Tuesday, February 4

Review: 1/32 scale T-6 Texan - the first flight of the T-6

Now when the T-6 “Texan” was announced by KittyHawk in 1/32nd scale a fair few people got very excited – and one of those people is our man Nic who got his kit last week – and has already finished it! We thought we would shoot you his build report as soon as possible so you can get a better feel for the kit...

Kitty Hawk
Kit N°: KH32001
Kit type: injection Moulded multimedia
Scale: 1/32
Sprues: 6 styrene + 1 clear + 1 photo etched
Parts count: 244
Decals for 8 different markings: 1 US Army Air Force, 1 US Navy, 1 US Marines, 1 Canadian Air force, 1 German Air Force, 1 Italian Air Force, 1 South African Air Force and 1 Royal Air Force.
When you consider how many pilots around the world learned to fly in one of the 15.495 T-6’s that were produced, don’t you think it was about time that a good scale model of it is available?
Pretty pleased when Kitty Hawk announced its 1/32 kit, here’s one hoping it would be a great one...
A couple of weeks ago, the box arrived on my desk. My first Kitty Hawk kit, by the way. Nice box art and once the box opened, lots of impressive stuff. Nicely detailed light grey plastic, huge amount of decals (two big sheets and one tiny one with some nose-art), a small fret of p.e. parts and a little black box containing all the transparent parts.
I was impressed with the details of the engine and the cockpit. I saw the Cad Cam designs online, but having the parts in my hands, it looked even better!
First step: cockpit. Lots of parts, but pretty straightforward I guess. And although the kit itself is great – really – it’s here I stumbled across the weakest part of this first 1/32 Kitty Hawk release: the instructions. I noticed a detail in step 2 that was to be glued later on and nowhere any info on where to glue the p.e. seatbelts. It would turn out not to be the only omitting of the instructions...

The cockpit builds into a very nice one, but I was most impressed with the decals that were to be used on the instrumentation panels. These are the best I've ever used and the alignment with the dials is just perfect! Waauw !
I just hope these photos show how great they are and how good the cockpit looks. I usualy like to ad detail to a cockpit, but it would be hard to do that in this kit. With the cockpit all painted, I tried it in the fuselage halves. I just trimmed it slightly, I found it to be a little to wide. Fit was pretty good. Before you can glue the halves, the engine mount has to be built. Some parts are very thin and fragile, so I had to be careful not to break them. I did, of course, but then again, I always do...  

Anyway, after closing the fuselage, the build is fairly straightforward, provided you take care to check the instructions. Step 17 instructs you to cut a part of the top engine cover, but only in step 19 you find out that you don’t have to do that for 5 of the 8 suggested airplanes ! Same story with the spinner in step 22; don’t follow the instructions if you don’t want to build one of the 3 American versions of the kit.
A part of the built that I was a bit nervous about, was joining the fuselage and the wings. Unnecessary as it turned out: fit was great! Time to get the paint out!
Most of the models I build are grey, so for this one, I chose the bright yellow Harvard of the German Air Force (or as the instructions say “Germany A or F prce”). A coat of Gunze white followed by a yellow one. Motivation was high – this really is a good looking kit! The only hard part was taping and masking all the canopy parts. Took me an evening but it turned out great!

With everything painted, I brushed a coat of future on it before putting the decals on. Now, I hate decals – for some reason I mess up more than one model because the decals silver or break up into a million pieces. Not the case here: as with the instrument decals, they were just perfect! No need for decalsetting with this one! As usual I messed one up because they are quite fragile, but I got a spare one from Kitty Hawk (thankyou-thankyou) which saved me.

A little weathering, chipping and wash later, the T-6 was finished.
So, is this a kit you should get? Absolutely! It is impressive, very nicely detailed and engraved. I didn’t measure the parts in detail, I never did and I never will – the best kit is a built kit, I feel – but this T-6 looks very convincing. Great kit, great decals, just take the time to check the instructions. This T-6 is a perfect publicity for Kitty Hawk, I can’t wait to get my hands on more of them! Upon seeing this one, some of my friends went to the LHS to get a T-6 too! For me, I hope the Bronco will be available soon...

Nicolas Deboeck

Many thanks to Kitty Hawk for providing the kit for this build