Review: Caudron C.561 – 1:72 resin kit by SBS Model
Caudron C-461 and C-561 were built as French participants for the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe 1936.
The two aircraft C-461 derived on the C-460 using the same engine Renault 456, while the single C-561 followed the type C-560 installing the engine Renault 446. The speciality of the design was the idea of a cockpit totally integrated in the fuselage.
The Caudron C.561 was the last of the line of racers designed by Marcel Riffard at Caudron in the 1930s. It was (with the 461 which has a six cylinder engine) the most radical of all of them with the canopy following the line of the fuselage, with no forward view for the pilot and an invertev V12 air cooled Reanult engine. Sadly, it was also the least successful, as it failed to qualify for the 1939 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe due to continous engine reliability issues.
The wings, tailplane and undercarriage of the C.561 were the same as its predecessors, the C.450 and C.460, the fuselage line is from the 461. The redesign involved the longer fuselage, and did away with the previous upright canopy and imprisoned the pilot beneath a hood flush with the top of the fuselage. Caudron had it in mind to make an attempt on the world speed record, though this was abandoned along with the engine problems.
This kit is logical derivative of SBS previous Caudron kits, namely the C.450 and 460 however only the wings and landing gear is the same as in the C.460 kit. I can say the same as their previous Caudrons: the engineering is top noch and the high pressure casted resin parts are flawless. The clear resin canopy is a big step up from the previous canopies as this one is thin, sturdy yet chrystal clear and what is crucial on this kit, fits very well. The previous kits of the type suffered much from vacform canopies which you have to install into a resin/white metal fuselage - hard to make right. On this kit it is a drop fit effort. The clear part is really clear so you will se the delicate resin and PE parts inside - IP, harnesses levers etc.) and the pre-cut canopy mask is a big help. You get casted copper gear legs (small jewels) and PE for the interior and gear bay doors with their ingenuine PE bending tool for replicating the curver nature of them easier. The decal sheet is excellent but small as only one 561 built and wore no racing numbers just the factory name and type on the tail. You don't get any specified infos about the interior or exterior colors - probably some light gray is OK for the interior with black instrument panel. The plane was painted dark blue (Caudron prefers a darker shade than contemporary french racing cars and planes - some C.630s/635s are still exists so You can compare the blue used on them). I got two kits from SBS to test and build them before they announced their 1:48 version (yes since I got the 1:72 kits the 1:48 became pre order status) which is the enlarged version of this kit. I'm in a half way in the build and it's a nice and relatively easy especially for a small resin kit. The nature of the material (resin tend to shrink to some extent) test fit is always advisable and because of the small parts using thin and quality CA glue is advisable. I built their C.450 and 461 kits and they turned out really well and they hand down much better executed that the previous kits of these racer airplanes (Dujin, Pend Oreille, Reneissance, JMGT - resin, vacform canopy; LDM - white metal) and mostly cheaper too - so no really comparison here. I will publish some building article soon about the serie as I'm currently working on eight (!) Caudrons in parallel. You can see my two already built C.450s at the and as a little teaser. I highly recommend this kit for those who are into golden age racers and interesting aeroplanes. Again they are very nice kits; because the small parts and the material one benefit to have some experience with small resin kits but the build is really rewarding and makes a colorful addition to any pre war racer collection.