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Italeri ATR 42-500

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT | AIRLINER | REVIEW
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Airliner modelers greeted the prospect of a mainstream ATR 42 with enthusiasm when Italeri announced it several years ago. Features include: a cockpit (unusual in 1/144 scale); open cabin windows to be filled with clear inserts; optional parts to display the gear up or down; and a display stand.

The white plastic parts are flash-free, but many of the recessed lines feel rough and have minor ridges on either side. Several passes with 1500-grit sandpaper smoothed the surfaces.

The cockpit has slightly odd dimensions, but most of it won’t be visible through the thick windshield.

The good news is the windshield fits perfectly, and well-defined frames facilitate masking. I left the cabin window inserts out, instead filling them with Microscale Kristal Klear after painting.

After weighting the nose with lead sinkers, I closed up the fuselage. The fit was nearly perfect, requiring just a little filler along the seam. Unfortunately, the forward fuselage is misshapen. Everything in front of a panel line that runs around the fuselage behind the cockpit is slightly too big, like it’s ever-so-slightly overinflated. Fifteen minutes with progressively finer sanding sticks corrected the shape. Trailing edges of the wing and rudder are thick. I added the nacelles to the wing, but left the wing and fuselage separate for painting.

Cartograf decals, a highlight of the kit, provide three marking options: two Surveyors, the maritime patrol version, one each from the Italian coast guard and Italian financial guard; and the one I chose, an airliner from Mexican carrier Aeromar. I painted the airframe with Tamiya spray-can pure white over Tamiya white fine surface primer. The painting diagrams show some details — such as the de-icing boots, exhaust tracks, and some natural metal points and corners — but no color callouts. Good references are essential; I recommend www.airliners.net. The decals fit the molded door outlines and windows perfectly, but the aircraft should have ATR 42-500 logos on the fin.

The finished model looks good and scales out on the money, but the nose gear seems too tall. None of the shape problems are a deal breaker, but be prepared to sand to make the most out of Italeri’s turboprop.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2016 issue.

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