Author Topic: Special Hobby 1/72 Potez 25TOE “For France – Anytime, Anywhere”  (Read 700 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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Special Hobby 1/72 Potez 25TOE “For France – Anytime, Anywhere”
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: SH72407
scale: 1/72
Price: 31.39 Euros, direct from Special Hobby


Review kit kindly provided by Special Hobby at https://www.specialhobby.eu/potez-25-toe-1-72

For France!

After the conclusion of the First World War, France looked to a new type of aircraft to fulfil the Reconnaissance (“A2”) and Bomber (“B2”) roles which had been so crucial to the success of that campaign. A competition was held in the early 1920s, and the Potez 25 design was the winner. The design was based on previous Potez 15 and Potez 24 designs, being of a semi-sesquiplane layout, with its lower wing of narrower chord and span than the upper wing. The design introduced a number of innovations, most notably regarding its simplicity and ruggedness, and ability to accept almost any engine type with sufficient power. Accordingly, the versatility of the design saw it used by many international customers, sporting many different types of powerplants. For this reason, the Potez 25 saw steady production from 1925 through to 1934, and was built under liscence in Poland, Yugoslavia, Portugal and Romania.



The major version used by the French was the Potez 25TOE, with some 795 being produced. The aircraft featured a deeper belly and extra fuel tanks, and was fitted with a Lorraine engine. The Potez 25TOE flew in Africa, Syria, and French Indochina, but also saw service with the French Navy due to its extended range. Operationally, the aircraft was operated into and throughout the Second World War in both the A2 and B2 roles, well after it was operationally obsolete. Even after the defeat of France it was flown by Vichy French forces. The aircraft was also used extensively as a trainer.

The Kit

Special Hobby released this kit back in 2020. The kit is essentially a repackaging of the Azur kit, itself first released in 2019. Accordingly, the kit and moulding technology is quite modern in nature, as we’ll see. As an aside, Special Hobby also released a “Polish Jupiter” boxing (SH727416) with some additional parts, and is intending on releasing a “Jupiter Version” (SH72420) with other international users some time in 2023.

The kit is moulded five sprues of grey plastic, a single clear sprue, and an etched fret. No resin or masks are provided. This kit shares many parts with the other variants; accordingly, there are quite a few parts that aren’t needed in this boxing.

Sprue A contains the fuselages halves, and upper engine cowls.


The floor part on this sprue is not required for this variant. The fuselage halves are crisply moulded, with crisp panels and panel line detail. Comprehensive internal sidewall detail is provided, which include throttle quadrants on the port side and an antenna reel on the starboard side. There are some mould release pin holes but these should be tucked away out of view on the finished model.




The upper engine cowls are equally crisp and well moulded, with the cooling vents especially well represented.



Sprue B contains the major flying surfaces, and wheels:



Rib detail is nicely done, but perhaps just a little over done in this scale. The wings and vertical stabiliser have a nice subtle texture to them, which is oddly absent from the horizontal stabiliser and elevators. The horizontal stabiliser and elevators also seem to have a different representation of ribs than the other flying surfaces (I am not sure if this is accurate; I presume the difference is for a good reason). Control surface demarcations are nice and crisp, which should make cutting and repositioning the control surfaces quite easy, for those so inclined. Holes for wing struts look suitably deep, and should provide sound mounting points. The wheels are also nicely done, though there is a little flash here and there. Options for spoked or covered wheels are provided for.





Sprue C contains the detail parts, noting that a good deal of these are not used for this variant. Moulding is generally crisp, though some seam lines are present, and care will be needed to remove parts from the sprues.




Of note, the undercarriage legs are commendably thin, but as above, care will be needed during clean up and assembly.



Especially nice are the front radiator parts used for this variant.



Sprue D contains further detail parts; the same comments apply here as to sprue C.



Sprue H is the sprue specific to this variant. It contains the deepened fuselage belly, nose side panels, and propeller.



A nice touch is the open window and strap buckles under the fuselage.

A single clear sprue is provided, containing five windscreen parts, two of which are not used.



Lastly, an etched fret is provided, containing spoked wheel parts, aileron control horns, and rigging attachment points. Unfortunately, no seat belts are provided.



Instructions


Special Hobby’s Instructions are provided in their modern, high-quality booklet. Presented in 15 glossy pages, construction occurs over 49 steps. The instructions are comprehensive, with a parts layout, clear instruction and paint call outs (in Humbrol and Gunze paints), and full colour four angle painting profiles. Thankfully, a rigging diagram is also provided.














Four colour schemes are presented, all of which are French machines (unsurprisingly, given the boxing title). Each of the schemes is sufficiently different and interesting to provide some excellent options for the modeller. The schemes are:

•   Potez 25TOE No. 2113 'White 6', escadrille 1/41, La Chau, French Indo-China, March 1942;
•   Potez 25TOE No. 1489 'White 5', 3é escadrille GB 11/39, Rayake, French mandate of Lebanon, 1933;
•   Potez 25TOE No. 1618, 3S5.3 escadrille 3S5, base aérienne Hyéres Aéronautique navale, September 1939;
•   Potez 25TOE, 3. escadrille GB 1/17 Picardie, FAFL, Damascus, 1944.






Decals

The decals, like all recent Special Hobby releases, are crisply printed with solid colour and excellent register. Interestingly, these appear to have been printed by Eduard. Colour density, fine detail and register is excellent, so I envision no problems with these decals whatsoever. Sadly, no decals are provided for seat belts, so the modeler will be left to their own devices here. The decal film looks nice and thin.




Accuracy and Buildability:

Not having any detailed publications on this aircraft, and not being a particular expert as to this aircraft, I can’t comment conclusively about accuracy, however it looks to scale well based on dimensions and general arrangement drawings that I can find. The detail looks comprehensive; the cockpit is certainly well detailed, plenty of ordnance is provided, and it looks like Special Hobby have done their research for this variant. As such, I can reasonably assume that this kit will produce a good representation of the Potez 25TOE. The only downside that I can see detail wise is the lack of seat belts, but this is remedied relatively easily.

Given the complex parts layout, number of parts, and relative complexity of the build, I would recommend the modeller proceed with some care. There are no jigs for the angled struts, so it’s recommended that some kind of supports or home-made jigs be used during this crucial step in construction. The usual adage of being careful whilst removing and cleaning up parts, and test fitting before reaching for the glue, applies here.

Conclusions

It’s wonderful to see Special Hobby and Azur joining forces to create an excellent package of a rare but important inter-war piece of aviation history. As with many of their releases, Special Hobby are to be commended for tackling such a subject, and presenting a package that is of solid quality that should build up very nicely out of the box. There will be some things to watch out for in construction, but again, nothing that can’t be handled by someone with a little bit of experience.

Highly recommended!

Our very sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample!