Fisher Model & Pattern | GA-24002: Bugatti 100P Record Plane (Second Edition)
Reviewed by Brian Leitch
This is the second release of the beautiful Bugatti 100P record setting plane in 1/24th scale by Fisher Model & Pattern. This second release, unlike the first does not include the fuselage internals nor engines, and has the fuselage top cover molded in place. To me personally, this keeps the pristine lines of the aircraft in place, and saves a bit of manufacturing, not having to include or mold any of the previously mentioned components. The kit, in typical FM&P style comes in Fishers light gray resin, with complete molded fuselage and wing sections, with two bags of resin detail parts, and one bag containing the single piece canopy. You also get a 5 page double-sided black and white printed instruction manual, with clear photos of the build up of the model. The kit does not contain any PE, and there are no decals other than a small 1.5" x 1" sheet that has the instrument panel decals and what appear to be manufacturer decals for the two two bladed props.
Upon receiving the kit, in typical FM&P style, you get a very sturdy all around white cardboard box, with little designation on the outside of it denoting what the contents are other than a small sticker on the end of the box. When opening the box, you find that all the internal resin parts are wrapped nicely in tissue paper:
My particular kit did not have any damaged parts, but had a few smaller components that had slight warps in them. This is not an especially large problem, as the Fisher resin responds very well to hot water, which normally brings these type parts back in line with ease. Normally, in most resin kits the fit out-of-the-box can be suspect, and a lot of times kits with a larger number of parts can sometimes have a tendency to succumb to fit issues due to warpage, shrinkage or distortion due to may factors in the resin manufacturing process. That is not the case however with Fisher kits normally, and the Bugatti 100P is no exception. Right out of the box, you can tell that this is a very high quality kit manufactured with a lot of love and passion for the subject. Also of note here is the fact that Fisher kits are not only manufactured to a generally higher standard as resin kits go, but Paul Fisher also usually makes sure that any time he can make the assembly process easier for the modeler, he does. This also is no exception with the 100P kit. Overall, I believe the build-up of this model will go much faster than some resin kits, as the fuselage and wings are molded separately, both as single piece units. When you unpack things, this becomes very evident as there are not that many parts that make up the kit:
First up, I will take a look at the wings, molded as a single part, also containing the underbelly center section of the fuselage. In typical resin kit fashion, the wings will need a bit of clean-up but nothing like some resin kits. The 100P was assembled from mostly wood and aluminum, and as such does not really have too many panel lines on the fuselage or wings. The scribed and recessed panel lines it does have though are very well molded and extremely crisp. The wings have all intakes and cooling system vents molded in to them as well as the wheel wells. The 100P had very simplistic wheel wells, and they are reproduced here fairly accurately to my knowledge. There are some resin molding/casting protrusions on the bottom center section and some leading edge imperfections to be removed, but these should not take much more than a few passes with a sanding stick to take care of. Nothing here that anyone with average modeling skills could not accomplish. The wings also have some very nice fabric effects molded on the ailerons too:
Next up, I will take a look at the fuselage, which like the wings is molded in typical Fisher fashion as a single unit. The initial impressions of this are also very good, and the resin is not brittle nor warped on my copy. The fuselage is pristine, and only took me a few minutes with a sanding stick to clean up some of the vents and exhaust cut outs. The way Fisher has molded the fuselage should aid in ease of assembly:
The radiator openings in the unusual "V" empennage configuration are exemplary, and will bring a very classy look to the model in my opinion:
The cockpit internals of the Fisher 100P also have most of the wiring for the controls molded into the fuselage, and are crisp and very well done. It took me just a few minutes to open up the upper forward and rear vents as well as the two exhaust openings in the fuselage that are part of what makes the kit so nice, as these too are also very crisply molded. No mistaking who made this kit, with the FM&P logo prominent on the inside of the rear cockpit firewall
One out of the three clear baggies the kit comes with contains the only clear part: the canopy. Because of the Bugatti 100Ps fuselage arrangement, there is not a traditional wind-screen. Again, in typical FM&P tradition, this is an all resin canopy and is well molded with no noticeable distortion. My copy of the canopy does have a thin spot near the front on the starboard side that is slightly warped. However, after checking the fit, and as I will be molding the canopy closed, this is not much of an issue for me. If you plan on leaving your canopy off, you might check your copy for any warps. The warp in my canopy however is not very significant and does not seem to interfere with fit at all:
Molded on detail on the clear resin is nicely done, and appears done to the usual high standards of Fisher Model & Pattern:
Clarity of the clear resin is also exceptional:
With just a few swipes of the sanding stick, I had the fit of the canopy to the fuselage straightened out for the most part. With a bit of effort, this should fit nicely on the completed model:
Resin Detail Parts
The other two bags you get in the kit contain the remainder of the resin detail parts. These include the main landing gear (no tail wheel in the kit, but a reinforced area on the downward facing vertical stabilizer just like the 1:1), wheels/tires, props, and all of the remaining cockpit details, including a small decal sheet for the instrument panel and props. The IP/prop decals look to be in good register, and the cockpit details are also very well molded and look like they will add a lot to the finished model. I also took a second to align the two contra-rotating propellers, which are another part of the signature look of the 100P:
The instruction booklet is a double-sided, 5 page A4 sized manual, filled with black and white photos of the assembly process of the model step by step. While not as easy to see as some pictures, they are clear, and seem to lead the builder through all necessary steps with tips from Paul thrown in to aid in construction. There are some hints on possible color call-outs in the back of the manual, but for the interior most of the colors are left up to the individual modeler to decide upon, as no one knows for sure what the interior color of the Bugatti 100P would have been by the time it was finished for flight:
Taking the wings and fuselage and mating them together took all of a few seconds, and can give one an idea of the quality of the molding and engineering of the kit itself. The one piece fuselage mates up to the one piece wings with no major issues. The only gaps seen here on this test fit were on the port side under and aft of the exhaust port. This really should be no issue what so ever, and should not even require filler. From looking at the inside of the hollow and flexible fuselage, it appears all the builder would have to do is glue some sprue or decently strong styrene strip or rod in the area to make sure the fuselage is appropriately spread to remove said gap. It really is a gorgeous looking airframe, even at this early mock-up stage:
This kit is one of Paul Fisher's finest, and is a testament to what in my opinion, all resin kits should be like. The molding is extremely crisp all the way around, none of the parts in my copy have any major defects, and the fit and finish of this kit is to be admired on all levels. The very slick way the kit is engineered will aid in its construction, and it is large enough to display all the tell-tale details that make the 100P what it is, but would also be the perfect entry level kit for most any builder who wanted to get into building resin kits but didn't want to have to fuss around with a high number of parts. This kit in the end I believe can be built up to be a complete stunner, and is one of the best resin kits on the market in my opinion. Suitably detailed for the very experienced super-detailer, yet simple enough to be built out-of-the-box by the entry level modeler, its a kit that speaks volumes about its manufacturer Fisher Model & Pattern.
Paul Fisher did an outstanding job on this kit, and is to be highly commended on his effort here. In my opinion this kit is a great choice for most any modeler, including both the experienced resin builder, as well as someone who has never built a resin kit, and is HIGHLY recommended.
Review courtesy of my wallet.
© Brian Leitch 2018
This review was published on Wednesday, January 17 2018; Last modified on Wednesday, January 17 2018