1:72 Percival CSR-131 'Provost'; aircraft '901' of No. 440 Communications and Rescue Squadron, Canadian Air Force; CFB Winnipeg, Canada; summer 1974 (Whif/Matchbox kit conversion)
The kit and its assembly:
The “Wet Provost” instead of a “Jet Provost”? This little, whiffy aircraft model kit came to be when I wondered what civil use a Provost trainer might fulfill. I had the vague idea of a forest fire patrol aircraft, which eventually led to Canada as potential user (the all-yellow Twin Otters were a nice benchmark and inspiration, had built a respective Matchbox kit many years ago), and in a twisted moment I decided to make a float plane from the former trainer with its fixed landing gear. Such a conversion would be rather easy and more or less believable!
The kit is the 1976 Matchbox Provost - a literally simple kit with mediocre detail and even worse fit. It took some serious putty work to get the small aircraft together. Anyway, the kit was basically built OOB, just the landing gear was omitted and I added a dashboard to the cockpit, which also received a bag behind the twin seats, simulating an emergency raft. Instead of the tail wheel a fin was added under the fuselage.
A new propeller was scratched, too – I thought that this would be appropriate for a floatplane, which might need more area. It was effectively built from an Airfix A-1 spinner, onto which four AH-1 tail rotor blades (from two Matchbox HueyCobras) were glued. As per usual, the propeller was outfitted with a long axis so that it could spin freely for the pictures.
The floats come from a Matchbox Norseman, from a kit that I built maybe 30 years ago - the parts survived, even though in a rather shabby state. I had to get rid of considerably amounts of old, dry paint, and then the floats were shortened by ~0.5", right behind the step. The struts were completely scratched from styrene strips and profiles. The floats were built and painted separately from the rest of the aircraft and "married" as a final step.