Special Hobby 1/72 Short Sunderland V (SH 72162)
The Short S.25 Sunderland was a British, developed and constructed by Short Brothers for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Sunderland took its service name from the town of Sunderland in Tyne and Wear.
It was developed in alongside the S.23 Empire flying boat, which was the flagship of Imperial Airways, the Sunderland was developed specifically to conform to the requirements of the British Air Ministry Specification R.2/33 for a long-range patrol/reconnaissance flying boat to serve with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Designed as a successor to the Short Sarafand S.23 and sharing several similarities with the Sarafand, but having a more advanced aerodynamic hull and was fitted with offensive and defensive armaments, including gun turrets, bombs, mines, and depth charges. The Sunderland was powered by four Bristol Pegasus XVIII radial engines. The aircraft was also fitted with detection equipment, including the Leigh light, the ASV Mark II and Mark III radars.
The Sunderland was one of the biggest and most widely used flying boats during the Second World War. As well as the RAF, the Sunderland was operated by other Allied military air forces, including the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), South African Air Force (SAAF), Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Norwegian Air Force and the navies of France and Portugal. During WWII, the Sunderland was involved in the Allied fight to help defeat the German U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic. On 17th July 1940, a RAAF Sunderland of No. 10 Squadron performed the type's first unassisted U-boat kill. The Sunderland also played a major part in the Mediterranean theatre, performing maritime reconnaissance and logistical missions. During the evacuation of Crete, following the German invasion, several Sunderlands were used to transport troops. Unarmed Sunderlands were also flown by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), on long distance routes as far afield as the Pacific Ocean. The Sunderland is perhaps one of the great unsung heroes of WW II aviation.
First impressions when first opening the box was the sheer quality and number of kit parts. Immediately obvious was the finely 'engraved' panel lines on the fuselage. Wide and deep enough to show the panels and take a wash but not so wide as to make the kit look like a toy. (The mad trencher wasn't allowed near this kit 😉).
On looking at the internal detail of the fuselage it is plain that a lot of thought has gone in to adding as much detail that is possible for the scale of the kit.
I then moved on to looking at the surface detail of the wings and again found that the engraved panel line are as good as the detail on the external fuselage halves.
I then moved on to look at all the spures and found that even the smaller parts showed the same amount of detail, that again is in-keeping with the kit’s scale. The kit consists of 13 sprues labelled A through to N. For some reason D & M is omitted. A to N are all grey styrene and sprue CP holds all the clear parts. A few of the parts on the clear sprue had separated from the sprue however being held in a large plastic bag they were not lost. Spues G, H and I are all on one sprue. Rather confusingly there is also two smaller sprues labelled as H. In addition there is one small fret of PE and one individual moulded direction finder that is used on just one of the optional versions.
On closer inspection of all the sprues. I believe with the parts that are marked in the instructions as not needed for building the Mk. V it might be possible to build any mark from Mk. I to V. However, I’m no expert but I suspect we will be seeing future boxings from Special Hobby.
So starting with sprue A This is the two fuselage halves.
Sprues B & C holds the wings.
Spure E is for the propellers and wing floats with some other odd parts.
Sprue F has the inserts for the upper fuselage and the hull step, this where one sees clues to parts not used with the Mk. V that leads me to believe that other marks can be made from the kit.
Sprue I, G, H has parts for the fuselage interior, mostly floor and bulkhead parts.
Sprue J holds undercarriage parts, guns and some smaller parts.
Sprue K has mostly bomb parts.
Sprue L holds smaller parts a lot of which again are not used for the Mk. V
Sprue N is one of the smaller sprues along with the two 'extra' sprue H that hold the engines.
Sprue CP has all the clear parts again there is parts not used in building the Mk. V
These are typical Special Hobby and consist of a 23 page booklet containing sprue 'maps', assembly stages and painting/decal guides
The scheme options
There are four options. A through D.
Scheme A is for SZ566/Z, No 209 Sqn, based at RAF Seleter, Singapore, 1951-53
Scheme B is for S.50.4, Escadrille 50.S.4, Ecole d'Initiation au Pilotage (EIP) Based at Base d'aeronautique navale de Lanveoc-Poulmiv , 1951.
Scheme C is for NJ117/V, Nicknamed 'Sulu Sea' of 209 Sqd, based at RAF Seleter Singapore, 1954.
Scheme D is for PP117/4X-W of 230 Sqn based temporarily at Finkenwerde Base Hamburg during the 1948 Berlin Airlift.
Printed by Cartograf they are in perfect register and of fine detail plus good colour as one would expect from Cartograf.
This is one fine kit and long awaited addition to the market. I would say this is a kit aimed at the intermediate to experience modeller as there is no location pins or holes on the parts and my impression is that the kit will require some 'fitting'. I cannot wait to build this kit but I will hold off until the Eduard PE parts are available for it.
So you can get an idea of how big the kit is I taped the fuselage and wings together.
I have to finish off this review with this lovely piece for artwork taken from the box artwork. I would love a print of this.
Special thanks for this review sample go to our friends at Special Hobby