
|Subject||Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48043||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Crisp moldings, fine recessed scribing, clear instructions, beautifully printed decals||Cons||Novices might consider kit complexity daunting|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (GBP)||TBA|
With modern monocoque metal construction, Curtiss-Wright’s purpose-built trainer, historian Dan Hagedorn writes in his superb The Curtiss-Wright AT-9: The Other Jeep, proved “the preferred twin-engine advanced type at nearly every training station which employed it” during WWII.
Now it’s the subject of a beautifully detailed, 1:48-scale kit from Dora Wings.
Eight, virtually flash-free trees sport 128 gray and transparent plastic parts with a strikingly crisp mix of, indented and, where appropriate, raised scribing. The crystal-clear canopy and “car door” components appear flawless.
Backing these are two photoetched frets, clear-film instruments, canopy masks, and decals. And all come packed in a sturdy, colorful box.
All that might prove daunting for beginners.
The cockpit alone features over 40 finicky parts. Nearly 40 more comprise wheel and landing gear detail. And over 20 account for engine, cowling, and prop subassemblies.
Major moldings themselves nicely capture the comely twin’s curvaceous contours. Just add paints and adhesives. Nothing else necessary!
Contents include decals and 12-page instructions with parts maps, 31-step assembly sequence, suggested paints, and color guides for 4 colorful American subjects:
- Natural metal USAAF AT-9 41-12043, 556th School Squadron, May 1942
- Natural metal USAAF AT-9 41-12059, Lubbock AAF, 1942-43
- Natural metal USAAF AT-9 42-56947, Randolph AAF, 1942-43
- Camouflaged USAAF AT-9 41-11978, 338th Fighter Squadron, 1944
Back to packaging: Dora Wings printed the boxtop in standard 4-color process – with a fifth pass of spot varnish on key design elements. Very attractive.
The extra production costs hopefully mean Dora Wings is doing very well.
That’s because their exciting 2021/2022 release plans include the AT-9’s single-engine cousins to 1:48 scale: the Curtiss-Wright SNC-1 Falcon II, CW-21a, and CW-21b. And joining those are, among others, a 1:48 Cessna AT-17 Bobcat and 1:48 Vultee P-66 Vanguard – the latter also to 1:72!
Wow, what a bevy of personal favorites! Keep it up, Dora Wings!
With thanks to Dora Wings for the sample.