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1/48 IA-24 Calquín (Royal Eagle)

by Fabián Mario Vera

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Finally a kit of the IA-24 Calquin of the Argentine Air Force (AAF). The aircraft was known as the Widow Maker.

The AAF need a twin-engined and light bomber aircraft, the “Instituto Aerotecnico” based its development in an configuration similar to the De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito. The first parts started to be manufactured in April 1945 and the subject was finished around the middle of February 1946, coming up in this way the IA-24 Calquin (Royal Eagle). 100 of this type of aircraft were manufactured in Córdoba.

The aircraft saw service in several Argentine Air Force units until 1957 when they were retired from active service. The last of them, the A-72 was retired in 1959.

The Calquin was developed in three versions, all of them with 4 machine-guns of 0,50 caliber with 750 rounds each, placed on the lower area of the nose.

The bomber version could load 200 kg in its bomb bay (two bays of 100 kg , or 18 of 15kg); in its attack version, the machine-guns ammunitions increased up to 1170 rounds each gun, while in the assault version, each wing could load up to five 75MM rockets.

Mirage Resin Models launch themselves putting on the market this kit that represents one of the so many chapters of the Argentine aeronautical industry in their attempt to be less dependent on foreign models. This is a limited run kit.

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At first sight, I was a little disappointed since it seemed to lack of details and panel lines, but after studying the references very carefully, I could find that the real thing lacked access panels, due to the simple reason that it was a manufactured wood product, so there were no visible joints, thus the lack of the panels we are so accustomed to finding on aircraft.

After the first impression, I can say that its construction was straightforward, a good quality resin kit offering no fit problems.  The high quality white metal parts may be polished and used with their natural metal finish such the case of the propeller spinners.

The kit provides two vacuformed parts (for each clear part) which offer no problems of fit.  The etched parts are right and necessary ones to detail what really resembles a Spartan cockpit.

It’s construction was simple, once the cockpit was painted following the manufacturer’s instructions (all the references pictures I got were black and white), I went on assembling the fuselage which was not difficult at all in spite of the fact the fuselage comes in three sections.

The overall assembly was accomplished as per instructions which are easy to follow. Some putty was necessary for the joints, but no more than the amount any other resin kit needs.

 

 

I´m very surprise with the quality of the landing gears; that will support the kit weight perfectly thanks to the high quality material used (is a little smaller than a Mosquito).

The kit supplies decals to chose between two different airplanes with the same scheme that was the only one these airplanes used in its short active service. Well, I decided to paint mine to match the A-59, which is the showiest and represents one of the two airplanes used by the IVth  Air Brigade “El Plumerillo” in the Province of Mendoza.

The Calquin is a first release from Mirage Resin Models who now give us the chance to add to our collection an exclusive and singular model based on an excellent well made kit that was not very time-consuming.

Fabián

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Photos and text © by Fabián Mario Vera

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