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Gábor Szabó
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Review: Caudron C.450 racer 1:72 – new kit from SBS – review

May 7, 2019 · in Reviews · · 2.3K

I picked up this beautiful little kit on the recent Mosonshow from the SBS stand. It's really a "hot" product as they just finished preparations and announced the kit for the event. My example is from the first batch!

Developed from the C.362 flown in the previous year's race, a single C.450 and three C.460s were built for the 1934 event. All were powered by a supercharged Renault 456 six-cylinder inverted air-cooled engine driving a Ratier two-position variable-pitch propeller. The airframe was primarily built from spruce and birch plywood, with steel and alloy engine bearers and magnesium cowling and fuel tanks. The wings were fitted with split flaps and the angle of incidence of the tailplane could be varied while in flight. The principal difference between the types was that the C.450 had a fixed spatted undercarriage, while the C.460 had a retractable undercarriage. This difference resulted in structural differences, the retractable undercarriage necessitating a two-spar wing for the C.460 in contrast to the single-spar wing used by the C.450. However the two types are very similar in appearance (practically you can only differentiate them from the fixed or retratctable undercarriage).
The little Caudrons were highly succesful racing planes: in the 1934 Coupe de la Meurthe the C.450 took first place, piloted by Maurice Arnoux, and one of the C.460s took third, piloted by Albert Monville. The C.460s had been handicapped by problems with the retractable undercarriage, which resulted in them flying with the undercarriage fixed in the down position during the contest. On 22 May 1934, flying the C.450, Raymond Delmotte set a world record for light aircraft over 100 km of 431.65 km/h (268.21 mph).[4] In August that year, Hélène Boucher set an airspeed record for aircraft in its class with the C.450, of 455 km/h (284 mph) and on Christmas Day 1934 Delmotte set a new airspeed record for light aircraft over a 3 km course of 05.85 km/h (314.32 mph) in a C.460.A C.460 won the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe in 1935, piloted by Delmotte, with an average speed of 443.96 km/h (277.5 mph). In 1936, a C.460, piloted by Michel Detroyat, also won the Greve Trophy and Thompson Trophy at the 1936 National Air Races in the United States. The 1936 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe was won by Yves Lacombe again flying the C.450.

The Caudron C.450 (/460) were kitted previously in 1:32 by Williams Bros (I have one in my stash and despite its age it's not a bad kit) and by Dujin and Replica in 1:72. The latters are true "garage" resin kits and they are very crude (I had the Replica but I sold it after I get the WB kit).

The SBS kit is beautiful and very well made in every respect. As recently we accustomed their quality it's not a big surprise that the kit designed in CAD and the masters are 3D printed. The parts have alignment pins however I not sure how many will hold the cleaning up the parts from the casting blocks (but the idea is nice). All the surfaces are beautiful. The model - as the original airplane - will be really small, the prop. for example rather seems like more of a 1:144 part than to a 1:72 so some of the parts are very delicate (aware of the carpet monster). The clear resin canopy is especially well made. To this day only SBS resin canopies worked for me really well (I had several problems with foggy Dekno clear resin parts for example). There is a small PE fret in the box contains the IP, some levers and the belts for the pilot seat. The decals are well printed and in perfect register - seems the usual high SBS quality piece. The painting instruction is a colour printed sheet but quite laconic about colours (blue, black silver, yellow - and that's all). The instructions are seems logical and clear and the low parts count suggests a relatively easy and quick build. As I heard they will announce the Caudron 460 too.

I highly recommend this kit to anyone whose not afraid of some resin and likes these golden age racers. It will be a colourful addition for my other racing airplanes on my shelf.

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