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RiderFan

Review and Build for 1/72 Avro Arrow

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Hello Everyone.

Well, as some of you may have heard, Hobbycraft Canada seems to be trying to rise from its ashes and has released a "new tooling" CF-105 Arrow in 1:72 scale. For the purpose of this review and build thread, I'm not going to go into any of the history of the aircraft or the politics regarding it's untimely demise. There are volumes written on that already. Instead, I'd like to focus on what's new and improved with the kit. I will also say this. I would consider myself somewhat of an Arrow expert. Many folks here can tell you how many rivets there are on an F-4 Phantom, or the serial number ranges for the ejection seats for the F-14 Tomcat. I'm one of those guys that can do this with the Arrow. I have a great many drawings in various scales, even some of the original hand drawn blueprints right out of the Avro Factory. etc, etc, etc... So that all said, if something isn't right, I'll call it out. I'm happy to see another Arrow kit on the market. Even small improvements over the horrible previous Hobbycraft attempts would be welcome. But the bar is pretty high in terms of kit quality for the dollar now a days.

General

I'll start with just a box contents shot. This shows the complete contents of the box. The box itself is the end flap opening type just like the 2nd edition of the kit released by HC. The box is about the same size too. The artwork consists of a "CAD" drawing of the aircraft's profile, top view, as well as an orthographic view. The first thing one notices is is that the main landing gear door is rendered upside down. This really doesn't bode well for the rest of the kit. On the back is the same Markings diagram as printed on previous packaging. For sake of completeness, the side panels show some 1:144 scale kits that may or may not be in production.

Dsc_0558.jpg

The kit contains 4 sprues of white plastic and 1 of clear. It contains a single decal sheet and instructions.

The painting diagram on the back of the box calls for Gloss Red for the day glow paint. This is not accurate. The day glow paint on the Arrow was Florescent Orange. Not gloss red.

Decals

Because aftermarket decals are sort of my thing now, I figured I'd start the review with those as honestly, they were the first thing I looked at. To summarize, I'll definitely be doing a full decal sheet for this kit. The single most glaring error on the sheet is the Canadian Red Ensigns that were found only on RL-203. These are simply going to be unsuable as there are two major problems.

  • The Canadian Shield is about 2 times too big for the flag.
  • The Canadian Shield is backwards on the right hand side flag. As per RCAF drawings, and every real photograph of the real flag ever taken of on a real aircraft, the coat of arms faces the union jack on both sides. The "Harp" always faces forward. This decal sheet (and at least two other major decal manufactures get this wrong too) shows the same Canadian Shield on both sides.

Dsc_0563.jpg

Beyond the unusable ensign, the roundels are registered well and overall the sheet will work for those doing any air frame other than 203. The intake bleed ramps are represented by silver decals only. There is no detail on the actual part so an alternative here needs to be found too. The sheet also comes with full cockpit IP decals but these will be completely invisible inside once the canopy is in place.

Instructions

The instruction sheet reminds me a lot of how Czech Models does theirs. No longer do we have to deal with artwork that looks like it was done by a 5 year old. Now we have computer generated, colour coded, images showing each part and how it goes together.

Dsc_0565.jpg

Canopy

The clear canopy has the correct overall shape, but the engraved panel lines for the forward windows are the wrong size and shape. If you can find a canopy for the earlier kit, use that one instead because it had the correct window lines.

Dsc_0564.jpg

General Sprues

The remainder of the parts are molded in typical Hobbbycraft brittle white plastic. The panel lines are all engraved but are not as finely done as other kits of similar price (ie the Academy 1:72 CF-18 kit).

Dsc_0560.jpg

DSC_0559.jpg

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Overall, it is a scaled down version of the 1:48 kit. Those of you with the 1:48 edition will recognize most of the parts. I ~think~ they have corrected the intake profile but I'll only be able to determine that once I start the build.

Going forward I'll be building the kit up and posting a full build log. If you have any questions at all, please ask.

Thanks for looking in.

