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  1. I am extremely happy to be rolling out the latest build from the Ridgerunner work bench. As you can see, she is a RB-26P and depicts the last Invader in use within the French armed and experimental Services, specifically the CEAM. She was finally retired to the ranges at Cazeaux, in South Western France, in the late 1960s and was un-ceremonially wasted as a target some while later. Prior to that she was a RB-26C GB.1/91, ERP1/32, CIB.328. The only photo I have located is below and is taken from Dan Hagerdorn’s excellent “must have” book “Foreign Invaders”. Even Dan couldn’t offer anything more when asked. So, my references have been quite scant. I have, though, used the many online references and some excellent images from French historian Pierre Jarrige. At the end Earler times The camera nose on another RB-26P The RB-29P was one of a number of French variations produced from the rugged Invader while in their services, including the B-26APQ13, B-26TMR and B-26N. As far as I can ascertain only twelve were converted from Armee de l’ Air stocks of the RB-26C. Upon retirement some were simply scrapped or used as targets while a few were sold on via Belgian agents for work in Biafra. The model is built from the ill-fitting Italeri kit. It was a marked step forward in quality terms in comparison to the Airfix boxing of the early 1970s, but nevertheless needs. some updating here and there, particularly around the power plants and cowlings. I had spent cash on both the Quickboost and CMK resin upgrade kits but both suffer from incorrect dimensions and poor fitting. I therefore opted my own solution. This was to remove the kit cooling vanes, which are far too thick and to replace them with thin card in the form of a strip that went around the circumference of the cowl. This was appropriately scored with a panel line engraver. I have tried to get close to her condition shown in her “final journey” photo. I have used a huge amount of French Invader information that I have received. Wez @Wez has also guided my gallic wanderings too. Like other Fench Invaders, she was a dirty and scruffy machine and this is something that I wanted to convey through my build. My Work In Progress thread is here: The modifications required for the specific aircraft variant – a large camera window on the port nose, and enlarged window for the rear cabin and an under nose window – were all fashioned from a mix of card and Plastruct rods. For the glazing I used resin aftermarket packaging 😊. More of the work I did follows: What did I do/use? 1. Kit – Italeri B-26C Invader kit (1259) 2. Aftermarket – Airwaves cockpit PE set (partially), Res-Im wheels, paint masks 3. Decals – some from the kit, Berna Decals set and others (code and serial numbers) drawn and printed for me by Mika at Arctic Decals. 4. Paints – Colourcoats Matt Black and Aluminium , Humbrol Matt White (H34) and various other paints from these producers for other detail. Finished with Vallejo acrylic Satin varnish. 5. Weathering – a combination of Flory Washes (Dark Dirt, Light, and Sand), Tamiya Weathering Powders and a Prismacolor Silver pencil. I hope you like her
  2. This is my third entry for this Group Build. This time it's a hot pancake right from the Special Hobby molding machine - I literally received it last Sunday and it's immediately going to the workdesk completely bypassing my stash storage shelves!!! I think the kit is superfamiliar to all the F-84 amateurs. Some photoes of box contents are below: 4+1 sprues, projectiles, different tanks, two versions of tail, alternative parabrake fairing, three versions of ejection seats (early, intermediate AMI seat and MB seat - BTW I found out that there was an even earlier seat that was used on very first Thunderjets). Also the decal sheet here is huge with full decals to be used for those colourful stripes. I'm a little bit in doubt on its use - painting is probably safer (but longer) process especially on those curved surfaces like intake rim or fuselage stripes. Maybe I still should take a challenge. Another concern - it's definitely a new style Eduard decals with 'peeling lacquer off' effect. Again first time I'll be using such stuff. A little bit more scary! I'm still not fully decided which version to build. I collect IDF aircraft - but this not really an IDF aircraft... I definitely want Suez Crisis Streak - so the third option from the decal is definitely out of competition. Also Scheme A seems easier than B. Anyway it's going to be French Streak and I'll probably decide a bit later. Last point: spAcial hobby. That's on all the five sprues. I do not know what to do to be honest. Shall I write to Special Hobby to get replacement sprues? Anybody has plastic 'e' for replacement? The whole project is at risk!!! Two more evening before sprues cutting starts! Cheers, Dennis
