Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Frog Sabre by Paul Bradley

This was one of Frog’s earliest plastic kit releases way back in 1955. This was at the height of the Sabre’s fame, just after the cessation of hostilities in Korea and during deliveries to the RAF as a stop-gap fighter while issues with the Hunter and Swift were being worked on. So it’s no surprise that this kit offers the earliest of RAF markings, for an overall natural metal machine. Aircraft delivered to the RAF were based in Germany, so quickly acquired a camouflage scheme of Dk Green/Dk. Sea Grey and PRU Blue. The simple decal sheet offers one set of markings with no indication of squadron.

A child of its times, this is a very simple kit with all the hallmark features of a kit produced as an early venture into this new market. There are just 14 parts plus a lead nose weight. Detail is extremely basic, with the cockpit being represented by the half-pilot moulded into the fuselage halves. The undercarriage is represented by simple one-piece mouldings that fit into slots under the wings and fuselage – no bays are present. The whole model is covered in huge rivets that would do the Clyde shipyards proud. These are thoughtfully discontinued in the places where the decals are supposed to go.

The kit is topped off with one of those stylish Frog stands with the sweeping arm and circular base, and the very neat nameplate decal to go on it. This is one aspect of these kits that should be re-introduced.

I haven’t measured this one for accuracy – what’s the point? It looks like a Sabre and it’s a great nostalgia piece!

By the way, if anyone has a copy of the Tri-ang Magazine advertised in the accompanying leaflet, I’d like to take a look!