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1:32 AMC DH.9


James H

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1:32 AMC DH.9
Wingnut Wings

Catalogue # 32035
Available directly from Wingnut Wings for $99.00 with FREE Worldwide delivery

 

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Yes, it is that time of year again. The one where WW1 modellers look forward to seeing the Wingnut Wings end-of-year releases. And as well all know, they like to throw in a few last minute surprises. Last year we were expecting the Fokker D.VII, but instead got THREE! We also had a totally unexpected release in the Hannover CL.II kit being released. This year, we have another, totally unexpected two-seater release to match the Hannover. Whilst we were sort of expecting the DH.9a 'Late', instead, and rather excitingly, we now have the earlier DH.9 itself

 

Almost as a mantra, it is usually the first port of call to mention the beautiful way that these kits are packaged, and again, I'll make no apology for saying that Wingnut Wings really do produce some of the most attractive packages that ever saw the light of day. Steve Anderson, the resident WNW box-artist, produces another gorgeous painting of DH.9 C6293 in a ground-attack strike over a Middle East target, probably late in 1918. The rather rakish lines of the earlier, rounder-cowl machine is beautifully captured. The silver gilt edging of the artwork really is still a nice touch that I never tire of. Images of the schemes supplied in this kit are emblazoned on the box edges, and wow, do we have some extremely nice subjects to choose from!

Packaged into one of WNW's deeper boxes as befits these larger two-seat aircraft, this kit comprises of TEN sprues of light grey styrene, and a single clear sprue. All sprues are packaged individually so minimize damage.

 

Also included in its own sleeve are the TWO decal sheets and ONE photo etch fret. The instruction manual lies separate and un-bagged, which is quite unusual for a WNW release. As this kit is one of a rather limited quantity at the moment, with the rest expected in late January, there are a small number of errors in the manual that WNW have already published amendments for on their website. These are simply related to either part numbers, where there is the possibility of using the wrong ones for this release, or for dimensional aspects of the rigging diameters. Quite simple stuff that there is no need to fret over. There is certainly a lot of plastic in this release. Be careful taking it all out if you intend to pack up again later.

 

 

SPRUE A

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Not all sprues within this release are new, and this first one pertains to the previous DH.9a release. Several key cockpit components are to be found here, including the pilot and gunner inner side wall frames. On a side note, the engine framework which plugs into this is a new one due to this aircraft having a different engine to the regular DH.9a. A little removal of some detail will be required to backdate the side frames to the earlier DH.9 specification, but this surgery can be performed in a couple of minutes.

 

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Also included on the sprue are the pilot's and gunner's control columns. It is made clear on the instructions that the latter is an option, and may or may not have been fitted to your specific machine. It's entirely up to you whether you install the column section of this, or cut it away and just install the lower quadrant and coupler section. You will also find the cockpit floor, pilot's and gunner's throttle, tailplane elevating wheel, pilot and gunner seats, compass, downward facing camera and mounting brackets, pilot's padded backrest bulkhead and gunner map case, as well as the inner frame sections for the gunner cupola position. Other key inclusions here are single piece horizontal stabilizer, vertical fin and separate rudder.

 

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SPRUE B

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This is the first of the newly tooled sprues, and is the main small detail parts one within this release. As well as some pretty obvious parts, such as the propeller and the beautifully details and busy instrument panel, just about every part here is for the aircraft interior. Instructions do show that there are a handful of parts which aren't for use with this release, so I assume they are perhaps for the future 'Special Editions' which have been touted. These releases are assuming almost mythical status with modellers, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the first. Anyway, I digress....

 

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Parts to be found here are the engine bearers (NOT the D-sprue ones incorrectly shown in the manual), forward lower cockpit bulkhead, bomb control lever, ammunition magazine for forward Vickers MG, engine auxiliary parts such as the radiator, oil tank, throttle linkage, forward engine bay framing, and the engine mounted water pipe.

 

Internal bomb stores for the DH.9 could vary, and WNW have included two bomb 'cell' parts for this release, catering to both 25lb and 50 lb munitions. These are moulded as a single piece each, and will take some careful painting to get into the innermost crevices. They do look extremely good though.

 

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SPRUE C

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As is common with WNW releases, 'C' is the clear sprue, and as with 'A', this isn't a newly-tooled one, and is common to the previous DH.9a release. Only three of these are of use with this release though, and those are a forward and rear windshield, and a camera lens. Plastic clarity is excellent as always, with no flash or other problems.

