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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Avis American Gyro AG-4 Crusader

When the Avis kit of the AmGyro AG-4 Crusader was first announced, I knew I would have to acquire one. It is a unique shape in the aviation world. An oblong fuselage, fixed undercarriage spats, twin tail booms, and a metallic copper paint job. What is not to like?

I was aware that the Avis kit would be a tricky one to construct if only because of its short run nature. That did indeed turn out to be the case. Most of the seams required at least some putty to fair them in. This, admittedly, is not my best trick, especially when a metal paint job is to be applied. There are a number of flaws, some of which I didn’t even notice until I was taking the photos for this completion summary. Some are due to chronic impatience, but some are just in the nature of a short-run plastic kit.

One of the biggest things you have to be careful of is the masking for the cockpit and passenger windows. That Avis provides masks is great, as I suspect a manufacturer like Eduard would not consider this subject worth the investment. Peewit, maybe, but they hadn’t announced one either. The trouble is that they are basically white label stickers that are die cut. They don’t conform at all well to the curves of the fuselage side (slitting the sticker where they wrinkle and then re-pressing the mask is the key here). Even worse, they are the very devil to get off the model once you have finished the paintwork, and they leave quite a bit of adhesive goo behind. My usual go-to process in this case is to apply some WD40 (a silicon de-greaser of all things) via a cotton bud and get the gunk off in that way. It usually works, and adds a nice shine to the glass while it is at it. But this one required some pretty vigorous scrubbing to get the adhesive off.

When I took the photos, the copper paint job acted as a total light sink and the thing looks rather darker than it really is. Plus I’m having some issues with the aperture setting on my Nikon D40, so even with the light tent the pictures aren’t that great. The learning curve continues; I’ll get it right one of these days. It looks fine if you are a couple of hundred yards away looking at it through misaligned binoculars.

This is completed aircraft #499 (16 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 5 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in November of 2018. You’ll note that there is only one more model to go (which is already pretty much done) to hit a historic milestone in terms of my model production. Stay tuned to see which type it ends up being.