Author Topic: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Salmson 2.A2 and Otsu 1  (Read 569 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Salmson 2.A2 and Otsu 1
« on: July 26, 2022, 07:16:13 PM »
Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) 1/72 Salmson Sal.2 A2 “USAS Service” and Kawasaki Otsu-1 (Sal.2 A2)
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: KPM0326 and KPM0327 (KPM0324 and KPM0325 have also been produced, which present markings for the Czech and Polish air service variants).
Scale: 1/72
Price: 16.95 Euros each, direct from Kovozávody Prostějov


Review kit kindly provided by KP Models at https://www.kovozavody.cz/

The Salmson 2.A2



The Salmson 2 came from a requirement to replace the Sopwith 1˝ Strutter and Dorand A.R. reconnaissance aircraft in the A.2 (tactical reconnaissance) role. Salmson had built the 1˝ Strutter under license, and the Salmson 2 took design points from the Strutter design. The aircraft was of conventional construction with a two-bay biplane configuration, powered by the company's own 230 hp (170 kW) Salmson 9Z water-cooled radial engine. Some minor control problems were quickly resolved in early testing, but the main defect of the Salmson 2, shared with the contemporary Airco DH.4, was that the pilot and gunner were widely separated, making communication difficult. Production was ordered after trials on 29 April 1917, and deliveries were underway by October of that year. Around 3,200 Salmson 2s were built in France, 2,200 by Salmson and the remainder by the Latécočre, Hanriot, and Desfontaines, companies. The aircraft served with both the French and US air serviced during the war.

After the war, the Salmson was used by a number of militaries. The Kawasaki firm produced around 300 Salmson 2.A2s as the Otsu 1. Around 300 aircraft were produced by this firm.



The Salmson in 1/72

The Salmson has been relatively well served by kit manufacturers in 1/72. Releases have been produced by Pegasus (injection moulded), RVHP, CMK, Choroszy Modelbud (these three in resin), and now, KP. Though this is a completely new release for 2022, this kit appears, at least on face value, to have been derived from at least one of these other kits. See below for more…

The Bits and Bobs

Released in 2022, KP have produced four boxings of this kit; the two versions examined here, and two more; one in Polish markings, and another in Czech markings. This continues KPs approach of releasing additional boxings with the same plastic and different marking themes.

The kit consists of two sprues of grey plastic, constituting 62 parts, a decal sheet, an acetate windscreen, and a small instruction leaflet. There is no etch or resin included. The plastic parts are the same for all four kits.

The kit is reasonably well detailed for this scale. KP do a good job with the representation of wing ribs, fuselage ribbing and engine vents, and other small details. The cockpit contains enough to keep things looking busy; included is a floor, seat, fuel tank, instrument board, control column, and rudder pedals. Sidewall detail is provided, and ejector pins are (thankfully) largely out of the way.The observer cockpit is a little sparse though, lacking any cameras, radios or ammunition storage. The detail inclined could go to town here. Struts are sturdy, but look a bit chunky. The location holes for these could benefit from a little bit of deepening.











There are a couple of minor downsides to the kit. The plastic is slightly rough; we have seen this with other KP efforts. This is likely a result of lower pressure injection moulding and it is reminiscent of early Roden kits. It should clean up reasonably easily with a light sanding. There is also a little bit of flash on a number of parts. Again, these problems can be easily solved with a little sandpaper.

The wheels are a little odd; they are a bit soft in detail and have some odd ‘discs’ to the rear. I’d suggest replacing wheels from something in the spares box. The propeller is also a very odd shape. Again, I’d look to the spares box for replacements here. Those also inclined may also want to consider replacing the Vickers and Lewis guns with crisper after-market items. We also get a cover for a single seat version of the Otsu variant, but no markings for this variant appear to be supplied (perhaps this was an option for any or all of these variants).




That all being said, the kit provides all of the essentials needed to build a lovely looking kit.

Now, the interesting thing in looking at the parts; the main parts (fuselage, wings, tailplane, wheels, general parts layout, and so forth) look very much like the CMK resin efforts from their resin kit released back in the 1990s. It seems on face value that KP have taken the CMK parts, put them on sprues, and added a few more bits and bobs here and there, including some new cockpit coaming and other parts. The below is a shot of the parts from the CMK kit care of scalemates - you be the judge…



Instructions

The instructions are the same for both kits. They are printed in a nice little folded A4 sized leaflet, and are printed in colour. The instructions contain a description of the aircraft’s history, some specs, a parts breakdown, and construction sequence. A nice touch is the provision of rigging instructions through construction. Paint callouts are clear and concise, and Humbrol paint references are used throughout.





Colour schemes for three machines are provided in each boxing. Colours and decal placement are called out on the rear of the box. We get a nice mix of visually interesting aircraft (noting that the basic camo / colours are generally the same for each boxing):

KPM0326:
•   Kawasaki Otsu 1, Black 316, 1920
•   Kawasaki Otsu 1, Black 1123, 1920
•   Kawasaki Otsu 1, Black 1190, 1920



KPM0327:
•   Sal 2.A2 “15”, 24th Aero Squadron USAS, November 1918
•   Sal 2.A2 “6”, 12th Aero Squadron USAS, November 1918
•   Sal 2.A2 “8”, 1st Aero Squadron USAS, June 1919



Decals

The decals are very nicely printed with solid colour and excellent register.




The USAS markings in particular are well done, though they are a little ‘fuzzy’ and ‘dotty’ in places.



The decal film looks nice and thin. These should go down nicely. 

Accuracy

I compared the kit parts to the Great War Aircraft In Profile #3 “Salmson Aircraft of World War I” by Owers, Guttman and Davilla. The parts are generally good in profile. The lower wings span according to the plans in the above reference, though the wing tips are a little too rounded, and the profile at the wing roots is too squared off.



The upper wing fares better in terms of shape, though oddly, the centre section of the kit is moulded as what looks like a fuel tank. There was no tank on the S.A2 in this location, so I can only guess that this was perhaps a hang over from the kits lineage.

The fuselage parts are good in terms of shape up front, but the fuselage is too long at the tail by about 3mm according to the plans.





The tailplane, though accurate in shape, is flat, with no rib detail (there should be the representation of fabric covered ribs here). The prominent fuselage panels to the rear of the fuselage are also absent, so these will need to be scribed. Struts, as mentioned earlier, look a bit too plump in profile, but should be useable. The wheels and prop as noted will need replacing in order to look ‘right’.

Buildability


By its nature, this will be a tricky build. That being said, thankfully the lower wing is moulded as a single piece, which should help in terms of alignment. Based on my experience with the 1/48 Gaspatch S.A2, if you get the cabane struts and lower wing properly aligned, you should be able to mount the top wing on the cabanes and then slot in each interplane strut (provided you deepen the holes a little more, as noted). This may make rigging a little tricky also, depending on your preferred method. In short, this kit should build fine for those with a little experience under their belt, though some planning will be required.

Conclusions


KP are to be applauded for putting out this kit. Again, they have done a solid job in putting together a very nice package, whilst keeping a modest parts count. Though the kit has some vices, and may prove a little tricky to construct, the challenges are more than made up for in the solid basis that this kit provides. The multiple boxings of this kit provide many different and interesting colour schemes. I intend on enjoying building these in due course. Highly recommended for those fans of the slightly lesser well known yet important kites from the Great War.

Our very sincere thanks to KP for the review samples!


Offline Brad Cancian

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Re: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Salmson 2.A2 and Otsu 1
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 03:54:51 PM »
Hi All - KP have now added a French version to the lineup, here -

https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/salmson-sal-2a2-in-french-services/

Cheers,

BC