Kit Previews
May 30, 2016

Hangar 47 takes a look in the box with previews of Fujimi's MiG-21 SMT Humpback, the De Havilland DH.88 Comet by SBS, Hobbycraft's Avro CF-100, Czech Master's Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet, Special Hobby's Arado Ar 96 B-3, and the Westland Lysander by Italeri...

The MiG-21 SMT was a modification of the highly successful Soviet Air Force point defense interceptor, featuring an enlarged dorsal spine for greater fuel capacity.  It was initially specifically designed for high-speed, low altitude delivery of nuclear weapons on European battlefields, having a similar tactical mission to that originally proposed for the American F-105 Thunderchief.  Fujimi's MiG-21 SMT features engraved panel
lines, a detailed cockpit, two-piece canopy, and under wing stores including four R-55 heat-seeking air-to-air missiles and two 490-liter drop tanks.

In October 1934 the DeHavilland DH. 88 Comet, a twin engine, high-speed monoplane of all-wood construction, won the London-to-Melbourne intercontinental air race -- a distance of 11,300 miles -- with a time of 70 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds.  It was the immediate ancestor of the DeHavilland Mosquito, a fighter-bomber of WWII that for a time was the fastest combat aircraft in the world.  SBS' kit features engraved panel lines, a highly detailed cockpit and is molded in grey resin with white metal parts for the landing gear. 

The Avro CF-100 was a long-range, all-weather fighter-interceptor that entered service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1953 and made a critical contribution to the defense of North America and NATO during the height of the Cold War.  For a time, it was the only NATO fighter in Western Europe capable of operating in zero visibility and poor weather conditions against the threat of Soviet bombers.  It was also the first straight-winged jet aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in controlled flight.  Hobbycraft's CF-100 features engraved panel lines and optional posiiton landing gear. 

The Northrop XP-56 was designed in response to a November 1939 U.S. Army Air Corps proposal for unconventional fighters, notable for its introduction of a new construction process called Heliarc welding.  While unconventional, its short, stubby shape was also extremely unstable and dangerous for anyone who flew it.  The design required a device that had yet to be invented to control it: the modern flight computer, and Northrop cancelled the project in 1944.  Czech Models kit features engraved panel lines and includes extensive resin parts for the cockpit. 

The Arado Ar 96 B-3 was an advanced trainer in Luftwaffe service from 1938 until the end of World War II.  At its height, it was operated by no less than 13 fighter training wings and a night fighter school.  The most dramatic moment in its career came on April 28, 1945 when Hanna Reitsch used an Ar 96 to fly Ritter von Greim, the new Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe out of the ruins of Berlin.  Special Hobby's kit features engraved panel lines, a detailed cockpit and resin and photo-etch detail parts.  

The Lysander began life as an artillery spotter and army cooperation aircraft, replacing the Hawker Hector, but during the Battle of France it could rarely operate safely without a fighter escort.  While it occasionally downed a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt or Stuka due to its maneuverability, for the most part it was mauled by enemy fighters, and was withdrawn from daylight operations after Dunkirk.  It soon began a new life as a night intruder, taking weapons and equipment to the Resistance along with agents of Special Operations Executive into Occupied France.  Italeri's kit is a re-issue of the 1960's era Hawk kit and features a basic cockpit and new decals for RAF or Free French.

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