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FMA IA58 Pucara Kit

Heritage Aviation Models 1/48 FMA IA58 Pucara Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2015 Manufacturer Heritage Aviation Models
Subject FMA IA58 Pucara Scale 1/48
Kit Number - Primary Media Resin, Photo-Etch, White Metal, Vac
Pros Pucara in proper scale Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (BP) £50.00

First Look

FMA IA58 Pucara Kit
FMA IA58 Pucara Kit
FMA IA58 Pucara Kit
FMA IA58 Pucara Kit
FMA IA58 Pucara Kit
FMA IA58 Pucara Kit

For a brief description of this aircraft, see our Airfix 1/72 IA58 Pucara kit first look here.

One of the nice aspects of Cybermodeler Online is that you are always learning something new. In the Airfix first-look above, I mention that I wished someone would produce the Pucara in 1/48 scale. I had no sooner published that article and I had two emails telling me about 1/48 scale Pucara kits on the market. One told me of a kit produced in Argentina though it may be out of production (never heard back from the company when I asked). The other told me of a kit available in the UK and that one was indeed available. Let's take a look.

The kit is produced by Heritage Aviation Models and is one of a number of interesting multimedia kits in their online catalog. The kit is cast in tan resin which provides the airframe as well as the cockpit tub. Smaller details are cast in white metal along with some tiny ejection seat details on a very small fret of photo-etch which I almost didn't see at the bottom of the box. The canopy and transparencies are vacuformed and are quite clear (nicely done) and two complete vacuformed sets are included in the box.

The instruction sheets are basic (so is the kit), but what is impressive is the DVD that is included in the kit which contains over 80 megabytes of reference material in Microsoft Word format that contains nice photographs of Argentine and export Pucaras as well as detail photos which will be handy when building and finishing the model.

Among the features and options in this release:

  • Hollow-cast fuselage halves
  • One-piece wing center section with separately cast outer wing sections at the dihedral break
  • Nice ejection seats with crew restraints cast in place and photo-etched actuator handles
  • Basic cockit details which will need some aftermarket instruments like AirScale
  • Main gear wheels are cast with weighted tires
  • White metal landing gear will easily hold weight of model

The casting of the resin parts were free of air bubbles and other imperfections. The fuselage halves will require some careful sanding along the join to remove casting remnants, but it looks like the wing/fuselage joint will be just right. The white metal parts, as you can see, will require some careful clean-up but the details are there and nicely done.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • IA58, A-558, 25th Anniversary colors, Argentine AF
  • IA58, A-557, Argentine AF

This is not your Tamiyagawa injection molded plastic kit nor is it flawless like a Fisher Model and Pattern kit, but this is a nice kit at a reasonable price as long as you are comfortable with multimedia kits. If you build it essentially out of the box, this will turn out great. If you do some detailing with plastic strips and other materials to enhance the wheel wells and cockpit, you can have a real masterpiece.

This kit won't be for everyone, but I am quite happy to have a 1/48 scale kit of this unique aircraft!