Montex CA-12/13/19 Boomerang
Review by Patrick Sprau
Images by Jay Laverty and Darek Korczynski
Beware: a lengthy review of Montex’ 1/32
scale resin Boomerang kit!
The summer of 1993 was an eventful one – for me at
least. Over that summer, I picked up a couple of model kits
that made it into my personal modelling history, amongst
them Airfix’ 1/72 scale Boomerang. And I had my first
close encounter with a girl. Why I put this into a model
review, you may ask? Well, I believe whilst holding the girl
(and thinking about the Airfix Boomerang), or whilst fondling
the kit (and thinking about the girl), my brain must have
blown some synapses, as whenever I think about Boomerangs
now, it gives me this enormous feeling of falling in love
again. And this explains why I knew I had to get the new
Montex 1/32 scale resin Boomerang when I read about its impending
release. And I fell in love again – with Montex’ latest
The kit comes in a very appealing card-board
box of very unusual dimensions: 30cm x 14.5cm x 10cm! Already
the box-art makes you take a closer look, showing a side-view
of Boomerang A46-128 ‘U-Beat-2’, with a map of
Australia in the background. Upon opening the box by pulling
on one of the long sides, the lid unfolds (a bit like a pirate’s
treasure) and reveals cleverly packed kit parts. Once you
get to the bottom of the box, after gently putting aside
the resin parts (contained in zip-loc bags which again are
wrapped in blister material) you will find a nicely done
instruction booklet, one fret of photo-etched parts, pre-cut
masks for the markings and canopy, plus a CD with reference
material. The nice box-art, the flawless colour-print diagrams
of the marking options on the instruction sheet and the CD,
stuffed to the top with excellent reference shots, make for
a nice start into the Boomerang adventure.
The kit basically consists of:
- 167 light grey resin parts (I had only two broken pieces
thanks to A+-packaging),
- 7 clear resin parts,
- 5 vacuum-formed parts (3 are on the same sheet) and
- 2 white-metal landing gear legs.
These major kit components are supplemented by
- 1 fret of photo-etch (mostly for the ‘front office’),
- 3 sheets of self-adhesive masks (for the canopy and most
of the markings) and
- 2 decals for one of the marking options (for the nose-art
All these components are fabulously manufactured, and it
made me think of the whole kit more as a piece of art than
as a model kit: there is only limited flash and very few
sink marks, and the kit parts overflow with details. There
are a couple of air bubbles trapped into the resin, but these
didn’t ‘break through’ onto the kit surface,
and might therefore disappear completely under a coat of
primer. I dry-fitted the major components and they fit very
well; no major gaps or steps to be seen.
The finesse of detail is superb, with many tiny cast structures
that are not even 1mm thin, and you really wonder how the
Montex guys did it without losing all the detail in the casting
Thanks to Jay Laverty from Large Scale Planes, you are – despite
my lack of photographic skill - able to take a closer look
at the kit parts, as Jay was kind enough to allow me the
use of his very inspiring preview pictures of the Montex
So is your seat belt buckled to maximum fastness? Okay,
chocks away, off we go!
The Boomerang’s fuselage frame was basically constructed
from connecting metal rods, and really gives the impression
of a cage when viewed without the aircraft’s skin applied.
The Montex kit captures this look, and again I can only marvel
at the fact that all these tubes and rods were completely
cast without major loss of structure of the parts concerned.
Mind you, these parts need a bit of clean-up, which might
be a tedious task, as you want to make sure you get all the
seam lines off without the tubes breaking or developing flat
spots due to vigorous sanding. This will however be well
worth the effort, as you’ll end up with one fine cockpit
The cockpit framework really comes to life by adding the
seat (beautifully cast) with its excellent PE seatbelts,
and by putting the stick, the side-consoles, the pedals and
the instrument panel into place. The correctly ‘kinked’ stick
comes with the typical circle-shaped grip, with the two firing
buttons for the guns and cannons well distinguishable. The
instrument panel is not only nice from the front, but also
from the back, as the back-sides of the instruments are represented,
too. Add some wiring, and you’re done! There is a piece
of PE for the panel, with the obligatory black & clear
film dials to glue behind it; if however you prefer for some
reason to use after-market punch & die dials, no problem,
as the resin piece (onto which the PE can be glued) is suitably
detailed and comes with recessed areas into which the punched-out
dials can be dropped. It’s your choice really!