  3. Another 2023 build I'm catching up on posting is this Revell boxing of the old Hasegawa Mirage F.1C. Despite its age, I think this kit holds up well in terms of shape and fit. I augmented mine with a Pavla cockpit (which is a huge improvement on the very basic kit cockpit), ResKit wheels, Master pitot tube, a CMK jet exhaust and Quickboost air scoops. The air scoops and the exhaust are for the Special Hobby kit, and just a few simple mods were required to the Revell fuselage to get the latter to fit nicely but is a nice addition I think. The Hasegawa/Revell kit has raised details so I rescribed some of the most noticeable panel lines. Colours are Ammo MiG Mirage Blue over Vallejo white aluminium. Again, apologies for the quality of the camera phone photos
  4. I have mentioned in previous threads that I have something of a 1940 obsession. It started out innocently enough, with a plan to build at least one example of the aircraft that took part in the Battle of Britain, the Battle itself being another obsession in its own right. With the models I build I wanted to try to tell a wider story than the typical "brave boys in their Spitfires against the mighty Luftwaffe" kind. I began to add aircraft of Bomber, Coastal, Army Co-Operation commands, Fleet Air Arm and sundry others to the UK side in an attempt to even up the odds. When you realise more Bomber Command crew members died during the Battle period than Fighter Command losses, you begin to realise there is an untold story behind the myths of the Battle of Britain. Inevitably, the Battle of Britain edges started to blur. Interest started to shift backwards from the official July to October Battle period. The numbers of aircraft also grew, and it eventually became a plan to build at least one example of every type of aircraft that flew in the Western European theatre during the whole of 1940, from all sides of the conflict: Norway campaign, Phoney War, Blitzkrieg (France, Belgium, Holland), Operation Dynamo, Battle of Britain, Night Blitz, the beginnings of the Battle of the Atlantic, and the new types just coming into service at the end of 1940. So far, numerous models have been built and kits are in the stash, and steadily being acquired, which cover the types flown by the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, and Italy. I know: I’m a little bit mad. This work in progress thread will be about the French planes of 1940. Rather than start threads for each type, I’m lumping them all together in one place, though I’m not going to build them all at once. I’ll try and do the same for the other air forces as I get round to them. The bulk of the British and German protagonists have been built already, with only the oddities and strays to round up. I expect I’ll run individual threads for those. This particular thread will also be a bit about my journey of discovery, as I learn about the Armée de l'Air, the various aircraft the force could muster, and something about the pilots who flew them to try and stem the German invasion in the spring of 1940. I suspect there are some excellent references out there from France, but the language barrier is raised. While expanding my reference library is always a welcome, if sometimes expensive, pastime, I’m trying to rely on the World Wide Web, supplemented with some printed material, in order to move a little beyond what I find in the boxes. I suspect these builds, however, will mostly be straight "out of the box" builds. Honestly, most of the kits I’ve so far acquired seem sufficiently accurate to be able to do just that. I hope fellow BMers with be forthcoming to fill in the gaps in my knowledge, as I know there’s more than a few also interested in the events of 1940. So, what’s first on the agenda?
  5. Hello, At the moment I'm working on an Armée de l'Air Mirage IIIRD kit, and I wondered if anyone can supply me with the correct colour codes (RAL, FS) of the outer camouflage pattern, green and grey. Thanks in advance, Rob
  6. This is the ESCI F-100D, which is an old kit but still a very good one; Scalemates says it was first released in 1982, with this boxing dating from 1985. I’ve used some Eduard F-100D details (intended for the Italeri kit), Aires wheels, jet pipe and exhaust. The Esci cockpit is very basic but the Eduard etch and a little plastic card helped a lot. I was debating about dropping the leading edge slats until the superb Blackbird models replacement wing set came along and made the whole job a lot simpler! I cut the tabs off the elevators and attached some metal rod to position them at a more typical on-the-ground angle, and extended the intake inside with some paper and plastic card. The paints are Vallejo metallics, the national markings are from the kit (behaving surprisingly well despite their age) and the individual aircraft and squadron markings from Modeldecal sheet 69. I’m pretty pleased with this one.
