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Typhoon Landing Gear Strut (for Revell) 1:32 AeroCraft Models It's a known fact that the nose gear leg on the Eurofighter Typhoon is a little weak on the Revell kits of any scale due to the slender nature of the real thing, but the 1:32 kit is a big model once built, and if you add any resin to the mix, you're going to be putting a fair amount of additional stress on an already weak part. Ali has had a new master of the strut made, which includes all but one of the ancillary struts in a single metal casting. It has been augmented with other details too, so it's not just a slavish copy of the original like some, and as it is made from brass, which is much stronger than white metal. All that's needed is to clean up any mould seams, which are an inescapable part of this type of casting, and will require use of a decent file due to the toughness of the metal, and sanding sticks don't really do a good job, taking substantially longer to accomplish the same amount of work as with a file. A set of small diamond files you can pick up off eBay or Amazon would suffice, and you'll find them a useful addition to your modelling tool kit in general. Once prepared, the leg can be dropped into place instead of the kit parts, just using one small jack from the kit that is purely cosmetic and takes no structural weight at all. The weight of the new part will also reduce the need for nose weight, although it's probably best to ignore it when establishing how much to put in, and treat it as a bonus later. Review sample courtesy of
Eurofighter Typhoon Twin-Seater 1:32 Revell The Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon started out as the EAP programme in the 1970s engineered entirely by BAe, but was later joined by a number of international partners due to an allegedly common requirement, with the partnership changing over time to end up with Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy remaining, while France went their own way with the Aerodynamics data to create the Rafale, which has a similar general arrangement. Delays and cost overruns seem to be a common factor in modern military procurement, and the Typhoon suffered many, resulting in the Germans taking delivery of the first airframe in 2003, Italy in 2005 and the UK in 2007. Operational airframes have since taken part in operations in Libya and under Italy's control in Albania. After the British Typhoons were initially ordered without guns, then with guns but without ammo, which was again overturned in due course, they were grounded in 2011 due to a lack of spares, which required the RAF to cannibalise grounded airframes to keep flying. The two-seat variant is used for training and conversion, although it is capable of going to war if needs required it, having all the systems in place to make it viable. The Tiffie is a great airshow crowd pleaser due to its agility at all speeds, and the impressive tearing roar of its twin EF2000 jet engines that propel it forwards with an impressive 20,000lbf of power per engine with reheat engaged. The Kit We reviewed the original single seat of the Typhoon in 1:32 here when it was released in 2010, and only three years later, out comes the two-seat kit in the same scale. Our reviewing standards and photography standards have improved a little since then however, so I'll treat it as a complete new kit, but you might want to have a look at some of the "tape-up" photos to see how things go together. The box is Revell's standard 1:32 large kit box, and stacks well with their other kits, although the cardboard has been thinned somewhat leading to a slightly floppy box once it has been opened. Not of major importance, but it might make a difference to where you place it within the stash. Inside are twelve sprues of Revell's standard pale grey/green styrene, plus two clear sprues, a large decal sheet and instruction booklet with irritating (to me at least) health and safety notes tucked inside on a separate sheet. The kit is almost identical in content to the earlier single seat edition, save for new sprues containing spine, cockpit and glazing parts. Worthy of note is the fact that the canopy parts have been moulded at an angle and were broken from their sprue gates by the time I received the kit. I suspect that the gates at the end were cut intentionally to make packaging them easier, but given the brittle nature of clear parts, it's difficult to tell whether the side gates were nipped off or just twisted clear. The gates have broken cleanly however, so there is little clean-up needed, but the main canopy is slightly discoloured near the back by a stress mark within the styrene, so check yours immediately when you first open the box. Construction follows the same format as the singe seat edition too, and starts with the cockpit, which is where the main differences will be found. Instead of building up one seat, guess what? You build two identical seats with moulded in belts, each taking a respectable 11 parts to complete. Although functionally