Nord-Centre NC.701 Martinet (Siebel 204/Aero C-3A)

Before Eastern Europe became the home of limited run kits, there was an era in which KP produced some of the best kits to come out from behind the Iron Curain. In many ways quality and detail are comparable to contemporary Heller kits.

This kit is marketed as either a Siebel 204 or Czech Aero C-3A, and I have the latter boxing. The parts have fine raised details, including loads of very fine rivets, and suffer from considerable flash. A basic attempt at a cockpit is provided, to be shown off through a thick and distorted nose transparency. For masochists, Falcon offer a very clear vacuform replacement, which would necessitate a lot of work in the cockpit!

My kit includes a choice of three Czech schemes. My limited references on the NC.701 suggest that most were very simply marked, so appropriate spares box decals should not be a big problem. Among the best references I have found is the Avions special issue on German aircraft in French service, volume 2, which includes 2 shots of an NC.701 'gunship' with a single side-firing machine gun, as used in Indochina! Note that most French-built aircraft appear to have been fitted with different props to those provided in the kit.

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