Scale aviation modeller international

(Barré) #1
This night fighter variant also
includes a pair of spectacular
”eyebrows” (or are they love
handles?) to shield the pilot’s
night vision from the glare
from the exhaust pipes.
The kit supplies two different
shapes of canopy, either flat or a
blown bubble. Each is supplied in
either open or closed configuration,
which allows for the change
in profile as the canopy is slid
forward or backwards. There
are different internal structures
supplied for both styles of canopy.
Alternative main and tail
wheels are supplied and the
undercarriage can be modelled
extended or retracted (in which
case a substantial stand is
supplied), and the flaps posed up
or down. You also have the choice
of open cowl panels to display
what is a very detailed engine.

With 72 stages of assembly, you
need to decide from the very
beginning whether you are
building the day or night fighter,
because the first three stages
simply involve drilling and cutting
holes appropriate to your chosen
option. Note that if you intend to
use the external tank you will need
to open all four holes along the
centre line of the lower wing, and
not just the rear two mentioned
in the instructions. You also need
to decide at this
stage whether
you plan
to use
the stand
to depict
the aircraft
in flight.
Rather than begin
in a specific area, such
as the cockpit, I decided to
go through the whole model,
assembling pieces to be painted the
same colour. Thus, I ended up with
completed cylinder banks for the
engine (silver), cockpit components
(dark grey), undercarriage bays and
parts of the firewall (RLM Grey 02),
as well as rudder, elevators, drop
tank etc. This had the desired effect
of speeding up basic painting.

As the various pieces were
detached and cleaned it became
apparent that the standards of
moulding varied somewhat across
the kit. Some of the minor details
on the engine, for example, were
rather coarse and suffered from
small amounts of short-moulding.
Trailing edges on the control
surfaces – rudder, elevators,
and ailerons – all needed filling
due to a strange curvature in the
profile of the mating surfaces.
The majority of the detail,
however, is very good. Panel lines
are just about perfect everywhere
and should look fantastic under

paint, and it all falls together
without trauma. This is particularly
commendable given the complexity
of the structure around the wing
roots and engine bay. I was mightily
impressed with the ends of the
gun barrels (six) and exhaust pipes
(thirteen) which are all hollow:
that saves a LOT of drilling.
The cockpit is cleanly, if simply,
depicted with raised details on the
front and rear of the instrument
panels as well as on the side
consoles. Decals are supplied to
enhance this even further, although
those for the side consoles bear

no resemblance to the moulded
detail. Also, I wasn’t convinced that
those for the instrument panels
would actually conform to the parts
supplied, and in the end I resorted
to Eduard’s excellent pre-finished
set ED33177 for this kit. They’re
so much better at it than I am.

In a way this kit mimics the
construction of the original,
building up around a multi-part
central structure which gives a
high level of rigidity where it’s
needed. The lower wing – a single
piece – is braced with a substantial
spar, which is there mainly to
add some support if you use the
stand to display it. This also does
away with any dihedral issues
at the same time.
Once the ”detail”
spar and wheel wells
are added you have the
basis of a seriously solid
model. And everything
that is added thereafter fits





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