Author Topic: Kit review - Special Hobby 1/72 scale Harvard Mk II / IIA/ IIB  (Read 134 times)

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Kit review - Special Hobby 1/72 scale Harvard Mk II / IIA/ IIB
« on: September 29, 2021, 04:21:23 PM »
Special Hobby 1/72  scale Harvard Mk II/ IIA/ IIB
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Reviewed by: Dave Wilson

Item:  SH 72447
Scale: 1:72
Price:   Special Hobby on-line €14.58; $ 19.99 USD ; UK £14,60; $A 29.99 in Australia
Review Sample kindly provided by Special Hobby. Available at: 
and through quality model shops worldwide.

Grey styrene parts (some not for use); clear canopy options, resin parts, PE fret, decal sheet with marking options for 5 aircraft.

General Comments:
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is one of the most famous flying trainers, serving with several air forces during and after WW2 and even today forming the backbone of many warbird display teams.

Although known as the T6 or Texan to American modellers, the aircraft was known to Commonwealth air force users as the Harvard and this boxing is geared for those wanting a Harvard used in the wartime British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. This was a massive multi nation system of training wartime aircrew. It was created in a partnership involving Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and trained thousands of aircrew for WW2 service.

The kit:
I think most modellers have iconic kits that defined their love for our hobby and for me the first was the Airfix 1/72 Harvard of the early 1960s.

I made several examples of this kit with its garish yellow plastic but never managed to build one in my favourite scheme- an RNZAF wartime trainer.
Special Hobby in Czech Republic have answered the call with this clever boxing to mark the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Harvards and – happy days- there’s an RNZAF marking option!
Over the years the Harvard or T6 Texan have been kitted in several scales but in 1/72 it’s been either the elderly Airfix model, an even older Hawk kit, a much better Heller model in the late 1970s and in 1998 the Academy kit.
Special Hobby’s release is a re-box of the Academy model but with much more including upgraded parts and canopies to make a Harvard Mk II/ IIA or IIB.
So it’s not a wholly new tool Harvard but the extras take it much closer to one than ever before.
The Academy plastic consists of three frames of medium grey plastic and one of clear parts, all well bagged.

Special Hobby has added three new canopies to cover different versions and these are well moulded and clear. However for those who want to model their canopy open, you’ll need your razor saw as the rear cockpit sliding cover is molded closed.

The resin includes a connection for the control columns, a twin Venturi, a cranked pitot tube, and the important long exhaust pipe.

The PE fret

The Assembly Instructions:
The Instructions are in a 10 page booklet of A5 size quality paper in color. The full instructions can also be downloaded from the Special Hobby website.
The instructions are well printed and the assembly sequence is easily followed, with a color key to the Gunze line of paints.

These are well printed and in register and provide marking options for five aircraft:

Marking options are:

1. Harvard Mk.II No. 25/2625, 34 Service Flying Training School RCAF Medicine Hat, Canada, 1943. (All yellow).
2. Harvard Mk.IIB, No. 38/FX389, No.16 (Polish) Service Flying School, RAF Newton, England (Dark Earth/Dark Green over yellow).
3. Harvard Mk.IIA No. 78/EX490, No.20 Service Flying School, SRAF, Cranborne, Southern Rhodesia 1943. (Natural metal finish with yellow bands on the wings)
4. Harvard Mk.IIA No. 32/NZ934, No.2 Service Flying School RNZAF, Woodbourne, New Zealand 1942. (Dark Earth/Dark Green over sky with yellow side panels).
5. Harvard Mk.IIB No. 14/FE479, No.1  Service Flying Training School RIAF, Ambala Base, India 1944/45. (All yellow).

Hand nerve damage in recent years has pushed me away from 1/72 scale toward larger scale subjects but Special Hobby’s appealing new Harvard boxing is irresistible and ticks some very important modelling want boxes.
This is a delightful kit, not a brand new tooling but the extras give us new scope to more accurately make a wartime Commonwealth Harvard and for me, that’s a long standing hobby wish come true.
Very highly recommended.
The Review Kit was kindly provided by Special Hobby.
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RNZAF Museum archive image of kit subject NZ 932

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