Skunkmodels 1/32 NC-2A Mobile Electric Power Plant First Look
|Date of Review||November 2011||Manufacturer||Skunkmodels Workshop|
|Subject||NC-2A Mobile Electric Power Plant||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||32002||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First kit of this carrier deck vehicle produced in styrene in this scale||Cons||No power cabling or forklift channels|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$22.99|
Skunkmodels Workshop first came to our attention with their nice 1/32 conformal fuel tank set for the Tamiya 1/32 F-16 Fighting Falcon. They have returned with this interesting kit and they are carried by the nice folks at LuckyModel.com.
This is the NC-2A Mobile Electric Power Plant, or MEPP, which is a self-propelled auxiliary power unit (APU) used on the flight decks of US aircraft carriers. I know the box says NC-8A, but the NC-8A is a MEPP used ashore (and sometimes aboard ship) while the NC-2A is primarily a shipboard unit. The instructions identify this kit as an NC-02A while the decals get it right with NC-2A. Nevertheless, when you compare the kit to the available images, it is clearly the NC-2A.
When maintenance does a pre-flight check of a fighter or attack aircraft, they won't usually start one of the engines to provide power to energize the avionics and the batteries won't do that too many times before they won't start the aircraft without a recharge. Many aircraft don't have their own built-in APU, so the MEPP is used to provide power for pre-flight checks, maintenance diagnostics, or even engine start power on those really cold days at sea.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees. There are two complete kits in the box, so each box has four parts trees inside. The MEPP is a simple build though the folks at Skunkmodels have put some nice detailing into the vehicle. The only down side is that this kit doesn't provide the power cables to connect the MEPP to your favorite 1/32 F-14, F/A-18, or other US Navy carrier aircraft. One other small detail overlooked in the kit are the two forklift channels that run under the vehicle between the front and rear axles. This is easily remedied with some styrene strips.
If you want to have an interesting vignette for your Academy Hornet or Trumpeter/Tamiya Tomcat, park this vehicle next to it and add some figures in the appropriate shirt colors (look here) and you'll have an impressive display for your shelf or contest table.
For more information about this set and future releases from Skunkmodels Workshop, visit the LuckyModel website at www.luckymodel.com.