|Falcon item no.
Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014
D.H.89 Dragon Rapide, G-AFEZ (B.E.A.)
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
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.