As said, the seat looks really cosy already, but more so
does the leather padding on the head rest. Well, it’s
resin really, but albeit the kit leather padding coming as
one part with the rear armament plate, it has a slight crease
at the attachment point, making it stand out as different
part. Again, play away with your paints, that’s all
you’ll really need for a convincing look!
Once the cockpit is assembled it needs to be positioned into
the fuselage halves. The inner fuselage halves come with
internal detail, correctly representing the wooden stringers
of the real aircraft. Nice touch! There is, however, no representation
of the fuselage fuel tank. From what I can see on my reference
pictures, this tank probably is visible on the real plane
when looking into the cockpit towards the rear. In the end
the tank is just a big box, so some plastic card will come
to the rescue for those that intend to fuel up the Boomerang
once it’s finished.
Comparing the kit parts with my reference material, I found
only a couple of other gizmos that seemed not to be present
amongst the kit parts. No big deal, all what you need for
a convincing cockpit is there, and if those one or two missing
switches or dials conjure up sleepless nights for you, just
add them from scratch.
Last point: the canopy. This comes as one clear vac-formed
piece, and you will have to cut out the three single parts
for the windscreen, the sliding portion and the rear view
window section, which also makes up the first part of the
fuselage spine. The sections are not directly adjoining on
the sheet, so you have some safety margin for each piece.
The clear plastic is, however, not free of blemishes: here
and there some dots can be seen, little plastic pimples which
are probably solid. In that case, you could polish them out,
but if then they do turn out to be hollow (I did not try!),
then you are done for. There is only one set of canopy pieces,
so you either live with it or take your chances.
Whatever you may try to spoil the nice clear canopy, careless
painting won’t be one of the options, as long as you
use the provided pre-cut masks. Most of these come as doubles,
so you do get a virtual reset button if something goes wrong
with the masking process.
The Pratt & Whitney R-1830 ‘Twin Wasp’ engine
is well captured, and as others would say, really is ‘a
kit within the kit’. The cylinders are separately and
expertly cast, as is the crank case. Also all the piping
for the exhaust arrangement is depicted. Makes you wonder
if including a filled fuselage tank and then throwing a switch
in the cockpit might not just make this little gem cough
into life! In that case, to prevent over-heating, don’t
forget to open the PE cooling flaps.
You may wish not to use the provided PE as spark plug wiring
though, as actual wire will probably look better in that
scale, bringing in that 3D-factor that PE just can’t
The propeller unit comes as six parts: the three blades,
the hub, the backing plate and the spinner. This is a good
thing, as with a tiny amount of extra effort you can represent
the propeller without the spinner in place, showing off more
of the engine. This may be appropriate in a maintenance situation,
or even mandatory when your model represents an early Boomerang,
as these in the beginning flew without spinners.
The propeller blades, with very thin edges, are keyed and
fit nicely into the hub.
The spinner is my only concern with the Boomerang’s
business end; to me, it appears a bit too pointed. This is
hard to prove though, and when judging this aspect one must
take into consideration that things may look different once
the spinner is cleaned of its seams and sits in place on
the finished model. In any case, better too tapered than
too blunt, as you can always glue the spinner onto a rod,
chuck it into your motor tool and (carefully!) grind away,
making your Boomerang look a bit more snub-nosed.
Two styles of exhaust pipes are provided, both the plain
style and the ‘hedgehog’ pipe, making modelling
any production variant of the Boomerang possible. The end
of the plain pipe is made of two half-round pieces; where
these pieces meet there should actually be a welding seam,
which however is not moulded onto the parts. To address this
problem, just add a piece of plastic rod previously soaked
in plastic glue, and then dab some texture into it with an
old bristle brush.
