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Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit

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

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2022 Manufacturer Dora Wings
Subject Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48049 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Crisp moldings, fine recessed scribing, clear instructions, beautifully printed decals Cons Complexity might dissuade novices
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (Euro) 29€

First Look

Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit
Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Kit

Who’d have thought that we’d ever see an injection-molded, 1:48-scale “Curtiss-Wright CW-21A Demonstrator” – let alone one of such outstanding quality?

But that’s what Dora Wings offers: a stunning, first-generation CW-21 with 102 plastic parts on seven trees, 16 photoetch components, aftermarket-quality extras, comprehensive instructions, and markings for four machines:

  • Chinese CW-21 Chunking, China, March 1939
  • First Prototype CW-21, St Louis, MO, China, September 1938
  • AVG CW-21, Toungoo, China, spring 1941
  • First Production CW-21 under Chinese contract, St Louis, MO, March 1940

Popularly but incorrectly dubbed “Demon”, the lightweight fighter – called “Interceptor” in company records – evolved in parallel to Curtiss-Wright’s graceful CW-22 basic combat trainer.

So if you have Dora Wings’ new 1:48 CW-22B, you’ll recognize the wings, landing gear, fin & rudder, and horizontal stabilizers – all married to a modified, single-seat fuselage with larger engine. And like their CW-22B, the lip-smacking level of detail is superb.

The jaw-dropping cockpit alone comprises, if I calculate correctly, at least 20 plastic and photoetch parts. And assembly spans eight eye-crossing panels. Pity the canopy comes in closed position! Add engine and landing gear components, and interior minutiae reach undeniably impressive proportions.

Speaking of the crystal-clear canopy: part of the fuselage is molded with the clear part’s windscreen – making attachment and cleanup ergonomically easy.

A 12-page instruction booklet with parts map, 28-step assembly sequence, and four-page color guide guides you through the build.

Hard to believe that Dora Wings’ remarkably detailed kit is “limited run”. I’ve always loved the sleek, racer-like CW-21. And I can’t wait to tackle this one.

Like Dora Wings’ CW-22, if you order directly from their website, “10% of all orders will be transferred to a fund to support children affected by the war in Ukraine”.

With thanks to Dora Wings for the sample.