  7. Potez 63-11, No. 156, 2 Escadrille, GR II/33, Athies-sous-Laon, winter 1939-40. It's difficult to work out where to start with the Potez 63 series. In 1934, the French air ministry put out a specification for a heavy fighter. The new type needed to perform several functions, from fighter direction where it would lead formations of single-seat fighters, to day bomber escort and night fighting operations. A crew of up to three, and maximum speed of 450kph from a twin engine setup, plus various armaments, were all considered essential. All the big companies were asked to provide prototypes to the new specification, with at least Hanriot and Breguet continuing into series production. Potez, however, seemed to win the most favour, and the 63 series began construction with the 630, after the prototype's maiden flight in April 1936. From there, it begins to get very confused, with multiple variants of the basic aircraft being developed as fighters, bombers, trainers and reconnaissance. Overall, the design was relatively simple, fairly quick to assemble, and shared pleasant flying characteristics, and were all designed for easy maintenance. Then we come to the Potez 63-11, the variant that was built in the most numbers. Developed for the reconnaissance role, the pilot was seated above the observer who occupied a position in a large glazed nose. The fuselage had to increase in depth compared to other variants, which impinged on top speed and manoeuvrability. The end result was an ungainly looking plane which was vulnerable to attack, despite armour and self-sealing fuel tanks. The need to act in a light bombing role was part of the requirements, but the tiny bomb bay in the fuselage was rarely used, and later filled with an extra fuel tank. There were hard points under the wings, and self-defence was in the form of a single machine gun in the rear observer's position, and remote control guns in the tail cone and a belly blister pointing to the rear. Many machines were also equipped with twin machine gun gondolas under the outer wings, allowing them to at least perform some ground attack duties. The kit is typical fare from Azur. Nice fine detail in the plastic parts, but a fair amount of flash. It exhibits a lot of reliance on resin for cockpit and undercarriage details, plus some exceedingly fine PE parts. As is typical, the instructions can be rather vague, and pay careful attention to dry fitting parts before committing to glues. Overall, though, the kit builds up adequately well. Seat belts were made up from masking tape, and I had to re-engineer part of the undercarriage so the wheels fitted properly, the only headache turns out to be dust trapped inside that copiously glazed nose. I bought in a set of Montex vinyl masks for the complex glazing, and the model was painted using French Air Force colours from the ColourCoats enamels range. I tried my hand at freehand airbrushing the camouflage, which I think worked out better than I expected. The transfers, which covered pre-Armistice France, Free French in Palestine and Rumanian aircraft, were finely printed, nicely thin and laid down really well without reliance on setting solution. While I didn't enjoy the build, and it lingered near the Shelf of Doom for a time, I'm pleased at how it turned out. Eventually, similar twin-engined types from Breguet and Hanriot will join it in the display cabinet. I've just noticed I haven't updated my photo copyright watermark since 2019. That kind of sums up 2020 well, don't you think? The WIP thread starts here, in an ever-expanding thread of French aircraft of the 1930s:
  8. Hi all. The EMB-312 Tucano is simple in design and the plastic by Hobbyboss reflects this. However, I've chosen some enhancements by way of swapping out the woefully out of register kit decals for a set by Caracal, a pair of Pavla M.B. Mk.8LC resin seats and some Quickboost resin exhausts. So far the build has been vice-less. This one has certainly been a palate cleanser and promises to be for the remainder of the build. If it was correctly boxed with the T.1 option as per the supplied decals I'd loved to have done an RAF gloss black version but alas, Hobbyboss has dropped the ball big time when providing decals for essentially a superfluous RAF machine. A quick inspection reveals some major differences including the canopy frame, instrument panel, nose shape, prop and exhaust locations. So this one will be a French bird as per the pic below. I'm really enjoying this build. Hope you like it. Mick 👍 I like the faded paint on the fuselage band behind the canopy and what appears to be a fresh coat of paint on the red glare panel and chin of the air intake. (Courtesy of jetphotos.net) Nice kit box art. These images from a few nights ago and the all of the empennage has been attached.