Oh, and don’t burn your fingers on the hedgehog pipe,
it looks absolutely hot! And although full of pricks, I am
sure no hedgehogs were harmed during the making of this resin
piece! For the hyper-realist amongst you, yes, you could
still hollow out each ‘prick’ a bit more, but
I don’t think it’s necessary. There are recesses
on every single ‘prick’, and suitably painted
this pipe will make the Boomerang really stand out. It’s
a nice piece of resin!
The Montex Boomerang features the classic two-fuselage-halves
layout, with the engine cowling already being part of each
half. The fuselage halves have a bit of texture to them and
appear oily to the eye – but they aren’t. As
a nice feature, some of the panels (where the rear fuselage
leads into the horizontal stabilizers, and also in the exhaust
area) actually overlap. This is really interesting, as I
have never seen this done before, but it actually accurately
represents the outer skin of many aircraft, including the
T-6 and the Boomerang: their panels don’t butt-join,
but overlap. On old model kits, this phenomenon is replicated
by raised panel lines, on newer kits this is tried with recessed
panel lines. None is 100 % accurate. 100% accuracy is only
obtained with a raised edge (not a raised line!).
Impossible to do in 1/72 or 1/48 scale, and none of the Big
Guys of the hobby industry has tried this yet in mammoth
scale. But Montex did it! Impressive!
Two small points aside: Montex decided to
represent the fuel filler cap in the left upper fuselage
closed. This is definitely okay, but on many wartime photographs
you see that the cap was on, however without the round fairing
in place. No issue for someone who can use a drill and plastic
sheet, if you desire to model a Boomerang without the fairing.
A minor issue though is that none of the navigation/formation
lights are in clear resin, except for the three in the lower
wing centre section. All the other navigation lights are
cast onto the kit. This is a bit tricky, as most lights are
teardrop-shaped, which will be hard to replicate from scratch.
The wing assembly consists of seven parts and comes with
fine recessed detail. The outer upper and lower wing panels
have locating pins helping to obtain a perfect match when
gluing. The same goes for the outer lower panels on the joint
to the lower wing centre section: locating pins help you
align the parts for a seamless fit. The remaining two pieces
are the upper wing joints of the wing centre section: once
you have the other wing parts in place, these items should
fall into place without trouble.
The details of the flap retraction mechanism are partly
cast onto the upper wing section, and of course onto the
actual flaps, which come as separate pieces. Very detailed
landing lights are included, which consist of a resin reflector
and light bulb, clear resin lenses and clear, vac-formed
wing fairings. Self-adhesive masks for making the painting
process easier are also included.
Again, two caveats for nit-pickers like
me: the ailerons come as two separate parts, one for each
wing. They appear to represent the fabric-covered type as
used on the CA-12 series. The later models had metal-covered
ailerons (and also wooden wingtips instead of metal ones).
find a picture of CA-13/-19 metal ailerons in my reference
library, so I can’t say in how far these would look
different to the fabric ones. The Montex offering gives you
ailerons with a wavy appearance, with the ribs ‘showing
through’, which on metal ailerons assumingly wouldn’t
be the case. Check it for yourselves, but I reckon that for
a late-model Boomerang these ailerons would need some additional
Also very picky, but of less concern is that the
gun camera opening (outboard of the port wing landing light
fairing) comes without clear resin to cover the opening.
As the opening is already cast into the wing, a dot of black
paint and some clear filler will settle the issue.
wells & landing
The landing gear consists mainly of two white metal gear
struts, lots of resin and a bit of PE. The gear struts will
need a bit of the usual treatment with brake line imitations
and some other bits and pieces. Same for the gear bay, which
will only need some wires in addition to the provided PE
and resin parts. The gear covers look like they are hot-washed
Boomerang parts, and again make you shake your head in amazement
at the abilities of the pattern maker.
