What is an aero model

Beech Musketeer "Muscrat" / Sundowner

AERO-MODEL - resin kit - 1/72

An absolute novelty is now available exclusively and limited by TOM-Modellbau / Friedland: the 1:72 model of a Beechcraft B / C-23 Musketeer / Sundowner. No such thing was even available as a Vacu model anywhere in the world!

The successful original: The original is a very successful school, sports and touring aircraft. It was manufactured from 1963 to 1983 in various series and modifications a total of 4366 times. The single-engine, low-wing aircraft with fixed landing gear and four-cylinder engines was also particularly inexpensive at the time.

That is probably why the type was built for 20 years. The main difference between the Musketeer / Sundowner line and similar light aircraft of the time is / was the landing gear of the Beech. While Cessna used spring steel for the C172, Piper for the PA28 Cherokee oil shock absorbers, and Grumman for the AA-5 fiberglass, the Musketeer / Sundowner family comes with rubber washer suspension packages. This gives the aircraft very special landing properties. The ample tank capacity of the model and thus its range is also noteworthy. The spacious interior and the easily accessible and large luggage compartment are also the strengths of the original. In contrast to the PA-28, there are also two entry doors!

The original in the military: "Muscrat" was the nickname of the Beechcraft B / C23 Musketeer in the Canadian Armed Air Forces. The Canadian Armed Forces initially bought 24 B23 Musketeers in 1971. The first CT-134 - the Canadian name - arrived at CFB Portage la Prairie on March 23, 1971. At the end of 1981 these were replaced by 24 new ones from the 1982 Beechcraft C23 Sundowner. The new machines were now called CT-134A Musketeer II in the CAF.

Other military operators of the model were the Algerian Air Force (4 x B24R Sierra - this is the version with retractable landing gear), the Mexican Air Force (20 x A23-19), the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (2 x B23-19) and the Royal Moroccan Air Force (1 x 23)

The kit: The resin model now available is available in three different kit versions from AERO-Modell, the practical differences between which are decals and cardboard.

The excellently cast individual parts of the machine are complemented by precisely fitting - and corresponding to the original - green colored panes. The model is simple and consists of only 25 parts. So it is also something for beginners in the field of resin kits. An interior is available, but three more must be made by yourself based on the example of an enclosed seat. This is very easy to do, however, as it is practically just plastic squares.

Absolute top class with such kits is the eight-page colored assembly instructions with extensive documentation of the original - including many detailed photos and color schemes.

A real treasure trove, but there is no indication of a bow weight that may have to be introduced. A true-to-scale instrument panel is printed in the assembly instructions and should be cut out for the model. The decals for the respective kit version are also very nicely printed and there is no lack of lavish maintenance instructions / stencils.

In addition to the respective painting of the kit version (cardboard lid picture) there is still a second set of decals for the earlier FAT machine D-EIPC, which is based in Cottbus-Neuhausen.

The cardboard imprint "Military Trainer Series" gives hope for further kits of the same design.

Conclusion: All in all, a round thing - and finally a quasi civil model again - great idea and a great AERO model!

Detlef Billig, Berlin (November 2012)