Author Topic: Karaya 1/72 Short 827 floatplane  (Read 2375 times)

Offline Jamo

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Karaya 1/72 Short 827 floatplane
« on: September 16, 2012, 06:32:11 AM »
Karaya 1/72 Short 827

First Look Review

By James Fahey

Catalogue number: KAR72003

Price and availability
Karaya sell direct from their website (99,00 zł), their kits are also stocked by many modelshops around the world including Hannants (£26.25), Jadar (Euro30.21, USD $37.69) and Roll Models (USD$50.40)

Link to the item:

Karaya are a Polish company who manufacture an interesting range of aircraft kits in 1/72 and 1/48, manyy of them floatplanes and flying boats, in resin.

A ‘Short’ History
The Short 827/830 was a pre-war design ordered in Summer 1914. Those fitted with the Salmson 135hp radial engine were designated Type 830 (28 built), and those fitted with the 150hp inline Sunbeam Nubian engine Type 827 (108 built). Apart from the engine there were no other visible differences between the two types. Incidently Karaya also make a kit of the 830. The 827 was built by Parnall & Sons, The Fairey Aviation Company, The Sunbeam Motor Car Company and the Brush Electrical Engineering Company, as well as Shorts themselves. It entered service during 1915 and remained in service until the Armistice, flying in home waters on patrol from Calshot and Great Yarmouth, and a few also saw service in German East Africa and Mesopotamia.

It is about 2/3 the size of the better known Short 184 and was similar in appearance, with two bay wings instead of the 184’s three.

The Kit
Comes in a robust top-opening box with a useful colour illustration on the box top. The instructions are in English and are very clear. A short history, specifications, colouring notes, rigging diagrams and 1/72 scale plans are included.

The resin parts come in a ziplock bag and there are heaps of them! It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle working out what is what. The moulding is very finely done and delicate. I didn’t notice any holes in the castings.

A photo etched fret provides 23 parts including seats, seatbelts, dashboard and spokes for the beaching trolley. A clear acetate sheet has two windscreens and instrument gauge details.

As with most resin kits, some cleaning up of the parts will be necessary and some care required when cutting them off the resin bases and identifying the parts. All the resin pieces should be carefully washed before assembly to aid paint adherence. The fuselage and upper wings scale out perfectly against available plans. The lower wings are too short by one rib section.

The decal sheet is rather simple with six cockades, rudder stripes and tiny white serial numbers for 3331. I quote from the instructions “No. 3331 was built by the Brush Electrical Engineering of Loughborough was delivered to RNAS Westgate on 3rd December 1916. On 23rd May attacked an U-boot near Kentish Knock. Next day was one of the defending aircraft that went up from Westgate in order to intercepting Zeppelins that attacked London that night.”

Nice Touches
  • Nicely detailed cockpit interior including bracing wires, framing, map case and switches on the starboard side.

  • The ribs are subtly moulded and trailing edges commendable thin.
  • Photo etched seats and seatbelts are included, and a little steering wheel
  • Beaching trolley with photo etched spokes for the wheels
  • Three trestles
  • Two very delicate beautifully moulded 65lb bombs with a photo etched bomb rack

Minor Issues
  • The lower wings are too short by one rib spacing
  • Painting instructions note PC12 is ‘green’ but is more correctly described as a milk chocolate colour
  • Some of the struts are slightly curved in the review kit. This could be corrected by use of hot water and bending straight.


There is no Datafile for the Short 827 but Albatros Productions featured the Short 827/830 in Windsock International Vol 10 No.5 Sept/Oct 1994 the ‘Special Seaplane Issue’. It is a good reference if you can find it, with 7 pages and 16 photos of the type, including one of 3331 the subject of this kit.

Another useful reference is Brad King’s book ‘Royal Naval Air Service 1912-1918’ published by Hikoki Publications. This book is also out of print but is highly recommended for those interested in RNAS operations (excluding fighter operations in France). It has some excellent photos of the Short 827 including some uncowled with worthwhile views of the engine. The photos of operations in East Africa are very evocative and could form the basis for an exotic diorama in conjunction with Gunthwaite Miniatures’ 1/72 naval crew figures in tropical uniform and some palm trees.

Link to a photo of the Sunbeam Nubian engine:

Two articles from Flight magazine archives online:
Bruce, J.M (1956). "The Short Seaplanes: Historic Military Aircraft No 14: Part II". Flight (21 December 1956): pp.965-968.
Bruce, J.M (1957). "The Short Seaplanes: Historic Military Aircraft No 14: Part IV". Flight (4 January 1957): pp.23-24.

A lot of care and thought has gone into the production of this kit. The part count is high and due to the preparation required, and complexity of the construction, it is not really suitable for the beginner. It will, however, reward a careful modeller with a lovely replica of one of the less well known RNAS floatplanes.
This kit was purchased by the reviewer.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 07:38:17 AM by Jamo »
Happy Modelling
James Fahey

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