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Percival Provost T.Mk.1
Single-Engine Military Trainer

Central Flying School

Royal Air Force
Central Flying School
Little Rissington, 1957

Matchbox

This model added to kgwings.com on January 28, 2012

Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
In January 1950 Percival Aircraft Co. was contracted to build 2 prototype single-engine basic trainer aircraft for the Royal Air Force. The P.56 Provost prototype flew for the first time just over a month later.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
An order to produce 200 Provost T.Mk.1 aircraft was placed on May 29,1951 after winning competitive trials over the Handley Page HPR2. Production ended in 1956 with 461 aircraft built.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
The first production aircraft were delivered to No.6 FTS (Flying Training School) at Ternhill October 1953. The Provost served as the RAF's basic trainer from 1953 until 1961 when it was replaced by the Jet Provost.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
The Provost proved to be a popular aircraft with good aerobatic qualities. The 550 horsepower Alvis Leonides 126 9-cylinder radial engine enabled a maximum speed of 200 mph (170 knots, 320 km/h) at sea level and service ceiling of 25,000 ft (7620 m).

Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
For a kit that was originally produced in 1976, it builds into a surprisingly good representation of a Provost.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
Matchbox omitted most of the panel lines, but the ones represented are raised and reasonably fine.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1

The struts are molded extended (as they would be in-flight) which I chose not to bother correcting. I created break lines out of stretched sprue.

Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
My day-glo orange decals "exploded" on impact with water so I was forced to paint them myself, fortunately they turned out pretty well. The roundels and other markings were borrowed from other kits.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
Although most details are simplified on this kit, Matchbox did a very good job of capturing the look and feel of the real aircraft.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
The serial number I chose is probably bogus, patched together from a leftover Hawker Hunter decal sheet.
Matchbox Provost T.Mk. 1
This was a very enjoyable build that brought back fond memories of the days when I could crank out a simple kit in a few hours and spend the rest of the day "flying" it around the house.



Matchbox Provost T.Mk.1 #40030
Matchbox
Kit: Matchbox #40030
1/72 scale
Scale: 1/72
Value:

I purchased this kit for $3.00 (US) many years ago from a vendor at at IPMS show. Just about any kit is a good deal at that price. The kit has been out of production for decades but tons were produced so they still show up on eBay from time to time.
Decals:

Decals are provided for tail code XF895 of RAF Central Flying School, and tail code XF688 of Sultan of Muscat and Omans Air Force. My decals were not printed well, details were "fuzzy" and the poorly registered roundels were all but useless. I ended up replacing nearly all decals with spares from other kits.

Assembly:

The kit includes 31 parts molded in bright red and light gray, with 1 transparent cockpit canopy, one decal sheet and tri-fold black and white instruction sheet. Instructions are written in 5 languages with English being primary. Printed in color on the back of the box are top, bottom and side views providing indication for painting and decals.

Construction begins with a very sparse cockpit which consists of only a chair, two two pilots and a rollover bar. No control sticks are included nor any hint of any instrumentation. The single piece canopy is very thick with excessively wide framing so fortunately you can't see much of the interior anyway.

The fuselage and rudder are molded in left-right parts with the tail plane and wings molded in light gray. In traditional Matchbox fashion, the fuselage is molded in one color (red) with the wings molded in another (light gray) which is both annoying and nostalgically entertaining. Panel lines are raised and relatively crisp however there are not many to be found on this simplified kit. Fit is fair overall with filler required at the wing joints, around the engine cowling, and around the canopy.

The wheels and struts aren't especially good, but acceptable.

Although this kit is very toy-like, it can be built into a reasonably accurate replica of an important piece of RAF training history, and to my knowledge it is the only offering available.

After Market Parts Used: None
Customizations:

Masking tape was used to create seat harnesses. Control sticks were used from other kits. Decals were replaced with spares. Brake lines were created with stretched sprue. Landing light was created from scrap parts, chrome sequin and clear epoxy.
Recommendation:

This kit is ideal for beginners, but advanced modelers may also enjoy the challenge of creating a replica out of this very basic kit. Recommended for any fan of military basic trainers.

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