David

Edited by RiderFan

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David,

If you do the decal sheet I'll buy it! I've got some Astra Vac CF-105s and if this kit turns out to be better I may even pick one up....

:cheers:

Emil

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Thanks for the comments.

So I thought it would help if I did a little side by side comparison of the "2nd edition kit" and the "new tooling kit". For those that are unfamiliar, Hobbycraft has released 3 version of the Arrow in 1/72 scale.

The first edition had numerous flaws, including such glaring errors as the wing control actuator covers molded on top of the wings. It was a short lived release that received such bad feedback that hobbycraft, to their credit, retooled the kit and issued a second edition. Some of the more obvious flaws were corrected but it still had the general shape problems the first edition had. Then there's the new tooling which is the subject of this thread.

For sake of interest, I'm comparing the new tooling to the 2nd, and far more commonly available, version of the kit.

My Drawings

Okay, so here's the thing. There are lots of Arrow schematic drawings out there done by different people. And none of them are the same. Because the aircraft was designed when draftsmen still sat at large tables with slide rules and pencils, even the actual blueprints have some differences in them. But that said, there are drawings that are considered as accurate as possible. For the purpose of this thread, I'm using a set of beautifully done true 1:72 scale drawings that shipped with the Astra Vacuformed Arrow kit in the mid 80s. These drawings were done by JH Stroomenberg in July 79 and are considered the standard for that scale.

For those that are interested in 1:48 scale drawings, H McLean produced a gorgeous set in 1981 that are the defacto standard for all Arrow drawings. I have converted that set into 1:32 for another project I'm working on.

Anyway, for the sake of this thread, the Stroomenberg drawings are used.

The Nose

Below image is a 1-1 comparison of the new tool kit and the 2nd edition kit. Overall the new tooling is much better. Interior details (such as they are) are better, although again, you'll never see them. The new nose comes with an actual forward gear bay although it's not remotely accurate to the real thing.

Dsc_0570.jpg

The shape of the new kit nose is much improved. Overall profile and length have been corrected when compared to the drawings.

Dsc_0567.jpg

Wings

Overall the wings are better than the 2nd edition with corrected overall cord and span. The leading edge angle of the outer wing however is still incorrect.

Dsc_0574.jpg

Dsc_0573.jpg

Fuselage

The general shape of the fuselage is much improved. Gone is that horribly exaggerated 'Coke Bottle' flair (the Arrow made use of the Area Rule design, but the 2nd edition kit's version was ridiculous). The overall length has been corrected as well as the overall height. This means that the very poorly done intake profile of the previous editions has been improved too (this was always my biggest beef with the earlier kits).

Dsc_0577.jpg

Dsc_0579.jpg

Dsc_0581.jpg

Edited by RiderFan

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Looks like they improved a lot of things! Nice work on the build!

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As I go through the build and giving further examination of the instruction sheet I'm finding several issues with it. It often references either wrong parts or parts that actually do not even exist. For example;

  • The instruction step #2 references a part A16. This is the semi-circular bulkhead between the pilot and observers canopies. A16 doesn't exist. The actual part is D9.
  • The cockpit decal instructions are incorrect as well. The placement instructions for decals G and M are backwards. They should go on the opposite parts.
  • Step 5 calls for cutting apart the main gear bay doors if you want a gear down build. The actual parts though are already separated. Also, the instructions call for A25L and A25R as the parts. On the sprues they're actually D19 and 20 for the main doors, and D21 and 22 for the strut covers. A25 doesn't actually exist.
  • The main wheels are labelled on the instructions as A28 and A27 (inner and outer halves). In fact the parts are D28 and D29.

In reality, most of the parts labeled as 'A' can be found on the 'D' sprue under a different number. So you really can only use the instructions as a visual reference. Don't rely on it for the part numbers or you'll go mad.

The cockpit is not too bad in shape considering you're not going to see much. Only a slight trimming of the floor plate is required to make it fit nicely. The cockpit floor is the top of the forward gear bay.

Dsc_0584.jpg

For the fuselage in general, something that was learned from all Arrow builds is that reinforcement is required for the fuselage join. This join is always going to be bad and require filling and sanding. There's really not much a manufacture could do to improve this seam so it's up to the builder.

