Magna Models

1/72 Shorts Belfast model kit

Product # 8172

Product Article by Mike Trace on Dec 4 2006

 

 

 

This is an in the box review of the Magna Models Shorts Belfast.  

The Shorts Belfast was an aircraft that I had been aware of for some time, but could not remember who had produced a kit, it was the members of this forum that steered me in the direction of Magna Models, it is also produced by Welsh Models, but only in 1/144 scale, and my heavy lift collection are all in 1/72.  

This purchase would be interesting for a number of reasons,

  • First, I had never bough a Magna Model kit before,

  • Second, it was going to be big, very big, the largest resin kit I had ever purchased

  • Third, it was very expensive at 95.00,

This whole experience would be a leap of faith as my only other resin kit had been the Sky Models G222, which is a lot smaller and cheaper.  

The kit was purchased from Hannants, so delivery was swift and without incident, the original box had been packed inside another so it was in perfect condition, the box is exactly the same size as the Airfix 1/72 Hercules.

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The news paper packaging does not exactly fill you with confidence and it became apparent that this is a much bigger aircraft than the Hercules, while I have not yet been able to compare them, the Belfast would seem to be similar in size to the AN-12.  

I found the differences between the design of the Hercules and Belfast interesting, the Hercules having a square leading edge and tapered rear while the Belfast is the reverse, what was also evident, was the quality of the panel lines and small details, which when compared to the injection moulded kit, seemed to lack definition, some varied in thickness along their length, this might be due to the casting method or condition of the moulds, some defects on the surface would seem hard to accept as anything other than errors in the moulds, flash and furred edges from drilling are considered to be common problems with resin kits.  

The remaining parts for the kit are supplied in two plastic bags, one with the control surfaces and the other contains the rest. The clear and white metal parts are in smaller packs inside the fittings pack.

There are several issues with this kit; all the doors with exception of the landing gear are moulded into the body, not a surprise given the method used to create it, but at 95.00 a throw, it would have been nice if they included some separate parts to enable you to have the option, still, if you did that, you would want an interior as well, and the sheer thickness of the resin body would prevent that.                                      

In the end, this is the only example of this aircraft you can get, it might be better suited to vac form than cast, certainly it would cost less to produce, once you have the machinery that is, you have to give some credit to firms like Magna, at least they are trying to fill in some of the huge holes in the aircraft market instead of making another F15 or Spitfire, the only other choice? Scratch build your own! In this day and age only the perfectionist would attempt this, I like a lot of other builders, seem more interested in collecting an ever larger number of kits to add to my stash, with little hope of living long enough to do them all justice, so for me, it was 95.00 well spent.

Mike

Click on images below to see larger images

  

  

Photos and text by Mike Trace