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1:32 PBY-5A Catalina Cutaway 'Limited Edition'


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1:32 PBY-5A Catalina Cutaway 'Limited Edition'

Catalogue # CUT 3201L
Available from HPH for 385 Euros





The beautiful Catalina needs no presentation… It`s simply one of the most beautiful seaplanes made (alongside with the Walrus… and the Felixstowe… and the Brandenburg W.29).


But I found this documentary:





So as I know that it will be a long review, I will skip the brief intro history… Is the Cat you know!?...


HpH already set its place in the modelling market, giving the modeler large scale planes or large planes with a very high level of detail and accuracy.


So when I was told that Catalina Cut-away kit was on the way, I start dancing around the table like a little kid!


I was delighted with the opportunity to make HpH Cutaway Catalina review.


It`s almost like letting me drive a Formula One car ... The HpH is in resin model kits (and multimedia ) as the WNW is for injection kits !

They are the top of the tops!

And it is the first full kit CK series from HpH as the He- 111 is an extensive detail set that needs the donor kit.


Before taking some pictures, I decided to explore and "dating” a little with this breathtaking model of a beautiful aircraft.

When the postman delivery it, despite knowing that the kit was great, I was still surprised at the size of the box.


Cracking the box, you can immediately see a full package, very well organized with watertight compartments and all very well protected with bubbles warp. This professional care prevents resin breakdown  in transportation.

You can shake that does not feel any loose object inside the rattling and knocking – Really… I tried… and I bet the postman also tried.

Noted two small boxes at the top left, in which are all the clear parts as well a ziplock bag containing one decal sheet, two masks sheets, seatbelts and deck beds, and a CD which is where you'll find your instruction manual in PDF format.




Every single resin bites are in ziplock bags, and all box compartments are stuffed with protective bubble-wrap plastic, and the fuselage halve is wrapped too.                      


Turning a brief attention to those small boxes, all the clear parts are in there but it`s not totally chaos… The smaller ones are in one box and the larger ones in another so there`s a less risk of breaking any pieces.

Even though, clear parts are all in the bag, so there`s could be some damage but after a brief look, everything is perfect.






We will get to these clear parts later on.

Highly professional packing care is demonstrating that the HPH can take care of their products and please their customers.

Kudos to HpH.

The number of parts is huge and actually tried to make an effort to count them all, even the repeated as happens in photogravure but I give up… more than 500 for sure.


And the modeler is presented with parts for all tastes: fiberglass, resin, metal and turned! Only lacks the injection plastic and thanks God, vacuform.

There is actually not a weekend project… No even a two month project, at least for me.

Just check out all the pieces in display on the first pages of the instructions.

















This model is quite unique in several things and one thing is the fuselage paint job. It can`t be made in the traditional way because the entire interior is "outside" ...

I personally think that I will start working the fuselage and the wing first (painting the camouflage) then the engine and only after I will go to the inside.

In an overall look of the resins parts, which looks fantastic I notice that the HpH casting technique is quite different from all the other resins kits I have had the pleasure to review and work on.

The HpH casting technique is based in sheet casting method, one you don`t usually see in other good resin manufactures, like Brach Model or Plusmodel.

It`s quite easy to clean as you don`t have resin block to remove.






It`s seems that HpH use a two side molds (like injections models) for casting, giving to the parts a different look, almost a vacuform look because you will have to remove an entire resin fine sheet all around the parts.


I think that´s why the wheels are in two halves, when, personally I would prefer a single casting piece.




The method is not used in all pieces, like the engine nacelles or the wings. So I really can`t understand the HpH option for the wheels.

Don`t get me wrong, they looks fabulous, with perfect detail and casting…

Just look.





Checking the HpH last release (Sea Hornet) the wheels are full cast with resin block…

I do hope when building this one, HpH proves me that my fears on these wheels are unfounded.


The model is quite big and highly complex, so I decided to start this review for the fuselage and external parts, like central wing, engine, rudder, elevator and clear parts.

 Then I going to the inside detail.

After all that, going to view the decals, mask and HGW detail set (seatbelts and deck chairs).

Well in fact I already start with the wheels.

So bear with me, as I`m about to go little deep on the most complex model kit I ever have seen.

Starting from the outside and the fuselage in concrete:

Being a cutaway model, only have a part of the fuselage, and the right of the plane, leaving the left side of the fuselage airplane with full display.