the same, the cockpits are separate tubs of slightly different shapes, but have identical fixtures and fittings – namely rudder pedals, throttle quadrant and the stubby control stick on its pedestal in between the pilot's knees. The instrument panels have moulded in MFD screens as well as all the buttons and switches you'd expect, and decals are provided for the screens to detail up this area. For reasons unknown, the rear-seater's instrument panel is completely ignored and doesn't feature until it miraculously appears in step 13 – unlucky for some! it pops back up again at step 47, but as the painting and decaling is identical, although it is mated to the coaming separating the crew areas rather than glued directly to the pedestal. Before closing the fuselage around the cockpits, a few sundry tasks must be done, including adding the two canards to the forward fuselage with a pair of O-shaped rings holding them in place, and if you're careful with the glue, they should rotate freely afterwards. I'd be tempted to follow the later option and glue in the O-rings and glue the canards on later at my preferred angle, which seems to be nose-down a lot of the time. A deep intake on the port side of the lower nose is also added, and a pair of holes will need drilling just in front of the cockpit aperture. Then you'll be reaching for the tape and clamps to secure the fuselage halves together, with most of the top joint hidden by the spine that fits on later in the job, and most of the lower fuselage aft of the nose open to the elements at this stage. A small hourglass shaped insert fits in the tail between the engines, and a gaggle of small parts are added to the cowling around the exhausts, plus the parabrake housing lid, which flips open to unleash the parachute to shorten landing runs. The biggest shortcoming of this kit (IMHO) is the short and fiddly intake assembly, which leave you to either clean up a lot of joints and extend the intakes further back to their correct place, or throw in the towel and install some FOD guards. Until some aftermarket intakes come out that simplifies the job, it's FOD guards all the way as far as I'm concerned. The nose gear bay nestles in between the twin intakes, and is moulded in between the lower half of the assembly, with only gross structural detail moulded in. A couple of large circular lumps appear in the roof of the bay, swelling the ribbing that resides there, and at this stage I'm not sure whether they actually exist in the real thing, or they're a moulding short-cut to hide ejector pin marks. I would have hoped that in 1:32, we'd have got something a little more realistic in this area of the kit, but alas not. A set of FODs and some styrene bits should remedy that, but it's certainly worthy of mention. The large delta wings of the Typhoon are pretty big at this scale, and the lower wing is represented as a full-width part that includes the majority of the underside of the fuselage behind the intakes. You have some choices here regarding what to cut out, as you can pose one engine bay open to show off the motor that's included with the kit. You will need to cut out two panels on the starboard side to do this, so choose now, while it is still easy to get at the engraved weakening lines inside the part. The large injector assembly that has been placed within one of the main gear bay apertures will need to be removed too, and the two sprue gates cleaned up, and a choice of a large number of holes for the weapons pylons will need drilling out too. Of note is the fact that although the inner pylon isn't included with the kit, there are flashed over holes in the lower wing to help you if you are going to get an aftermarket item. It also hints that maybe one day an edition may surface with the fabled inner pylon included, although based on Revell's kits of the Typhoon in 1:72, 1:48 and now 1:32, that sounds somewhat optimistic. The bay into which the engine will later be placed is added to the fuselage, and isn't needed if you aren't showing it off. It's quite simplified, and the engine is too, but it will suffice for most of us, just not the scratch-builder that strives for perfection and wants all the plumbing on show. There is a display trestle for the engine if you decide not to place it in the fuselage, so it can be used to enhance a diorama base if you wish, or dropped into the spares bin for later use. The main gear bays are built up from five parts, giving a fair representation of the real thing, and showing some ribbing, plus a pair of large kinked pipes running fore to aft. This assembly and the intakes drop into position in the lower wing, using the recess round the gear bay openings and the nose gear bay opening, respectively. A pair of internal strengthening bars are added to the lower wing before it is offered up to the fuselage where the instructions show it clamped in place at the leading and trailing edges of the wing, using the upper wing root on the top edge. The upper wings are added shortly after, and clamped in place before adding