 

 

SPRUE D (x2)

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Another newly tooled sprue for this release, and all parts included are to be used also. WNW have included mostly items here for which two or more are required, and as a result have included two of them, instead of a larger, single sprue. Here, we have wing struts, ailerons, control horns, engine bay formers, wheels with separate outer hubs, control cable pulleys, bungee suspension cords etc. The wheels themselves have the air inflation nipple moulded within the main rear bub/tyre part, and with the outer hub attached, this will be clearly seen through an access port.

 

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Two rudder control bars are also included; one each for pilot and gunner, although the pilot part will be adorned with a little PE for what I think are the outboard rudder control cables themselves.

 

 

SPRUE E

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Please welcome another brand new engine to the WNW range. The DH.9 was fitted with the powerful (for the time) 230hp Siddeley- Deasy Puma engine. Every part on this sprue is also to be used with this release, meaning that the engine is a TWENTY-EIGHT part, mini project in its own right. The detail is just incredible throughout. Look at the cylinder-head block and you'll see the Siddeley logo. Absolutely superb. For the first time too, we see the ignition conduit with the cabling to the magneto MOULDED IN SITU! Not only this, but the wiring loom from to the distributor is also supplied. I must admit, I hate wiring engines, so this is very welcome for me, and WNW did such a great job of this that unless you are a total nut, there is nothing wrong with the supplied part.

 

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The Siddeley-Deasy Puma was also fitted with the Claudel-Hobson carburetor, normally. It's here that I'll announce that this kit actually has a BONUS scheme which isn't given in colour profile form. This machine actually uses a Zenith carburetor instead.

 

You'll not see any rocker head springs and levers either, as this was shrouded by a cover which enclosed the whole area. Several plumbing sections are included on this sprue too.

 

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SPRUE F

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Another new-tooled sprue. Unlike the DH.9a where the wings were spread over two sprues, here they are included on just a larger, single sprue. There's pretty much nothing that WNW get wrong with their releases, but of course, there are many elements in which they excel. One of this is the stick and fabric representation of their flying surfaces. Again, we have some superbly subtle and realistically taught looking doped fabric which looks to have just that correct amount of sag for a stationary aircraft.

 

The only other part on this sprue is not actually mapped out on the parts plan within the instructions, and therefore I can't really help you with an explanation here.

 

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SPRUE G

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Now we're talking! This is another newly tooled sprue and contains some major components which set this aside from the rather boxy shape of the DH.9a. The most prominent parts here are the new fuselage halves. As with the DH.9a release, these are moulded with separate rear fuselage fabric skins, included on another sprue. This is quite unusual if these are DH.9 specific sprues. The only reason I can think that WNW moulded these as separate parts again is perhaps due to some unknown future release, or maybe the much touted 'special edition' releases.

 

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This important sprue not only contains those fuselage halves, but also the inner cupola gunner decking, upper forward fuselage decking, fuselage underside panel with bomb bay included, new engine bearers for the Siddeley-Deasy Puma engine, wing centre section parts in upper and lower halves, engine cowls and engine bulkhead. Detail on the fuselage is excellent, with fine rivets and panel lining. Internally, not much detail is present, as this is supplied from the insertion of the cockpit module.

 

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SPRUE H

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We've certainly been spoiled with this release. The number of new-tool sprues is quite surprising when you consider Wingnut Wings already released the DH.9a in their first batch of kits way back in 2009. This aircraft certainly has a number of very different parts to the later type, almost enough for this to be an entirely new kit. This sprue is no different.

 

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The rear fuselage fabric side panels are presented here, with superbly detailed lacing. There will be a little surgery required to these for the majority of the schemes, actually, but this only involved elongating some of the apertures present on these parts. A little drilling will be required for most schemes too, but nothing that the absolute novice couldn't perform, so nothing to worry about.

 

Other parts on the sprue are the main undercarriage V struts, cabane struts, Stirling wireless set, and tailplane struts.

 

 

SPRUE R (x2)

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Of course, any aircraft such as the DH.9 needs its munitions, and WNW supply TWO 'R' sprues for this purpose. This is a very busy sprue and contains not only the numerous bomb types.

  • 25lb Cooper Bombs and carriers
  • Double 100-112lb Herl Bombs and carrier, or 112lb Twin Mk.1
  • Single 100-112lb Herl Bombs and carrier, or 112lb Twin Mk.II
  • Single 230lb HE Mk.1 bomb and carrier, 230lb Single Mk.1
  • Double 230lb HE Mk.1 bomb and carrier, 230lb Twin Mk.II

The Herl bombs are supplied for standard, early and late versions. Not only are bombs moulded on this sprue, but munitions generally, such as the Vickers MG's and ammunition drums, but also rear gun mounting parts.

