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Building the RPM/Maquette kit
Modified on December 20, 2003                        file name: build.html
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The best kit available in 1/72 scale is issued by Polish firm RPM, and from Russian firm Maquette; both kits are from the same moulding.
My kit was anonymous, but later I have seen the same boxart on boxes labelled Maquette.
This kit is moulded in grey plastic, and gives contrasting impressions: if compared with the best drawings available, it is highly accurate and detailed, with engraved details, but it has an 'artisanal' look, with wide sprues, mold flash, and some thick pieces, some with out-of-register moulding. The panels aren't sharp and they should be improved. 

Building the model 'as is', we see that the rear fuselage is too narrow and creates a terrible step with the canopy; it's necessary to enlarge the fuselage. 

The Canopy Gap

The cockpit interior is highly detailed, with some things to add. 

the cockpit interior

The wing is good; we could add the transparent lights and do some work on the roots air intakes. 

the wing

The fuselage is highly accurate; after the widening behind the cockpit, we have to do only minor work, particularly to improve the exhaust pipes and panel lines.

the external fuselage details

The elevators should be cut and repositioned, and we have to soften the too sharp structure details on all of the fabric-covered surfaces.

the tail

All pieces of main undercarriage are good, except for the legs that are moulded out-of register and must be scratchbuilt. 

The tail undercarriage is good too, but with bad doors. We have to look at our photos to see if the chosen example has the tail wheel retractable, or modified to be locked out. 

the undercarriages

The kit includes underwing rockets of poor quality. 
The aircraft could carry underwing guns and bombs (not included). 

the underwing charges

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