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Be-12 Kit

Modelsvit 1/72 Be-12 (Mail) First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2015 Manufacturer Modelsvit
Subject Be-12 (Mail) Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72012 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros First kit of this subject in this scale Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) Approximately $68.00

First Look

Be-12 Kit
Be-12 Kit
Be-12 Kit
Be-12 Kit
Be-12 Kit
Be-12 Kit

Any student of Soviet aviation recognizes the flying boat pedigree of the Beriev Experimental Design Bureau (OKB). The Be-6 (NATO Codename Madge) was a multi-role flying boat that was built between 1949 and 1957 with 123 examples that remained in Soviet service through the end of the 1960s. The aircraft was developed and/or modified into a variety of configurations which included maritime reconnaissance, anti-surface/anti-submarine warfare, mine layer, and cargo airlifter. The aircraft was replaced by a similar but amphibious airframe powered by two turboprop engines, the Be-12 (Mail).

I don't know why, but I've been fascinated by the Beriev OKB family of flying boats and amphibians. One such kit on my 'bucket list' was a nice 1/72 Be-6 (Madge) which Trumpter released earlier this year. What a pleasant surprise when Modelsvit followed up with this 1/72 Be-12 (Mail) kit. Even in 1/72 scale, this is not going to be a small model. The kit is 418mm (16.5") with a wingspan of 414mm (16.3").

Molded in light gray styrene, This kit is presented on 16 parts trees (duplicate tree not shown) plus left and right main fuselage halves, two trees of clear parts, one small fret of photo-etched parts, and one set of rubber (vinyl) tires. The layout of the model is simple so you won't be working on details where you won't see them after assembly.

The kit has a nice flight deck and simple nose compartment which is fine given that you won't see much through the small windows in the greenhouse cockpit enclosure and greenhouse nose enclosure. Speaking of those clear parts, you would probably lose your will to live if you had to mask each of those clear panes. Modelsvit provides a set of window masks to make that job much easier.

As I said above, the kit is very straightforward and there aren't any options to ponder. The flight control surfaces are all molded up/neutral, the landing gear is designed to be posed only down, and all of the doors/hatches are molded closed. The kit does have some nice details in the wheel wells and nice long exhaust ducts on those turboprop engines.

Markings are included for two examples:

  • Be-12, Bort 30, Soviet Navy
  • Be-12, Bort 02, Ukrainian Navy

To make matters even better, Begemot released a comprehensive set of decals for this kit with lots of subject options.

If you have a similar fascination for this family of flying boats and amphibians, you'll want to add this to your build queue. Believe it or not, I found my kit on Amazon!