  9. Hi everyone, Here's the latest kit completion for the year: a Hobby Boss 1/72 Jaguar A! The model depicts an aircraft belonging to EC 2/11 Vosges as deployed to Al Ahsa Airbase during the 1991 Gulf War. The kit has had it's airbrakes opened up utilising the bays from a scrapped Hasegawa Jaguar which also donated it's nose gear door and tailplanes. The Airwaves etched set intended for the Hasegawa Jaguar supplied the airbrake doors as well as few details in the cockpit. Eduard's etch for the HB twin seat Jaguar kit provided the instrument panels and gun sight whilst a spare Martin Baker Mk 4 from a High Planes Cheetah D replaced the rather feeble, and undersized, kit effort. As a note for others building the HB kit: you have to cut away the floor of the cockpit tub and attach that to the top of the nosegear bay in order to use a proper sized seat! As for the payload the fuel tanks provided in the HB kit are far too large so I used one from an Italeri kit with scratchbuilt fins. The ECM pod, Magic II AAM and their respective pylons came from the leftovers of the Special Hobby Mirage F.1 I completed earlier this year. As it turned out the only kit items I used for that part of the build were the SAMP 250's, their ejector rack and the inner pylons! The Alkan 2050 and 2051 conformal pods were scratchbuilt with an Italeri decal for the details. Paints used were Humbrol: 103 Cream and 237 Desert Tan over 27001 Aluminium and the markings were from one Berna Decals' Jaguar A sets. I'll be honest I'm not overly happy with the paintwork as it's a bit "clarty" in places. It's also way too clean but I didn't fancy weathering it. Scratchbuilt Alkan Chaff/Flare dispenser: Airbrakes: Cockpit showing the High Planes MB Mk.4: Comments welcome! Mike.
  10. Hi Here is my new finished kit with this reconnaissance fighter Dassault Mirage F1 CR from Special Hobby. This one is N°603 #33-NR of Escadron de Reconnaissance ER02.033 in 1988 in Chad. The shark mouth was added before going back to Reims AB, France. The vanilla/chocolate camouflage is typical of the Chad operations during the 1980s. She was loaded with two 1200 L fuel tanks, two Magic air-to-air missiles, a Phimat chaff dispenser under the starboard wing and a Barracuda ECM pod under the port wing. Patrick
  11. In the picture above is a Mosquito FB Mk.VI operated by the French airforces from their base at Rabat-Salé (Morocco) and in the picture below an aircraft in Indochina, I think: There seems to be a heat shield fitted behind the 'siamesed' exhaust for cylinders 5 & 6. Does anybody have any more info on this?
  12. Hi This is another one for this year even if I started this kit many years ago. The 1/72 Hobby Boss kit is not the best in town but is easy to build except around the front part of the fuselage which is divided horizontally. I tried to compensate the poor detail level by chosing a multi-coloured scheme. This is the Armée de l'air (French Air Force) Republic F-84G-21-RE 51-10809 Thunderjet transfered to France and from EC 1/3 Navarre at Reims AB in 1953. The transfers came from the Hi-Decal HD72049 sheet. Patrick
  13. I eagerly purchased a couple of Special Hobby Mirage F1s when they were first released and have been keeping them aside with this GB in mind (I may have purchased a few more since then, I couldn't possibly comment). Although I haven't narrowed the subjects of this project down to particular machines, the intended builds will both be late service examples, probably reflecting some of their operational use. To that end, I'll almost certain that I'll be using Berna Decals for both jets; I haven't used them before but they look very nice. Other aftermarket will include Master pitots, Peewit paint masks and a CMK 'Iraqi' centreline tank for the F1CT. The F1CR will utilise one of the kit-supplied recce pods. Pics of the sprues - apologies for odd effect created by photographing two sets of sprues together... P1000621 P1000623 thanks for looking, Andrew.