the leading-edge slats in either open or closed positions. The large tail is added to the base, which is moulded into the fuselage, using a large tab to hold it in place. The exhausts on the sides of the spine at this point are represented as boxes, when they should be hollow, and the tail surface itself has a myriad of noticeable rivets running top to bottom in zig-zag rows that would probably be visible at this scale, plus a small intake on its leading edge that is missing from the kit. There is also a slightly raised panel toward the tip of the tail that is flush on the kit part, and could benefit from some coats of high-build primer to give it more texture. Under the nav light on the trailing edge of the tail, there is a missing exhaust port that could be hollowed out to give a little more detail to the area. Sorry for wittering on about the tail – I was half-way through creating a super-detailed version for the single seat kit when I got distracted by something that was more shiny. The irritating method for construction of the intakes rears its head again when you are called upon to add the sidewalls to the intake lips the top section several steps after building up the intake trunks and adding the upper splitter plate, then another two pages later you add the variable incidence lower intake lips. Whilst it might work as far as construction goes, painting is complicated, as is making good any seams, of which there are quite a few in tricky places. No-one seems to have stepped up to the plate on this one yet (that I know of), although Aires do a set of beautiful wheel bays that include a new lower intake part, but doesn't add anything to the intake per se. All the flying surfaces are poseable, including the rudder and canards, and of course the aforementioned slats, which is useful at this scale to break up the sameness of your kit. The two ECM pods carried on the wingtips are built up from halves with a trio of small intake and exhaust ports added to each one, then glued onto the slot on each wingtip. They are handed, so make sure you place the correct one on each wingtip, as the slots appear to be the same on both sides. The chaffe and flare dispensers are located on the underside of the wing, moulded into the wings, but needing a little detail painting to depict the stores within the launch tubes. The twin EF2000 engines exhausts are built up from trunking halves with either open or closed exhaust petals at the rear and a representation of the rear face of the engine at the front. Whether you built and install both engines depends whether you are using the open engine bay or not, and if so, you will omit the port exhaust, as well as two panels in front of the exhaust, which are separate for just this purpose. Those on the starboard side are moulded into the lower wing, so you'll need to make them match up. The exhausts should just side into the fuselage and locate on some handy lugs that ensure they are correctly oriented. No mention is made of weight when building the nose cone, which has a cut-out and hinges moulded in as if there may have been some plan to include the radar that never came to fruition. The absolute tip is a separate part, presumably in order to get the best point to the job, but it means a little seam filling along the join between the two halves and the tip. The pilot's coaming is added along with the nose cone, and woe betide you if you forget to put any weight in. The coaming is an improvement on the rather featureless 1:48 offering, but could still do with some more work to improve it, as evidenced by the Aires part for the single seater. The shortened spine is added next, hiding a good proportion of the top fuselage seam, and the brake is installed later with a retraction jack and small reservoir/bottle glued into the recess. The brake panel has a nice insert glued to its inner face, which adds a little realism if you pose it open, but quite often they are closed on the ground, so check your references and our walkaround section. The Typhoon has one of the weakest looking nose gear legs I have seen, and this is faithfully represented in the kit (pause here to replace the battery on my callipers), sizing up at only 2mm diameter at its thinnest. I'm not entirely convinced a white-metal replacement would do any better, but a nice brass or silver part might be of more use long term. The gear legs are well detailed, with retraction jacks depicted to satisfy most of us, just needing a fair amount of brake hosing adding in blue with yellow zip-ties according to our walkaround. The wheels are all two part, with a seam running along the tyre's contact patch, and seem a little featureless with some issues to the hubs to my eyes, and the only aftermarket set doesn't add anything significant to the detail other than circumferential tread patterns that are missing from the kit parts. A separate brake housing on the inner hub is good to see, as are the separate oleo-scissor links, which are quite well done. Bay doors are supplied for both open and closed options, with