Revell 1/32 PA-18 Super Cub Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2008||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||PA-18 Super Cub||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||4208||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$36.25|
The Piper PA-18 Super Cub traces its roots back to the J-3 Cub that was introduced before World War II. Building on wartime production experience, the PA-11 Cub Special was created which was essentially the J-3 Cub airframe with a lower engine mount, more sloped windscreen, and fully enclosed cowling.
The PA-18 Super Cub added to the incremental improvements with the addition of an electrical system. The later Super Cubs would receive wing flaps, more powerful engines (150-180 horsepower compared to the original 90 horsepower engine) and a few other innovations.
Like the J-3, the PA-18 was destined for civilian and military service in the late 1940s and many continue to fly today as classic (and inexpensive to operate) aircraft.
Revell/Germany has released another new-tool beauty in 1/32 scale. This is the early version of the Super Cub with the 90 horsepower engine and without wing flaps. It's almost a shame that this wasn't released in 1/35 scale to match up with the Bronco L-4 kits.
This kit is molded in white styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts.
Construction (of course) starts in the cockpit, and you'll be pleasantly surprised how the details in this cockpit are faithfully reproduced. The tubular steel frames are used to frame up the cockpit interior. The Super Cub had its framing covered on the inside, which allowed Revell to create a separately molded interior section to build up within the tubular frames. The dual sticks, rudder pedals with heel brake tabs (you haven't lived until you've flown a tailwheel aircraft with heel brakes!) and two seats mount to the floorboard, which in turn is installed inside the framing. Add the instrument panel and coaming, and the interior is ready to be sandwiched between the fuselage halves.
The wings attach to the fuselage using an interesting mainspar arrangement that is molded in clear and doubles as one of the overhead windows. Nice engineering here.
A very nicely detailed Continental engine is replicated here and is only lacking the spark plug wires.
Only the rudder is separately molded, though it looks like the elevators can be removed and repositioned fairly easily. If you're posing the aircraft parked or ready to fly, you'll want the elevators full up or full down. At rest, the elevators are full down with the control sticks likewise oriented. When parked, the standard practice is to use the lap belt to hold the stick full aft to keep the winds from moving the elevators or ailerons. A gust lock on the rudder would usually hold that in the neutral position.
Remember that the interior surfaces of the cockpit are the same outer surfaces - fabric skin. The fabric texture is nicely done without being overdone. The few aluminum panels are also clearly represented on the fuselage and the underwing maintenance access panels.
Among the features of the kit:
- Nicely detailed interior
- Nicely detailed engine
- Positionable entry door/window
- Positionable cowling panels
Markings are provided for thee PA-18s:
- PA-18-95, D-EHAP, Berlin-Tempelhof, Germany, 2007
- PA-18-95, G-LCUB, Tiger Club, UK, 2007
- L-18C, AC+518, Luftwaffe, Uetersen, Germany, 1958
Here is a beautiful rendition of the Super Cub and in 1/32 scale, is still a small kit. With all of the detail in the box, even the AMS modeler will have a good time with this project. .
This kit is highly recommended!