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AG-330 Start Cart

Hypersonic Models, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart

Scale:

1/48 scale

Contents & Media

Two parts in grey resin; self-adhesive masks (cutting guides); instructions

Price:

 

¥2700 plus shipping available online from Hypersonic Models 

 

and specialist hobby retailers worldwide

Click here for currency converter.

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

High quality injection moulded plastic; high level of detail; effective use of photo-etched parts and decals. 

Disadvantages:

None noted.

Conclusions:

Hypersonic Models has released a lovely little kit of a very specialised subject. If you have a Testor 1/48 scale SR-71 Blackbird in your collection, this will be a terrific accompaniment!


Reviewed by Brett Green


Eduard's 1/72 Avia B.534 IV serie Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

Originally, the engines of the SR-71 Blackbird's J58 engines were started with the assistance of two Buick Wildcat V8 internal combustion engines, externally mounted on a vehicle referred to as an AG330 "start cart".

The start cart was positioned underneath the J58 and the two Buick engines powered a single, vertical drive shaft connecting to the J58 engine and spinning it to above 3,200 RPM, at which point the turbojet could self-sustain.

Once the first J58 engine was started, the cart was repositioned to start the aircraft's other J58 engine.

Later start carts used Chevrolet big-block V8 engines.

Eventually, a quieter, pneumatic start system was developed for use at main operating bases.

The V8 start carts remained at diversion landing sites not equipped with the pneumatic system.*

 

 

FirstLook

 

Hypersonic Models has released an injection moulded kit of this very specialised piece of equipment.

Hypersonic's 1/48 scale AG-330 Start Cart comprises 44 pieces in grey plastic, 34 photo-etched parts, markings for two colour schemes and detailed instructions.

 

  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Hypersonic Models Item No. HMK 4801 - AG-330 Start Cart Review by Brett Green: Image
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The model may be built as an early "Buick" type or the "Chevy" type cart. The instructions clearly call out Versions A and B for alternative parts during construction and painting.

Moulding quality is very good. The outer faces of parts are flawless as far as I can see. The sprues are heavy but the attachment points are quite fine. There are plenty of them though, so you'll need to take care when reoving and cleaning up the parts, especially the more delicate elements.

Surface textures are relatively few, but the rows of fine vents on the body sides are very well done.

 

 

Construction gets underway with the chassis, axles and steering.

Alternative parts are provided for the Buick and Chevy bodies. Each is made up from five separate side panels and a roof.

Photo-etched parts are supplied for mesh covers, instrument panel, various mounts and smaller detail parts.

 

 

The wheels and tyres are moulded as one piece each. They are subtly bulged and flattened. The instructions point out that the centreline of the treads need to be carefully sanded down.

 

 

The starter probe may be posed stowed with cover closed, stowed with cover open or extended with the cover open.

Decals are supplied for the various dials and data plates on the exterior instrument panel.

Multi-pipe exhausts are included for the bottom of the cart. The photo-etched covers may be posed open or closed depending on whether the cart engines are runnign or shut down.

The instructions are presented on a 16 page stapled A5 colour glossy booklet. Everything looks quite clear and straightforward.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for both body versions in early and late configurations. In summary, early units are painted in yellow, while after 1983 they were finished in Marine Corps Green FS 24052.

Individual numbers are supplied for various Detachments and Cart IDs.

 

 

White reflective strips are offered as long strips that may be cut to length based on references for your individual subjects.

The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf. They are glossy and printed in perfect register.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Hypersonic Models has released a lovely little kit of a very specialised subject.

If you have a Testor 1/48 scale SR-71 Blackbird in your collection, this will be a terrific accompaniment!

Thanks to Hypersonic Models for the review samples.


Review Text Copyright 2019 by Brett Green
Page Created 8 January, 2020
Last updated 8 January, 2020

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