Dsc_0583.jpg

You can see the new fuselage as compared to the earlier 2nd Edition (on the top in these two images). You can see that it's considerably shorter, squatter, thinner, and has that horrible flaring front end.

Dsc_0590.jpg

Dsc_0589.jpg

Next up... intakes.

Edited by RiderFan

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My biggest beef with all Hobbycraft Arrow kits to date has been with the intakes. The Arrow has very unique and distinguishable intake profile and HC has never been able to get this correct. On this edition, it's "better" although still not accurate. If you're as persnickety as I am, you'll want to correct this. If you're happy with the way the 2nd edition builds up, then these improvements will work okay for you.

You can see in this image the 2nd edition intake ramp as compared to the scale drawings. These parts are way too small.

Dsc_0588.jpg

Here is the new tooling intake ramp on the same drawing. The parts are now correctly sized.

Dsc_0587.jpg

And a direct comparison.

Dsc_0586.jpg

The intakes are not seamless on this kit and there's no intake trunking. There's a large flat bulk head about 5 or so mm inside of the intake trunk. I'm thinking a resin intake replacement set would be a big seller here.

Edited by RiderFan

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Thank you for this review! Now I have no qualms about hacking up the old kit for whiffery and getting the new one for an actual Arrow build!

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How do the new edition nose and intakes compare to the replacement resin parts from Mastercaster intended for the first and second edition of this kit?

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How do the new edition nose and intakes compare to the replacement resin parts from Mastercaster intended for the first and second edition of this kit?

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How do the new edition nose and intakes compare to the replacement resin parts from Mastercaster intended for the first and second edition of this kit?

As far as I know, the Mastercaster parts were intended for the 1:48 scale kit. I've never heard of any aftermarket parts for the 72 scale one save for some rough decal sheets. That said though, the nose is pretty spot on to the drawings. I'm not sure you'd gain much from an aftermarket nose section. The intakes could still be improved but to do that it would require cutting off a significant section of the forward fuselage and replacing it with resin. Unless replacement parts come with complete intake trunks, there's no point in that either because the slight adjustments that need to be made can be done in a few minutes of work.

Speaking of slight adjustments....

The kit intakes are mostly correct. They do need some adjustment though as they're too high and the whole assembly needs to be lowered and the 'curve' of the intake corrected. This same adjustment needs to be made on the 1:48 kit too so I copied what I did with that one.

The intake assembly lowered leaves a step gap...

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and one of the bottom too...

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So the next step here is to add some styrene to fill in the steps and re-sculpt the profile a little bit.

Dsc_0598.jpg

So that slightly corrects the intakes... I may take a stab at doing proper seamless full trunk corrected intakes.

Edited by RiderFan

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David,

Is the nose gear door molded open on the left side or right? As you may recall the Hobbycraft Facebook pics shows it on the left. The nose wheel well looks to indicate the Hobbycraft staff must have made a mistake. Thanks for being on the first to purchase it and post up a review for us to see before we get one. From the looks, finally a 1/72 scale and not a 1/78ish Arrow injection kit.

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The gear door is a separate part. The instructions place it on the correct side of the bay so I can only assume they glued it on the wrong side.

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As far as I know, the Mastercaster parts were intended for the 1:48 scale kit. I've never heard of any aftermarket parts for the 72 scale one save for some rough decal sheets.

Yeah Mastercaster Did make a 1/72nd correction set.... I got one. I also Have their 1/48th sets too along with the NorthStar one.

Looks as though you won't need the correction set on this kit, Just a bit of elbow grease.

I've already dumped my HC 2nd Ed Arrows so this kit might just work for me.

Good work David keep it up.

Emil

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Very nice review thus far. I saw this kit at a mostly flying hobby store in town today. Just under $40. Big improvement over the old kit but its a good thing I only do 1/48 now.......Won't be paying $40 for a 1/72 kit.

Your decal concerns were the first thing I noticed as well. Overall its a big improvement over the old kit.

