The Fokker T.IV was developed to meet the requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy for a maritime patrol/torpedo bomber aircraft for use in the Dutch East Indies. The original design was a twin engine floatplane with a thick, cantilever, high mounted monoplane wing and a deep, slab-sided fuselage with an open cockpit housing the two-man crew. The airplane was powered by two 450 hp (340 kW) Lorraine-Dietrich 12E W-12 engines and made its maiden flight was on June 7, 1927. The aircraft was fitted with 3 machine guns and could carry either a torpedo or 800 kg (1,764 lb) of bombs. A total of 12 were built and delivered to the Dutch Naval Aviation Service in the Dutch East Indies.
In 1935 Fokker developed an improved version, the T.IV (a), with 750 hp (559 kW) Wright Cyclone radial engines replacing the original engines. Other improvements included an enclosed cockpit and enclosed nose and dorsal gun turrets. A total of 12 of this variant were built for the Dutch Naval Aviation Service and the T.IVs in still in service were rebuilt to the T-IV (a) standard.
The T.IV (a) proved to be a reliable and seaworthy aircraft and was used for local patrols and air-sea rescue operations from Java until 1941, when the Japanese attacked the Dutch East Indies. All remaining aircraft still in service, expect for one, were either scuttled or destroyed by Japanese bombing. The last T.IV (a) was damaged and written off after an accident in May 1941.
Engines 2 × Wright SR-1820-F2 Cyclone 9 cylinder radial, 559 kW (750 hp) each
Dimensions Span: 26.2m (85’ 11.5”)
Length: 17.6m (57’ 8.75”)
Height: 6.0m (19’ 8.25”)
Weight Empty: 4,665 kg (10,285 lb)
Loaded: 7,200 kg (15,873 lb)
Speed 260 km/h (161 mph)
Combat Radius 1,560 km (969 mi)
Armament: Three 7.9 mm Browning MGs
Up to 800 kg (1,764 lb) bombs internally or 1 × torpedo externally.
The Kit - This is the latest release in Pacific Crossroads’ line of 1/350 scale aircraft. Now I must insert a disclaimer here: I wrote the English-language ship history for this kit and other Pacific Crossroad kits, both released and planned, as a service to Boris Mulenko and I am even acknowledged in the assembly instructions. As a matter of fact, the introduction to this review is that ship history verbatim. That is the extent of my involvement and I was not involved in any other aspect of the creation of this model kit. This kit comes with resin and photo-etch parts to build one aircraft and a decal sheet. The resin fuselage with the rudder and horizontal stabilizers is cast as one piece. The casting is good with recessed doors and window frames. You can see some faint evidence that the master appears to have been produced using rapid prototyping, but it is faint enough that is should be hidden under a coat of paint. There are some minor casting imperfections on the rudder that needs to be cleaned up. Also, because they are rather thin, the horizontal stabilizers are warped, curling up slightly. Fortunately another stabilizer assembly is provided as a separate part. The fuselage has slots on either side to fit the wings and this should make for a good strong joint.
The wings are cast as separate parts and are also well detailed, though there are also some minor casting imperfections that need to be addressed. As mentioned above, the wings have tabs that fit into the fuselage. The wings are cast on runners that appear to be easy to remove and are attached to the wings at the tabs. The smaller parts include that horizontal stabilizer part and the floats. These are cast on runners with several small and this attachment points that facilitate removing them without marring the parts too much. The photo-etch parts include the propellers, parts for the float supports, supports for the stabilizers, antenna and machine gun barrels. It appears that the etching was not cleanly done and does not go all the way through the brass affecting several parts, which is a shame. The float supports are comprised of several parts which looks a little complicated at first but as you will see it was not as hard to assembly as I feared. The brass has part numbers etched into the fret. Decals are provided with several of the black outlined orange triangle markings used by Dutch at this time as well as some Dutch flags. Assembly instructions are provided on a double-sided sheet of paper. The first page has the history and specifications for this aircraft by yours truly, so I will refrain from comment. The flip-side has two diagrams of the airplane with the resin parts assembled showing the placement of the numbered photo-etch parts. At the bottom there is a color view showing decal placement and general painting instructions.
The Build - As expected the build is fairly easy with the only tricky part is handling some of the smaller photo-etch parts. I filled in the casting imperfections with some Mr. Surfacer 500 applied with a brush which I sanded smooth. Since the cast on stabilizers are warped and there is really no effective way to straighten them out permanently, I decided to replace them with the alternate cast part. Since the latter is cast as a single piece for some odd reason, I cut it into two separate parts using the ones cast into the fuselage to mark where to make the cuts. I then cut off the cast on stabilizers and glued the new ones into place. The main wings fit snugly into the fuselage and I hide the tiny line of a joint with a little bit of Mr.Surfacer. I hand brushed the undersides with Testors Model Masters Aluminum and waited a day to dry. I then masked this area off and painted the upper sections with Testors Model Masters Olive Drab from a rattle can. After waiting for the paint to dry for a couple of days, I tried coloring the numerous windows using a thin dark blue mechanical marker with mixed results due to my unsteady hand. While not perfect, it did the trick more or less. I then gave the model a coat of Tamiya Gloss Clear for decaling. The decals from the sheet went on easily and reacted well to MicroScale setting solutions. My one complaint with the decals is that the wing markings are a bit undersized. I neglected to take a photo of the underside of the wings but trust me, they are a little too small. Once the decals were set, I sealed them with some more gloss clear. Since the brass parts were not etched completely through, some of the parts were a little difficult to remove. Most of the parts are for the floats supports. The way I approached these supports was to drill two small holes with a #80 drill bit in the fuselage were parts 6 are attached. This part will determine the spacing for parts 1 for which I also drilled small holes into the wing to give them a good anchor point. Lastly I glued the cross brace (part 2) and then brush painted the supports aluminum and then attached the floats to the ends of parts 1. The remainder of the photo-etch parts went on without difficulty. I thought that the photo-etch could have been a little finer and the etching problem did not help in this regard. After the rest of the parts were in place, the model was sprayed with Testors Dullcote.
This is good and fairly easy to assemble aircraft diorama accessory and it could be used in a variety of ways or scenes. I decided to place the aircraft in a sea base made with acrylic gel and tied to a buoy made with a bit of plastic rod. You may also wish to include the Fokker in a diorama with one of Pacific Crossroads’ Royal Netherlands Navy ship models. This item can be purchased from Freetime Hobbies, White Ensign Models or directly from Pacific Crossroads.