by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The latest excursion by Platz into the animated world of Yukikaze comes in the shape of a 1:144 injected kit of the Yukikaze Mave.
Platz have built a very high reputation for their 1/144 WW2 aircraft, so it's no surprise to see the Yukikaze Mave is equally well produced. Of course, the aircraft is no stranger to Platz, having appeared previously as a 1:72 resin kit - but that was the FRX-00, whereas this is the FFR-41MR (although I have to admit that without the benefit of being able to read the Japanese descriptions, the full significance of the different designations is lost on me).
The new kit arrives in a striking top-opening box with the main sprues and clear parts bagged separately for protection. The kit comprises:
67 x grey styrene parts
2 x clear styrene parts
Decals for a single colour scheme
The parts are beautifully moulded with no flash or sink marks evident. The surface finish consists of fine crisply engraved panel lines. Some of the parts a quite small and their sprue attachments are pretty solid, so a razor saw is a good way to remove them. The breakdown of the parts is quite unconventional compared with a standard aircraft kit, but is actually very logical to capture the radical contours of the futurist fighter.
Rather than just test-fit the main parts, I couldn't resist jumping straight in and building the beast as a little light relief from my normal diet of real-world aircraft. The fit of the parts is excellent and I found no filler was needed. The only point I had to question was the sprue attachment for the canopy, which is on a clear section and no amount of polishing can disguise completely.
The real difference compared with the earlier resin kit is that this time there is a set of stores to mount on the wing and fuselage pylons. There's a useful fit-out chart showing what can be attached to each hard-point and, although the text is all-Japanese, the complement seems to consist of 4 x AAM VII 4 x AAM III, plus what I presume is either an ECM/Recon pod or a drop-tank.
Instructions & decalsAs noted above, the instructions are entirely in Japanese. This doesn't really present any real obstacle to western modellers, because the assembly diagrams are easy to follow and Gunze Sangyo colour matches can be picked out.
Decals are provided for a single scheme. As usual in Platz kits, they are custom printed by Cartograf so the quality is exceptional, as you'd expect. What is a surprise is the sheer quantity of tiny stencil markings - if you were expecting things to be simple in this small scale, be prepared to set aside time for several decal sessions, because there are probably around 150 individual items (so many, I didn't even try to count!)...
ConclusionPlatz's new Yukikaze Mave FFR-41MR is great little kit! It should appeal to aircraft and anime fans alike, and is both beautifully detailed and much more affordable than its (equally excellent) larger resin predecessor. I hope it's just the first of an extended series of styrene kits of the Yukikaze machines in this scale. But Platz, how about a 1:48 injected kit of the Mave? - that really would be awesome! Highly recommended.
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