I picked mine up at the weekend. Here are my thoughts!
What a great kit!
First of all though, this is not Tamiya, Trumpeter or Airfix! If you assemble kits then don’t buy this model!
This is a builders model. I’ve not measured anything but the shape looks ‘right’ - and I’m not going to measure anything either, what I don’t know, I don’t know and I’m happy.
Alan gives you some extremely well cast chunks of resin. This is a big aeroplane and the nickname ‘Brick’ is equally appropriate for this kit!
I expect that a fair amount of scratch building will be required to add detail. I think that apart from the usual books, drawings etc (the Haynes Manual may be very useful! ) a copy of the Airfix 1/48th kit might be very useful. In addition I’d also get hold of a NeOmega cockpit (about £18 + postage) because that is also beautiful. I think these 2 3-D references would then be very helpful as reference when building Alan’s kit.
Everything supplied is very well cast. The glazing is nicely clear and I am very happy with that. The cockpit is also very well detailed and it looks comprehensive. The undercarriage bay inserts look fine and you are given a pair of drop tanks, a body refuelling pod and another pod - a Palouste maybe? I haven’t checked. The wing panels feature perfectly cast vortex generators and the panel detail looks fine. Alan says in his instructions - which are also very adequate - that the fuselage half panel lines may not align perfectly but thats where another bit of modelling is required.
Any downsides? I think Alan would agree that the decals aren’t great. They are not his strong point but this is described as a ‘Garage’ kit and it is. If you can’t be brilliant at everything, never mind. In truth, some would be very happy with the decals and others would resort to something else. Not a huge number of stencils either but I think I would resort to the Airfix sheet to see whats missing and how easily it can be produced. Maybe someone else could come up with a solution?
So, is it worth £180 ?
I think that the straight answer is ‘Yes’. Alan gives you something that no one else has produced. Will anyone else make a Buccaneer in this scale? Who knows but I wouldn’t hold my breath!
And Alan tells me that he’s restricting production to 15 units and I think this is because of the cost of resin, mould making rubber - which doesn’t last forever - and the fact that it’s not easy to get good castings.
Anything else? I hope the resin main gear legs are strong enough!! And, thank you Alan for doing a huge amount of work !