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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

De Havilland D.H.88 Black Magic racer completed (SBS Model, 1/72nd scale, resin)

(The step-by-step building and review post is here):

 Modelers of the World:
Hear you! Hear you! No more having to totally rework the venerable but ultimately atrocious Arfix DH88!
SBS from Hungary has released this beauty of a kit of a much needed up-to-date kit of this iconic racing machine. It is a resin kit, but of very good sort with excellent technology and properties.
This is no doubt an outstanding kit, it is a new class of kit altogether, an order of magnitude above all model aircraft resin kits I have personally seen or built made by a commercial manufacturer.
It will not assemble itself, though, so it will still require patience, care, accuracy and a steady hand.
The price is fair, especially comparing it with other resin kits that are more expensive ( as much as three times more expensive) and not even nearly as good, not to mention with parts not keyed but with butt joints.  The SBS kit has slot and tongue, or peg and recess interlocking devices, as in any normal injected styrene kit. A plus for many modelers not very happy with short-run kits devoided of such features.
There are a few points that need attention, and they are described in the building article. So check that if you are interested following the link at the top.

Congratulations SBS Model from Hungary, a job beautifully done.

Now, my wish list:
This is what I would have liked or would like to see in the future (for re-issues/re-engineering of this jewel of a kit):
-Spare photoetched throttle levers (you get exactly the number you need, but, alas, as we all know, a few of these truly tiny buggers will unavoidably go the "Twing" or "Twang" way (depending on the quantum particle spin at the moment). Hey, SBS, just add a few more to the fret, costs virtually nothing.
-Two compass faces added to the decal sheet. SBS: you added the Ratier logos for the props, which is great. Now a couple of compass faces would be neat, again, that would have had hardly affect cost.
-The fuel caps are engraved on top of the fuselage, beautifully. But you have to sand that area -since the fuselage partition line runs in the middle- so you may -almost certainly- have to re-scribe those. Perhaps the resin parts should have shallow recesses instead, and then photoetched caps could be glued on?
-The kit omits the mass balances for the tail control surfaces. At this level of target modeler (not beginners) it is not a big deal to fabricate them, but may be they could be added as photoetched parts, the modeler adding a tiny blob of white glue on the mass at the tip to round it up, and the part glued in a hairline cut between the mobile and fixed parts of the tail feathers? My guess is that the manufacturer did not add those because they may have come out overscale or too fragile as resins or PE.
-Being this such a well-known type, a front view is really not mandatory, you can get one in the Net in milliseconds, but it would be useful for setting the right amount of dihedral, since there is some little play at the joints.
- And since asking costs me nothing...what about an optional, sold-apart, engine gondola with an open-panel to partially see the engine?
- And perhaps optional, sold-apart, decals for the other liveries like Burberry, Australian Anniversary, Boomerang and such? The Aussies would be delighted!

I decided to add the mass balances for the tail control surfaces, made of a thin wire and a blob of white glue. Yes, it is fiddly, and took a few tries:


  1. Beautiful! It's the airplane I like the most of all times!

    1. It's one of my favorites too, Diego.
      Saludos cordiales

  2. Really beautiful plane, and it seems this kit is very good !