  14. Hello Here is my new finished kit with this 1/72 Special Hobby Nakajima Ki-43-III when used by the Armée de l'air (French Air Force) in Indochina between December 1945 and February 1946. The GC I/7 Provence stationed at Po Chen Tong near Phnom Penh when they used less than a dozen former Japanese Army Air Force Nakajima fighters. There were many accidents and after a couple of months they were replaced by Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, and this is another story. The kit is easy to assemble. For the very worn effect I painted first the kit with Alclad Duralumin. Next I applied with a piece of sponge some masking fluid before airbrushing the dark green. After one hour I peeled off the paint with the finger. I made the same for the yellow identification markings. I saw on the pictures that the metal blades of the propeller were in perfect conditions. The transfers came from two sheets on the subject by Printscale. I say two because the transfers are too thin and after the first I could see the mottle effect through the white and red transfers. Then I bought another sheet to put exactly a second layer of the same transfers. Patrick
  15. So to go with my Asas de Portugal Alpha Jet I'm doing a Patrouille de France one too! The kit is the standard Revell one - I've got a lot of these floating around and they make a decent Alpha. The decals come from Caracal which I believe gives enough for 2 complete aircraft. But I have 3 Alpha Jets and some other decals in a Heller anniversary box I got when I was a kid in France on holiday, so I may well do 3 in the end! Most of you are probably fully aware of the Patrouille de France. They're one of the best display teams (and my joint favourite) in the world. They've flown the Alpha Jet for since 1981 now and their paint scheme hasn't changed much bar their tails which have changed over time to reflect anniversaries of the Armee de l'Air or of France. As per my other builds, I didn't take any photos of the before and after...so it's mainly pictures during painting and decals that I'll have to offer. When I do my next Alpha Jet I'll actually take construction pictures (though it normally only takes me half an hour)! So far I've painted the wings and some of the fuselage...not much else! More to come soon! Wings and some centre complete. Alongside it's colleagues.
  16. For my second build I will be doing the Azur Morane-Saulnier MS.406C from the "Battle of France" boxing: In the box are the same parts as included in the other Azur releases of the MS.406/410: ...but with decals and paintschemes specific to Armee de l'Air machines from the period up to late June 1940: I will be building "Camo D" - Azur describe this as being an aircraft of the 3me Escadrille of Groupe de Chasse II/2, but the Colorado Decals set for the MS.406 has the same aircraft with a white "2" in a red disc and says it is from the 4me Escadrille... I have no idea who is correct so unless someone can correct me I will go with the kit description as it is the more recent of the two. Cheers, Stew
  17. Hi all, I am building Eduard's 1/48 Mirage IIIC in the French Fancy Group Build and have a query re the underside blue colour. Does anyone have any pics of actual djibouti camo'd a/c that show the underside? I have pained the thing in the Gunze colour recommended (over a light base of Xtracrlix azure blue) and it looks very vivid! It may be correct but would welcome opinion. See pics below. Any direction would be recommended (posted this here for more visibility). Thanks
  18. Dewoitine D.520C1 n° 277, GC III/6 5ème escadrille l'armée de l'Air, Rayack (Syria), June 1941, flown by Sous-lieutenant Pierre Le Gloan Kit: 1/72 Hasegawa Dewoitine D.520 "French Air Force" Afermarket parts : Eduard #72-254 photo-etched detail set (selected parts only) Falcon vac formed canopy (from the set #26 “France WWII”) Corrections & additions made on the kit: The nose air intakes were originally the wrong shape being too narrow at their forward end. This was corrected with plastic inserts and re-shaping. The louvers were added to the intakes as it can be seen on the photos. The under-belly cooler was too narrow and also not curved enough in outline. It was re-shaped by making two cuts in its rear part, repositioning the rear ends of the cooler sides outward and filling the gaps with Mr.Surfacer. The cooler interior (area covered by the cooler) was completely re-worked by cutting out the flat plastic fragment of the lower wing part and making an appropriate niche instead, as it was on the real thing. Therefore, the etched cooler grills by Eduard (designed to fit the kit parts) became just useless and the replacement parts were finally scratch built. The wing area where the cooler is attached was also modified according to the reference photos. The main wheel wells (too shallow and represented totally wrong on the kit) were completely re-worked, in particular, the niches for the landing gear legs. For the wheel well “ceilings” the Eduard parts were used, with some additions though. The kit parts for the landing gear covers were thinned down and modified for correct appearance. This way they still look much better than the flat etched pieces. The incorrect curved representation of the area under the rear view windows behind the cockpit (à la P-40) was removed and replaced by the flat panels at it was the case with the real thing. Some panel lines were added and some were corrected according to the reference photos. The rear view windows (unfortunately, not present with the Falcon set and too thick as kit parts) were therma-formed using the kit-parts as templates. The main wheels were flattened using the surface of the electric cooker. The etched parts for the gun sight were still too big and this one was eventually scratch built as well. I decided to add the ring gun sight as well, since it can be clearly seen on one of the photos showing this a/c. The kit decals were modified according to the reference photos.
