For the 1/18" scale aircraft collectors....the long awaited TBF-1 Avenger from 21st Century is now available. This model is heavy and massive with a 3' wing span and besides the typical features expected in this scale such as operable flaps, control surfaces and retractable landing gear, this model also features a fully adjustable ball turret and folding wings although I think the folding mechanism is a somewhat fragile design and folding the wings back along the fuselage should be accomplished only occasionally and gingerly if the mechanism is to endure. I was a bit dissapointed that the bomb bay doors DO NOT bifold as the doors did in the real aircraft and the model depicted on the box illustrates. I guess it was just too difficult a detail to mimic. For those collectors into super detailing the large 1/18" series, the doors can be slit easy enough along their length and permanently fixed in the correct open position to showcase the bomb bay detailing and if desired, fitted with the torpedo supplied with the model. A soft rubber pitot assembly came packed with the model but no instructions were provided nor provisions made on the upper wingtip to affix it. Very strange. I attached the pitot to the wingtip by first drilling a #72 hole in the wingtip and into the pitot's base, reinforced with a wire inserted into both holes and gorilla glued the assembly into its distinctive position high atop the left wing on this aircraft. The model comes with three crew figures but there is no seat for the middle crew member so I just shoved him in the back of the airplane through the operating crew door located on the starboard aft fuselage for storage. These are small complaints indeed. I have approximately twenty 1/18" scale model aircraft including examples from competitors BBI and Admiral. With Admiral recently joining the 1/18" scale market with its debut F-86 series, the bar on impressive realism is steadily increasing. I am generally pleased with this latest offering from 21st Century. Even the panel lines on the belly skin surfaces are smudged to simulate dirt and wear. I'm told the long delay in the Avenger's release date had to do with tooling problems. No doubt. The Avenger is one large and complicated aircraft to reproduce in any scale. That they were able to produce such a detailed model is remarkable. Just make sure you hang it up with wire or at least 10# test fishing line.
__________________ Rick Galati
RV-8 N308R "LuLu" EAA Technical Counselor
Last edited by Rick6a : 08-21-2006 at 12:56 PM.
Reason: additional photograph