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Academy kits- How good are they?

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  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Academy kits- How good are they?
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, June 17, 2013 12:15 PM

I have never built an Academy kit, and was wondering how their quality is.  I was thinking of getting one of their B-17G's.  I would appreciate any comments from members who have built any Academy kits.  I know Hasegawa makes several B-17's and I know what I would be getting there.  I can get the Academy kit for about $10 less, but if they are marginal in any way, I'll go for the Hasegawa.

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  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, June 17, 2013 12:32 PM

Like any company they have their good and bad. At least until the Revell B-17, I believe Academy's were considered the best. I have built their F and it was a really good kit. The only issues I had were with the fitting of the eduard PE, nothing to do with the kit itself. I have a G and C/D as well, and I would imagine they are all similar to build. I recently built their Ju 87G-1, and that was a really nice kit. Went together well and the detail was great. It was almost a shame to replace the cannon with resin ones. I also built their Fw 190A-6/8 a couple of months ago. That was a really nice kit as well. But their was an issue with dimensions. The kit was to long in the fuselage and a bit to short in the wing. But it only became apparent because of the AM nose decals I was using.

The only real issue I have heard about with their kits is the decals. But on all 3 I have built I have used mostly AM decals or ones out of the spares box.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: ICM 1/35th Sd.Kfz 251/1 Ausf A

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, June 17, 2013 1:03 PM

Chuck: Actually the Hasegawa 1/72 B-17G is from the '70s or so, petite raised panel lines, kinda sloppy detail - overall a decent kit but not a modern Hasegawa kit.  As Bish said the Academy kit is better in pretty much every way. The new Revell of Germany kit blows both away in detail though with a full interior. To be honest I can't see any reason to buy the Hasegawa kit unless you can get a really good deal on it or like Von Hammer you just prefer the raised panel lines.  

Personally I'd list quality as:  

Revell of Germany

Academy

Hasegawa

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, June 17, 2013 1:08 PM

This is just off the top of my head, but I believe that the revel 17G only has one option for the waiste gun windows. On the academy you have to cut out the right hand window, which is easily done. This mean you can build a G with either option. But apart from that, I would agree gamera on rating B-17 kits.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: ICM 1/35th Sd.Kfz 251/1 Ausf A

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, June 17, 2013 3:58 PM

Thanks, guys!  You saved me from making a big blunder!  I certainly don't want a kit from the 70's!  I'm going for the Revell of Germany kit.  From the description on Sprue Bros site, it certainly has a lot of interesting details and options.  I especially like the detailed interior!

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: AandF in the Badger State
Posted by checkmateking02 on Monday, June 17, 2013 4:34 PM

Hi, Chuck:

here is what the Academy B-17's look like.

I built this B-17G for Bish's 8th AAF GB a couple of years ago.  It was reboxed by Airfix, but it originated with Academy and is identical.

Here is Academy's B-17E:

I don't know if they're still available, but Academy did produce a nice version of early Forts, the -B, -C, -D and a combination -C/D.  The B-17D carried markings for "The Swoose."

 

Bish is right.  With the B-17G, both staggered and unstaggered waist positions are indicated on the interior fuselage, and you have to cut open which option you want.  It takes a lot of fiddling, carving, filing and sanding.

For comparison, here's my take on "Memphis Belle," using the Hasegawa offering. 

I still have several Hasegawa's in the stockpile, and they are still good kits, despite their age.  In some ways, I think the Academy offerings are a little "heavy" compared with Hasegawa, which is sort of "petite."

In addition, the side nose windows from Hasegawa are incorrectly shaped.  Academy is much better there, but Academy's engines are atrocious representations.  Hasegawa is much better there.

But as you say, the price for Hasegawa's Forts is astronomical compared with what it once was, and Academy is much more reasonably priced, usually.

Good luck with your Fortresses. 

 

  

Alifero tollitur axe ceres

 

 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, June 17, 2013 8:15 PM

Thanks for the photos and info, Checkmateking02.  Nice work!!!

Back in 2006, I spent 2 days photographing,inside and out, the B-17 G "Liberty Belle" which was recently destroyed in an engine fire-caused disaster in Illinois.  I took about 100 photos, close up details inside and out, and went for a ride in her.  So I am interested in getting the best representation I can in a model.  The interior details of the Revell-Germany model appeals to me most of all, since I have "been there, done that."

I think this will be a real fun build for me.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, June 17, 2013 8:53 PM

CMK02: wow, those are beautiful Fortresses.

Yeah, the RoG is about the same price or cheaper than the Academy and the Hasegawa kits plus you get the full interior!

Chuck: Looking forward to seeing your Fortress, sounds really cool.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 1:17 AM

Academy is great for the 1/72 four engines.

Besides the B-17 series, they did a fantastic (only) B-377 Stratocruiser; C-97 and KC-97 series you'll not find elsewhere.

Also a good B-29 and a B-50.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: AandF in the Badger State
Posted by checkmateking02 on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:45 PM

Thanks, Chuck and Gamera.  I appreciate the comments!  I do like the Flying Fortress.

  

Alifero tollitur axe ceres

 

 

 

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