by: Drabslab [ ]
IntroductionThe Czech republic must be the European modellers' Valhalla.
This small European country is home to Eduard, a manufacturer of many high quality kits. Now I have a box in my hands of "AZModel", apparently another Czech model manufacturer.
Visiting the internet site of this manufacturer does not make me a lot wiser, except that the company behind AZModel is called Legatokits and is selling a large range of kits in several scales.
It appears that this Demon is not a new kit. Apparently, the thing was already on the market under a brand called "Grand Phoenix". When this brand went out of business (has it?) Legatokits continued production under the AZModel label.
Whatever the history, it's the kit that counts. Let's open the box.
The boxThe box art shows a Demon in full action on a carrier's deck. This print is directly copied from a well-known picture of the Demon.
In reality the Demon was not a big success. Introduced to operational service in 1956, and already withdrawn in 1964, it was more a gap filler between the F2H Banshee and the notorious Phantom.
It was used as an all-weather interceptor. A role in which it could, underpowered and unable to reach supersonic flight, hardly excel.
In fact, it was only a demon to its pilots who did not enjoy the unreliable and poor performing L(D)emon with its equally poor ejection seats. Maybe its biggest accomplishment is that the Voodoo and the Phantom were both further developments of the Demon concept.
The instruction sheetThe kit comes with two documents on glossy paper:
A booklet with building instructions. The various steps of the building process seem well explained in clearly separated logical steps. A double page painting and decaling guide giving you the option to build a F3H-2M Demon from the USS Saratoga (1963) or one from the Lexington (1958). Both color schemes are really "colourful". These things were obviously flying before the days where low visibility was considered to be a priority.
It is quite handy that there are also detailed instructions on how to finish the AIM-7 Sparrow or AIM-9 Sidewinders which are available in the box.
Unfortunately, there is no reference made to Federal Standard colour codes. You have to sort things out on the basis of the provided Gunze or Agama colour codes.
The plastic partsUnder these sheets I find a big plastic bag with the plastic parts and a number of smaller bags holding the transparent parts, a photo-etch set and heaps of yellow coloured resin parts.
A masking sheet completes the picture. This all looks very promising.
The plastic is ok, not brilliantly crisp or smooth, but with some polishing one can certainly achieve a very good finish. The ejector marks are huge but are placed in spots that will be invisible after assembly.
This plastic makes for the overall shape of the plane while details are filled in by resin and photo-etch.
The whole gives the impression that some "kit re-engineering" has led to replacing all "high detail" areas of the original by a combination of photo-etch and resin. The complete package, including the slightly grainy plastic parts, remind me very strongly of the recent Eduard "re-boxing" of the Kopro SU-7 in 1/48 scale.
The decalsThe decals are big and colourful and different from those that were available in the "Grand Phoenix" box. This is good news because the original decals had a bad reputation. Whether these are better will only be determined at the moment that I actually apply them.
ConclusionThis kit is available on the Legato website for 29 Euro (which is 13 Euro cheaper than what I paid in a LHS in Belgium). For this price you get decent moulding, lots of resin and photo-etch with, judging on the basis of some dry fitting, perfect fit.
Having seen the fortunes that some spend on "yet another F-16" with aftermarket goodies this is a bargain.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.