Bermuda Mk. I
Special Hobby, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
||Special Hobby No. SH 72179 SB2A-3 Buccaneer.
Special Hobby No. SH 72191 Bermuda Mk. I.
|Contents and Media:
||Each kit has 99 mid-grey plastic parts on 3 sprues, 5 clear parts on one sprue, 31 cream resin parts on 7 pour blocks, 43 PE parts on one fret, decals for 4 aircraft ( 3 in the US Navy kit) with a 12 page A5 sized instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 21 build diagrams and 4 pages of paint/decal directions.
|| USD$27.00 available online from Squadron
Plastic parts that are almost as good as the best available (Tamiya, Hasagawa, Dragon, etc.), excellent resin by CMK, high quality injection moulded clear parts, Good decals and instructions.
Disadvantages: The British Insignia Red on the Bermuda decal sheet is too bright, not uncommon in Special Hobby kit.
Could you imagine the above mentioned Tamiya, Hasagawa or Dragon producing models of these aircraft? Not Likely.
Special Hobby's 1/72 scale Wirraway is available online from Squadron.com
A Brief History
Brewster, very quickly becoming the world's most unreliable aircraft manufacturer, had won a contract to supply the US Navy with a carrier based bomber, the SB2A Buccaneer but were so slow that Curtiss was able to supply their better performing SB2C Helldiver instead.
Meanwhile, the British, desperately trying to get their hands on any aircraft they could, had ordered 750 examples which they called the Bermuda Mk.I. Only 469 were delivered to Britain, which found then unsuited to combat conditions and, like the US Navy, used them only for training.
These two kits, from Special Hobby (MPM) in the Czech Republic, are identical except for the box art, instructions and decals. Even though several different parts are used in each, they are all supplied in both and instructions inform which are not for use.
With very delicately engraved panel lines and rivet detail, no sink marks and very little in the way of flash, at first glance this looks like Tamiya territory. It's not quite that good and remember it is still short-run technology, although at the upper end, and it is also a multi-media kit and there-fore not for the beginner.
The clear parts, injection moulded no less and very clear, and the main canopy, although in two parts still required cutting open if you want to display all of that loverly interior.
The multi-piece radial engine, decking between the cockpits, radio shelf, twin hand operated machine guns and other small bibs and bobs are beautifully cast in resin and should not pose any major problems.
PE by Hauler is not pre-coloured and not as extensive as in some other SH kits. It consists of seat belts, bomb racks, wheel covers (optional) and again other small bits and pieces.
Decals by Aviprint, are good in both kits except the red in the British national markings and this is the only problem I've been able to find. The three aircraft represented in the US Navy (Buccaneer) kit are an SB2A-3, white 34, NAS Vero Beech, Florida, USA. Another SB2A-3 with the BuNo. 00903/B-S 53, NAS Saint Simon Island, Georgia, USA. Finally, SB2A-3, White 502, from an unknown unit on the US mainland.
All are in the mid-war three colour scheme with the first having spoked wheels and no Intermediate Blue under the outer wing panels and the last having the outer wheel covers and tire walls painted white.
In the British Bermuda kit, you get a Mk. I, FF-843, 1943, noted as one of only a handful of aircraft in service. Mk. I, FF 424 as seen at the Brewster test site in 1942 with both US and RAF markings. It crashed before leaving the US. Bermuda Mk. I, FF-741 at NAS New Orleans, 1944 and lastly Mk.I, FF-444 at A&AEE Boscombe Down, November 1942.
All four are identically camouflaged in Dark Green/Dark Earth uppers over Sky below. However, I suspect these colours would be the US equivalents to the RAF colours.
Special Hobby kits have improved out of sight over the last ten or so years and these two are up there with the best of them, but don't just take my word for it, go out and get one but remember, they are not for the inexperienced.
Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the sample.
Review Text Copyright © 2010 by Glen Porter
Page Created 27 May, 2010
27 May, 2010
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