S.A. Bulldog T.1 ‘Overseas Services‘
KP 1/72, Ref.KPM0301
Having just recently started working on the old Airfix Scottish Aviation Bulldog kit, it was with great interest I heard about the upcoming release of a similar kit from KP in the Czech Republic. The wait was not long and I’m happy to share my views on the new kit.
All in all, the two kits are very similar, which in a way is a good thing. The fuselage halves are almost identical, the very fine rivet lines following fine raised panel lines from the Airfix kit having been replaced by fine engraved lines. Is that a plus? The real machine shows very faint rivet lines next to proper (recessed) panel lines, so I guess none are ‘right‘. The same change appears on the wings but here, both manufacturers have different approached, with KP providing everything as a single part while Airfix had part of the lower half of the wings as separate items.
The cockpit details offered by KP are better but still incomplete: the two front seats are much closer to what they really look and decals are provided for the seat belts and the main instrument panel, replacing inaccurate raised details on the Airfix kit. Missing from the KP kit is the third jump seat normally located at the rear of the cabin. Both kits provide a central instrument panel but none are properly detailed.
Speaking of cockpit, we can not forget to compare the clear parts: the main canopies are identical but KP has the edge for the quality and thickness of the side windows.
The front end of the fuselage is better represented on the KP kit, with would-be cylinders to be seen through the openings, and the KP prop comes in two parts, propeller proper and spinner which will ease painting. A number of smaller extra parts, including the antennaes and the undercarriage are almost identical in both kits.
Not surprisingly, KP also has the edge when it comes to the decals, the ‘Overseas Services‘ boxing containing markings for Malaysia, Hong Kong and Jordania-operated aircraft, plus a comprehensive number of ‘stencils‘. As of writing, the kit is available in 3 other boxings, ‘Swedish Service’, ‘RAF’ and ‘RAF Special’.
All in all, even if the lineage to the Airfix kit shows, a very welcome release from the Czech manufacturer. The extra markings could indeed be very useful to complete your older Airfix kits..
Review & pictures by Domi Jadoul.