The tyres gave me a bit of a headache: they come in two
variations, one set with a diamond tread pattern, the other
with smooth tyres. The smooth ones still have a tiny trace
of the diamond pattern on them (I guess the diamond-pattern
master was sanded smooth and re-used a master for the smooth
tyres), and both styles of tyres will benefit from flash
removal – nothing beyond the scope of the average
According to my references, the most common type of Boomerang
tyres was, however, in block tread pattern. This style is
not catered for in the kit, so some scratch-building will
be in order.
The wheels themselves are a different matter:
I checked carefully with my references, and I believe that
Montex incorrectly depicted one side of the wheel brake cover
as recessed, whereas it should actually be raised. The other
side of the wheel/brake cover has similar issues. This is
hard to fix on the actual kit part, but manufacturing your
on brake covers should be easy enough, considering that we
are talking about perfectly circular shapes here. Cetainly
no catastrophe that you will pay for with your sanity. (By
the way, there might be T-6 wheels available as aftermarket
parts, which should be a suitable replacement. Also, a P-38
Lightning nose-wheel might come in handy, as Lightning tyres
were fitted to all CA-19 airframes - and sometimes retro-fitted
to CA-13 Boomerangs - at a later stage in the war.)
Still with me, fellows? Good, because here
comes the killer-part of the kit: the armament! Be careful
when handling these bits of the kit, as the guns really look
like they might go off if touched at the wrong place! Both
20mm Hispano cannons plus all four .303 wing guns come as
super-detailed pieces, including ammo belts for the guns.
Not so for the cannons, as they are drum-fed. The drums of
course are included, and you even get to use some PE on them
to make them look all the more realistic. Some of the structure
of the gun bays is also cast into the wings, and it really
looks the part. The typical conical cannon barrel fairings
are naturally included in the kit, and the canvas protection
is nicely moulded.
I definitely thought the gun bays would benefit from additional scratch-building,
and I held high hopes that at least the ammo belts would need some TLC – nope,
it’s nearly perfect: if you look closely, you’ll see that the rounds
in the feeding belts are actually pointed at one end. Like life rounds! Scary
And yeah, for you rivet-counters: the hexagonal nut at the end of the cannon
fairing is not depicted, so some hexagonal punch & die set would be of use
here. Or scavenge two nuts from a Hasegawa Spitfire (and turn the Spitfire into
a recce plane…).
Oh my, I could go on at length about the details of this
excellent kit, like for example the fabulous gun sight or
all that lovely engine detail! But we do need to round this
review off, at some point. But I did not tell you about the
marking options yet.
Well, these are kind of classic really, and the coloured
box-art plus the faultless colour prints on the instruction
booklet should help you get the paintjob right. Montex offers
limited advice on the internal colours throughout the construction
process, but gives you two printed paint chips as references
for Zinc Chromate and Light Green as the interior colours.
The camouflage colours are correctly given as Foliage Green
(FG), Earth Brown (EB) and Sky Blue (SB). In this case, both
printed paint chips and Federal Standard codes are given
to help you find the right paint jar, respectively FS 24092
for Foliage Green, FS 20099 for Earth Brown and FS 25550
for Sky Blue. Now giving FS code references for RAAF WWII
colours shouldn’t be done without your Flak jacket
at hand – nor should a kit be thrown upon the market
without painting instructions! This really is a Catch 22
for Montex, so I wish to stress that I appreciate them giving
pointers to the modeller. Whoever buys and builds this kit
is (hopefully!) experienced enough to either have his own
opinion about the matches for the colours in question, or
is wise enough to consult the collective wisdom of internet
fora like AMI!
So, once you have crossed this minefield of preliminary issues,
you get to painting one of the following options:
- CA-12 Boomerang Mk. I, s/n A46-9, of No. 2 O.T.U.,
based in Mildura, Australia, in 1943. This Boomerang
comes in FG and EB over SB, with a yellow ‘9’ on
- CA-13 Boomerang Mk. II ‘U-Beat-2’, s/n
A46-128, tail code BF o N, of No. 5 Sqn. According to
instructions this aircraft was stationed in Mareeba,
Australia in 1944. This aircraft also comes in the three
colours of FG and EB over SB and features nose-art: Some
guy sporting a top-hat and a smoking seems to be in a
real hurry, perhaps feeling the itch to get to the mess
and have a Victorian Bitter. Whatever the reason for
the jogging, the nose-art comes as two decals, the first
one being the white background which after application
gets covered by the second decal, the coloured parts
of the art-work.
