1/72 scale Azur
by Mark Davies
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Modelling has been transformed for me by the Czech and other Eastern
European kit manufacturers. There are just so many new 1:72 kits being
released of subjects I never fail to find appealing.
Azurís Breda Ba 65 falls firmly in this category, even though it is one
of Azurís earliest kits. As an aside, itís amazing just how far this
manufacturer (and related companies) have come. I have just landed their
Potez 63-11, and the quality is superb. So donít let any comments
relating to a few minor difficulties with my Ba 65 put you off buying
any Azur, MPM, Special Hobby or Condor products.
The kit consists of a few injected parts with extremely delicate
recessed panel lines, large ejector stubs, and some flash. Items such as
the propeller, undercarriage doors and carburettor intake are, however,
a little crude. Gun barrels, pitot and tailplane support struts require
to scratch-building. There is a choice of canopies, and all clear parts
are vac-formed. An etched-metal fret provides cockpit interior detail
and the Ba 65ís distinctive undercarriage retraction mechanism. The
engine and cowl are a one-piece resin moulding, more about which will be
discussed later. The kit can be completed with or without a rear
gunnerís station. The option with the rear gun requires a portion of
each fuselage half to be removed and replaced with a turtle deck
section. Two Italian and one Fascist Spanish Civil War decal options are
I found quite a number of photos on the net, plus what seem to be
good plans at http://www.airwar.ru ,
a site that has numerous plans and drawings, the Ba 65 being found as a
small downloadable zip file at
www.airwar.ru/other/draw/bredaba65hpm.html . The kit actually
matches these plans very well (not that this means a great deal), and
they are useful in covering the various versions. Note that if you want
to build the Chilean version you will need a different cowl and to make
some other changes.
The main areas I decided would need attention were the engine and
exhausts, undercarriage doors, the carburettor intake, propeller hub,
and gun surrounds in the wing leading edge.
Before mentioning these items in detail the build required thinning
of the wing trailing edges, removal of ejector stubs and flash. Also,
the port horizontal stabilizer was a bit thick overall, and this was
thinned to better correspond with the starboard one. Overall the main
parts went together very well with only Tipex being used to fill a small
gap at the wing roots. The tailplane struts were made from stretched
contrail strut, and the rigging with invisible mending thread through
The cockpit interior is adequate, but requires a gun-sight to be added.
I also made some pilotís armour and head-rest. The kit provides two
choices of vac-formed canopy. Decide which version is to build and then
practice on the canopy you donít intend to use. The modeller is faced
with a bit of a challenge because the Ba 65ís windscreen blends into the
rounded part of the fuselage sides, plus each section to the rear of
this is slightly stepped. Iíve used a lot of vac-foam canopies, and
simply advise lots of test fitting and very cautious cutting with this
one. I chose to model my Ba 65 without the clear panel in the floor as
my research indicated that single-seat ground attack version didnít have
engine is a one piece casting including the cowl. The cowl captures well
the bulges required to clear the rocker gear. The problem is that the
enginesí cylinder heads donít even extend past the cowlís opening, the
effect being to make the engine look undersize and incorrect. Using the
engine as intended would not only leave this problem unresolved, but the
trailing edge of the cowl would be blunt and solid resin. I chose to
Dremel the entire engine out and thin the cowl down to scale appearance.
I then used a spare 14-cylinder engine from an Airfix SM 79 with added
push rods. This fitted very well, with the heads reaching the cowl as
they should to ďjustifyĒ the rocker bulges.
The kit exhausts seemed to me a bit small and simple compared to photos.
I made a new exhaust ring from plastic rod, and the expanded ends were
made from tube and 5 thou card with Microstrip cross bars. I donít feel
they I got them quite right, but I think mine are better than the kit
The undercarriage doors were Dremeled out to about 10 thou thickness
enabling them to curve around the leg as on the original. I opened up
the solid carburettor intake for greater realism, and for the same
reason I drilled out the two venturi mounted low on the fuselage sides.
I scratch built a sinner (using my Dremel as a lathe) and scratch-built
a hub from tube stock. Thinned down kit blades were then attached to
this to provide a better representation of the distinctive pitch-change
mechanism of the hub. Finally I reshaped where the guns emerge from the
wing to better tally with photos. The guns were made from hypodermic
needles, and I chose to represent ejection ports with black decal rather
than cut them out (after all, they wonít be seen in the cabinet!)
The scheme I had chosen required brown and olive green over sand. I
thought about free-handing this, but felt it would be time consuming
because of the inevitable need to constantly tidy up areas of overspray.
Instead I used my Dremel to cut 3 templates from plastic-card and
sprayed the blotches randomly through these. This proved to be a very
simple and quick way of achieving the camouflage finish I needed.
The underside grey was sprayed using torn business card to give a
soft demarcation line. The decals were of excellent quality, with good
registration and opacity. They were very thin, and settled quickly with
only decal set.
This was an enjoyable and quite straight forward build. Some of the
changes I made are not essential by any means, and a nice model would
still result from an out of the box build. Without doubt, the trickiest
part is the canopy. I feel Azur should have provided two for people to
This said, I should point out that their latest kits have very clear
and thin styrene canopies. However, this is the only injected Ba 65 I
know of in 1/72 scale, and my example obtained from NKR Models
was excellent value for money.
I recommend this kit to anyone with some experience of vac-formed
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Images and Text Copyright ©
2005 by Mark Davies
Page Created 11 May, 2005
11 May, 2005
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