It's a long piece of fiberglass with very light gray color with spectacular Catalina profile.

Just look at it and you can identify immediately the Cat in its entire splendor.

All panels and rivets are present smoothly presenting all metal airframe with much reliability.

Surface detail is quite excellent, with the high standard of riveting, raised paneling and access port scribing.

Really impressive.

The fuselage does have some minor and not relevant scratches in this coating which are simply removed with micromesh.





In my fuselage there´s a downside.

As can be seen on the cockpit wall, just where the fit with the transparent piece something has been broken there… a bit of fuselage, as you can see from the inside.





I do not know what happened but the repair, while not easy because of the fuselage detail (rivet and panels), is possible with a little effort. Meanwhile I just sent an email to HpH, and a replacement part is on the way. Just perfect.


Another thing that the modeler must be aware is that,
Another thing that the modeler must be aware is that, 
unlike the usual, you only got one fuselage side. So the fiberglass edge from the fuselage is a little rough, so some sandpaper would do the job and give a less rude, soft and pleasant edge, like it has been cut by a laser beam.


Inside the fuselage there`s no details ostensibly.

The detail remains with pre-scribed lines to use as guidelines to all ribs and longitudinal strips. This is very important because you will need to add the stringer detail yourself.

These pre-scribed lines are essentials to achieve the goal and to start raising the ultimate inside detail.

Every single ribs will need to be cut off at the desirable size… You just need to measure every single space on the fuselage to cut the rib at the correct size.








The ribs are very well cast, with subtle details.

 The longitudinal ribs are given in full size, so you don`t need to cut… just trim with careful.










Hopefully, I think, for what I see that there`s some spare but not much.

The work will be just tremendous and quite tedious, but that work will pay out your efforts.

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II Part:

The central and only wing in this model is given in two parts: upper and lower wing, unliked the full version Cat that are already joined.












Joining both wings (upper and lower) you get a hollow space between that allows adding the internal detail and structure given by HpH.




HpH did go a little further giving the modeler the pylon wing section all in skeleton.

All the tabs and ribs from the pylon are in full flesh!





The resin bits are quite fragile, but with sharp detail and correct dimensions.



An extra care will be need in handling and removing them from the resin sheet.

The all model is complex but I suspect that this particularly step is one of most demanding because everything must be aligned and in the correct angle.

HpH gives a template but still lots of trim and attention should be taken on this stage. 

Your work however will pay off because it will be stupendous with all the visible structure, falling like a glove in the cutaway concept, adding even more detail to this “baby”.

However being Catalina a large twin-engine aircraft, you will not get a whole right wing.

HpH do not provide the total length of the right wing.

They just follow their concept like they did it on the He-111 that also said to cut the wing… The main interest of the cut-away models is precisely the full interior on the aircraft and being a 1:32 model, this way it`s a very easy to store at home.

It was an option of HPH which in my opinion was the right one because for certainly lowered the kit costs and provide full central wing detail and for the purpose of storage and disposal of even this scale is much easier.


Speaking of storage, having only one landing gear and the front landing rear, could be tricky hold this one on its position.






So HpH provide a rear support that gives the perfect balance so that you not need to make a wood jig to display this one.

Personally I prefer the box option given.


Following the central wing and giving the exterior of the aircraft being in pair with the insane detail of the interior, the rudder and the elevator comes in skeleton mode.








Along with the wing these two are no walk in the park.

The construction is no walking in the park, with some fragile resin parts, so extra care will be need on the area.









Just like the central wings, it`s a complex construction with lots of delicate parts and the alignment is also a bit tricky but the detail is simply outstanding…











The support wing struts are provided in resin casting with a tough steel pin insert within. The same applies to the undercarriage legs, giving the necessary support and rigidity












I still didn`t got to the interior analysis and already can tell that you will need some good references that are indicated on the end of the instructions...

 I know I will get some of them because I really want to super detail even more this baby if possible… She`s bagging for it.


Next, let`s take a keek on the engine.

Only one engine is supply on the model in the same logical.






The engine itself stands alone as one model.

Fanatic detail on this: you got the 7 cylinder banks divided in two: the cylinders and their head.

The crankcase and the cooling fin are very well represented and with high and sharp detail.








The engine nacelle has fantastic panel detail with rivets very smooth and is supplemented with a little photo etch panelling too.