  19. Sepecat Jaguar A 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Jaguar has a convoluted development history, which began with Britain and France wanting different things, with some commonality of goals, if that makes any sense. Eventually these converged sufficiently to make more sense, and with the cancellation of one of the possible solutions, the Jaguar was born along with a separate joint venture between Breuget and BAC (as it was then) to form SEPECAT, which stands for Société Européenne de Production de l'Avion d'École de Combat et d'Appui Tactique, which translates to European Company for Production of Combat Trainer & Tactical Support Aircraft - a descriptive title if ever there was one, but a long way from catchy. The British and French partners ordered about 160 airframes each, with the French opting for a portion of their lot to be the yet-to-be finalised Jaguar-M options. These were of course cancelled due to cost increases and political wrangling in favour of the Super Etendard. Each Nation also ordered 35-40 two-seat trainers to assist in the conversion of pilots to this new jet. With the jet trainer element now completely removed from the aircraft's tasking with the introduction of the Hawk and Alphajet, the Jaguar was translated to a pure Ground Attack and Tactical Strike aircraft, a job that it did well, as it was a mechanically robust aircraft, with its unusual over-wing pylons freeing up more wing hard-points for munitions. Powered by two Adour engines, the initial airframes were considered to be underpowered, and crews joked that they only took off due to the curvature of the earth. Successive improvements to the engines increased power and load hauling ability though, and its ability to produce high power for take-off and short dashes made for some interesting low-level flight videos on YouTube over the years. The French Jaguar A was delivered to the Armée de l'Air in 1973, taking part in a number of conflicts in North Africa where French interests were threatened, and then went on to serve in the Gulf War through to the Kosovo and Bosnian conflicts, before being retired in 2005, some two years earlier than the British Jaguar's final curtain call. The Kit For years we have had only the Airfix/Heller tooling in 1:48 that dates back to just before the dinosaurs became extinct, and has many flaws associated with its age and heritage. We have known about this new tooling from young company, Kitty Hawk for only a few months now, but we are reliably informed by Mr Song that this is the first of a number of editions of the kit that will include British and 2-seat versions. That will make a lot of Jaguar fans very happy, and consign a lot of Airfix kits to the loft, I'm sure. The kit arrives in a diminutive white box, with a painting of a desert camouflaged Jag wearing French roundels on the top. Opening the lid, and you are greeted by a lot of plastic, filling the box to the top. There are seven sprues of pale grey styrene, plus two separate fuselage halves (minus nose), and a clear sprue. There is also a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a colourful decal sheet, and a similarly small instruction booklet to finish off. First impressions are good – there is a lot of detail packed into these sprues, with restrained engraved panel lines, rivet detail and quite a few weapons parts included with the kit. The build begins with the cockpit, which is based upon an open-backed tub, which is then closed by a nicely detailed rear bulkhead, and detailed with PE side-console and PE instrument panel laminated to a styrene base that fits in a slot between the moulded in rudder pedals, but does not have a tab to hold it fast. The ejector seat is built up from a central cushion and headbox section, sandwiched between two side-panels that cover the rear, with a separate pull-handle between the pilot's knees. A set of PE harnesses are supplied to further detail this, and while it is surprisingly good enough to suffice for the majority of builders, additional detail can always be had by replacing it with a resin aftermarket part. There are some other seat parts for other versions of the kit that aren't mentioned in the instructions, so make sure you pick the correct ones from the sprues. The cockpit is finished off with a control-column, and a pair of internal side-wall parts that although not much of them will be seen, have some good detail moulded in. Like many fast jets, the nose gear bay is then attached to the underside of the cockpit, and here the detail is similarly good. The roof and end panels are moulded as one part, with separate sides that permit detail to be moulded on all facets, with plenty of rivet, cabling and structural detail moulded in. The instructions would have you install the nose-gear leg at this point, but I will be investigating the possibility of adding it later, to save it from damage during handling. The gear leg is strong, and has a pair of large mounting surfaces that mate with the roof of the bay and slide into slots cut in the sidewalls, it has