by: Andrew Beard [ ]
IntroductionThis is my first look review of the new 1/32 scale LVG C.VI by new company Wingnut Wings. This company, based out of New Zealand has been causing quite a stir in a very short time frame. So with our Prime Minister "Kev" sending me A$900 to spend, in a bid to save our faultering economy, i decided to do exactly the wrong thing by him and send some of it overseas to help someone elses economy instead. So I purchased one of these for myself.
I won't bore you with the aircraft's history. What I know about it is what I read from the instruction manual anyway, and that is available for download directly from Wingnut Wings website in PDF format. So no point me me repeating everything here.
PlasticThis is the part of the kit where I find it hardest to make a decision. When I first saw these models i immediately wondered who is actually making the sprues. I did not think for a minute that a small New Zealand company would have invested millions in their own injection moulding machines for an initial run of 4 WW1 model kits. So I was curious as to who the culprit was. This is just my nature...i'm sure most people out there could not care less about this.
Anyway, it's printed on the instruction manual: "Designed in New Zealand, made in China". So is it Trumpeter/Hobby Boss or Dragon? I initially thought Trumpeter, but after looking at some recent Dragon products, i think it looks more like their handy work. And Dragon have been known to hire out their services before - i believe many newer Revell kits come from them too. So these are definitely not short run model kits in any case.
The sprues are copyrighted 2007. So these haven't sprung up overnight either. The moulding quality is as good as you can get. No flash or sink marks that I've noticed, ejector pin marks look to be in places that won't be seen and are not that prevalent anyway.
The level of detail is beyond question. Trailing edges are razor sharp like they should be. And little touches like pre drilled rigging holes are a great idea. I also like the way the struts are mounted, these look like producing a much simpler kit to put together than other manufacturers products.
However my first impressions were that some detail is a bit softer than what some other companies would have achieved. Lets limit it to the other 2 major early aviation supporters over recent times. I know Eduard don't do 1/32 WW1 subjects, but they could do so now if they chose to. If Eduard, or even Roden, did this same model kit then i think they would possibly surpass it in some areas. But that's personal preference. I just like the way those 2 others companies do surface detail. Other people may prefer the way Wingnut Wings do it, and it's certainly not done badly in any case.
Regardless, the plastic in the kit is high quality and should go together to make a stunningly detailed model. Hopefully building doesn't reveal anything nasty, which I doubt from the attention to detail engineering wise that seems to have been built into these at the design stage. Ease of building seems to have been a high priority.
DecalsThese are my favourite part of this model kit, and probably make up a big part of it's cost. There are four large sheets and one smaller sheet of decals. All produced by Cartograph which, in my opinion, produce the best decals in the world. My liking for their decals go way back to the old days when I was alaways making F1 cars and other racing cars covered from front to back in decals. I came to really appreciate the strength and workability of Cartograpgh decals- and their printing quality is not shabby either, plus they respond perfectly to all setting and softening solutions that I've used. So these should be no different, I hope.
I will not, however, comment on the colour accuracy of the lozenge. This is because I'm not qulified to do so. But they look good enough for my model. Hopefully some other people we all know will soon give the thumbs up or down for this aspect of the model.
BrassThis is the least exciting component of the model kit. But in any case it only contains the seat belts and not much else. The brass is the thicker type that you tend to find in the Chinese model kits from Trumpeter and Dragon, rather than the more delicate brass frets from companies like Eduard or Part for example. I'm thinking that annealing the seat belts may be needed to get them to work well.
Eduard style colour etch would be nice, but no doubt would raise the cost somewhat.
InstructionsThese are almost a work of art! The biggest single area where I think these Wingnut Wings kits have advanced beyond any other model. The booklet is 26 pages of full colour, including photos and reproductions of period posters and much more. When you're putting the engine together, wondering what it looks like? Well there on the same page are pics of the real thing. And the same applies all the way through the manual.
And then there is the profile art for the kits 7 possible subjects. The best profile art work I've seen in a kit. However I would like to see both sides of the fuselage, especially for the two aircraft having camoflage schemes on their fuselages.
Paint callouts are in Tamiya, Humbrol and Misterkit via a table on the front page. I use Gunze mostly, so would like to see them included of course. But that's no big deal.
Everyone do yourself a favour and download the free PDF instruction manuals even if you're not buying the model kit. They are good reference even if you're doing the subject in 1/48 or 1/72 scale. And just have a look at the nice pics and artwork too.
ConclusionThis is not too difficult really. To me these are the best overall package i've seen in a model kit so far. I don't just mean for Early Aviation subjects either.
Remember a few years back when Eduard began selling standard kits with colour intructions, brass frets, after market quality decals and plastic sprues that were the equal of anyone? They set a new standard that everyone else had to rise up to. These new kits follow a similar format, but maybe more evolutionary rather than revolutionary. There aren't many new ideas here, just simply doing everything that is here as good or slightly better than anyone else.
And the price is good to, considering whats in the box- especially if you take advantage of the current deal of free worlwide postage! Buy them now if you want them i'd advise. They say "limit edition", who knows how limited that may be?
Review kit courtesy of the Australian Government Economic Stimulus program. Thanks Kev!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.