Combrig 1/350 Tupolev ANT-44 (MTB-2) Soviet Flying Boat

Reviewed April 2016
by Timothy Dike

The Tupolev ANT-44, was a four engine prototype flying boat designed in the Soviet Union in 1935 as a long-range maritime reconnaissance/bomber. 

The ANT-44 incorporated four 604 kW (810 hp) Gnome-Rhone Mistral Major 14Kdrs M-85 radial engines as well as under-slung stabilizing floats. After a month of factory trials, in December 1937 designers changed the Mistral Major radial engines for the higher rated and more powerful Tumansky M-87 627 kW (840 hp) engines. In 1938, they further modified the prototype to be amphibious, and the aircraft was refitted with updated 709 kW (950 hp) M-87A engines. The second prototype, designated ANT-44bis or ANT-44D, was an amphibious aircraft powered by four M-87A engines. Only two prototypes were built. First crashed during a test, the second after the beginning of the war was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet. As part of the 80th Squadron it successfully fought for over a year. But on August 10, 1942, she was shot down during takeoff by a German Me 110 fighter.

This new kit from Combrig was designed in cooperation with U-boat Laboratorium and features a single 1/350 scale flying boat.

This kit is cast in black resin water line style, a separate lower hull is included.  Casting is clean and virtually flash free and nicely detailed.  Wings are cast separately and feature separate engines and narcells.  The latter assembles like you would expect on a plastic injection molded kit.  The result should be a nicely detailed engine assembly. Outrigger floats are nicely done as are the ball turrets.  Propeller spinners are also included.
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A Brass photo etch fret is included with the propellers and braces for the floats and rear wings.
Marking are included for ANT 44, Black Sea fleet, August 1942, 80 squadron.
Instructions are two pages with history, 3D assembly drawings, and painting guides for 1939 and 42.
Combrig has always been known for producing unusual and little known subjects.  So I'm not surprised to see them offering this unique flying boat in their 1/350 scale line. It's a great little kit by itself or as part of a larger harbor diorama.

This is kit #35305 -  1/350 Tupolev ANT-44 (MTB-2), Thanks to Combrig for the review sample. 

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