Beech C-45G/H Expeditor

Like many of Hobbycraft Canada's kits, the Beech 18 comes in a very big box, with very little plastic inside. What is there is cleanly moulded, with fine recessed panel lines on most components (a little heavy on the horizontal tailplane). Interior detail consists of an instrument panel yokes (which the instructions would have you install sideways), three-piece pilot seats, a floor and rear bulkhead. The cabin is completely empty. The radial engines are acceptably detailed, but there is no firewall or wheel bay detail, so you can see straight through the nacelles.

I have heard it suggested that the cockpit transparency is inaccurate, and have noticed on some built up models that the nose area doesn't look 'right', but I haven't any drawings to compare the kit to, so I will reserve judgement.

My 1998 issue of this kit (Labelled C-45G/H Transport HC1357) contains a well-printed decal sheet, offering markings for no less than 6 schemes, plus a complete set of markings for a South Vietnamese MS.500! The schemes include three plain natural metal a/c, two USAF and one RCAF, two colourful South Vietnamese schemes, including an accurate set of early roundels, and a mottled Argentine bird from 1979. Bravo Hobbycraft for the selection, though some French markings would have been appreciated!

deHavilland Canada L-20 Beaver

One of Hobbycraft Canada's earliest kits, their Beaver bears a striking resemblence to the old Airfix kit in many details (pilots seats, landing gear, engine), although the fuselage is engineered differently. Hobbycraft moulded the entire fuselage from the firewall to rudder in clear plastic. While this avoids problems fitting the windows (a bugbear in many Airfix kits), it requires great care in eliminating seams. This approach leaves the the number and location of windows in the cabin roof completely up to the builder (this varied from aircraft to aircraft). What little panel detail that is present is scribed. Other issues to watch out for include horizontal stabiliser mounts that lead to a swept back elevator hinge line. When I purchased a recent issue of this kit, I was surprised to find that Hobbycraft had switched to grey plastic for the fuselage halves, completely deleting all clear parts from the kit! Decals in the newer release are much better quality, though quarter-scale modellers get a better choice in their version of the kit, which includes French, Vietnamese and Laotian schemes. Carpena provides French and South Vietnames markings as alternatives.

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