USS Akron/USS Macon

This is the 1/520 Scale USS Akron/USS Macon Navy Blimp Plastic Model Kit from AMT. Suitable for Ages 10 & Older.

AMT USS Akron/USS Macon Plastic Model Airplane Kit 1/520 Scale #892-12
 AMT/ERTL # amtamt892-12
$25.06
DISCONTINUED
 
Retail $32.50  SAVE 23% !
AMT/ERTL Item # amtamt892-12
Features :
  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in gray.
  • Simple construction.
  • Display cradle.
  • Waterslide decals.
  • Illustrated instructions.
Out of Stock
Discontinued - No longer available for purchase
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Spotlight Review

 
"Reissued vintage kit of unusual subject, with unnumbered parts and incorrect details."
paul1513
The Golden Age of the Airship ended when the German passenger airship Hindenburg exploded on 6 May 1937, but not before the US Navy built and quickly lost two giant experimental scouting airships: USS Akron, ZRS-4, and USS Macon, ZRS-5. (Akron served only 18 months, before crashing in storm on 4 April 1933, killing 73, including William Moffat, the first chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics.) The AMT 1/520 USS Akron/USS Macon model is a reissued 1970s kit. The boxtop art is a reproduction of the original; the new box-bottom graphic is a photo of the completed model with modern font text. Note, the vintage art, showing Akron and Macon flying in formation, never happened - Akron was destroyed 17 days before Macon’s first flight. The model is in semigloss medium grey plastic with raised panel lines. The parts are not numbered - they are called out by name in the instructions. Luckily, a low parts count - airships have beautifully clean exteriors - makes identifying parts from their picture reasonable (many are duplicates for the eight propeller outriggers and fin struts). The textured teardrop envelope plus vertical stabilizers is two giant 18 x 3 inch parts. (Beware, you’ll need a lot of aluminum paint.) They’re removed from trees, but the cut points need sanding/smoothing. Once they’re joined, its mostly just horizontal stabilizers, struts, control car, propeller outriggers and vents attachment. Don’t mix up the left versus right outriggers and scoop vents for Akron versus louvre vents for Macon. There’s a nice cradle stand. Two very weak looking hanging eyelets are provided as an alternative. The model’s age means it does not have the accuracy, precision and fine detail of a modern kit. For example, struts and braces are too thick. The propeller outriggers are very simplistic and inaccurate - they give no indication that the real props could pivot, and the model prop blades look more like sticks than airfoils. The two-blade props are incorrect for Macon, which used three-blade props. There are two long white stripes that need to be painted at outrigger level - which are not marked on the envelope - that should be done before mounting the outriggers. (No engines are modeled; Akron and Macon carried their engines inside the envelope to reduce drag and ease maintenance.) The mold does not seem to be worn out: flash is light and available details are still crisp. Fit is OK for vintage, but the hanger door needs trimming to fit into position. A major omission: there’s no hangar, no airplane recovery trapeze and no Sparrowhawk scout planes, just a ventral hanger opening and closed door. Akron and Macon were flying aircraft carriers - using four or five airplanes to fulfill their scouting mission kept the fragile airships away from enemy fire. The new decals are very complete, including windows, condensers, three roundels, two “US NAVY” (that are 10 x 80 scale feet), and blue, white and red rudder/elevator stripes, plus names, hull numbers and service dates for the stand. The rudder stripes should be applied before the rudder braces. I wish decals were provided for the white envelope stripes. By the way, the model is labeled as “Made in USA,” except for the decals.

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Reviews

  
 
"Not much."
Johnbycker (Wichita, KS)
Not too many parts to this 18 blimp. I will tell you that the fin braces were very bulky and definitely not to scale so I left them off! Very easy build. I didn't have to use any putty, but I did have to use some sandpaper. There's really nothing to tell. I want to build another one and make it a Led Zeppelin zeppelin! LOL

 
"Nice model of historic US. NAVY airship .."
westgre (westgre@earthlink.net)
Hi, just finishing this build still putting on the decals. Great large size . Easy and fast to put together ..Some small detailes could have been better ,but overall builds to a nice model.

 
"Great US Zeppelins kit"
Full Steam Ahead
These two airships were the US answer to the German Zeppelins. Pretty much the same concept. They met tragic ends also. As for the kit, it is a reissue of the 1960s original kit. The molds appear to be in excellent ship with finer details such as the nice fabric texture. Simple build with few parts. Some parts are a little chunky for the scale which is common of kits in this era (60s). Very interesting subject and good for kids and adult “kids” to build. You can use the kit parts for a nice out of the box construction or scratch build super details to replace the chunky parts. I personally changed things up a little and built only one half of the model and framed it in a shadow box. I was pleased with the results and recommend this kit.

Comments

Due to small parts that could cause a choking hazard please kee away from children 3 years of age and younger.

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