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Kit Preview: Czech Models’ 1/48 UC-78/JRC-1/T-50 Bamboo Bomber

songbirdboxtopBrian McClatchie send in this preview of Czech Models’ recently released “Bamboo Bomber”.

The Cessna T-50 Bobcat was designed as a commercial light transport that first flew in 1939. It is a twin-engined, low wing monoplane that seats 5. Construction is of wood and tubular steel frame covered in fabric. In 1940, the U.S. Army ordered a military standard (the AT-8) that gave rise to several additional models with various changes in equipment and engines. It performed the roles of civil and military transport, multi-engine trainer and general utility aircraft. It also served the Brazilian and Nationalist Chinese Air Forces during the post-war years. It appeared in at least 18 variants and sub-variants, like the civilian T-50, U.S. Army AT-17 and UC-78, U.S. Navy JRC-1 and the RCAF Crane I, with a total production exceeding 5,400 aircraft. A handful still fly to this day. It’s most well known role was that of the Songbird, flown by Sky King (Grant Kirby) in the 1950’s TV show of the same name. Other nicknames for the T-50 include the Bamboo Bomber, Useless-78, Brasshat, the Double-Breasted Cub, Rhapsody in Glue, the Wichita Wobbler, Boxkite and the San Joaquin Beaufighter.

Kit: Czech Models 1:48 T-50 Bobcat
Kit Number: 4819
Price: $44.95 + shipping
Decals: The kit decals are high quality with options for 2 military and one civil aircraft (Sky King’s Songbird)
Notes: A long overdue and well appointed kit for this historic aircraft

The Kit
Overall, first impressions of the kit are very favorable. The decal sheets are very crisp and in-register. There are three clear bags of parts, the resin details (such as engines, propellers and wheels), the clear parts and two very nice p.e. frets (one a colored interior set (presumably by Eduard), the second is standard brass colored details). The molding exhibits minor flash and no readily apparent sink marks or ejector pin marks. In fact, the molding is superior to many standard run kits available at equal or higher prices today. The plastic is medium density and should therefore be easy to clean up. The directions are (as usual for Czech Models) clear and well illustrated. The detailing is excellent including a decent representation of the fabric skin of the aircraft.

Brian is a retired Federal agent living in Camas, WA. He started building models (primarily aircraft) at an early age, was interrupted by life for about 40 years and returned to the hobby after retirement in 2004. His interests run mainly to WWII and Cold War aircraft, but Brian will build most anything that catches his fancy!