For the past few years, I’ve been really impressed with the work Agape forum member Honza Knetl has done with kits from RS Models. They seemed to be some very interesting subjects, and the kits themselves looked pretty nice. There was only one problem…
They were all 1/72nd scale. I’m just not able to see things in that scale anymore. 🙂
Then I saw that RS Models released a 1/48 Fokker D-XXIII. I contacted my good friend, Mike Starling, a great American, at my favorite hobby shop, Hayes Hobby House in Fayetteville, NC, and I said “get one of those for me!” After Mike said “Who is this?” he agreed to order one for me.
The sprues look very good for this type of kit. It is “short run” in nature, but don’t let that scare you off. Parts are well cast, and except for what appears to be a short shot on the front cowl piece, everything looks very good. As with any kit produced by short run technology, there are a few more seams and ejection pin markings, but nothing difficult to deal with. The actual alignment of parts in initial test fitting seems very good, requiring only some good mating edge cleanup and ejector pin removal in places.
The parts breakdown is very logical for such an oddly configured aircraft. Fuselage, wings, and two tail booms, joined by the horizontal stabiliser round out the major parts. The cockpit is reasonably detailed, but because the kit has a closed canopy, a lot of the interior won’t be very visible anyway. It’s detailed enough for a closed build certainly. Photoetch is provided for seatbelts and some additional detail aft of the cockpit. It does have nose gear, so you’ll need to add some weight in the nose to avoid tail sitting.
As there was only one of this aircraft ever built, markings are a bit limited. Two marking sets are provided though. One in civil markings, the other in neutrality markings. Both have the same camo scheme. Of course, because there was only one ever produced, it leaves the door wide open for “what if” builds that could be pretty interesting. The decal printing looks very good. The instructions are well detailed, and a colorful sheet is provided for the exterior painting.
This is certainly an unusual aircraft, and should really stand out at a model show, or on your display shelf. I’ve already started initial assembly, and while it does require a bit of test fitting and planning, everything seems to fit together well enough. Look for a full build report when I complete this model, hopefully in just a few weeks.
I do hope this model will sell very well for RS Models. I’d love to see more of their work in 1/48 scale. They seem willing to tackle unusual subjects, and based on what I’ve seen of Honza’s work in 1/72nd scale, and my experience so far in 1/48 scale, they do so in a very fine fashion that is within the reach of any modeler with just a few kits under his belt.
Keep up the great work Mr. Schneider! (And how about a P-66 Vanguard in 1/48 scale… in case you are looking for ideas. 😉 )
Photos of finished kit are provided courtesy of RS Models website.