separate yoke detail to the front, and a 2-part wheel that has the hub moulded integrally. The cockpit/nose gear bay assembly is then sandwiched between the nose sides, after adding some clear parts to the area portray sensors etc., and adding the nose equipment bay that may be posed open or closed. A single piece is included to portray the bay detail, which looks very nice, and should fulfil its purpose well with some careful painting. The two panels are added a little later in the open position, but if you are planning on leaving them closed, it might be as well to add them before you have closed up the nose, so that you can get them lined up with the rest of the skin. Once the nose is closed up, the coaming is added to the flat area in front of the instrument panel, which has a large oblong cut-out for the HUD that is installed with a clear part representing the reflective glass. The various sensors and the nose-mounted pitot probe can be left of until later, as can the open panels on the nose if you are leaving them open. The gun troughs are then added, and a pair of barrel stubs are installed within the trough to give added detail. The prominent exhaust holes underneath the cannon bulges are separate parts on the rear fuselage, which gives the mould the flexibility to depict one or both cannons installed for the 2-seat or single-seat versions. It also gives additional detail to a complex area, and careful fettling of the parts before gluing should result in minimal clean-up. The clear parts are thin and commendably clear, but would of course benefit from a dip in Klear/Future or Alclad Aqua Gloss. A set of PE rear-view mirrors are included for the canopy lip as well as a number of small styrene parts that attach to the inside of the windscreen. Their location isn't terribly exact on the drawing, so check your references before you install them. Attention then turns to the rear of the fuselage, and unconventionally begins with the construction of the main landing gear. The Jag's landing gear was quite innovative in its day, and because of its rough field handling requirement, the legs are sturdy and shod with balloon tyres. The struts are made up from six parts, which gives an idea of the complex shape. The twin tyres are made from separate halves with moulded in hub detail and circumferential tread pattern engraved in, with one attached to each side of the swing-arm. The completed legs are then installed to the front wall of the air-brake bay where the mounting points for the legs are moulded into their surface. The main bays are built up from individual wall parts, and fix forward of the air-brake bays. Detail in these areas is also good, although little will be seen because of the fact that the doors were usually closed after landing, unless they were needed left open for maintenance. Forward of the main bays are the cannon maintenance bays, which have a depiction of the 30mm DEFA cannons made up from two separate parts. The bay doors can be left open or closed at your whim. The intakes for the two engines are split diagonally into L-shaped sections that fix together along a diagonal mating surface to retain the curve of the sides of the parts. Of course a little sanding of the seam will be required, but this should be minimal, and as it is on the outer edges, shouldn't be too taxing. The trunking only extends as far as the intake sections, and leads into the fuselage, where the engine fronts will be visible within the gloom (if you can even see that far), so a coat of black to the inside of the fuselage just before closing up would be wise to hide any structure and prevent light-leaks. The intakes have a little rough surface on their internal faces, which you might want to take care of before gluing the halves together, and you could also paint the lip and trunk before gluing to make a tricky task a little easier. The blow-in doors are depicted in their relaxed state on this model, as they were only ever open when the engine was turning over and creating a drop in pressure that allowed them to hinge in to provide more air to burn with the fuel. If you plan on modelling your Jaguar in flight, you will need to remove the doors and pose them deflected inwards as per the box top painting. The fuselage halves are full of holes for open bays, so are by their nature flexible when handled straight from the box. They will doubtless firm up when the various bays are installed, which indicates that it might be an idea to tape the halves together while waiting for the bays to set up, so that no warp is induced by parts curing slightly out of line. The largest opening in the fuselage is to the very rear, where the twin Adour turbofans are installed. A large flat slab with a firewall bisecting it and the forward bulkhead are installed first, with the engines themselves added afterwards, having been made up from five styrene parts each, with a PE burner ring installed within the exhaust area, and a set of exhaust petals made up from a strip of PE that is curved around into a cylinder, and the individual petals