It`s quite a shame to put the beautiful engine inside of the engine nacelle…

It had been perfect if the engine nacelle came in two half, just to be cut in middle like the entire airplane. It would be the perfect.Well you can always cut the engine nacelle in half… with care I think that it´s possible and regarding that the almost the entire aircraft in cut in the middle, I think that is just perfect to this one…


I can`t really say that one area is more important than other because in a cutaway kit everything will be quite visible, so every single detail is important but the elevator and the rudder are pretty visible so these subassemblies will take time and care… so spend lots of them on these and your work will be paid off.

The rudder and elevator are crying out for some wires and control cables.


The propeller is cast as individual blades and spate hub. No jig so extra care also will be need to get them all equal.





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III Part

Now on to the one of the most important thing on a model aircraft: clear parts. Because they are the gate to the inside of the aircraft and all the loving work that we put inside of it.

On this particularly case, the clear parts loose much of their status… Here`s everything is wide open J.

























Anyway, clear parts are in crystal clear resin casting. Are the most perfect resin clear parts that I ever see. They are as good as the best injection clear parts.


Passing along, once again to the interior, and after all the horizontal and vertical ribs being in place, one of the first things that the modeler needs to do is working the wheels bay, that has some massive detail.

We got two of them: one in full shape and another half cut just to play along the cutaway move.






By checking the instructions, the wheel bay must put in first because there`s a lot of ribs that need to be cut right at the edge of the wheel bay. 







The landing gear is very well detail, casted in resin also with a steel pin insert so it can hold the weight of the model, with no risk of breaking or bending.












One section I really like for all the interior are the massive bulkheads with tons of sharp details and perfect casting. You can see everything on it like the doorways, instruments, boxes, some wires, etc.













These parts are massive, as they make the aircraft compartments.

I do have some reserves about the sheet casting system and the rear and forward are separate parts… And if on the full Catalina I can`t see any problem, in this cutaway version, the junction will have to be perfect and probably you will no escape from the putty.



Now, navigator and radio section:

Now that`s quite a busy area, and while is full detail, probable is a little more space to detail a bit or an extra detail like a little map (given by HgW set included) or a tea cup.




















There`s everything inside… This freaking model kit from HpH just give you, even if you are not a superdetailter, super super details.


There are cabinets, some excellent looking chairs, tables with full navigational hand-tools, drawer units, morse code tappers, head-phones etc.

Simply see for yourself. It`s my favorite section.











In this section, as well on the cockpit, you will need to incorporate some of that colour Eduard photo etch in here, that we see up closely below.


And finally the cockpit, front gunner and bombardier compartiment.




The cockpit is just like all the other parts… I really out of words here… The detail is just amazing… passing by the seats and all the support frame assembly, and the ruder pedal and the dual steering wheel… Everything is there…







The cockpit is a kit inside a kit, and you have to build it externally to the hull and then inserted within the fuselage hull.



















The instruments panel is very well cast in two resin pieces, that will be fantastic with the Eduard photo etched.







The back of the instruments panels switches is very good, so the modeler has no excuse to no put all the electrical wires on it.


The gunner and bombardier compartment is the less busy one, which doesn´t mean that is HpH oversight. It`s just like it is.   Catalina_building_instructions_cut-33cop   IMG_0793CR2_zpsc58f7124.jpg   Catalina_building_instructions_cut-55cop   Catalina_building_instructions_cut-56cop  


HpH Cutaway Catalina is, without a doubt, the most complete and complex model kit that I ever seen directly from the box.

You simply don`t need anything more… Aftermarkets fellows don`t have much luck on this one…

Some of them are already inside de box.


Besides HpH resin, decals and vinyl masks, you get 2 photo-etched sheets from Eduard, seatbelts and deck chairs from HGW, and cannon barrels from Master.

Starting with HGW goodies.

HGW set is quite big, with the seatbelts for the pilots and straps for all members crew.

Also there are 4 deck chairs. Really looking forward to see how these chairs will look alike. With HGW stuff, surely they will be great.








This set is standard seatbelt set in laser-cut microfibre textile sheet, in a rigid, card-reinforced letterbox as typical package from HGW.






These sets were made exclusive for the HpH 1:32 Cat.


All the buckles, straps and hinges to make the most outstanding seatbelts at present time are made by Eduard, as usual in all package from HGW.





