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F27 Friendship

Italeri 1/72 F27 Friendship Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2019 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject F27 Friendship Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1430 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful subject Cons See text
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $58.95

First Look

F27 Friendship
F27 Friendship
F27 Friendship
F27 Friendship
F27 Friendship

During World War II, a Spitfire pilot from 331 Squadron (Norwegian) was the guest of the local tea club, speaking of his squadron's exploits in the ongoing air war. "There we were over the channel, when suddenly a bunch of Fokkers dived out the sun. We broke into them and began shooting the Fokkers down." The host stood up and reminded the attendees that a Fokker was a type of German aircraft, to which the Norwegian pilot replied "Ya, and some of the Fokkers were Messerschmitts!" Oops, wrong introduction.

In the early 1950s, Fokker designed a twin-engined turboprop powered airliner that would replace the (then) current fleet of piston-powered airliners like the DC-3/C-47. The Rolls Royce Dart engines created far less vibration than their piston counterparts, plus the Fokker design allowed for cabin pressurization for passenger comfort. In addition to the nearly 600 aircraft produced by Fokker, Fairchild also produced the aircraft for the US market with another 200+ examples produced. As of this writing, there are still a few F27s in airline service as well as a single C-31A Troopship serving as the US Army's Golden Knights' aircraft.

In 1991, ESCI/ERTL produced a new-tool kit of the F27-400 in 1/72 scale. By this time, ESCI/ERTL had moved to scribed surface details which makes the kit more inline with contemporary releases. While ESCI/ERTL released several boxings of this kit in the next couple of years with different markings, the kit has otherwise been off the market for over 26 years - until now. Italeri has reissued this kit molded in white styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus one tree of clear parts.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nice flight deck
  • Nice baggage stowage compartment between flight deck and passenger compartment
  • Nice passenger seats provided for passsenger compartment
  • Aft compartment for rear doors access
  • Positionable forward (1) and rear (2) access doors
  • Positionable front freighter door
  • Ventral HF 'towel rack' antennas

The kit provides three markings options:

  • F-27-200, G-BDDH, UK Air
  • F-27-200, N278MA, Canyon Eagle Airlines
  • F-27-200, PH-SAD, Schreiner Airways

Not being that much of an airline modeler, I never saw this kit while it was still in production by ESCI/ERTL, but I'd see the F27 on the ramp when keeping my pilot's certificates current, especially seeing them in FedEx colors. I've also spent some passenger time on the F27 back when the short-range commercial flights were dominated by turboprops (F27, Dash 8, Sweringen, Twin Otter, etc.). Now I am looking forward to building this kit, though I hope someone will consider C-31A Golden Knights or FedEx markings for this kit. The only downside to this release is the MSRP, which seems a bit high for older tooling, though perhaps it will be considered cheaper than the collectors' prices that were out there prior to this reissue.

Thanks to MRC for the review sample.