Review of Planet Models Ki-77
by Jimmy Frank Waehrens

Only the major parts in this kit are useable. All smaller things like controlcolums and antennas can not be used due to excessive flash. The bits are too fragile to be cleaned and used. Also propellers and undercarriage must be discarded. The props are turning the wrong way and do not look right. The undercarriage members are very poorly cast and will almost surely not support the heavy weight of the model. I ended up building mine in metalrod. A set of better engines (Engine and Things produce them) is also required.

The aircraft had 5 crewmembers, but only the two pilot seats are enclosed and shown in the very simple explode drawing. I built in an extra seat for the navigator behind the pilots and made two bunks in the aft compartment. I guess that two crewmembers would rest here on the very prolonged flights. The fuselage is very thick and needs to be thinned around the cabin windows - these windows I made from a clear sheet enclosed in the kit - a very time-consuming job. An alternative could be filling them with "Crystal Clear" or clear epoxy glue. The canopy has a very poor fit. It is too large and needs much trimming.

The wings differ in thickness at the wingroot. One fits perfectly but the other is too thin. After attaching the thin wing you need a lot of filler creeping up the wing progressively thinner to compensate for this.

Also the fitting of the wheel wells is difficult. It is necessary to glue the cowling on the wing first and then attach the wheel well. If you attach the wheel well first, there will be serious misfits when attaching the cowling. I made a disc of the same diameter as the cowling and attached this to the wing. The wheel wells was then adjusted to this resulting in large gabs needing filler. I sanded down the front edges of these discs and attached the engine plus cowling on this disc. This way you will achieve the correct look around the cooling flaps, especially if you choose to put these in the open position.

I it also vital to give the model a good primer coat. This will show all the holes and unevens of the surface - and there is a lot. All these need filler and sanding before finishing the aircraft in "natural metal".

It is a quite challenging kit to build so if you like to test your modelling skills, it is worth considering.

Btw: I do not think that Aviation Usk produces this kit in resin. But they do sell the both the Planet Models and Czechmaster offerings.

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