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Julien posted a topic in KitsROCAF F-CK-1 "Ching-Kuo" 1:48 Freedom Model Kits The F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo is a multi-role fighter designed by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan. Originally the Republic of China Air Force were looking to buy a mix of F-16s and F-20s from the US, however at the time this fell foul of politics as the US were at the time trying to improve relations with the Peoples Republic of China, this had the effect of limiting arms sales to the Republic. However the then President of the US Ronald Reagan was persuaded to offer assurances to the Republic and this enabled military assistance in the form technology transfers. This lead to the development of their own indigenous fighter. The Ching-Kuo was named after the late President Chiang Ching-kuo. It first flew in 1989 The initial order of 256 was cut to 130 when deals were done to buy F-16 fighters from the US and Mirage 2000s from the French. The initial A/B aircraft have been upgraded to the C/D configuration. This has included additional fuel, new avionics, new ECM capabilities, new weapons, and upgraded landing gear to allow for a larger payload. The C/D model was also called Hsiung Ying, or Brave Hawk in English. As well as Sidewinder missiles the fighter carries indigenous weapons; the Sky Sword I Infrared SRAAM, the Sky Sword II radar guided MRAAM, the Wan Chien JSOW, and the Hsiung Feng II ASM. The Kit This is a new tool from Freedom Models. The kit arrives on three main sprues with another eight holding all the weapons supplied. The sprues pictured are for the single seater, the only difference for the twin seater is a longer nose section (with a double cockpit) and a different canopy. Construction starts with the cockpit. The three parts seats are made up and added in to the tub. Instrument panels and rudder pedals are added. The front wheel well is attached to the underside of the tub. Once the tub(s) are made up then they are installed into the front fuselage section. There is an insert for the front of the canopy which for the single seat aircraft has on it the bird slicer IFF antenna, and the twin seater two pitot probes. This is then made up and added. The front instrument coaming is also added at this stage. The nose cane an then be added to the front fuselage section along with the main pitot probe (though I suspect most modellers will leave this until much later). Moving to the main fuselage which is spilt upper/lower and contains the wings (much like and F-16 kit) the long intake trunks are added with a simulated fan front at the ends. Once the intakes are in the upper and lower sections can be joined and the font fuselage section added on. The curved sections behind the intakes are then added. Some additional lower fuselage plates are then added, for the twin seater a much smaller one is added. For the single seater a large panel is then added to the upper fuselage behind the cockpit. Separate flaps and slats can then be added to the model. The front main gear is then made up and added along with the front gear doors. The wheel is a single part and added to a single strut. For the mains the wheels are split in two parts and are added to the single main oleos. The retraction struts and suspension links are then added. The main gear doors can then be added. Moving to the rear of the aircraft the three part exhausts are built up and added, as is the emergency arrestor hook. F-16 style split airbrakes are added at the rear. Moving back to the front the single piece intakes are added. The wing tip missiles must also be added. If needed for the version being built external conformal fuel tanks can be added to the rear fuselane. The canopy can then be added. For the single seater this hinges at the rear, while on the twin seater it hinges to the side. For both a canopy stay can be added for extra stability. If wanted the kit does include a boarding ladder which is a nice touch. Weapons: 2 x AIM-9P Sidewinder 4 x Sky Sword I 4 x Sky Sword II 2 x Anti Ship Missiles 2 x JSOW 12 x MK82 Bombs 2 x Twin Stores Carriers (For MK.82s) 2 x 275 Gal Fuel Tanks A table shows which weapons and tanks fit to which pylons, but you'll need to check your references to get an idea of what constituted a realistic carry. The weapons themselves are nicely detailed with slide-moulding used to good effect on the exhausts and launch rails, and separate fins adding to the detail. It is great that these weapons are included in the kit as the indigenous weapons I suspect ould be hard to source on their own. Markings There is one main sheet and a small supplemental one. Both are by Freedom Models and should pose no problems. They seem to be colour dense and in register. For both the single and double seaters there is one aircraft from the 427th TFW and one from the 443rd TFW> In addition there are decals to build an F-CK-1A in High Vis markings, and an F-CK-B in High Vis markings. Lastly the twin seater Prototype No.4 can be built as well. Conclusion This is a good looking kit from Freedom Models of an indigenous fighter from Taiwan. Highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
The 1980's produced some fine aircraft designs and this is one of those that went by the wayside. In an effort to improve the F-5 family and also generate a lightweight, agile and most importantly, cheap fighter aircraft, Northrop designed the F-20. The West required something akin to the Soviet MiG-21 i.e. mass-produced at low cost and could be thrown at an aggressor in sufficient numbers so as to not need to be "bleeding-edge high technology" but also "budget-blowing". However the F-20 WAS a high tech aircraft introducing computer technology, HOTAS, electro wizardry, etc, etc. Subsequently its real competition was the F-16, from where its engine originated. The initial production order was from Bahrain. In this “whiff”, additional orders were placed by Singapore, Brasil, Taiwan, Australia, USN and the RNZAF, enabling it to actually go into production and enter service. This being an operational example based out of Ohakea in the attack/fighter role in a similar manner to the A-4K Skyhawk filled. The Euro 1 scheme is a homage to that worn by Scooters of that era. Introducing the FA-20K Tigershark. 20170119_164840-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170119_164644-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170119_164547-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170119_164602-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170119_165159-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170119_164712-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170119_164804-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr Underway... 20170116_133902-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr 20170116_133812-1 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr It is nice to see thought put into those who want to open up panels (gunbay here) and find the inside of the mouldings already done on the inside of the access doors. Really intelligent design! 20170102_121509 by Arthur Dent, on Flickr I'm really quite surprised with my first experience with a new model company. Freedom Models have done themselves proud with this kit. The fit has been exceptional and I have used a pin-head amount of filler on the entire build! It is that good! Two small issues that I would have to note. First, the lack of seatbelts on the ejection seat. These could be moulded in (like an Aries unit, which I prefer) or with photo etch. Second is the fins on the smaller droptanks. These are simple rectangular "blocks" which have not been shaped into aerofoils. Perhaps the designer went off for lunch and forgot when returning? These are the only points I would raise. Everything else has been a complete joy to encounter and has kept me interested from the start (1 January) until now. Hopefully you enjoy. Right. That's probably going to make the rest of my year very quiet, with attempting to get the P-61 completed, then on to the Airfix Buccaneer. Images copyright of the owner.
X-47B in 1:48 The X-47B is a demonstrator of a new wave of un-manned bombers designed for operation on aircraft carriers. The B is undergoing flight trials at time of writing, and can carry around 4,000lbs of weapons in two bays. The next model, the C will be much larger and able to carry up to 10,000lbs. Freedom Models, based in Taiwan and China is a new company, and this is their first release. There have been some delays while some minor changes have been made to the tooling, and it is now scheduled for an April 2014 release. Below you can see some shots of the publicity materials for this innovative and interesting little UCAV: We're hoping to have a review sample in due course, and will let you know once it arrives