ACADEMY 1:72 CESSNA A-37B DRAGONFLY
Reviewer: Johnathon Mock (taken from rec.models.scale)
The Academy A-37 bears a passing resemblance to both the 1/72 Hasegawa and 1/48 Monogram kits, but is entirely of their own tooling. Over 100 parts are moulded in pale grey and clear styrene. Panel lines are cleanly recessed on the hard plastic with raised fuel filler caps. A complete enclosed cockpit is supplied with nice ejector seats, sticks and instrument panel, though the centre consoles is bare of any detail. The canopy is moulded in two parts enabling it to be left open, Academy provide the interior mechanism and canopy sill (ala Monogram).
The wheel wells are all boxed and the undercarriage doors have some good detail. All the various aerials, antennas and lights are provided separate items and are delicately done. A refuelling probe is included, though you'll need to shorten it for foreign versions. The overall fit of parts is excellent, a touch of filler was needed on the underside wing/fuselage join but this was really a personal decision rather than any onerous gaps on the model.
The engine intakes and exhausts are about as disappointing as this kit gets. Academy have blanked both off but provide no engine fan or jet pipe detail, though this can be remedied by making a pair of intake covers from plasticard and a brass tube for the pipes. The FOD screens are also moulded closed and the mesh indicated by raised lines - it wont be long before someone offers a photo etched detail set for the latter, but cutting out the positions of the plastic screens will be tricky! , The main undercarriage legs has the scissor links moulded as solid triangles while the nose gear has the wheel integrally moulded, all of which is rather basic. You'll also need to drill out the lights on the nose.
A bumper selection of external stores is provided, including a quartet each of 100gallon fuel tanks, Mk.82 bombs and LAU-4 rockets pods (with alternative covers), a pair of SUU-14A bomb dispensers and the characteristic wingtip tanks.
Markings are provided for two aircraft both in the TAC camouflage, one from the 8th SOS, 14 SOW, USAF and the other a South Korean machine from the 8th Fighter Wing. The decals are well printed - Academy are improving in this area - and though the glossy carrier film is a little thick, it's nothing a dose of setting solutions and a coat of clear flat can't handle. Doubtless many modellers will be looking through the Superscale back catalogue or keeping an eye out for new sheets to decorate this kit.
A quick check shows no obvious outline or dimensional errors. The model captures the squat character of the "Super Tweet" and it's interesting to note from the instruction sheet that there are some items in this issue that are not required -and as the wings are moulded on a separate sprue anyway, perhaps Academy have the smaller-engined T-37 in mind for a future release? Special praise should also be made for Academy's instruction sheets which is neat, concise and informative.
A beautiful little kit and it's myriad of alternative colour scheme should reward Academy for their wise investment - roll on the Bronco!
Related Reviews: Hasegawa 1/72 A-37 Dragonfly
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Kit Review Index: 1/72 1/48
Origins of this piccie unknown but shows an A-37 in common Co-in camouflage