Duo Pack and Book
Special Hobby, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
||Special Hobby Kit No. SH 72451 - SF-260 M/AM/D/W Duo Pack and Book
|Contents and Media:
||63 parts in grey coloured plastic; one part in clear; 14 parts in grey resin; seven photo-etched parts; self-adhesive masks; two decal sheets with markings for eight aircraft plus full stencil data; full sized reference book.
37,40 € plus shipping available online now from Special Hobby
£33.75 EU price (£28.13 Export Price) plus shipping available from Hannants
and hobby retailers worldwide
||A great package allowing the modeller to produce two different models, good decal choices, excellent instructions all backed with an excellent reference book.
||Need to add nose weight not mentioned.
||This is an interesting approach from Special Hobby and one that will appeal to modellers of light aircraft and trainers. An excellent package of parts, accessories and a reference book that comes highly recommended.
The SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 (now called the Alenia Aermacchi SF-260) is an all-metal low wing light plane commonly promoted as a light trainer for air forces around the world. It first flew in 1964 and over 860 had been built up until production ceased around 2005, when many were up-graded with turbo-prop engines. Some were sold into the civil market but most ended up as trainers under different designated letters. The 260M was the initial military version for Belgium, the 260MA was the Italian version, the 260ML went to Libya, while the upgraded 260W or ‘Warrior’ variant was extensively used by Libya, Singapore, Rhodesia, Ireland, Indonesia, Bolivia and others. This variant had under-wing hard points to carry weapons for COIN service. The D variant had an uprated engine and flew with the USAF.
The aircraft has been kitted in 1/72 scale since the 1980s, early on by obscure companies such as Vetromodelli, Diorama Models and then the more widely known Planet Models, but this more available Special Hobby kit first appeared in 2020, re-issued with new parts earlier in 2021and now in this double kit.
At the same time KP ( Kovozavody Prostejov) has produced six variations of their 2020 kit differing only in decals, but I have not seen this one for comparison. (information from ScaleMates ; q.v.). This kit marks a new style of presentation for SH in that it is a double kit with masses of decal choices and a detailed book as reference. So what is in the box?
Firstly, it is a large (350x270x50mm), strong top-opening one with a colour rendition of seven of the eight decal choices, and the cover of the book on top. Inside the modeller is greeted by two white end-opening boxes which fit neatly side-by-side and have the letters ‘A’ and ‘B’ printed on them.
Underneath that is the hefty Duke Hawkins glossy coloured book in a clear plastic sleeve, a set of masks, a sleeve containing two decal sheets and a stapled 12-page A5 coloured instruction booklet. The rear of this shows that SH also produce similar double packs for their Mirage F.1 and Super Mystere kits - an interesting modelling approach!
Each box contains a re-sealable plastic sleeve containing four mid-grey sprues and either two ( box A ) or one (box B) clear transparencies. Box A also contains a zip-lock bag of resin weapons for the Libyan and Rhodesian AF variants.
The two larger sprues contain the main airframe parts and here are two smaller sprues for the aerial fits and one with rocket(?) tubes, largely unused in these models. Parts are very nicely moulded, with no sign of flash and only a whisker of seam to remove from some smaller parts.
A single small PE fret contains a couple of towel-rail aerials for the ‘W’ variant, a couple of other aerials and two parts that I could not find in the instructions.
There is also a mask sheet for the two styles of canopies which will require liquid masking for the interior of each section due to the complex shapes of the panels.
The interior is sufficiently detailed for this scale and come with a choice of decal instruments, depending on variant chosen, and decals for seatbelts.
There are sufficient of these for two full models.
The instructions are in Special Hobby’s usual style, well drawn with clear part locations and colour call-outs in each stage.
I like the cross sections to show the relationship between the interior parts - great idea! In some steps the modeller has to make choices of parts for different aircraft and these are clearly pointed out.
I found it a bit amusing that a couple of parts, step 7, have to be sanded down so that they fit better and that the propeller mount has to drilled out in the cowling front - did someone forget something? ha ha! A couple of tiny stretched sprue rods have to be made for the undercarriage doors and aerials on the ‘W’ version.
I also note the nowhere does it mention the need for nose weight - I would cram as much as possible into that nose as the plane is a committed tail-sitter.
The last 8 pages of the booklet is taken up with four view colour and decal placement drawing for each of the decal choices and what a colourful lot they are.
SF-260M , ST-34 of the Red Devils, 5 Sqn , Belgian AF 2015 in a dazzling red, yellow and black scheme with shark mouth
SF-260W , white S , 4 Sqn, Rhodesian AF , 1978 in overall earth brown with green patches on upper parts and white rectangles on upper wings and rocket packs under wings,
SF-260W , FAB-184, of the Bolivian AF ,1980, in overall white with red flash and trim,
SF-260D ,91-0778/2-779 of Turkish AF, 2011, in overall white with orange trim,
SF-260D N405FD of UASF Skywest Aviation in USAF colours of grey and light grey over white with red and orange trim,
SF-260AM 70-21, of 70° Stormo, Italian AF, 2005 in a stunning overall gold with black trim and ’50 Years’ badge,
SF-260WL ,603, of Libyan AF in 2018, in sand/sandy brown/green over light blue camouflage and rocket packs under wings, and
SF-260W , TS-TBP of 14 Sqn Tunisian AF, during exercises in Italy, 2008, in overall earth brown with green patches on upper parts and white under.s
Decals are beautifully printed with good density and perfect register, although the film is a bit wide around each item so will need close trimming.
The smaller sheet contains a mass of stencilling , cockpit instruments and seat belts for two complete models.
Then there is the book!
Sealed in large clear sleeve, is the Duke Hawkins production on the SIAI Marchetti SF-260 with ninety pages of great photos and minimal text on semi-matte paper with a stiff card cover. The binding is much stronger than that on the Jaguar book I reviewed a couple of years ago as number 01 in this series, of which this is 016.
The 235x235mm square format allows photos to be reproduced at a very useful size and all are in lovely colour with only one crossing the centre seam. The book contains hundreds of images of many variants of the 260 in several air forces, all well annotated. There are also many images of interiors and detailed exterior parts (such as undercarriage and airframe details) which will be valuable to the modeller of this and other kits. Its almost worth purchasing this dual package just for the book! It is certainly a great idea and a good selling point by Special Hobby.
If you are into modern trainers or light aircraft this is a very desirable package and I would whole-heartedly recommend it.
Thanks to Special Hobby for the sample.
Text Copyright © 2021 by Graham Carter
Images Copyright © 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 15 December, 2021
15 December, 2021
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