the single bay door for the nose gear sacrificing its hinges to lay closed, while the main bay doors simply interlink and fit flush. The canopy as already mentioned was loose inside the separate bag, and the large opener has a large seam running along the outside from front to back, which is due to the three-part mould used to create the "blown" shape to it, and will need removing by sanding away and then polishing back to clarity if you feel up to the task. The same is true of the windscreen, which shares the same pronounced bubble profile as the canopy. A pair of rear-view mirrors are supplied for the windscreen and for the rear seater, a hoop with two more mirrors are placed into two recesses in the inner sill on the canopy. The HUD glazing is added too, and a pair of "antennae" can be fitted to the rear of the spine to help support the canopy if you intend to leave it open. Staying in the vicinity, you can pose the refuelling probe deployed or retracted into its housing using alternative parts, and the PIRATE sensor that has been a feature of the nose of the Typhoon for some years now, sitting just forward of the canopy on the port side. Under the nose are four sensors/bird-slicers, a blade antenna and a formation light, plus a door and recess for the crew access ladder, which can be open or closed. Weapons are a big part of any Typhoon build, as although some are recessed into the fuselage to minimise the radar signature, the majority of the load carried on any warplane in the real world will be "hanging out" on pylons in order to drop a meaningful war load on the enemy. Six pylons are built up in pairs for each wing, and then you have a choice of what to place on the from the following list. 4 x AMRAAM 4 x Meteor 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder 2 x 1000l Fuel tank 2 x IRIS-T 2 x GBU-24B guided bombs 2 x Stormshadow cruise missiles 2 x Taurus pod 1 x "German Recce Pod" 2 x AIM-132 ASRAAM There is no chart to help you decide what to place on the pylons, but three options are presented with a common load of AMRAAM or Meteor missiles in the recessed belly stations, and one of the following: 3 x fuel tanks & 2 x IRIS-T 2 x Stormshadow or GBU-24B & 2 x AIM-9L or AIM-132 ASRAAM 2 x Stormshadow & 2 x AIM-9L or IRIS-T The last option is marked as "German Air Force", and one of the Stormshadows (starboard inner station) can be substituted for the rather shady sounding German Recce Pod. The optional separate engine on a trestle is the last item to be built up, and it looks like a fair degree of effort went into it, as the part count is quite high with 47 parts to the engine, and another 36 in the construction of the support trestle. Whether you think that's a good use of parts to create an unusual focus point of the model, or parts that could have been better used in other areas is entirely your business, and with a little work in adding pipework and ancillary equipment, a nice model can result. You can probably tell that I'm of the latter persuasion by the way I wrote that, can't you? Sorry about that. Markings Revell's colour call-outs are a bit of a pest if I'm honest, and it often involves some flicking back and forth through the instructions, as the codes are at the front, while the main painting guide is at the rear of the booklet. The colours are all given in Revell's range of paints, but some that aren't available are shown as mixtures, but without their correct names given as a clue for those of us that use different paints. Unfortunately, to add to the inconvenience, the two colours used on each of the decal options are shown as an identical grey shade, giving no clue where the demarcations are on the German option. From the box you can portray one of the following: Eurofighter Jagdgeschwader 73 "General Steinhoff", Laage, Germany July 2009. Typhoon T.3 No.6 Squadron, RAF Leuchars, April 2013. The decals are printed in Italy, although I'm guessing not by Cartograf, as people usually trumpet that fact when it applies. Colour density and sharpness are good on my sample, and for the most part register is too, with the exception of the red, which is a fraction out, and most noticeable on some red circles with black over-printing, which is slightly off-centre. Stencils are abundant on the sheet, with a separate page devoted to stencilling the airframe, and another to the weapons, with even more for the pylons. Conclusion Revell's Typhoons in the larger 1:48 and 1:32 scales are a mixed bag of good shape but lacklustre detail in places, as if the budget was spent before the important details of the gear bays, intakes and parts around the fuselage such as the APU vent in the port wing root were considered. There have been many words written on the fit of some of the parts, although I can't comment with great certainty as I have only attempted a tape-up for the original review. With all the above said though, it makes a better base kit to begin work on than the Trumpeter kit, which has some accuracy issues around the aft-end that would be difficult to correct. In many ways the Revell kit suffers from sin-by-omission, which leaves the field open for the aftermarket providers, who have already covered most of the issues mentioned in the form of Photo-Etch sets, resin sets and more from Eduard, Aires and the like. If you want a large scale Typhoon and want to make it accurate rather than easy to build, the Revell kit is in my highly uneducated opinion (and I mean that), the better option, despite its flaws. Recommended after a good read of this review and other references around the net. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