Eduard also join in with more two photo etched sheets. One is in color, with the instruments panels, switches panels, radio panels, levers, etc.




The other, in plain brass as some external detail, bomb bay hinges, levers, engine nacelles, ammunition belts, etc.







As usual from Eduard, these sheets are perfect in sharp and engraved detail.

Master Barrels are simply the best on the market.

The resin parts of the cannon are very well cast and with all it`s glory. The barrel will make then look like the real ones.




Passing along to the decals, you get one single sheet with some markings and interior stencils.






My example was a little dirty on one of the markings (the plane`s name in the U.S. scheme) easily removed or with the water or simply with a little of paint.






Two schemes are supplied for this kit, in mask form. These are:

§  PBY-5A Catalina, U.S. Navy, VP-61, Atlantic area, 1944








§  PBY-5A/CANSO Mk.IIA, 5th (BR) Squadron RCAF, AFB Torbay, Newfoundland, 1944






I personally would prefer a Kiwi Cat (PBY-5 with a new fuselage with no wheel bay) but you can`t have all!

The vinyl masks have no issues and they look like made by HpH itself. 



As you can see, the instructions are not a Tamiya or WnW ones but are very good ones for a multimedia model kit. And comparing to a typical resin model kit instructions, do have very good indications, more than normal resin kits.


The color chart given only gives Hobby Color references. For me that is just fine, however if you don`t fell comfortable with Gunze, there`s lots of references around and with some little research it`s simple to get other color reference (or simple get a color chart reference and equivalences).





Also doesn`t give you all the color to every single piece. But be honest, the modeler who buys this model (or any resin model) is not a beginner and simply a curious. So you just can`t expected a WnW style instructions and the experience modeler will get his resource and information, that are recommend in the very end of the instructions and for this one, you really most get at least one of the references.


One word: QUALITY!

Absolutely stunning. I love it!

Is not easy to find words to described this fantastic and amazing model kit, because we will be repeating synonyms: awesome, fabulous, brilliant, fantastic, wonderful, and so one ...

This model kit is in fact the most complete and comprehensive model I ever had the pleasure to see with my own eyes.

HpH`s attention to detail, external and internal and all the works behind to achieved such a model, big, large and heavy, is quite amazing.

All the casting is flawless, I could not find a single resin piece with distortion or air bubbles.

Apart from a fuselage little problem, which is now being replaced, there really isn't much to fault here, to be honest, there`s no fault at all.

The construction will not be easy because this is no project for the faint-hearted.  So you need to take some extra care with some constructions parts and double check he instructions and good reference as you are moving along.

For 385 euros model kit, I really not need to say this is a kit which you really should NOT tackle as your first resin build.

I can`t say the price tag is low and the will keep some or lots of modelers out of the boat, but it`s well worth it and I really believe that an excellent value for the money, with lots of fun, many modelling hours, and a fantastic looking model when finish that will stand out at any model show.


Ahhh…one thing that my sample didn`t have and it`s a major setback and it`s essential to convince our beloved wifes/girlfriends that we really need one more model kit: the Belgian Chocolate.

 You can always say that you are going to buy them a chocolate…  It’s a two in a row: chocolate and model kit… As good as it gets.

Very Very Very Very Very Highly RECOMMEND.


Our sincere thanks to HPH for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.




The complete Model (copyright from HpH)








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Nice Review..


When are you planning to build this one Fran?


As soon as possible... First, I must finish some of the wip I have in my bench... at least 3 - Junkers JI, E.III, and Pup.

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Thats a very RNZAF Scheme, one I am thinking of too! You would need to delete the landing gear to make it a PBY-5 version.

Yep Dave... that is a extra problem...


Also thinking fo this one...

PBY-5A Catalina 'Black Cat' Bu.No 48445 D-65 'Frisco Gal' flown by Lt(jg) Howard Miner of VP-54, Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, 1944

I do love nose art, but I have to look up for the fuselage side... :) I only have one side!!! ;)





But still the nose art is a real problem for me.. The antennas are no major problem... 

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On 1/28/2019 at 5:49 PM, jep1210 said:

Holy Frijoles, how have I not known about this kit before now. I actually stumbled on this thread while looking at HpH's Catapult kit.

I´m sorry for the missing pictures but is a Photobucket consequence! However if you need any picture in particular just let me know.



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