If you are building a 1/32 diorama of a modern USAF aircraft, this Crew Chief and a roll around tool box would be a great addition. This kit also includes two drills, two slim notebooks, and a PC notebook. If you place this kit next to a 1/32 aircraft, it will make a diorama or a display “come alive”.
Inside the package, you get a Crew Chief figure, toolbox, two drills, two manuals, and a PC Notebook. There are a total of 15 parts that make up this kit, all of which are well molded and have a great amount of detail.
The fit of the parts is excellent, with only a small amount of mold seams, all of which are easily filed and sanded smooth. One big note about assembling this kit – build the toolbox first, and doing that will make it easier to pose the figure in a good position. I guessed the height of the toolbox and assembled the figure first, and when I built the toolbox, I discovered that the figure’s arms were not posed the way I wanted them to be.
The figure has small, almost invisible seams on the sides of the body, and down the center of his face. They are easily sanded away. You will need to carefully sand down the attachment area on the arms to get a seamless joint. On my sample, the arms fit perfectly, even though I positioned them in the wrong pose. The figure’s uniform can be backdated to represent all USAF uniforms from around 1990 to the present day. Those modifications would be limited to removing pockets from the uniform.
Assembling the toolbox is easy – the basic box went together with minimal sanding of the front piece of the toolbox. This piece is the one that has the drawers, and once glued in place, the toolbox looks very realistic. When you cut the wheels from their runners, be sure to cut a little bit above the sprue. This will allow you to sand all four wheels to have the toolbox sit level. I added a bar to one end of the toolbox, since the roll around toolboxes I used were Snap – On toolboxes.
There are several items that you can use to put on top of the toolbox. I deviated from the painting instructions for the drills – ours were yellow with black batteries at the base. The two manuals are easily cut from the sprue – they are molded with the runner on the back of the manuals, so all you will have to sand is the back of both manuals. I painted one manual black with white pages to represent a Technical Order (maintenance instructions), and I painted the other manual orange with white pages as the aircraft forms. Every USAF airplane has a binder with forms inside that have items to repair and how many hours the airplane has flown, and more.
The last item is a “hardened” PC notebook. This comes in two parts – and I would recommend gluing and painting the notebook last, as I found the joint to be a bit too small and fragile, even after gluing with superglue. We did not have these notebooks when I was a Crew Chief. I painted it black and Gunship Grey.
After washing the kit to remove any remaining oils, I greatly deviated from the kit’s painting instructions. The toolbox is painted Radome Tan, with silver drawer handles, toolbox handle, and the casters for the wheels. The figure is painted to represent me, and the uniform is painted to represent the BDU’s that I wore before I retired.
All of the colors I used on this kit were from Testor’s line of enamel paints, and I lost track of the exact colors of the greens I used on the figure. The face was painted using Testor’s Skin Tone Base as a primer, and then finished with Skin Tone Warm for the face, and brown for the hair. I used an old photo of me working on an EC-130H during my Crew Chief days as a reference for the colors and patterns on the uniform. One note about Crew Chief boots – they are usually not spit-shined, but show wear and tear of maintaining aircraft. My own boots usually got shined (somewhat) once a week or month. I painted the boots semi-gloss black.
A special thanks goes out to videoaviation.com for supplying this kit for review.
This kit would make an excellent addition to a diorama or just set next to an aircraft on a stand. I highly recommend this kit!