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Mastercasters' Resin Trilogy
Gilding Hobbycraft's Arrow


Mastercasters, 1/48 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number, Description and Price: MST 48001 Cockpit Set £19.99 + S&H
MST 48002 Undercarriage, £18.99 + S&H
MST 48003 Nozzles/Intakes/Canopy, £17.99 + S&H
both available online from Cobra Company's website.
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See text below
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Will transform Hobbycraft's CF-105 into an imposing and detailed model; excellent level of detail; well cast; accurate; includes resin clear parts
Disadvantages: No weapons
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

Reviewed by "Bondo" Phil Brandt





Although only a few airframe components remain today, the long-cancelled Canadian CF-105 Arrow interceptor enjoys the same cult-level following by aviation fans in “The Great White North” as does the also-cancelled BAC TSR.2 in Great Britain.  At the time of cancellation, both weapons programs were unarguably state-of-the-art and would have radically changed the world of military aviation had they come to fruition over four decades ago.  Some aviation experts would say that cancellation of the Arrow was the end of Canadian aviation development, a blow from which that once-vibrant industry has never recovered.


The “Patient” 

The big Hobbycraft 1/48 Arrow was released at least ten years ago, and has all the unfortunate HC earmarks so endearing to modelers: excessively deep engraving–and you wondered where the Matchbox “Trench Digger” had moved; simplistic, almost toylike cockpits and landing gear (simplistic wells); Coke bottle-thick clear parts; and so-so instructions and decals. The kit was re-released a few years ago, and HC did make a few positive changes: more petite engraving and much better decals.   

Enter Jay Laverty and Mastercasters of the U.K., and this “Plain Jane” kit suddenly becomes a player.  Note that the price of admission is not cheap; if you wish to go “full race” (as we hotrodders used to say) all three sets will lighten your wallet by some £56, plus shipping, but, hey, do ya wanna decent beeg Arrow or do you just wanna wuss out and do another (yawn) shake-and-bake109? This add-the-expensive-resin-to-the- El-Cheapo-kit game has been seen before; combine either of Neil Burkill’s (Paragon) excellent correction/detail sets to the simple Sixties Hawk/Testors OV-10, and it’s contest-bound fer sure.




Set Components

Note: OOB parts are seen  in gray.

Cockpit: Two-piece tub w/integrated instrument panels and consoles; seats w/cast-in harnesses; one-piece fronr/rear sidewalls; front instrument panel coaming and stick.



Wheels/Undercarrriage: Easily the most extensive of the three sets.  Detailed main and (two-piece) nosegear wells; detailed nose and maingear struts w/actuators; beautifully detailed maingear bogies; and multi-piece gear doors.



Nozzles/Intakes/Canopy: One-piece intakes w/integrated splitters; one-piece burner empennage; separate burner can sections w/eyelids and interior/exterior detail; cast (!) clear parts to include clamshell (opened configuration) fore and aft canopies and windscreen; and separate resin canopy divider structures.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Molding and Detail Execution 

I’m sure that modelers familiar with the 1/48 HC Arrow would agree that practically any add-ons to this somewhat clunky offering would be an improvement, and the Mastercasters aftermarket goes quite a bit further, enabling a contest level project.  Resin parts are sharply molded with a fair amount of fine detail (seats have harnesses cast-in). Some of the structural detail in the cockpit and nosegear well might seem partially redundant from the OOB kit, but closer inspection reveals much finer execution. Many components such as gear doors have been thinned down and are much more realistic. Wheels have added detail as well. As you can see from the pix, some of the castings have thin flash, but here at Bondo Industries it’s understood that flash comes with the territory, and if you’re up to doing this type project, you should understand that, too.    



When any model airframe sports a large tandem cockpit the “busy-ness” quotient  becomes important, even if the canopy is closed, to avoid a toylike appearance.   The only exception would be in many large, older Soviet aircraft that have much less glazed  area. The two-piece Mastercasters tub has integrated instrument panels which may cause a bit of difficulty in painting.

Landing Gear

This is another area where HC crudeness so often makes its presence known. That’s now a thing of the past with the finely detailed Mastercasters struts and, most of all, maingear bogies.  The pix speak volumes.....


 Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Maingear wells go from nuthin’ (in the OOB kit) to generously structured areas once the modeler adds the one-piece resin wells.


Clear Parts 

You can forget about trimming and handling tricky vacuformed canopies, because Mastercasters has produced  canopy components in clear, thin resin (note that the structural arches separating the canopies are in buff-colored resin).



No, the clear parts aren’t quite Monogram or Tamiyagawa quality, but they’re very close!  Additionally, the canopies are to be posed open, showing their unusual clamshell design.



So far, nothing.  I would’ve sworn I read that an aftermarket weapons  bay was coming down the line, but, as of this writing, no joy.  So, the technicians here at Bondo Industries offer a substitute: Take one Monogram F-106, remove the large missile bay, glue in two of the “busy” Monogram bay sidewalls, add two F-106 launchers in tandem (the plan here is to show just one of four AIM-4 Falcon missile bay segments in extended or nested configuration--Monogram gives the choice of either), cut out an appropriately-sized slot in the belly of the Arrow, glue in the entire bay/launcher/missile assembly, and voila!


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



Each set comes with a full page of instructions and lots of B&W pix which should make the add-on process a no-brainer.


Color schemes 

Just as in the case of the imposing TSR.2 Bondo was privileged to see at Cosford in November, all the existing Arrow prototypes were done in overall test white, with some large International Red or Orange areas.  The upgraded HC decals are, of course, meant for those white versions. Just as in the case of the TSR.2 (planned green/gray cammo w/anti-flash belly), I’m sure there were operational color schemes on file somewhere in Canada. This curmudgeon is not in any way a fantasy modeler, but feels that the Arrow would look great in Air Superiority Gray, mebbe two-tone. Just might do it...





It is hard to imagine that any serious modeler lusting to do an Arrow would opt to skip the Mastercasters sets and stick with the OOB offering, especially when so many of today’s better kits are in the $50-$75 range. 





Note that “Reference” is singular.  IMO, you only need one reference: “Arrow”, Boston Mills Press, Ontario, 1992, ISBN 1-55046-0471. More information than you’ll ever need....

"Bondo" Phil Brandt IPMS 14091

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Phil Brandt
except title image courtesy of Mastercasters
Page Created 30 December, 2005
Last updated 30 December, 2005

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