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Which Store Shawn?

I was at the one by Costco today picked up some supplies none there.

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Both the one on Courtland and there is a bunch at the Spitfire empoirum on Victora, both the same price or close enough.

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So continuing with the build tonight...

The wings are on but large gaps need to be filled in as shown in the image below

Dsc_0603.jpg

At this point the shape is matching very closely to the drawings. It's not 100% perfect, but very, very close. 1000% more accurate than the earlier editions of the kit.

Engines

The engines and exhaust can covers in the new kit are pretty much the same as the 1:48 scale kit. The Arrow Prototypes used J75 Engines. The exhaust cans of these engines had additional covers over the top to provide better aerodynamics. These slip covers (lack of a better way to describe them) changed style and size during the testing. The previous versions of the kit included what I call the 'Roll Out' cans. These were stubby and had several curves. Later in the testing, larger and more tubular covers were used. The new tooling kit comes with the later style of covers.

The new kit also comes with something that I guess is supposed to represent the J75 burner can that fits inside.

New kit parts on the left, previous editions on the right.

Dsc_0601.jpg

For sake of interest, here's the previous edition part next to the new part. Note the dramatic difference in width. It's not possible to use the old part with the new kit even if you wanted to build a Roll Out bird.

Dsc_0602.jpg

Tail Surface

So I guess as we're hanging out near the aircraft's backend, it should be noted that the vertical tail plane and rudder is now correctly sized. The previous editions had this part as a single piece. The new tool kit has the vertical tail as two halves.

Dsc_0599.jpg

Dsc_0600.jpg

Edited by RiderFan

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Something I've just noticed.

Hobbycraft really seems to have problems with the wing actuators. In the first edition of the kit they put them on the tops of the wings. On this edition, they don't line up with the control surface. Not sure of the best way to correct this. Other than shaving them off and scratch building new ones..

Dsc_0609.jpg

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Something I've just noticed.

Hobbycraft really seems to have problems with the wing actuators. In the first edition of the kit they put them on the tops of the wings. On this edition, they don't line up with the control surface. Not sure of the best way to correct this. Other than shaving them off and scratch building new ones..

I noticed that same problem on the 1/48 HC1659 Arrow. :bandhead2: They'll probably fix it in a purple box release :lol: .

Edited by aerofan

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Slice each Lump off wit a razor blade..... Might take some time.... But save a bit on the scratch build.

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Thanks David, for posting this build.

I have the 1/48th kit and have been waiting to do the kit justice. Can't have anything less for a Canadian legend!!

Weren't you on the RC Groups forum? I seem to remember you on an Arrow pusher made from Depron. I built one years ago and am still flying it. Looks fantastic in the air!!

Looks great, keep the info coming.

Kevin

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Hi Kevin.

Yes, I was (Guess I still am) on RC groups for a long time. I scratch built a RC EDF Arrow a couple of years ago. Here it is beside my spitfire;

a1043457-230-Imgp0156.jpg

The full build thread is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=462473

I don't fly too much RC anymore. Not enough room to build them, but also no easy places to fly them. In Vancouver you're allowed to fly small electric foamies in parks and football fields. Not the case here so I don't bother any more. Shame too, I have a lot of RC stuff still.

Edited by RiderFan

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Hi Kevin.

Yes, I was (Guess I still am) on RC groups for a long time. I scratch built a RC EDF Arrow a couple of years ago. Here it is beside my spitfire;

a1043457-230-Imgp0156.jpg

The full build thread is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=462473

I don't fly too much RC anymore. Not enough room to build them, but also no easy places to fly them. In Vancouver you're allowed to fly small electric foamies in parks and football fields. Not the case here so I don't bother any more. Shame too, I have a lot of RC stuff still.

David

Cool looking RC planes. If you're up for a bit of a drive, you can find an RC flying club in Blainville (Exit 25 on the Laurentian Autoroute). The club is quite active; I was there for an open house about 10 years ago and was quite impressed. They have an airstrip and other facilities. Let me know by PM if you'd like more info on this club.

ALF

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