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In-Box Review
Airspeed Horsa glider
New quarter scale RAF glider from Fonderie Miniatures
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by: Andrew Jackson [ HOTWILLS69 ]

Originally published on:

The Airspeed Horsa was along with the Waco "Hadrian" and to a lesser extent, the Hamilcar and Hotspur, the most important allied assault glider operated during the Normandy landings (Operation Overlord) and later on, Operation Market Garden. Built of plywood and fabric the Horsa could carry up to 25 fully equipped paratroopers a jeep or various artillery pieces.

The kit
The Box is a typical FM top opening affair and is quite oversize with the kit contents able to rattle around inside.

The instruction sheet consists of two photocopied pages with handwritten diagrams and multi language written instructions to the right of each page.

The kit itself consists of 13 sprues of injection moulded plastic plus 2 small clear sprues holding the side port hole windows and the main canopies. The main fuselage parts and the wings are moulded in a traditional grey colour and although very rough round the edges seem quite robust and in shape! There is lots of flash on most of the parts and it is clear that a lot of test fitting and cleaning up will be needed to get a great result. The wings have lots of scratches and a rough texture to them.

The interior sprues are moulded in a lighter grey and to be honest this is where the kit falls down! The plastic feels rough to the touch and there is flash everywhere, a lot of the parts are either mismoulded or are so badly attached to their neighbouring part that they have become one. The plastic feels chalky to the touch and there are ejector pins absolutely everywhere. Fonderie have tried to replicate every spar and bulkhead running through the airframe and from a quick glance over the sprues no two parts are the same shape or the same size.

The most disappointing part of the kit for me, though I may have received a bad kit, is the canopies (there are 2 sets). These are in a very bad way. The moulds are so rough for these that they are not clear at all and there are bubbles and big scratches all over them. And both are the same so I'm not sure whats going on there! The frames are quite deeply moulded so I don't think a major sandpaper and polish session is going to do much to help and the bubbles are trapped inside anyway so they are effectively ruined from the start.

The kit comes with one set of markings and surprisingly these are quite thin and in register. However there is no diagram to aid placement of these, and in fact there is just a paragraph for painting which says top is green and brown and bottom is black and that's it.

So there we have it. I must point out that those used to FM kits will probably think this is an OK kit, and looking closely the fuselage halves and wings are perfectly acceptable with a lot of cleaning up, and it seems more likely that more of these will get finished if the canopy issue can be rectified than say the Halifax or Hampden.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: It's a Horsa glider in 48th which may make people's mind up as they've been waiting a while for this and the decals are OK.
Lows: The badly moulded canopies are going to be a headache for more than a few people and the general moulding overall will be a challenge.
Verdict: A shame really as I've been dying to get my hands on a Horsa in 48th for too long and I feel with all it's problems I won't be lifting the lid again!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 6061
  Suggested Retail: 84.99 rrp
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 10, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Andrew Jackson (hotwills69)

I have been modelling since the age of 9 on and off. Born May 1977 i was brought an airfix 3 pack Modelling gift set (Harrier gr3- Swordfish and seahawk.) And it all was up hill from there. I worked for Beatties as a school leaver and did a 6 year stint with them fueling a rather rapid loft insulati...

Copyright 2021 text by Andrew Jackson [ HOTWILLS69 ]. All rights reserved.


I to have been waiting for this kit to arrive (mine should be in the post as I type). I have to agree that that canopy dosen't look too good, which is a pity as it is large enough to show the cockipt off to good effect. From what I can see there are three air bottles,the battery as well as the prominent keel beam that runs on the centreline of the canopy, missing from the cockpit, the centre console is also the wrong shape. None of which are difficult to produce. I'm fortunate enough to have access to probably the best collection of surviving Horsas and associated publications (the Museum of Army Flying) which I used during my battle with the Italeri kit to make a passable Horsa out of it. It looks like that effort was just practice for this one. Lets hope that the promised 1:35 Horsa from Miniart is an improvement.
JUL 11, 2010 - 03:56 AM
Too bad. When I heard about this one, especially in 1/48 scale I thought it would make for a great diorama of some sort. It's just another overpriced piece of junk.
JUL 19, 2010 - 04:57 AM
yep that seems to sum it up,the decals are also not in register. dont think they will be selling many of these.
JUL 19, 2010 - 06:45 AM

What's Your Opinion?

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