RUAG Dornier Do228NG
Netherlands Coastguard 2015, DeKooy Airfield, Den Helder, Netherlands 2015.
Revell with scratch conversions 1/72
The Dornier 228 STOL utility aircraft first flew in the late 1970s, taking advantage of a new supercritical wing design financed by the German government, that allows an excellent balance between performance and efficiency. Production by Dornier in Germany and licence production by HAL in India continued until 1998, with over 270 aircraft built.
In 2009, Swiss Government owned RUAG began building a New Generation Do228 variant, with wings, fuselage and tail produced by HAL in India.
Production has continued since then at low rates, with many customers specifying maritime patrol and SAR variants. Equipped with more powerful engines and propellers, a glass cockpit, advanced radar, FLIR, automated mission systems and ECM systems, the Do228 NG’s box section fuselage, high payload and long endurance make it a good choice for this role.
The Netherlands Coastguard (Nederlandse Kustwacht) use two modern Do228-
Background Image: RUAG 228NG on display at RIAT 2015
Whilst the kit does go together well, there are definitely a few potential “snaggettes” for the unwary and at least one major challenge!
Although it only has a few parts, the undercarriage is quite a fiddly assembly that is not well illustrated in the instructions. Once you work out how it is supposed to fit, it all makes sense, but the need to fit both door and leg at the same time demands an extra pair of hands!
Revell would also have you stretch sprue for the eight Fowler Flap actuators on the wings; I really can’t see why they couldn’t have moulded these as an integral part, as it adds an unnecessary complication that I would bet most modellers ignore.
The engines are particularly disappointing; they have no exhaust whatsoever, just
a flat plate on their rear end, so a short piece of tubing was cut to size and fitted
on each. Landing lights are also missing -
Revells’ Do228 kit has been around since 1987 and has been released at least six times in a variety of different civil and military versions. This is the 2009 issue that includes well produced markings for German and Dutch coastal maritime patrol aircraft.
The kit itself is rather basic and a little disappointing -
Ever keen to get away from greens, greys and browns, I chose to build the more colourful
Dutch option, not least because I had taken quite a few pictures of it at RIAT last
year and the year before. I also chose to do the distinctive black “Toucan” anti-
Unfortunately Revell provide the older 4 bladed propeller and scratch building the most recent 5 bladed version was beyond me, but there are plenty of pictures of the real thing as originally operated with 4 blade propellers fitted.
801 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 2006.
Hasegawa with Heritage resin conversion. 1/72
Over the years I have built quite a few Harrier kits, including four 1/72 Sea Harrier FA2s, three of which were conversions from FRS.1 kits. These are a set of pictures I took during one of the conversions, showing how easy it is. Although there are now several FA2 kits available in 1/72, this is, I believe, still the best way to create an FA.2 !
And now the major challenge-
Revell do provide the blue stripes as decal, but I ditched these early on due to the problem of matching the blue paint (mine is a little too dark) and also because all of the picture I can find show a much thicker blue stripe than that provided. Paints are Humbrol and Revell enamels, brushed on as usual. Decals for both options are very well done, although I believe the “Kustwacht” title is a little too large and blocky (perhaps this has changed between the original and current aircraft?).
Final detail touches were added using a soft pencil, then a quick coat of Klear to help the decals to adhere. New registration serials were also made up using Ink Jet Decal paper. Finally, a coat of Micro Cote Satin Varnish was used to give the kit a suitably polished scale sheen.
This is a slightly disappointing kit, by no means bad, but (decals apart) significantly lacking in the level of detail one would expect from a modern issue and with some surprisingly fundamental detail shortfalls. That said, other than painting, its build “out the box” poses no problems and adds another interesting aircraft to the collection!
The real thing: TERMA SLAR Antenna and FLIR Turret
The real thing: Landing Lights and FLIR Turret
The real thing: Five bladed airscrew to accommodate increased power
The real thing: RIAT 2014