folded in the correct order before being slid into the outer exhaust ring. A central outer skin panel is installed along the line of the firewall on the underside of the fuselage, and the modeller can then decide whether to install the main engine panels or leave them off, displaying one or both of the engines. The same can be done with the airbrakes, which have fine holes cut through them, just like the real things. If posing them open, a pair of jacks are included (one for each) to put them at the correct angle to the airframe. The tail-cone and a PE arrestor wire are added, as are the choice of two centre-line pylons, although whether they are better left off until after painting is a decision for each modeller to make. The wings are provided as individual halves, with the outer wing panel moulded entirely to the upper wing, due to the narrowness of the wing at that point. The flaps and slats are all separate parts, and a PE spoiler is supplied for the top of the wing, as well as the wing-fence, which is also made from PE. A tiny wedge of clear styrene is installed in each wing-tip for the recognition lights. The rudder is made up of three parts, the main part of the fin, the rudder panel, and the top of the tail, again due to the changes in the tail between marks. A pair of PE antenna parts are installed perpendicular to the tail at around the half-way point. The elevators are single parts, as they are rather thin, and affix to the fuselage with a large peg around which they can be rotated. The ventral strakes attach to long slots on the underside of the engine bulges, and a gaggle of small sensor parts install on the underside and rear spine. The crew heat exchanger that sits on the spine behind the cockpit fits into a slot, and has two PE blade aerials attached to its back. It is only at this point that the instructions suggest joining the front to the rear of the fuselage, after all of the weapons pylons have been installed. Happily, the pylons are made up of separate halves, and have attachment details added once they are joined. This is a neat little feature, and something that should be commended to all manufacturers of modern jets. The remainder of the build concerns itself with the construction of the weapons load that this pugnacious aircraft could carry into battle. A table on page 18 shows what each of the stations was capable of carrying, but check your references for actual war-loads and training loads that were typically carried. The sprues contain the following weapons: BGL 1000 250KG Bomb x 4 on 2 dispensers AS.37 Martel BGL 400 x 2 AS.30 missile BLG66 cluster bombs x 2 PHIMAT countermeasures pod Matra 155 x 2 OBL 755 AIM-9L Sidewinder x 2 ATLIS targeting pod R550 Magic.2 x 2 Barracuda ECM pod That's quite a pile of weapons, which takes up the majority of two sprues. Only one fuel tank is included with this edition, and that isn't mentioned in the instructions, although it's likely to be a centreline tank judging by the fact that there is just the one of them. It can be found on sprue H, next to the wing parts. The decals permit you to model one of two schemes, as follows: No. 124, EC01/007. Provence Saint-Dizier, 1994 - dark earth/light brown camouflage over light blue undersides. No.62 "Boar's Head" markings - dark green/dark sea grey over silver. Decals are sharply printed and appear to be in good register with a slightly matt/gloss mottling to the carrier film, which varies over the surface. The two large perforated decals are for the BLG-66 cluster bombs, depicting the bomblet dispenser holes. A full painting and marking guide for the weapons is included on the inside front cover of the instructions, taking advantage of the glossy colour print of the outer sleeve. Conclusion A new tooling of the Jaguar in 1:48 has been requested and prayed for for many years by modellers, and finally we have one, courtesy of Kitty Hawk. Soon we should have a full set of options for British, French and trainer aircraft, which is only to be applauded. From my personal (and very selfish) British standpoint, it's a shame the French edition was first out of the gate if only by a very short time, but in the grand scheme of things, we can wait a few more weeks for a new RAF Jaguar in 1:48, can't we? It is a thoroughly modern tooling, with a lot of detail included in the box, especially in the important cockpit, gear bay and surface areas. You have options to open up many panels, there are plenty of weapons included for you to choose from, and you even get a fret of PE parts to add to the kit, although there are no styrene equivalents for those that are PE phobic. From a personal point of view I couldn't be happier. I have a planned build of three, or possibly four Jags in 1:48 before I depart this world, so will be replacing my Airfix kits as I go along. Perhaps those Retirement Scheme decals might get used afterall! Very highly recommended. This is now a Work in Progress, and can be seen here. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
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