Beriev Be-12 "Mail" by RVHP Models
1/72 Scale resin kit with clear vacuform parts and cast white metal details - Comments and photos by p.w. stantiford
Here are some in-progress shots of my RVHP Be-12.
This is only my second resin full-kit; The first one was
so bad I never finished it. Most of my resin experience
in comes from working with conversion sets. This is one
of the finest resin kits I have ever seen.  The castings
are a work of art.  The only pin holes I found were on
the leading edge of a horizontal stabilizer.  Surface detail
is as good as any recent kit from Tamiya or Hasegawa.  
Fit was better than I expected and only needed filler in a
few places, most notably on the top fuselage seam
between the wing "shoulders".  I ran into one setback
during construction - the model was mostly assembled
when one of my cats decided to test fly it while I was at
work.  Well, cats will be cats, and it was my fault for
leaving it out....  If I have any complaints at all about
this kit it would be that RVHP should have supplied two
sets of clear parts, especially so, considering the price of
the kit (Currently $140 in USA).
REFERENCES USED: Both  "Beriev Be-12
Amphibian Aircraft" (left) by Anatoliy
Artemyev and "Aircraft-Amphibian Be-12"
(right) by A. Zablotskiy and A. Salnikov are
excellent references. I got mine through
Linden Hill Imports.  As I write this they do
not appear on the Linden Hill website which
either means they're out of print or are
temporarily out of stock.  I suggest contacting
Linden Hill for details.
Almost there!  She's nearly complete in this view.  I still have minor clean-up, the small windows and details to take care of .
####
RIGHT: I wish I had drilled
the engine exhausts out.  Once
mounted to the fuselage, it
cannot be done.
I'll just have to paint those
areas flat black.

At this point in assembly, I am
attaching small resin details
around the airframe.  After,
I'll be attaching the clear parts
and preparing for paint.

I have dry-fitted the clear
parts and fit looks pretty
good.  Only white glue should
be needed to fill in any small
gaps.  We'll know for sure
later...
LEFT: Good view of the Be-12's
spindly main landing gear.  At this
point I still have two resin parts that
need to go into each landing gear
well.

The large opening for the clear nose
part is evident here.  The scratch
builder may want to add detail here,
but I'm an out-of-the-
box" kind of guy.

Panel detail is both recessed and
raised where it needs to be and looks
as fine as I've seen on any 1:72 scale
model airplane.
RIGHT:  There are no clear
parts for all those small
fuselage windows.  I plan on
using MicroScale Kristal Klear
for those.
LEFT: Closeup of the tail area.  
Filler was needed under the
stabilizer and around the MAD
boom/fuselage joint.

Metal tail gear (one piece) and water
rudder are in place.
LEFT: The kit contains three clear vacuform parts.  
Pictured here are the nose and cockpit parts.  The
third part, not shown, is an observation 'blister' on
the spine of the aircraft.

One major thing to look out for here is the thinness
of the plastic on end of the nose part. RVHP added
some resin on the inside to strengthen it up at the
very end, but it's still pretty weak just below the
resin reenforcement.  I found this out the hard way
while I was sanding the base of the part smooth.  
Small areas buckled under the pressures of sanding
and creased small areas of the part.  As I mentioned
at the top of the page, I wish RVHP had included
two sets of vacuformed clear parts because mishaps
like this are very likely to happen.

Once cut out and sanded, fit of these clear parts to
the model aircraft is excellent.

Lots of windows to mask.  I do not look forward to
this task, especially for these tiny 1/72 scale
windows!

Note that the resin radome is a separate part that will
be attached to the clear nose.  There is a gap there
that will require filler, adding insult to injury.
RIGHT: Propellers consist of six
parts for each one.  
LEFT: Closeup of the propeller parts.  
The round bases on the blades will fit
into recesses on the spinner.  I'll have to
engineer some sort of jig to make sure
everything lines up consistently
RIGHT AND BELOW: I've attached
all of the resin detal parts to the
exterior. Clear parts put in place with
carpenter's glue.  She's about ready
for a shot of paint!
ABOVE, LEFT, AND BELOW:  I used
Model Master RLM 02 Grey as a primer
and to look for flaws in workmanship.  I
found a number of places where extra work
was needed or I left a fingerprint or two.  
Back to the sanding shop to fix...
LEFT: Remember my story above about
areas of the clear nose part buckling when I
was working with it?  This picture shows
that area clearly.  Originally I tried to fill
and smooth the area with carpenter's glue.  
The appearance wasn't great, but it did
look better than if I had just left it alone.

Anyway, while I was making the
workmanship corrections mentioned above,
the same area gave way and the carpenter's
glue fell away re-exposing the original
damage.  Bad.  I took a few days off to
think about what to do.  That area is very
thin!

I decided I had little choice other than to
take a risk.  I started filling the area in with
gap-filling super glue in thin layers.  Once I
was satisfied it was filled I added some
more for good measure. Once dry, I lightly
sanded the area smooth starting with 320
grade paper.  It's a wonder I didn't sand
through a thin spot.
RIGHT: I was so pleased with my work on
fixing the clear nose that I decided I could
improve the appearance/fit of the clear cockpit
part in a similar manner.  In this pic, the nose
area thin spots are fixed, but I still need to
smooth it up for painting with 600 grade
sandpaper.
LEFT:  A number of other fit problems
and flaws in workmanship were
discovered and corrected.
Problems corrected, and
another coat of gray paint
I usually don't pre-shade, but
considering that these amphibians
operated out of water, I thought
the effect might look good on this
model.
References I have on the Be-12
show  they were painted various
colors at different times in its
service life.  I decided to go with
a gray-green that Be-12's appear
to have been painted in during
the Cold War.  The
Be-12 at the
Monino museum near Moscow
is a similar color.
ABOVE and LEFT:  I mixed
the colors and this looks close
enough.
BELOW:  Propellers assembled and painted.
RIGHT:  Painted and decals
applied.   The end is in sight!!!

The kit-supplied Red Star decals
were too large.  I used some from a
1/48 scale CAM sheet.  Also, the
Soviet Navy ensign decals should
face the same way on each side of
the fuselage.  The hammer-and-
sickle should be forward.  The one
you see here is backwards, while
the one on the opposite side is
correct.
LEFT: The fit was excellent for a resin
kit.  Fuselage halves matched up near
perfectly and the only filling required
along the fuselage seam was between the
wings.  Filler was also needed on the
engine nacelles.

Only interior details is a basic cockpit
and a seat under the clear blister on the
fuselage spine.  It shouldn't matter much
since not much will be seen through the
small windows.

I painted the interior light gray and the
seats were done in olive drab.  
Instrument panel was painted flat black
and dry-brushed with silver.  Other
cockpit details were picked out in silver.

Be careful with the metal landing gear
assembly.  Super glue is the best way to
go here, so you won't have much time to
make sure that they're positioned
correctly and level.