I haven't seen Revell's boxing of the 1:72 Buckeye, but I'll risk showing my age and admit that I remember its original release under the Matchbox banner. In common with most of their kits, the interior was, shall we say, rather "minimalist" - Oh OK - almost non-existent! So, some 30-odd years later, with the kit generally available again, it's long overdue for a revamp. Which is where Pavla have come to the rescue with a complete new super-detailed cockpit interior.
The set arrives in a clear plastic "bubble" pack with a card backing and comprises 24 grey resin parts, plus a vacuformed canopy. The detail and casting is quite exceptional for this scale, with a beautiful one-piece tub for both the instructor's and pupil's cockpits, into which slot ejection seats, instrument panels, flying controls, a number of tiny switches and throttle levers, plus the nosewheel well.
The overall detail level wouldn't look out of place in a much larger scale kit, and the nice thing is that the parts are backed up by excellently illustrated instructions with colour notes for every part.
Along with the resin interior, Pavla have included a very good replacement canopy (no back-up is provided, so you need to be careful how you cut it out). Strangely, the instructions indicate to use the kit's original windscreen, but the new canopy includes one which will probably be truer to scale thickness.
So far, so good - we have a beautifully detailed set of parts that will transform the original kit's cockpit into a real gem. The fly in the ointment is that the tiny and very delicate parts like the rudder pedals and throttles are packed together with the main tub, and rattling around in transit they are very prone to damage. As you can see in the accompanying photo, a number of the sample parts were broken - nothing that isn't simple to fix, but it's still a great shame that the considerable effort in designing and casting them so well was undone for want of protecting them in a little zip-lock bag.
Most of the Pavla cockpits which I've seen are direct replacements for the styrene parts and so require little by way of preparatory modifications to fit them. The Buckeye is different, because the original kit basically doesn't have a proper cockpit, so a fair amount of surgery is needed removing crude floor and consoles to clean out the inside of the fuselage halves. This is a task that's really best suited for modellers with a fair amount of experience.
For anyone who isn't confident about this degree of modification, Pavla have a compromise solution - the LS-1A ejection seats are available separately as Set# S72054. With their delicate moulded-on harnesses and firing handles, they'll make a very simple but effective improvement to the standard kit's "office".
I really can't fault the parts and instructions - this cockpit upgrade is among the nicest I've seen in this scale. But I think Pavla do need to find a way to protect the most delicate parts to ensure they reach the customer in perfect condition. With that one proviso, I recommend this very highly to anyone with a bit of experience modifying kit parts who wants to pack their Buckeye with some truly eye-popping detail.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent detail and superb casting. Very well illustrated instructions with comprehensive colour notes.Lows: Smaller parts were damaged in transit.Verdict: In terms of detail, there's no faulting Pavla's T-2 set - it will totally transform the office of the Revell kit. Pavla do need to rethink how they pack the small, more delicate, parts though...
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...