Somewhere buried deep in my hoard is a kit of the Curtiss Wright Demon which looks very strange to me, with a skinny tail which looks like it will fall off at any moment. One of these days I will make that kit, but, in the meantime, I recently came across the Kora 1/72 kit of the trainer version of that aircraft, the CW-22, also known as the SNC-1 because a lot of them ended up flying for the US Navy. If anything it looks stranger then the Demon because it has such a huge cockpit canopy perched on a tiny fuselage. So I gave into temptation and decided to see how it went together.

In summary, it wasn’t the worst kit I’ve joined battle with. Because the cockpit is so large and open a lot more effort than usual went into dressing it up a bit to give it a kind of lived in appearance. Much to my surprise the tiny cockpit plastic and resin parts went together fairly well though the kit maker doesn’t seem to have taken into account that pilots have legs when they designed this kit.

Even more surprising, when the cockpit interior was completed and painted, it actually fitted snugly into the kit’s fuselage halves (this has proved to be such a problem with short-run kits that I remark on it here because it is so novel when something like this goes right). The kit parts are fairly rough and ready but accurate for the most part.

The instructions are occasionally misleading rather than just vague and the few pictures that I could find of the SNC on the web were, in many ways, more useful than the instruction sheet.

Some of the resin parts, the engine and the undercarriage wheels, were better formed than the plastic parts and the vacformed canopy was a serious trial on the nerves. The kits gives you two, just to be on the safe side, but I must be becoming used to these things because I didn’t need the spare. There was, however, a lot of test fitting and removing slivers of celluloid before it fitted reasonably well.

When the wings were glued together the training edges were enormous so I spent a lot of time thinning them down to something that looked okay.

The kit comes in several versions including a US Navy version but I ended up with one that included decals for four Latin American versions, two each from Peru and Ecuador. All but one were bare metal, which might have looked very nice but I thought that finish would expose all the problems with the model that I hadn’t been able to solve, but a Peruvian blue and yellow finish would tend to distract the viewer from the problems and mistakes with this kit.

Would I make it again? I don’t think so. But it does look kind of cute.

Leigh Edmonds
December 2018

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The Model

X Curtiss Wright SNC 1 Kora 72 The Little Aviation Museum

Curtiss Wright SNC-1

Learn about the Curtiss Wright SNC-1