 

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Kit and plastic overview
No where can I find any flash or other nasties such as sinkage or badly placed ejector pin marks. This kit has been designed to be extremely friendly to the modeller from design through to construction. The number of options on this kit mirror those of previous releases in terms of those small details which single some of the scheme options out. With this one though, there are perhaps a few more parts that need to be drilled out or worked on for the majority of the options on offer. As for detail, well this one is as intensely detailed as the others in the WNW back catalogue. A seriously exceptional kit with an abundance of detail. A little mould release agent is present here and there, so for me at least, a rinse and soft scrub in luke warm water will be required.

 

 

Photo Etch

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Just one photo etch fret is included here, containing around FIFTEEN parts. All of these are to be used with this release, and they include rudder bar control cable arm, pilot and gunner seatbelts, ring and bead sights, cowl exhaust orifice plates, Lewis gun ratchet brackets and cooling jacket forward plates etc. As always, photo etch production is high quality, with some nice detail and sharp edges. Connection tags are also small, so parts will be easy to remove.

 

DECALS

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TWO sheets are included with this release. A large A4 size decal sheet contains the majority of the markings for all machines, including national markings, serials, emblems, munitions stencils and identification bands, airframe stencils and cockpit instrument decals etc. A second sheet is entirely given over to various white bars, bands and stripes which occur on several of the decal options, including the chevrons which cover the fuselage of the 'Lobster' scheme.

 

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Printing is again my Cartograf, and is beautifully thin, and contains minimal carrier film. Colours are authentic and solid, and everything is in perfect register.

 

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Instructions

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Each Wingnut Wings manual is beautiful as the last, with the most lavish and colourful production that you're ever likely to find anywhere. This 26-page publication starts with a history of the type, and some notes on colour. Inside the manual, all constructional steps are clearly and beautifully drawn, with all newly assembled parts being highlighted in blue. A number of full colour drawings are included which show various assemblies more clearly in order to help you visualize their layout and painting. Throughout construction, reference codes are given which relate to Tamiya, Humbrol and Misterkit paints, tying in with a useful chart to help you with their identification. A full rigging chart is supplied, and many period and contemporary images of the DH.9 are supplied to help you, without you having to find lots of other, expensive reference material.

 

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As would be usual, WNW would have supplied a regular FIVE schemes with this kit, but have decided to throw in that bonus scheme too. Well, it is Christmas! With the exception of the bonus scheme, Ronny Bar has provided profiles for the main schemes, with various plan as well as profile images. Accompanying the schemes are several period images, and a short history of the machine, with some colour notation. Scheme 'A' is actually referred to as 'A1' due to their being a couple of options specific to that aircraft, with changes in the regular scheme.

The bonus scheme has a serious of annotated period images to help you, should you wish to go with that particular aircraft.

Wingnut Wings have provided the following schemes for you:

  • DH.9, B7620, J.A. Gray and J.J. Comerford, A Flight, 211 Sqn, June 1918
  • DH.9, C6293, "3", 144 Sqn, August 1918
  • DH.9, D2989, "Lobster", 49 TDS, February 1919
  • DH.9, D7211, "Spetsai", HNAS, 1919
  • DH.9, D7302, "N", R.S.S. Ingram & A.W. Wyncoll, C Flight, 108 Sqn, August 1918
  • BONUS SCHEME: DH.9, H5636, Alliance-built Imperial gift to New Zealand Government, 1921

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Conclusion
Another amazing, and also unexpected result. We could have waited until the proper shipment had come to Wingnut Wings in late January, and taken the review from there, but instead we decided to purchase this one so we could get it to you before Christmas. After all, you do need ideas on where to spend that Christmas money you might get. The release itself, for me, is a more aesthetically appealing aircraft than the earlier DH.9a 'Ninak' release, with far more pleasing curvy forward lines. On top of that, we are given some superb schemes to choose from too. For me, it's the 'Lobster' and 'Spetsai' machines which are the most appealing.

 

If you have $99.00 spare, and you want a seriously detailed two-seater, with gorgeous schemes, then this latest release certainly won't disappoint.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

James H

 

Review kit courtesy of my own wallet. Thanks to my bank manager. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

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