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  1. VAUTOUR IIN "Cyrano Radar" 1:72 Special Hobby The Sud Aviation Vautour (Vulture) stems from a 1951 request from the Armée de l'Air for a jet aircraft capable as acting as a bomber, light attack aircraft, or an all weather interceptor. The renamed Vautour II would subsequently be built in all three versions, entering service in 1958, and leaving active front line service in 1978. Various test aircraft stayed around through to the 1990's. The aircraft would feature an all metal fuselage with a mid fuselage mounted wing. The engines were mounted in underslung pods. A distinguishing feature of the aircraft was the main undercarriage units on the centre line with outriggers in the engine pods. The Cyrano Radar was originally developed for the Mirage but were fitted to some Vautours for testing and one such aircraft was sold to Israel. The Aircraft would never see any combat with the Armée de l'Air, however it would with its only export customer the Israeli Defence Forces. Israel purchased 28 Vautours and they were used in the six day war and the War of Attrition. In fact the type did score an aerial victory over an Iraqi Hunter. 15 aircraft were lost to combat and they were replaced by Skyhawks in 1971. The Kit The original of the kit date back to the Azur kit which was new in 2011. This kit represents a Vautour IIN two seat all weather interceptor version with the Cyrano radar nose. You get the original kit with the new nose and drop tanks in resin. There are also a good number of additional resin parts including the camera pods under the test aircrafts engine pods. TBH a lot of the resin parts are very small and it looks like it might be difficult to separate them without causing damage. The man plastic parts are good quality with restrained panel lines. Films are provided for the instrument panels, and to round things off there is a small PE fret. To kick things off in the construction depart we start with the cockpit (shock). The two seats are made up each with four plastic parts, and PE seatbelts. The rudder pedals attach to the back of the instrument panel and this is then added to the coaming. The cockpit is then made up with the other side of the cockpit floor being the roof of the front gear bay. The rear bulkhead is added along with the mid bulkhead between the two cockpits. Side consoles are then added to the front & rear pits. The control column is added as are the seats. The underside bulkheads for the front gear bay are added. The front main gear leg is then built up. This is a complicated part with the main leg, upper scissor parts and reaction mechanism all to be built up. The twin wheels can then be added. Once this is finished, the complete cockpit along with the rear main gear well can be added to the fuselage halves and they can be closed up. The rudder is then added. . Once the main fuselage is complete the attention moves to the wings. these are one part in the main for each side with only the inner wing needing a second part. The wings are then added. The engine pods are made up from two halves and the modeller needs to put in the intake, resin exhaust and wheel wells for the out rigger wheels which were contained in the engine pods. Once complete the pods are attached to the wings. The radar nose is then added after the normal nose has been removed along the panel line, the gun ports will also need to be filled in. The the front gear bay doors and the rear gear strut & wheels are added.. The tailplanes are added along with the POE wing fences, and rear gear doors. The outrigger gears need then to be built up and installed into the engine pods. This is followed by the doors to these pods. Lastly the external tanks and camera pods are added if needed. Clear parts These are clear and distortion free. Markings Markings for 4 aircraft are provided. The decals are by Cartograf, are in register, bright, and have minimal carrier film. The blues on the Israli markings are good, the camera washed them out a bit, it was blinded by the day-glo markings! No.348 CEV Flight Test Centre. Bretgny-sur-Orge, France 1990. No.337 CEV Flight Test Centre. Bretgny-sur-Orge, France 1980. No.70 "Fantomas" Natural Metal Finish, Israeli Defence Forces. No.70 "Fantomas" 3 colour camo, Israeli Defence Forces. Conclusion An unusual looking aircraft which can be built in trials or operational schemes. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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