ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH FK.8 "Big Ack"
PEGASUS kit # 4007 1/72nd scale.
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A Brief History
The Armstrong Whitworth FK.8 was designed by the innovative Frank Koolhoven, thus the FK in late 1916, with the aircraft entering service in early 1917. It was a sturdy aircraft, well liked by its crews. Even though only five squadrons on the Western front were equipped with FK.8's, of 19 Victoria Crosses awarded to airmen in WW1, two of went to crews of FK.8's.
1,701 FK.8's were built; 751 by Armstrong Whitworth and 950 by Angus Sanderson. Standard engine was the Beardmore 160hp six-cylinder water-cooled driving a two-blade wood prop. Experimental engines included the 140 hp RAF.4a twelve-cylinder air cooled engine and the 150 hp Lorraine-Dietrich twelve cylinder water cooled engine.
The plane had a 43'6" wingspan, carried one fixed forward-firing 0.303 Vickers and one or two Lewis machine gun mounted on Scarff No. 2 ring mounted in the rear cockpit.
The FK.8 saw service with five squadrons on the Western Front, plus Headquarters Communication Squadron, three Home Defense Squadrons and served in Macedonia, Palestine and India. It was withdrawn from active service in early 1918, ending its career as a trainer.
There are 17 plastic parts with crisp markings. The AW on the nose is especially well done. The ribs on the wings are not overdone. There are no imperfections on my kit and a quick dry fit reveals the parts fit well together. There are the usual heavy attachment points but this is typical of all Pegasus kits. With the softer plastic, I recommend removing the parts with a razor saw and the sand the attachment points smooth. I caution extreme care with this step. The upside to this there will not be hours of sanding to form the part. There is little to no flash on my sample and I estimate less than an hour to clean and prepare the kit. All of the plastic parts scale out well with the Datafile # 64 with the exception of the prop. It scales out considerable smaller than the Datafile. A replacement prop may be in order if you can't live with this.
There are 12 metal parts including the complex landing gear assembly. Twin radiators, a pair of Lewis guns, scarff ring, tail skid are some of the metal parts. They are soft and in my sample, they are bent. This is not a major problem and can easily be bent back into shape.
As with all Pegasus kits, you must provide your own struts but the usual template is there providing true lengths of these struts. Outside reference material is necessary as the instructions sheet is basic.
The decal sheet depicts B'870, in 1918. The color scheme is featured on the back cover of Datafile 64. The decal sheet appears to be of the usual Pegasus quality, which means thin. Apply with extreme care and use no setting solutions.
The plane is very well documented in Datafile 64 with an exceptional number of views that will make the heart of super detailer glad. There is an excellent cockpit shot of the instrument panel plus several views that show the interior.
Other than being careful not to get heavy handed with the soft plastic, I don't foresee any construction or fit problems. My collection includes 13 completed Pegasus kits and I have watched the quality of the kits increase through the years. While Pegasus has always included decals, metal parts were not in the early offerings.
The kit came from Rosemont Hobby and is in the $25 range. Remember, Mr. Gannon only produces 1500 of his kits so the wise idea is to buy early. You can also order direct from Pegasus.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933