The Beech T-34C-1 is a light-attack version of the standard Turbo Mentor trainer, able to carry a variety of weaponry such as rockets, machine guns and bombs. The aircraft has been exported widely to Africa and South America and carried out a number of armed reconnaissance missions against British forces during the Falklands War.
This is Czech Model's second release of a Turbo Mentor (the first was the trainer).
52 x Injection moulded parts
23 x resin parts
2 x vacuform canopies (including a spare)
Decals for 2 aircraft
The main parts are very neatly moulded in hard dark grey plastic. This may be a short-run kit, but the plastic parts are excellent, with a polished surface and nicely engraved panel lines.There is only a slight trace of flash on the smaller parts, and my sample was free of any sink marks.
Detail on the instrument panels and inside the undercarriage doors is good, and the flying surfaces feature the aircraft's characteristic corrugations. The inside of the fuselage halves have some basic detail moulded-in.
There are no locating pins, but the fuselage panel detail all lines up fine. The halves were very slightly warped in my sample, but clamping at the nose and tail while the cement dries will take care of that easily enough.
The wings have some ejector pin marks to take care off before assembly, but the trailing edges are nice and thin. The wings butt-join to the fuselage, so extra care will be needed to keep every lined up correctly but, importantly, the wings match the roots perfectly.
Czech Models supply two packets of resin parts. The first is the same as in their previous release of the trainer version, while the second is a set of rocket pods and pylons specific to the C-1. The casting quality throughout is excellent. The cockpit tub is nicely detailed and the seats have beautifully depicted harnesses. The nose-well and wheels are similarly good, while the rocket pods and pylons are very well detailed.
The vacuform canopy (a spare is included) which must rate among the clearest I've ever seen. It's moulded closed, but the inclusion of a spare is a big encouragement to slice it up to display the canopy open.
Instruction & Decals
The instruction sheet is clearly illustrated and easy to follow. This kit is a natural tail-sitter, so be sure to follow the note about adding nose-weight. The painting instructions are excellent, with easy to follow diagrams and FS numbers quoted throughout.
Decals are provided for two schemes: an Argentinian Navy aircraft, from the time of the Falklands War, painted in an unusual green and tan camouflage pattern, and a Royal Moroccan Air Force machine painted in a very striking desert scheme.
The decals themselves are excellent; thin and glossy and printed perfectly in register.
This is a great little kit. The overall quality makes it an ideal first short-run model for anyone tempted to look beyond the mainstream manufacturers and the unusual paint schemes make it almost irresistible for fans of "small" air forces.
Thank you to MMD-Squadron for kindly supplying the review sample.