Supermarine Seagull ASR-1
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Supermarine Seagull was a fast amphibious flying boat powered by a Rolls-Royce Griffon engine. It was completed after the end of the Second World War and only two prototypes were built.
It is quite understandable that this rare type has been neglected by model kit manufacturers and up to now only a vacform model was ever released by Maintrack Vacform in their Model-X series. Although it was an excellent quality kit, a lot of experience was needed to turn it into a good model!
There is now a very good alternative for the old Maintrack kit. The Ukraine based ProResin, also known as Olimp Models has recently released at 1/72 scale a resin kit of the Seagull. Included are two clear canopies, and that should be standard on all vacform and resin kits! The kit is quite detailed with an excellent interior of the cockpit section. The contra-rotating propeller comes as one single piece where all six blades have to be glued in the correct position. Most of the part are casted on resin blocks and some may be a little bit difficult to separate. The two fuselage halves have some heavy brims on the sides that have to be glued together and they must be carefully sanded until a good fit is obtained. As can be seen from the photos, the dry-fit is very good and only marginal amounts of filler will have to be used. According to the parts index there should be a film part for the four side windows, but these were not present in the box. However, it should be no problem at all to make these from clear material or even ‘Cristal-clear’ liquid.
For the rest this kit looks very straightforward to build with a clear 4-page instruction sheet. Unfortunately the basic drawings in the instructions give very little surface detailing. However, on this website you can find a very detailed 3-view drawing of the Seagull in an article released some time ago!
Decals are included for the first prototype PA143. As painting instructions the basic colours dark sea grey for the upper side and ‘matt beige green’ for the under sides are given. However, from colour photos it is evident that it was actually painted in the mandatory off-white colour as also used on the Sunderland flying boat.
In spite of these small criticisms, this is a very nice little kit of a rare aircraft type that is highly recommended!
With special thanks to Oleg Rozentsvayg from Odessa, Ukraine for providing a review model.