This aircraft is pictured several times in Stewart Wilson’s
top-notch book on the Boomerang, and also features in the
SAMI issue of March 2000, both as a photo and as art-work.
On one picture, Wilson names Flt Lt D. Goode as the pilot
of A46-128, whereas SAMI, having printed the same photograph,
says it’s Sqn Ldr Cook at the controls. Hmmm…
No issue for those who just wish to paint the model, you
say. Well, don’t get bored, here’s another brain-shaker
for you: Richard Caruana adorns his SAMI colour profile of
A46-128 with a green spinner, whereas on a painting Shigeo
Koike gives this puzzle a different spin, by making it red!
Too much for you? Fed up with all this? You want relieve?!
Then choose marking option
- CA-19 Boomerang Mk. II, s/n A46-211, tail code BF o
H, of No. 5 Sqn. There are no details given on this airframe,
but according to Wilson it was delivered in July 1944
and damaged in a landing accident at Piva Strip a year
later. This aircraft comes in the late-war camouflage
pattern of overall FG, with white theatre markings on
the tail and the wing leading edges. The toughest part
with this camouflage pattern will be for you to
figure out what paint to use for Foliage Green…
Except for the nose-art of A46-128, no decals are provided,
apart from the CAC ‘speed bird’ logos that go
onto the rudder. Depending what your mantra is, you may wish
to consider purchasing Boomerang servicing stencils as offered
by Red Roo. Without further digging into the subject, none
of the three marking options sports field-applied camouflage,
as the first two are evidently in the early three-tone camouflage,
and the third, A46-211, was delivered after overall
Foliage green became the standard camouflage pattern, so
may never have worn three-tone camouflage and thus should
have stencils on the overall foliage green paintjob.
With all these options, you will have to
determine whether to use a radio antenna mast, a rear view
mirror and aftermarket stencils. You’ll also need to
make matching choices for the exhaust pipe, the ailerons
and the tyres. The last 39 aircraft of the CA-19 batch had
a single F.24 camera installed in the lower rear fuselage,
so this would include A-46-211. I have no reference picture
of this feature, so can’t
comment on the exact appearance of the camera arrangement,
but it should be represented when building the CA-19 option
of the kit.
If you still have the itch to further modify the already
awesome Montex offering, you may wish to consider altering
the height of the left side console by 1.5625mm, after determining
whether the cockpit layout of the kit depicts a CA-12 or
a CA-13/-19 design! (The CA-13/-19 design of the left console
was 50mm higher.)
Now is this the end of this review or what?!
Well, yes, it is. What remains there to say? I turned the
kit parts in all possible directions and did all sorts of
things with them, but couldn’t find any major issues.
I compared the kit parts more to pictures than to drawings,
as for the Boomerang there are no plans out there that will
get the approval of die-hard Boomerang lovers. I did connect
the wing panels on a flat surface though, and thus measured
the wingspan. I also determined the fuselage length (by putting
the rudder in place), and achieved the following results:
A wingspan of 34.6cm, where 34.29cm would have been appropriate;
and a length (cowling ring to rudder tip) of 24.0cm, where
23.57cm were required.
And no, I don’t assume I, armed with a ruler and a
pencil, will measure more precisely than 21st century’s
technology, so if you ask me, this kit is
- in scale, and
- dead-on accurate concerning the details.
None of the flaws of the kit - if they are
flaws – can’t
be corrected with some average modelling skills, and considering
that this kit is made for the discerning modeller, I don’t
expect any unhappy buyers.