Lighting Kit – Eurofighter Typhoon (for Revell) 1:32 Tirydium Models Some of you may be familiar with the work of this young company, formed by one of our members Madmonk, often referred to by his real name Warren. He has taken the new technology that is available to tinkerers with electronics, and applied them to our hobby to light models with kits specific to their needs. This kit is aimed at the Revell 1:32 Eurofighter Typhoon, and has been sized accordingly, with sufficient wire so that the LED/fibre optics gets the light into all the right places. A tiny chip on a small slice of veroboard PCB is at the heart of the kit, supplying the voltage for the constant lights as well as the timing for the flashing strobe lights. The lights are as follows: Tail light – white LED with 1mm fibre guide. Wing Tip – red and green LED for port and starboard. Top strobe – red LED with 1mm fibre guide (short). Bottom strobe – red LED with 1mm fibre guide (long). The board has been backed with a piece of double-sided insulating foam, so you can place it within the fuselage simply by removing the backing paper from the adhesive. It runs on a voltage of 4.5v, which is easily provided by a 3-cell AA or AAA pack, which you can buy online and hide somewhere on the base of your model. The instructions walk you through the integration of the parts into the kit as you build it, even suggesting the best glues to use, and where to drill holes to accept wires and fibre guides. There are also a page full of helpful pictures of the process that are referred to throughout the build, which should be a great help to the novice. A short video by the man himself Although the kit simplifies the task of lighting your model massively, you will have to take a drill, scalpel or sanding stick to the internals to create channels for the tiny wires and fibre guides, as required. It would be helpful to have some experience and confidence in that sort of work, to avoid any unnecessary stress. The wires are very thin and easy to hide, as each one has a diameter of 0.5mm, while the fibre guides have a 1mm diameter. The LEDs are the relatively new Surface Mount Devices (SMD), which are very compact and bright, and have solder pads rather than legs. Each one has been pre-soldered to their wire with the correct resistor for the suggested voltage to prevent overloading and premature failure of the LEDs, and these are protected by heat-shrink tubing that makes the joints much more stable and able to withstand handling during installation. The fibre guides are supplied by similar SMD LEDs, and these held in place by heat-shrink tubing to, so all you have to do is glue them in place, attach the wingtip lights to the little screw-down contacts on the board, and add a power supply to the generous wires coming off the board. Conclusion This kit is about as simple as you can get for the end-user, while incorporating some fancy technology in the shape of the ATtiny85 microprocessor that is the heart of the control system. As long as you are happy making minor alterations to the interior of your model, you should get along just fine. Very highly recommended. Make your model stand out from the crowd by flashing at people! Review sample courtesy of
Hasegawa have announced a new tooling of the Eurofighter Typhoon, which some of you may already have heard about, but we now know when it's coming, and that the initial production run will include a bonus display stand. No further details on that aspect of it, but it should prove handy, I'm sure. Decals include RAF No.3(F) SQuadron, coded QO-H, and Luftwaffe JG74, and there will be 195 parts in the box - quite a high part count for a 1:72, which bodes well. This looks to be the boxtop picture, culled straight from Hasegawa's website. I'll be interested to see how it compares to the Revell kit in the same scale, as I always thought it had room for improvement on the detail. It should be in the shops here around October time, allowing for the vagaries of the slow boat from Japan getting here on time, which gives you plenty of time to put one or more on your Christmas wish list. Modern jet fans rejoice While we're on the subject - on a related note, a new Dual-combo boxing of the Hasegawa Jaguar GR.1A/T.2A is being released at the same time, with parts for two kits, one of each mark in the box, and decals for a 1A of 16 Squadron, coded XX965 in 2010, and a T.2A of 6 Squadron, coded XX141 in 2009. A good month for RAF lovers