Valom answered the wishes of many modellers by releasing their quarterscale kits of the Antonov An-2, the classic civil and military workhorse of the former Eastern Block. Now they are back with the second wave of models offering some very interesting variations on the theme.
A Colt with teeth...
Despite offering a military option in the original version, the An-2 remained essentially pretty innocuous, I'm sure many modellers will be pleased to see one of the new releases provides the chance to build a Colt that's packing some serious firepower.
Kit #48006 arrives in a substantial box with artwork depicting a rocket-armed North Vietnamese An-2 and comprises:
138 x grey styrene parts
15 x clear styrene parts
11 x etched brass parts
12 x grey resin parts
The new version shares all the same parts as Valom's original An-2
, so I won't go over the same ground describing them again. It's good to see the revised canopy parts are included as standard (see Valom's latest News for an amusing twist using the original transparencies!), but the real difference lies in a resin armament set and, of course, new colour schemes.
The new resin parts for this version depict what I take to be a pair of 16-round UB-16-57U air-to-ground unguided rocket pods and their pylons. The parts are cleanly cast and the pylons show some very nice rivet and access panel detailing.
Decals are included for a pair of interesting colour schemes:
1. A rocket-armed An-2 "670-A" in service with the North Vietnamese Air Force, Gui Lam, January 1968 in classic Dark Green / Light Blue camouflage.
2. An-2 "224" of the Afghanistan Air Force, Kabul, painted overall pale blue.
The small sheet of decals is printed by Boaagency and look to be very good quality, being very thin and glossy, with spot-on registration.
Somehow, when you think of models of Russian aircraft, sooner or later your mind turns to ski-equipped versions, so it's great to see Valom's second new An-2 kit, Item #48005, depict a Colt boasting a suitably impressive winter landing gear.
Once again the kit comprises the same core set of parts, this time augmented by new resin details for the skis and undercarriage legs. The parts are very nicely cast, with the skis themselves in grey resin, while the well detailed gear legs are formed from a harder black resin. This is a good move because Valom's An-2 is a big kit kit and they'll be bearing a fair amount of weight. In fact, even with this strengthened gear, I'd still keep an eye on the finished model during very hot weather (or if you like to have your heating on high) to make sure the legs don't begin to warp.
To go with the skis, there are decals for a pair of new colour schemes:
1. An-2 "RA-3105k" is a striking yellow and blue livery
2. An-2 "54" of the Soviet Air Force.
Again the Boaagency decals look very good, with good colour depth and perfect registration on the thin, high gloss items.
Valom's range of An-2 kits is growing steadily to be a comprehensive collection of this classic aircraft in it's various forms. There are still unused parts on the sprues, such as the early sickle-bladed propeller, so we clearly have more versions to look forward to. As I stated in the original review, it's not a kit for beginners, but anyone with a few limited-run models under their belt will enjoy the challenge offered by this impressive model. With some eye-catching potential colour schemes and sheer size (it is enormous for a single-engined aircraft!) it's bound to attract attention in any display.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE