The Beechcraft C-45 was first designed under the name Beech Model 18, and is more affectionally known as the Twin Beech, having first flown as early as January 1937. When the US was dragged into the Second World War, the US Air Force felt the need for the introduction of a light transport aircraft. Despite that only 39 Twin Beeches were build thus far, it placed an order for 1522 units of the improved C18S, which featured a longer nose. Upon receiving the new aircraft, it was granted a new designation as the UC-45F. It not only saw use in the US Air Force until 1963, but also the US Navy, as well as French, Italian, British and half the world’s other air forces which used it for a long time.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-985 engines, providing 450-hp each, it provided for a range of 1900km at 260km/h or 160mph and the ability for the aircraft to reach a top speed of 360 km/h or 225 mph. In total, over 9000 airframes were build in various forms over a period of 33 years. Due to its civilian nature and widespread use, many aircraft have survived until this day and many more are still in use as civilian transport aircraft.
This article is partially based on information found at WIKIPEDIA, 19th june 2015.
- Subject: C-45F Expeditor
- Manufacturer: Revell (ICM-rebox)
- Scale: 1/48
- Contents: 118 styrene parts, 10 clear parts
- Serial: 03966
- Price: 20 EUR – 25 USD
- Personal rating: ✭✭✭✭✭ ✭✭✭✭✭
Above we have one of the first releases from Revell since they introduced their new boxings. But not only the box’s style is different, the instructions leaflet is completely different as well, with (for the first time) colour printed instructions. As some might already know, this kit is a reboxing of ICM’s recent C-45F kit but with a few distinctive differences. It offers different markings and as such different decals, at a lower price than the original kit. So what else do get when getting this kit? Well, Inside we can find a total of seven frames, carefully wrapped in plastic foil. The clear sprue has been packed individually inside the foil packing all frames. Last are the Instructions.
The A sprue
Sprue A features both fuselage halves, which feature recessed panel lines. What stands out are the antennas and pitots that are already added on left side of the fuselage. They seem to be quite firm in place and not very prone to breaking. One will have to build the kit to see how well protected these will be against damage during and after construction.
The B sprues
Both the B sprues contain one single part each, which are the upper and lower wing halves. These feature recessed panel lines and heightened details, as well as other details. There are some traces of flash on the wingtips, which will need a little amount of clean-up.
The D sprue
The D sprue is the only big frame we get with this kit. It features pretty much all the details of the kit like the wheels, seats, instrument panel, propellors, engines and many other things. Although that overal the parts are well detailed, it is quite clear that they could be better. The biggest annoyance with the kit must be the undetailed engines, which don’t even feature any detail on the cilinders housings. As the parts for the inside are not very detailed as well, it shouldn’t be the biggest of problems as you won’t be able to see much of it once completed.
The C sprues
Sprues C1 and C2 both are quite small and feature a few odd looking parts. These are parts for the landing gear and a wall that goes between the engine and landing gear bay.
The clear sprue
On the clear sprue we can find ten parts. The cockpit windows are split up in three parts, one front windshield and two for the sides. We also have two parts for the square side windows for the passenger compartment, together with a few round windows and other parts that go all around the airframe.
The provided decal sheet with the kit provides for two sets of markings, one for an USAF aircraft and one for a RAF aircraft. Unlike the one provided with the ICM kit, this one has a sheet of protective paper. It also offers decals acting for seat belts and a few stencils. The silvering seems to be at a minimum.
The instruction leaflet
Although this isn’t the first kit with the new instructions leaflet, it is personally the first time that I see it in person. It is obviously an improvement over the instruction sheets we are used to getting from Revell. Now as they are no longer in black and white and printed in full colour, I’m sure many people will embrace this new redesign of the instruction sheets with open arms. Especially when it comes to the markings.
Now to the actual instructions. The illustrations seem to be the same computer generated illustrations from the original ICM kit. As with that kit I feel like the illustrations should pose no problem to understand.
In comparison with the ICM boxings we only get two sets of markings to choose from. One is a USAF subject, while the other is an RAF aircraft. Both are overal polished aluminium of which the USAF uses olive drab anti-glare areas, while the RAF has them painted in flat black.
The USAF aircraft is the same aircraft that can be found on the first photograph on the box art of the kit. This aircraft was part of the 2nd Electronics Squadron based at Olmsted Field, Pennsylvania in 1948. As mentioned before the aircraft is overall aluminium, but has black trailing edges on the wings and horizontal stabilisers. The engine cowlings are yellow but the inner top section is painted olive drab as well as the part in front of the cockpit glazing. It has dark blue USAF identification lettering combined with black ID codes and serial numbers.
The second aircraft is an Expeditor C.II from the No 728 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm, based at Hal Far, Malta in September 1949. The RAF aircraft is painted in exactly the same way as the provided USAF airframe except for two things, which are the lack of the yellow engine cowlings and the anti glare panels which are painted black instead of olive drab. On the bottom surfaces of the wings we can find the black identification codes as well as on the vertical stabilisers.
As with the original ICM kit this is a nice addition to the world of 1/48 kits. Although there are no part changes from the original kit, we get two new marking options to pick from. While it has the same downsides as the original kit like the basic detail and the fact that we get fewer markings options to choose from (two instead of four with the original), we do get this kit at roughly 2/3 of the original price from the ICM kit.
Considering this and that I stated with the previous kit that ‘Given the price for the size of aircraft that you get, it’s hard to complain’, I feel like it is even more appropriate here. Recommended for any level of modeller, though the detail addicts will want to add some interior and engine updates of their own.