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Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit

Dora Wings 1/48 Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit First Look

By David L. Veres

Date of Review April 2023 Manufacturer Dora Wings
Subject Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48046 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 (Euro) 34€

First Look

Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Kit

With lightweight construction, minimal crew protection, and nominal armament, the nimble CW-21B “Interceptor”, some contend, remains the nearest American equivalent to Imperial Japan’s seemingly invincible WWII fighter designs.

Yet that failed to aid Curtiss-Wright’s compact, curvaceous combatant in early Pacific combat: Japanese invaders swiftly and neatly neutralized 24 serving with the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force. Only one captured example apparently survived WWII.

Hard on the heels of its superb 1:48-scale “Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Demonstrator”, Dora Wings offers an equally stunning, second-generation CW-21B “Interceptor”.

Attentive Cybermodeler readers of our Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Demonstrator “First Look” saw it coming.

Trees A, B, E, F, D, and G with clearly common details remain. But a new Tree C with inward-retracting main landing gear wells now replaces the earlier ventral wing with bulbous, drag-inducing, landing gear enclosures. And new photoetched parts augment cockpit details.

As before, uniformly fine, recessed scribing dominates surface detail. But where appropriate, petite raised details also appear. And again, the crystal-clear canopy molded with part of the fuselage nicely facilitates attachment and cleanup.

A 12-page instruction booklet with parts map and 31-step assembly sequence methodically steers you through the build. And a three-page color guide with paint matches nicely illustrates the kit’s decal subjects:

  • CW-21B “CW-357”, 2-VLG-IV “White Patrol”, Dutch East Indies Air Force, Java, September 1941
  • CW-21B “CW-362”, 2-VLG-IV “Yellow Patrol”, Dutch East Indies Air Force, Java, September 1941
  • CW-21B, ex-Dutch East Indies Air Force, captured by Imperial Japanese forces, Singapore, 1945

Additional decals are also supplied for “CW-358” and “CW-366”.

One last note: per official Dutch specifications, the black insignia border should be a scale 10 cm wide on orange triangle markings – regardless of insignia size. But period photos seem to show proportionately sized black borders on CW-21B fuselage and ventral wing markings.

Modelers everywhere marvel why, amidst wanton war and ruin, valiant Ukraine remains a leader in plastic kit production.

Look no further than the remarkably high production standards of this 1/48 Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Interceptor. From packaging and presentation, through moldings and instructions, to details and decals, Dora Wings quality confirms Ukraine’s primacy.

With thanks to Dora Wings for the sample.