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Airbus A400M Atlas; 1:72 Scale (03929)
Topic Started: Oct 9 2017, 11:16 PM (89 Views)
Johni044
Lt John "bullet" Irwing
Airbus A400M Atlas
1:72 Scale
03929


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Background

The Airbus Industries A400M Atlas is a multinational turboprop transport aircraft intended to replace older aircraft such as the Transall and Hercules and compete with the Hercules in the international market. First flown in 2009, 174 airframes are on order with the first being supplied to the French Air Force in 2013.

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Having seen the aircraft display a couple of times one can only be impressed with the manoeuvrability of such a large airframe producing a display not normally associated with transport aircraft (rivalling the Vulcan for it’s wingover).

More details of the aircraft can be found from this Wikipedia page Link

The Kit

The kit was initially released in 2011 as the A400M Grizzly with two Flight test markings and two proposed in service markings. This kit is the same plastic but now issued with actual in service decals for French and German machines.

The kit comes in a large (quite flimsy) top opening box that contains the 212 parts on 14 (plus fuselage halves) of grey plastic plus one of clear parts.

Features (as detailed on the box) include:
Recessed panel lines
Detailed cockpit and I/P
Detailed cargo hold and structured flooring
Detailed main undercarriage
Optional deployed or feathered propellers
Can be displayed with the cargo ramp open
Detailed decal options for either a French or German aircraft

As you will see from the following pictures, this ain’t no shrinking violet, the finished kit will be 64.4cm x 59cm so a substantial space will be required the finished article.

The Plastic

I’ve taken pictures of the parts on a cutting mat with a 1cm grid on to give some impression of size.

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This is an impressive piece of moulding giving us a one-piece full span top wing with four of the eight engine halves. Detail is both restrained recessed panel lines with some raised portions where appropriate. There is a very small amount of flash the fuselage portion of the wing, but it is very small and can be cleaned up in no time.
Due the substantive nature of these parts, and some others to come, the sprue attachment points are quite large and care will be needed to remove the parts from the runners without causing damage.

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The lower wing portions and U/C doors. The doors are moulded in the closed position so will need to be cut if building if U/C deployed.

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The fin and U/C sponsons. As you can see, none of the control surfaces can be built in an operating position, well not without a lot of surgery and remedial scratch building.

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Both of the above gates are duplicated and contain primarily the U/C engines and props. A nice touch to include feathered props. Again all moulded crisply with very minimal flash, only a little on some of the blades.

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The cargo bay floor, some fine detail on this as you will see later. The ramp is moulded integral to the piece and will have to be detached if wanting to pose the ramp open.

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The inner cargo bay that incorporates seats along the walls, and ribbing details for the rear fuselage.

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Flap actuators and rear ramp.

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Ancillaries, refuelling probe and internals.

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The outer fuselage halves.

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And finally the clear parts which are very clear and free from distortion.

In Detail
A few close ups of the details.

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Decals

Surprisingly the decal sheet does not fit on my scanner!
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Options are for:

54+03, 60 Jahre Luftwaffe, LTG 62, Wunstorf, June 2016
0014 F-RBAF, “Ville de Colmar”, ET 1/61 Olreans-Bricy 2017.

Possibly of interest Bibbi models have released an aftermarket decals sheet that includes markings for British, Turkish, German, French and Malaysian machines (product code DDT-01020)

Instructions

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The instructions are the new A4 all colour format. Construction is covered in 60 stages plus 5 of painting and decal placement. Colour callouts are in Revell colours only of which several will need mixing.


Link to Instructions

Conclusions

This is one imposing impressive kit. The parts are virtually flash free, Detail seem excellent to me. Whilst the lack of possible control surfaces is unfortunate I recognise the inclusion of flaps and slats would have had an impact on the price of what is not a cheap kit. If you want and have the space for an Atlas in 1:72 this is really the only game in town. If you want something about half the size then Revell recently released one in 1:144.

Would I recommend it, well yes wholeheartedly to a modeller of moderate experience or higher, and if you want an idea for a display:

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And finally, did I mention wing over earlier?
A400M RIAT Display
Edited by Johni044, Oct 10 2017, 08:49 AM.
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Olde Farte
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Lt. Derek 'Smurfy' Reeve
Oh bugger, get thee behind me Satan and just when I was forgetting I like this kit. A nice review so thanks for that and I'm drooling all over my keyboard.
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Mark M
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Hawk T1
i may have just ordered on and the bibbi decals ill post them up when they arrive
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