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 for a twin engined float plane with a thick, cantilever, high mounted, monoplane wing and a deep, slab sided fuselage with an open cockpit housing the two man crew. The aircraft was powered by two 450hp Lorraine-Dietrich 12E W-12 engines and made its maiden flight on June 7th 1927. The aircraft was fitted with three machine guns and could carry either a single torpedo or 1,764lb, (800kg) of bombs. A total of twelve 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 750hp Wright Cyclone radial engines replacing the original units. The other improvements included an enclosed cockpit and enclosed nose and dorsal turrets. A total of twelve were newly built and the original aircraft re-built to T.IV(a) standard. All the new builds were also to be used in the Dutch East Indies. 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 bar one were either scuttled or destroyed by Japanese bombing. The last aircraft was damaged in an accident and written off in May 1941
This is the second aircraft in Pacific Crossroads 1:350 range, having released the Do24 last year and reviewed HERE. The kit is packaged in a sturdy hinge top opening box with a depiction of the aircraft in skimming across the sea and the Dutch Flying Cross in the right hand corner.
Once again on opening the box the modeller will initially think that he has bought a box of polystyrene peanuts, but lurking in the safety of these peanuts is a small poly bag of resin parts and a small sheet of etched brass. The resin includes a single piece fuselage, two wings, single piece horizontal tailplane and the two floats. The parts, with the exception of the fuselage, are only tentatively attached to their casting blocks, so they should be pretty easy to remove with minimal clean up afterwards. It appears that Boris has been able to make a better positioning of the casting block on this kit as it is is attached to the mating surface of the wing/fuselage join this time making them a whole lot easier to use, since the fuselage has quite deep, (it’s all relative), indentations to receive the wings they should make for a nice clean fit. The casting is very nice and cleanly done with some very fine engraved details. Although the canopy frames look like they’ll be really fun to paint cleanly they are so fine.
The build is quite simple, but it will be fiddly, as anyone who has built 1:350 aircraft before will testify. With the wings and tailplane glued into place it’s straight on with adding the etched parts. The most testing area will be the struts for the two floats as they are a complicated affair utilising six different parts. The other etched parts are simple to add, being the tailplane struts, aerial mast, three machine gun barrels, (which for some unknown reason were missing on the review example). The two propellers slide onto spindles in teh cowlings, but the port side one was broken on teh review example, but it may be best to replace them with suitable metal rod. The cowlings appear quite empty as seen in the photo above and would benefit from being filled as at this scel any engine detail would be difficult to ascertain.
The small decal sheet contains a number of different sized orange and black triangles, plus four identification flags, but the single colour scheme of overall khaki green with silver undersides of the wings, floats and fuselage, shown in the instructions, requires just four of the large triangles for the wings and two small ones for the fuselage. No other markings are provided, if any were applied, the modeller will need to do some research. The decals appear to be well printed, in register and with good colour density.
This is a really unusual aircraft, and one that I had no knowledge of before receiving the kit. It’s another great little kit and Boris of Pacific Crossroads should be proud of it and also congratulated for keeping the memory of the Dutch East Indies forces alive. Once again I can see this as part of an overall diorama displaying the aircraft at anchor just offshore of a Javanese dock.