Dora Wings 1/48 P-43A Lancer, 1943
This is my first Dora Wings kit, which is produced in the Ukraine. I really enjoyed building this P-43 Lancer. It’s very well executed for the most part but one has to keep in mind this is a limited run model with delicate recessed panel lines, soft plastic and fiddly parts. No locator pins. Not a problem, because the overall kit fit is excellent and so are the molded details. The build moves along rather quickly. It’s not a slam dunk, but if you take your time, you will be rewarded with a fine looking replica of the predecessor to the P-47.
No need to construct the complicated but fragile engine mount as it serves no purpose and you won’t be able to see any of it. The engine itself is quite impressive with lots of fragile miniscule parts but again, you won’t see most of it so don’t bother with the stuff that goes on the rear. The molded front push rods tubes are thin as can be. Most of them broke and I replaced them with Evergreen rod which was much easier.
The kit PE belts looked too chunky to me and I used Eduard steel ones instead. Installing PE cowl flaps is never fun and neither are these. Why Dora Wings didn’t mold these in styrene is beyond me. I didn’t have any thin gauge styrene around to make my own so I used them anyway. I installed one flap at a time from the cowl inside with very little attachment/glue space trying hard not to mar it up. It was a real struggle. Aside from that, everything else fit together just fine. I used hardly any filler during this build except to smooth out the 2 piece underside wing flaps.
Watch Out! Delicate Parts Ahead!
All of the parts, most of which are very small and easily broken, have precise sprue attachment points. Lots of them. These must be removed entirely and carefully cleaned up to get a precise fit when installed. There is a bit of flash here and there that’s easily scrapped off.
Heads up on the rear tail wheel gear, brace and needle-thin wheel fork, because these guys are really fragile. Fortunately, the whole assembly can be beefed up with CA glue. Even so, I managed to snap off the wheel fork into Never-Never Land right as I approached the finish line. I heated up some previously stretched sprue and made a close enough replacement. The kit tiny gunsight got gobbled up by the carpet monster and I grabbed another one from my spare parts box that will do for now. I had no problems with the main gear installation but left off a couple of tiny fiddly parts.
Painting and Finishing
I painted the interior using Vallejo chromate green darkened up. For the OD topside I went with Tamiya RAF dark green XF-81 overall and then hit it again lightening it up with a bit of AeroMaster OD 41 mixed in and misted the areas subject to UV fading. I tried not to go overboard with the weathering as I don’t think this P-43 saw much action. The rest of the paint used is Tamiya neutral gray for the undersides and Ammo yellow chromate in the wells and doors.
I am not fond of vinyl canopy masks but the set included in the box performed flawlessly and so did the decals.
My only real gripe (other than those cowling flaps) is that Dora Wings’ instructions are extremely vague along with the paint call outs. There are times when you must figure it out yourself. Thankfully Dora includes a sprue tree map and the parts are suprisingly numbered. Do yourself a favor - check out TC’s Lancer build tips prior to tackling this kit and look at other P-43 models here on iModeler and elsewhere. If you do, your build will go smoothly.
I had a great time working on my little "Jug-ette" P-43 Lancer and look forward to the Dora Wings Curtiss Jeep I have on the pile waiting it’s turn.
Thanks for ogling!
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.