Aerotech | AT32004 1934 DH 88 Comet
Reviewed by Jay Laverty
You can say that good things come in unassuming packages, and that definitely applies here. Safely tucked inside the plain white box with the Aerotech logo and the label on the side as the only indication as to what lies inside, is one of the nicest resin models I have seen to date. Not an aficionado by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to civilian subjects, it was going to take a great deal to get me excited about something that does not wear a camouflage pattern of any description, and this kit does more than excite me, it deeply impresses me.
I must confess that I was anticipating this kit anyways, due to the sleek and stylish 30’s design of this twin engine racer that participated in the Mildenhall in Suffolk to Melbourne in Australia race which began on 20th October 1934. Using the wealth of information provided as part of the beautifully rendered Certificate of Authenticity for the model, I have personally learned some amazing facts surrounding the development and construction of this significant British aviation design. It is amazing to think that prior to the creation by Sir MacPherson Robertson of a £10,000.00 prize for the England to Melbourne race, The United States were the only country with the aircraft capable of handling the demands of such a flight. However, British determination and ingenuity being what it was, De Havilland were able to produce 3 aircraft meeting the required specifications in a mere 9 months before the race was to begin. In fact the first of the airframes to be completed had it first test flight a mere six weeks prior to the race date. Not only did they manage to create the airframe in an astonishingly fast time, they also built the aircraft that would ultimately go on to win the race!
The kit itself is a very nicely rendered master, full of plenty of detail, and cast to perfection by MDC. The only issue I can honestly come up with at this point is that the surface texture is slightly on the rough side, but this is nothing that a small amount of Mr. Surfacer and some sanding will not cure. In all I am guessing it would be little more than a couple of hours work, which considering the release agent will need removing anyways, these two tasks can easily be combined and thus it seems less of a chore to me.
Finesse and Professionalism
A genuine tribute to the execution of the masters and the professionalism of the casting is the fact that even before any serious clean up of the resin takes place, the parts fit pretty neatly together in test fittings. I am really starting to get into this model now. The cockpit is rather intelligently done, with the assembled pit simply needing insertion into the fuesalge as part of the centre spar when completed.
I was equally impressed with the quality of the white metal parts. Occasionally in Limited Run kits, white metal parts will be somewhat crude and a little rough, but these are cast with admirable finesse and I can honestly say they are some of the best I have seen to date. There are small amounts of flash to clean up, but definitely nothing that will be difficult to deal with.
The story of high quality and excellence in execution carries on to the photo-etched parts which cover cockpit components such as the instrument panel and some of the levers, as well as the seat belts.
Carrying onto the Vac form canopy, this is absolutely crystal clear and very neatly done, and unfortunately the pictures I have taken do not do them full justice.
The decals are equally well produced by Creative Digital for Marsh Models, and look to be of the highest quality while offering all three versions of the DH-88 that participated in the race including the 1934 race winner G-ACSS.
I am extremely anxious to get this kit started and even though there are two or three projects that precede it and need to be completed first, I am being completely honest when I say I will have a very hard time not starting this before I can clear the bench and give it the attention it so rightfully deserves. I am not sure just how other civil kits are approached, as far as suitable media for components, but I can say this kit has been approached from a logical perspective, and it is just the same as any multi media military kit I have ever made so from that point of view there is no reason to be intimidated by taking on this kit. I will say it again if I have said it already, I am deeply impressed with this kit, and it has far exceeded any expectations I had prior to receiving it. This model receives the highest recommendation from me.
DH 88 Comet - Kit builds any of the 3 1934 Macpherson Robertson versions. Rrp £141.00 inc.UK tax
Old Stable Studio
Court Lodge Farm
© Jay Laverty 2006
This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Monday, February 22 2016