Images courtesy of Darek Korczynski of Montex
This kit is an outstanding masterpiece really, and is a
must-have for Boomerang lovers! This Boomerang kit surpasses
the previous 1/32 scale offering by FM Models, which was
an excellent vac-form kit at its time, but just can’t
match the possibilities that first-rate resin castings offer.
It scores sky-high in the detail- and high in the accuracy-field.
Although no resin kit is intended for Little Johnny, his
slightly older sister Lisa, who already has some limited-run
kits on her shelf, should be able to get this kit together
without major hick-ups. At this price, it’s unlikely
that any of these kits will wind up in unexperienced hands,
but let’s face it, if you buy a mainstream kit and
invest into a resin engine, a PE fret, self-adhesive masks
and a reference CD, you are already in the same price range
as this kit.
Also, it is sad to say, Dave Thompson of U.M.I., who had
his own 1/32 scale Boomerang project on his assembly line,
passed away a couple of weeks ago, and it’s therefore
highly unlikely to see another 1/32 scale Boomerang land
on the modelling market in the near future.
I would love to see more from Montex (next up seems to be
a 1/32 scale Gloster Gamecock), and as someone with a profound
interest in the Pacific Campaign, I would suggest a Dutch
Curtiss Wright CW-21B from the troubled days of early 1942… *please!*
And I do hope many aftermarket producers take up the challenge
and produce decals for all those colourful Boomerangs of
No. 4 and No. 5 Squadron, cigarette-smoking crew members,
slouch-hatted ‘erks’ to busy up the tarmac, and
Folks, if you love the Boomerang or are
into large-scale resin kits, this one’s for you! Get
one (or two, or three) of these Boomerangs, build them as
cut-away, make a New Guinea Boomer Boy, or place one of No.
5 Squadron’s ‘Smokey
Joes’ next to a Kiwi rendition of Trumpeter’s
Trust me, your stash will look empty without one! You get
The CD provided with the kit covers already
many aspects of technical detail questions. In fact it is
divided into different folders (cockpit, engine, fuselage,…),
with the first picture in a folder always showing the kit
parts that constitute the subassemblies concerned. Neat!
There are also a couple of pictures which show famous Boomerang
restorer Richard Hourigan in action – a Richard Hourigan
figure is, however, not provided in the kit.
The airframes used for reference shots include A46-30 from
Point Cook, and what I presume is Richard Hourigan’s
A46-249. A46-122 (restored to airworthiness by Matt Denning)
and A46-205 (just until recently in the possession of Mrs.
Zuccholi) were not invited to the picture party, which is
fair dinkum, seeing that both are flying examples (with the
latter relying heavily on T-6 parts), that feature equipment
not appropriate for war-time Boomerangs.
Printed references include:
“Wirraway, Boomerang & CA-15 in Australian Service” by
Stewart Wilson, Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd;
“Classic Warbirds N° 7”, Ventura Publications;
Scale Aviation Modeller International, March 2000 issue.
If you need visual inspiration, check out
Cammett in the UK
phone: 01544 388514
Design & Marketing Int'l
9791 Westheimer PMB # 526
phone: 281.491.5108/Fax: 281.491.0381
Inh.: Wolfgang Eyring
phone: (0 56 86) 17 28
fax: (0 56 86) 93 04 60
The photographs of the kit parts were used with the kind
permission of Jay Laverty from Large Scale Planes. Thanks
a lot, Jay! Make sure you also read Jay’s opinion on
the kit: http://www.largescaleplanes.com/reviews/Kits/WW2/Montex/Boomerang/Boomerang.html.
The pictures of the marking options and the instruction
sheet were used with the kind permission of Montex (www.montex-mask.com).
The pictures of the built-up Montex Boomerang where provided
by Montex’ own Darek Korczynski. Thank you very much,
Darek, and hats off to you for this outstanding model
The kit sample used for the review was purchased courtesy
of my wallet, and I am not associated with Montex in any
Special thanks go to Roger Lambert, who
selflessly supplied - free of charge - the sample of “Classic
Warbirds N° 7”,
which was invaluable in writing this review. I still owe
you that beer, Roger!