First of all, what is an NC-8A?
In short, it is a mobile electric power plant for aircraft servicing, starting, maintenance and testing.
There are many types of these MEPPS (Mobile Electric Power Plants), each has a slightly different function, depending on time period and aircraft type.
The most common type being the present model.
The main reason being that it is one of the smallest ones and therefore more maneuverable than others, especially in heavily congested areas on crowded carrier decks.
But some of these can also be found on ground based Navy /USMC air strips.
Now, let us examine this tiny jewel from F4 MODELS.
It comes in a sturdy, yet astonishingly small, cardboard box with a flap cover which opens to reveal the very detailed instructions, a sealed bag with the actual resin model parts, and a cleverly folded "envelope" containing a photo-etched fret with all the needed additional parts to fill the resin recesses and cover the various control panels. Then last, but not least, a very crisply printed tiny decal sheet for identification and bumper stripes.
What one can immediately notice is the total absence of any flash or bubble in the resin.
The model is very simple and is composed of very few parts, but every detail is there and exactly represents the dimensions of the actual vehicle.
One word of warning though.
Keep in mind, being that this a 1/72 scale model, all the tiny parts composing this unit are very fragile and should be handled with care because they detach from their supports quite easily.
The photo-etched fret is, in this scale, very busy and includes the steering wheel, control panels, front and rear covers, the front engine grille, and many more details to complete the entire model.
Well, in conclusion, for a first look, I must say I was really pleasantly surprised and completely astonished by this very well studied model.
I owned the Verlinden NC-2A Power Unit, which I thought to be highly detailed, yet instead, and to my utter disappointment, discovered it to be completely useless, due to badly studied dimensions, and details, which absolutely did not match the original counterpart.
This one by F4 MODELS, however, is indeed a little jewel and very carefully studied.
Please refer to these pages to see what I mean:
But be careful. This is not a model reserved for the beginner or occasional modeler. It requires very careful handling and placement of the various pieces, in order to produce a truly accurate replica of the NC-8A Mobile Power Unit.
Other than this, I can only recommend it to all of those modelers who build such items in 1/72 scale.
It will surely add a touch of class to your already existing Carrier Decks in scale.
Highs: Clean and Crisp resin parts without any sign of flash or bubbles (at least on my sample). Well written color instruction sheet, a very fascinating PE fret to complete the replica, and a very convenient and appropriate price.Lows: Only for experienced modelers used to handling very fragile resin and photo-etched parts.Verdict: An excellent after-market offering which, so far, has only been available in other scales, such as 1/32 and 1/35 scale, yet never in 1/72.
Highly valuable in putting that certain touch of accuracy to a Carrier Deck diorama.
About Patrick Selitrenny (jlpicard) FROM: TICINO, SWITZERLAND
I am a stage actor / director / producer and now, also writer.
I have been involved in this business for over thirty years now and my passion has remained firm as the day I started.
I am also a history scholar and website designer.
I have a very creative mind, with a vivid and broad imagination. ...