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Diecast Airplanes
1/72 Warplanes
Oxford British

Type Airliner
Falcon item no. 72DR001
Production run Unlimited

Photographs Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014
D.H.89 Dragon Rapide, G-AFEZ (B.E.A.)
I've always wanted a copy of this airplane, and now it looks as if I could eventually acquire an entire hangar full. To my eye, the Rapide looks a lot like a bi-planed wood and fabric version of the Lockheed Constellation, or, more accurately, the Constellation looks like a mono-planed aluminum version of the Dragon Rapide. Whatever, both are good lookers.

Oxford has done a credible job on this model, the only manufacturing weaknesses being some sloppy paint work (or, perhaps, glue smears) caused by assemblers, and poorly fitted panels under the wings. Neither of these faults would keep me from buying future versions. However, that decision would be weighed against the fact that the model is about 75 percent plastic. Of course, and on the other hand, that's why Oxford can sell the thing for the price of a Corgi Spitfire.

Oxford elected to use cloth thread to represent the wire bracing, and given the scale, the effect is passable. I might have chosen smaller thread of a single color, but I bow to their choice. At least there is no sagging or bending of the "wire" braces. General fit and finish is good (except for the paint smear noted above), with exceptionally snug-fitting props, excellent treatment of the canopy, and very believable fuselage and wing ribbing. One important note, do not attempt to remove the canopy to insert a pilot figure. After carefully cutting with an X-acto knife, much prying and levering, and a fair amount of jumping around and arghing, I finally realized that the canopy and the nose cone are one and the same. The arrangement is actually quite clever, because the canopy and nose-cone light can be made from the same piece, while the fuselage part of the nose is just painted on. Of course, the arrangement negates pilot figures (and using the stand, if you're picky in that way), and thus flying pictures.

All in all, one and a half zooms out of two, or as Victor Borge would say, "Zoom-glick." Presuming on the survivability of my bank account, I'll consider future purchases if Corgi's production cycle slows.

Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014 Email Diecast Airplanes & Waterline Ships