1/72 Airfix Piper Cherokee Arrow III

by JR SLim

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This is really a fun kit and makes a good looking model of the Piper Arrow.  All the parts fit well and it has nice  detail - especially since I think the mold is probably 30 years old.  The downside is the clear parts.  In my kit all the  side  windows had  sink holes and the   windshield was warped.  Airfix has  super customer service and had a replacement windshield sent over the pond in 2 weeks. For the side  windows I used Future (Klear) to fill in the  sink holes and  this ended up  filling in the gaps to the fuselage too.  I kept adding layers of  future - allowing each to dry for about 4 -8 hours and  'hanging' the  fuselage  sides horizontally so  gravity  would  tend to  make  the the future form a convex curve  resembling the  actuall windows.  It worked great - a long process but very nice results. Then I glued the fuselage together and wrapped it with a  rubber band - which caused big marks in my future windows - even though I had  waited a  week.  More  future  fixed that.  I painted the  plane  and  used liquid mask for the windows,  but removing the mask left them disfigured -- once again, some more future fixed it up.

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The  detail in the kit is nice, including all the little bits - Pitot mast, flap hinges and even fuel drains, filler caps, cooling/exhaust holes and accurate lights. The  aileron/flap/rudder joints  could be a  little  crisper but  aren't  too bad.  If you wanted to  put a little effort into it - you could have a highly detailed model of the Arrow - it  even measures up  to the  correct dimensions.  The parts all fit great and Airfix even had the wing dihedral correct (which I messed up and under did a bit- but still looks  close).  The  kit includes optional parts to have the landing gear up or down, and a figure in a smart  commercial pilot suit with wings and cap - ready to fly you to that meeting up North. 

The plane was painted with Polly S Acrylic flat white and then a couple of coats of  future  which yellowed it just a bit.
Decals include registration for a U.S. or British plane.  I  started  with the fuselage  stripes and ended up getting that all balled up - but luckily the decal was sturdy enough  not  to  rip and  was not impossible  to  unwrap like some  decals. Was a little more  careful with the  rest and had no problems.   They really stick great  too -  although I used, yes that's right - Future - which helps.

Definately a fun build and a good one too, considering how few GA kits are available. 
Shaun

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Photos and text by Shaun Lehman