Montex 1/32 CA-13 Boomerang Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2007||Manufacturer||Montex|
|Kit Number||3201||Primary Media||Resin, Photo-Etch, White Metal, Vac|
|Pros||Nice detailing, minimal casting blocks, no pinholes, near-perfect fit!||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$159.95|
In 1939, the Australian-based Commonwealth Aircraft Company (CAC) was producing a variation of the North American T-6 Texan to meet RAAF training requirements. When Japan pushed the Pacific region into war with its attacks on Pearl Harbor and throughout the south Pacific, the Australian government turned to Britain for help. At that time, Britain was already stretched to the limit with the defense of the island and with combat operations in North Africa. Since the United States was ramping up its production to meet its own needs for war, Australia was forced to develop its own production combat aircraft.
CAC developed the Boomerang, a single seat, low-wing, radial-engined fighter that was based upon the T-6 Texan, but also bore a resemblance to the Brewster Buffalo. Powered by the R1830 Twin Wasp rated at 1200 horsepower, the Boomerang was an agile fighter at low altitude, but without a supercharger, performance fell off quickly above 14000 feet.
Unlike other fighters of the day, the Boomerang had a very short gestation period, with initial design starting in late December 1941 and first flight in late May 1942. While the aircraft was supposed to reuse as much of the Wirraway as possible, the Boomerang was designed to be rugged, provide the pilot with adequate armor plating, and provide serious firepower from the start - two 20mm cannons and four .303 machine guns all in the wings.
The Boomerang didn't see much air-to-air combat, though it did provide much-needed air defense until other fighters could fill that void. In air-to-ground operations, the Boomerang was very effective and would remain in production and front-line service through the end of the war.
Many of you have heard of Montex from their terrific line of aircraft (and armor) paint masks. Montex developed a method of creating paint masks to replicate most (if not all) of the major and intermediate markings using layers of vinyl masks. There's nothing more realistic than a painted on paint scheme where the roundels and markings are all part of the paint!
Not content to stay in the mask world, Montex has launched into the model kit manufacturing world in a BIG way with the release of this 1/32 CAC CA-13 Boomerang kit. When I first saw test shots of the kit, I knew I had to have one and put a copy on pre-order. Look what arrived in the mail today!
This is a very well-packaged model, with the only damage in transit being the loss of the tip of one vertical stabilizer. This is easily fixed. If you look at the dozens of delicate parts in this package, you can see how well this model was packaged to arrive this intact!
According to the statistics, the kit consists of 167 resin parts molded in gray resin, 7 parts molded in clear resin, 47 photo-etched parts, 5 vacuformed parts, two white metal main landing gear struts, a set of decals, paint masks, and a CD with a photo walk around of the Boomerang.
The major parts are hollow-cast with some nice detailing on the inside surfaces as well as outside. Check out the first two images of the fuselage halves, the second image shows the interior detailing. Since this aircraft gets its design from the T-6, the cockpit interior is going to be tubular structure. You can look here to see what this looks like in the T-6.
The instructions are nicely laid out to show where everything goes, but the instructions (as well as the multimedia materials used) assume the modeler has experience with multimedia kits and has the tools and adhesives to work with them. I wouldn't recommend this as a multimedia starter kit.
I was fascinated with the molding of these kit parts. The fuselage halves, for instance, have two locator pins molded into one half and corresponding holes in the other. I had to do some dry-fitting of these parts. The upper fuselage was clearly going to be a nice join, but there were still stubs remaining of the molding blocks on the lower fuselage. I grabbed the fuselage halves and the inner wing section and had a little fun.
First I carefully removed the molding stubs from the fuselage halves and the inner wing section. Initial dry-fitting revealed a hint of resin flash here and there and that was easily removed. Before I knew it, I had the fuselage halves together and on the inner wing section with NO TAPE, NO ADHESIVES of any sort. There is still a little more fine tuning of the fit to get everything together nicely, but this is pretty nice already!
The surface detailing is nicely done, with rivet detailing only in those areas where metal panels were exposed. The scribed panel lines as well as the rivets are not exaggerated - a refreshing change from the mad riveters that have detailed many contemporary styrene releases.
Markings are provided for three examples:
- CA-11, A46-9, 2 OTU RAAF, Mildura, 1943
- CA-13, A46-128, 5 Sqn RAAF, Mareeba, 1944
- CA-19, A46-211, 5 Sqn, RAAF
You can see that the only decals provided in this kit are some white backgrounds. The remainder of the markings are rendered with paint masks. What else would you expect from Montex?
If this is the quality and detail we can expect from a Montex kit, all I can say is do more kits! We've all seen a variety of limited run models produced in resin and this kit looks like it was done by a manufacturer with serious resources and experience, not a first-ever multimedia kit.
This one is definitely highly recommended, but if you're just reading this review, you'd better hurry as this was a short production run item.