Hobby Boss 1/48 EMB-312 Tucano Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2018||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Kit Number||81763||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$25.99|
Embraer developed the EMB-312 Tucano to provide a modern, lower operating cost alternative to the aging fleet of T-37 trainers that operated in South America as well as similar aircraft abroad. The design was well received and was also produced for the RAF under license by Short Brothers. Today, the EMB-312 is operated by at least 18 air arms as well as a number of privately owned aircraft. Even airshow veteran Patty Wagstaff performs in one.
Four years ago, HobbyBoss released the EMB-314 (also designated as A-29) Super Tucano which is the first kit of this subject in injection-molded styrene. Last year, HobbyBoss followed up their Super Tucano with this EMB-312 Tucano kit. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched parts. Among the features and options:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Nice ejection seats with photo-etch crew restraints
- Propeller is set in feathered position (shut down)
- Canopy can be positioned open but some work will be required here
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable elevators
- Nice landing gear and gear wells
Among the external stores provided:
- 2 x external tanks
- 2 x gun pods
Markings are provided for four examples:
- AT-27, 431, FAP (Peru)
- EMB-312, 15-2413, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Air Force
- EMB-312, 312-JE, French Air Force
- Tucano T.1, ZF136, RAF
Update: As a number of folks pointed out, this kit is the Embraer Tucano and not the Short Brothers Tucano. There are some detail differences between the two (not the least of which is the engine), so the RAF decal option would not be accurate for this kit. You'll need to make updates to the French Air Force aircraft to make it accurate, but otherwise this kit is just fine for any Tucano operating in South America.
The odd thing is that I'd forgotten about this kit. The release date came and went and I didn't think anything about it because over the last year, I rarely hear about HobbyBoss releases unless they appear in one of my regular shopping venues. It wasn't until recently when Caracal Models released three different decal sets for this kit that I began looking for the kit. As with several other HobbyBoss subjects I've been waiting for (like the 1/48 Su-34 Fullback), the US importer displays 'Coming Soon' every time I visit, so finding a US-based retailer is not likely. I did find this kit (and the Su-34) online. The EMB-312 is available via eBay and if, for some reason, you don't receive your kit, you're able to get a refund. I found the average price around $25.99 plus shipping, or $35.99, which is still $7.00 cheaper than the importer's "best price".
If you've been interested in the variety of subjects produced by Caracal Models, you can indeed get the kit as well.