Author Topic: Kit Review- Special Hobby 1/48 scale Airspeed Oxford "Commonwealth Service"  (Read 230 times)

Online Dave W

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SPECIAL HOBBY 1:48 OXFORD MK.I/II ‘COMMONWEALTH SERVICE’.



KIT  # SH 48104.

Scale: 1/48
Price: Special Hobby on-line €38.16; $US 44.17; UK £32.35; $A 89.99 in Australia.

Review sample kindly provided by Special Hobby and available at: www.specialhobby.eu and through quality model shops worldwide.

An ‘In-Box’ review by Pete Mossong.



The Airspeed AS.10 Oxford was a twin-engine monoplane aircraft developed and manufactured by Airspeed. It saw widespread use for training British Commonwealth aircrews in navigation, radio-operating, bombing and gunnery roles throughout the Second World War.
The Oxford was developed by Airspeed during the 1930s in response to a requirement for a capable trainer aircraft that conformed with Specification T.23/36, which had been issued by the British Air Ministry. Its basic design is derived from the company's earlier AS.6 Envoy, a commercial passenger aircraft. Performing its maiden flight on 19 June 1937, it was quickly put into production as part of a rapid expansion of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in anticipation of a large-scale conflict.
As a consequence of the outbreak of war, many thousands of Oxfords were ordered by Britain and its allies, including Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Poland, and the United States. Following the end of the conflict, the Oxford continued to achieve export sales for some time, equipping the newly formed air forces of Egypt, India, Israel, and Yugoslavia. It was considered to be a capable trainer aircraft throughout the conflict, as well as being used a general-purpose type. A large number of Oxfords have been preserved on static display. (History via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspeed_Oxford).

Originally released in 2012, this version of the ‘Ox-box’ covers some of those operated by the RAAF, RCAF and two options operated by the RNZAF who were amongst the first overseas purchasers of the Oxford.
Moulded in a mid-grey plastic, the kit has very finely engraved panel lines, and a smooth finish. The fabric surfaces of the fin and rudder, elevators and ailerons are well portrayed, and not overdone.





The interior structure is moulded into the fuselage sides, but there are a couple of ejector pin marks that will require some careful cleaning up. Most of the interior detailing is included on the injected sprues, the three seats and control columns being very well portrayed.
The Instrument panel is also on the plastic sprues, and will be well received by the PE and film ‘sandwich’ method haters, being deeply recessed so either dry-brushing, or decals can be used if desired to detail it.

One big surprise is the minimum use of resin used in this kit, only comprising of some interior details such as the centre control console, the radio shelf, the exhaust mufflers and intake trunking, and a couple of other details including a well done Vickers ‘K’ machine gun to be used for the turret options.

A small PE fret provides seat belts, engine control levers to be fitted to the centre console, and one or two other small detail parts including very finely done seat mount structures.




Unusually, the engines and wheels that we have been accustomed to seeing in resin from this manufacturer are on the injected sprues. The wheels are very well done, but the engines are a bit of a disappointment, being ‘soft’ in detail, having very minimal finning for the cylinders and no push rods! Some work will be required here for those of us who are a bit ‘anal’!


The engine cowls are supplied in two halves, with the join between them following the panels as on the real thing. The wheel wells are fully ‘boxed’ in with all the bulkheads supplied. The undercarriage structure is very finely done, and will require some careful handling to avoid breakage!




The wings appear to be spot on regarding panels and such like, but the landing lights are just provided as two clear discs mounted behind a clear cover.
The bomb cell is moulded closed, but I’m sure the super detailers will be able to work some magic here, and open them up. The control surfaces are moulded into the wings and horizontal tailplanes and are not articulated.




A very clear sprue provides all the needed ‘glassware’ required, including the turret but this is not used for any of the marking options provided in this boxing.  A clear cover is provided to blank off the turret area. Note: all the parts for the turret are provided, including the gunners ‘bicycle’ seat’ so with a change of markings, any of the RNZAF’s turreted Mk.1’s can also be produced from this kit.


Two decal sheets are included with two RNZAF options NZ1736, the Red and Yellow striped Calibration Flight example, and NZ1222 in Dark Earth, Dark Green over Sky with Yellow panels.






Further options are an RAAF Mk.1 from No.1 SFTS, Point Cook LW926 in Foliage Green/Earth Brown over Yellow, and an RCAF Mk.1 from the Central Flying School in Trenton, in overall Yellow. Roundels and fin-flashes are included on the main sheet including those in Blue/White for the RAAF example. The colours look pretty good.
(pics decal-1 and decal-2)

The second smaller sheet contains all the stencilling, and further serials.
Two paint masks are also provided, one for the canopy and clear sections including the turret, and a further one to mask the fuselage for the yellow surrounds to the roundels. Good stuff SH.

The instruction sheet comes as several folded A4 sheets in a pictorial style, giving notes where needed for variations of the depicted aircraft. Bi-lingual (Czech and English) paint notes are given as Gunze numbers, with paint names.







Overall, a beautiful kit, just let down in my opinion by the engines, and a great addition to any RNZAF collection, as using what’s in the box, and some changes in paint and markings, any of the RNZAF’s 299 ‘Ox-boxes’ can be replicated.

I do have to admit that I had a small part in the production of this kit having supplied Special Hobby via a friend in the Czech Republic, Petr Buchar with a full walkaround photo-shoot of NZ1332 (which can be seen on the following link but note it’s now plastered with the Photo*ucket logos) https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234911943-kiwi-airspeed-oxford-walkaround-photos-part-1/

Review Kit supplied by Special Hobby.

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Offline Pup7309

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Nice I have their 1/48 Avro Anson Unbuilt and have been pondering this one…
‘Not all who wander are lost‘

Offline gbrivio

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A really good looking kit, thank you for the review and SH for increasing and improving their production.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Offline KiwiZac

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I've had this waiting to be completed for several years as joining the wing to fuselage is daunting, but given I have half a decade+ more experience I'd be surprised if it's not completed before 2023.

I'm torn between NZ1222 as that's my all-time favourite scheme for an Oxbox and PK286 at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.
"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."

Offline Whiteknuckles

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I've had this waiting to be completed for several years as joining the wing to fuselage is daunting, but given I have half a decade+ more experience I'd be surprised if it's not completed before 2023.

I'm torn between NZ1222 as that's my all-time favourite scheme for an Oxbox and PK286 at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

Please make sure to show us some photo's when she's done!!

Andrew
Eternal Apprentice

Offline KiwiZac

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Please make sure to show us some photo's when she's done!!
Now that we have this subforum I definitely will! I have a friend who has volunteered to airbrush the final camo for me and, if I do decide on the AFMNZ example, I have the painting guide PDF straight from the museum's expert.
"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."