by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The Fairey Fulmar has previously only been available as a resin kit in 1/48 scale, so it's great to see MPM release one as an injected kit aimed at a wider market.
The kit arrives in what must rate as the most enormous box for a single-engined aircraft ever! You could almost fit two Fulmars in it - but it's a nice strong top-opening box and the kit arrived totally intact, so I guess it didn't rattle around too much in transit. The clear parts are bagged separately and attached to a card insert to ensure they arrive in good condition.
The kit consists of:
107 x medium grey styrene parts on 5 x sprues
13 x clear parts
Perhaps the biggest surprise looking at the parts count is that there are no resin or etched parts included. In a sure move away from their short-run past, the kit is totally injected and MPM have done a good job of it. There's no flash and only a few very minor sink marks and blemishes. The cockpit may not be as busy as you'd expect in resin, but it's still pretty complete and a good basis for extra details - the only surprising ommission is any form of seat-harness or a gunsight.
The kit features excellent surface detail, with a mixture of neatly scribed panel lines and well-depicted fabric control surfaces and a few raised details.
There are no "gimmicks" in the kit - no option for folded wings or even to pose the very clear injected canopies open.
MPM have included a small set of good quality Aviprint decals - thin and glossy with accurate colours and perfect registration for the following schemes:
A. N1892, 6K, 809 Sqn, HMS Victorious, December 1940
B. N2005, 7C, 803 Sqn, HMS Formidable, February 1941
C. N4032, 7R, 800 Sqn, early 1941
Although MPM may still, technically, rank as a short-run producer, anyone worried can take comfort in the fact that the company has made huge strides recently in both the quality and "buildability" of their kits and the Fulmar should prove suitable for most modellers with a little experience. MPM's Fulmar looks very promising, so watch out for Jean-Luc's full Review to follow soon.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.