The Conquest 441 business aircraft features a pressurized cabin for up to ten passengers, a top speed of 319 mph (513 km/h) and a range of 1, 291 miles (2, 077 km). The prototype was first flown in 1975 and over 200 have been delivered. It is 39 feet long and has a 49 foot wing span.
What a pleasant surprise! A new manufacturer on the modeling scene,Gremlin Models by Zed out of Yugoslavia (unrelated to Gremlin Models of the US) has added to the meager supply of civilian aircraft models in the One True Scale with an interesting little resin kit of the Cessna 441.
Presented in 34 well-detailed resin parts and a vacuum formed clear cockpit/cabin area, the kit features recessed panel lines throughout, and a one-piece wing with deep but featureless wheel wells. The resin parts are crisp and free of pits, with a little flash on the detail pieces. One side of the fuselage on my example is slightly warped but should respond well to some gentle heat from a blow dryer.
Panel lines are finely scribed - probably too fine since they look like they will disappear under a coat of paint. In my opinion this isn't especially important in this scale, but the control surface outlines will definitely need to be carefully deepened. The interior detail consists of seven seats, bulkheads, and a resin instrument panel with lightly raised dial details. Curiously, there are no control wheels so these will have to be scratchbuilt or added from the spares box. The landing gear legs unfortunately have the wheels and tires molded in place but on the plus side do have a metal rod inserted for strength.
One nice feature of this kit is that vinyl masks are provided for the cockpit and cabin windows. The window outlines are lightly engraved on the clear part so achieving neat crisp window demarcations should be a cinch providing the vinyl masks and scribing match up.
There were no decals in my kit but the manufacturer advises me that a sheet is on the way to me and will be included with all future kits and releases.
Since there are virtually no locater pins, tabs, or slots provided other than a ledge for the large clear part, keeping everything in proper alignment will take quite a bit of care during assembly. It would probably be wise to pin the wings and stabilizers and use epoxy for assembly to give plenty of time for adjustment. On the plus side, the kit includes a very nice set of what are apparently factory three view drawings, complete with cross sections and stations which will be a big help in setting the dihedral angle of the horizontal stabilizers and aligning the separate prop blades on their spinners. The fuselage and wings are just slightly larger than the plans but well within tolerance as far as I'm concerned since it affects both the wings and fuselage equally.
The biggest challenge on this kit will be installing the vacuum formed upper fuselage section containing the passenger and cockpit windows. Again, I recommend using epoxy rather than super glue to give plenty of time for adjustment, with careful filling and sanding afterwards to blend the part in without scratching up the window areas.
This is a welcome, if challenging, addition to my collection of civilian aircraft, a much-neglected branch of aviation in the modeling world. Gremlin states on the instructions that this is a limited run of 100 kits so don't delay if you want one! Highly recommended for experienced modelers wanting to expand their horizons and not afraid to do a bit more than assemble a "box shaker".
Review sample kindly provided by and available directly from the manufacturer, and soon to be available from Hannants in the UK.