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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


CMK MA-1A Start Cart -- 1:48 Scale

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Sometimes the final setting of a scale model needs a piece of ground equipment or two to complete the scene, whether to simply add a little more interest or accent, or to serve as a key element of a story being told by a diorama.  Czech Master Kits released a resin and photoetched metal kit of the MA-1A start cart in both 1:48 scale and 1:72 scales.  Here, we look at the quarter-scale version of this critical piece of equipment without which a lot of jets would never have gone flying.

Today’s modern jets often have an internal APU (auxiliary power unit) or JFS (jet fuel starter) that are miniaturized turbines used to start a jet engine without the need for any hook-up to ground support equipment.  In decades past, an external source of air was needed to get an engine started for many airplanes.  The MA-1A was one such source of external air.  Its small but powerful internal turbine generated high velocity air that was fed into the aircraft engine via a big hose causing it to spool up with sufficient minimum RPM to ultimately turn over and spin on its own.  The MA-1A was used from the 1950s to 1970s to get powerplants spinning on a wide range of USAF jets, from the T-33 to the T-38, F-104, and their kin.

CMK’s MA-1A will be a straightforward, simple build, especially for someone with experience in resin and photoetched metal parts.  It consists of 12 cast resin parts, seven photoetched metal parts on one fret, and a small decal sheet.  Casting is clean and flawless, though the two sections of air hose have paper thin flash that will be very easy to remove.  Details are crisp.  The PE parts are also very nicely done and do the trick for the thin and finely detailed parts such as the turbine intake grill.  Overall, this set has a pretty simple parts breakdown, with the body of the start cart as a single casting.  The wheels are all separate parts, and the tire tread looks great.  Two straight sections of the single big air hose are provided, and to get it in the right shape, one will have to use some hot water to bend and form it by hand into the correct configuration as it first comes off the cart and then goes in whichever direction or shape the builder intends.  The decal sheet contains all the stencils required for the markings of the MA-1A.

Overall, this set will build into a very nice replica of the MA-1A jet engine start cart, and however a builder will use it, they can count on this set for whatever project calls for its use.      

Sincere thanks are owed to Special Hobby/CMK for the review sample.  You visit them on the web at http://www.specialhobby.info and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/specialhobby

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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