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F-104G Luftwaffe Starfighter (K48083) 1:48 Kinetic Model The F-104 starfighter was designed by the famous Kelly Johnson from Lockheed after a series of visits to USAF Bases in Korea where he sounded out pilots about what kind of aircraft they wanted. Their main focus was on a small simple aircraft with a high speed/altitude capability. The new General Electric J79 engine was chosen to power the aircraft and he would wrap around this the lightest possible airframe he could. The new aircraft would be all metal with wings located further back than most designs to allow a minimum drag angle of attack. The aircraft would feature an internal 20mm Gatling gun with additional missile armament. One downside to the new aircraft was the downward firing ejection seat which was developed after concerns of a normal seat clearing the tail. The seat would later be replaced by a conventional one, but only after a significant number of deaths during low altitude ejections. Many operators would replace the Lockheed seats with Martin Baker ones. The F-104G was developed by Lockheed at the time the USAF was not happy with the aircraft. The Luftwaffe at the time was looking for a new multirole aircraft and the Starfighter was reworked with a stronger fuselage and wing, larger fuel capacity, a larger vertical fin, new landing gear, and upgraded avionics. Many of these models would be built under license by Dornier, Fokker, Fiat, Canadair and SABCA. The aircraft had a poor safety record with the German forces leading it do be dubbed the "Widow maker", pilot workload was high and it emerged that original fatigue calculations had not taken into account the new role of the aircraft. It would later transpire that underhand methods secured many overseas orders with German and Dutch officials accused of accepting bribes. The Kit This is a new tool from Kinetic. The Box top is branded as Kinetic Gold, with no explanation anywhere to what makes it a "Gold" kit. The kit features an open electronics bay behind the cockpit, nose radar There are three sprues of grey plastic, a clear spure and a small PE fret. The plastic looks to be upto the recent high standards of Kinetic., the panel lines are very fine and I fear will disappear under primer and paint to a greater degree. Construction begins with the cockpit, and the seat is the first thing to be built up. This is multipart affair and there is a C-2 seat and a Martin Baker one. The back and sides attach to the seatpan, the head part with the handles is attached and the seat gun fitted to the back. Seat rails are then fitted to the sides. PE belts are then fitted. The cockpit tub is built and the control column followed by the seat are installed. Next up we have a few sub assemblies to make. The radar and electronics boxes for the nose are made up. Its worth noting there is no parts in the kit to fold the radome back to expose the radar? The rear jet pipe and the exhaust nozzle follow. For the undercarriage the front and rear bays are made up, and lastly the nose cone is put together. All of these can then be added into the main fuselage and it closed up. Some additional panels are then added to the underside. The top to the T tail is then added as is the rudder. The three part intakes (each side) are built up and added to the fuselage. The nose wheel is now built up and added as well. Two different types of wheel are included, however there is no information as to which to use for any aircraft, so the modeller will need to check their references. The nose boy doors can then be added after the nose gear is in. The main gear is now built up as well, again two types of wheel are supplied, and again without any information. Once the gear is on the doors can be added. Moving to the rear of the fuselage the air brakes can be installed. We now move onto the stubby wings. There is a main centre section with separate leading edges and flaps. Holes must be made if using the underwing pylons. If not using the wing tip tanks then there are PE faces for the end of the wings. Once made up the wings can be attached. Back to the fuselage the cover for the electronics bay behind the cockpit is added. This can be open or closed. The glazing is now added. There are PE parts for inside the canopy. Small parts are then added to the airframe including PE AOA indicators. For stores, fuel tanks are provided for the wing tips, and underwing pylons. A double sidewinder adaptor is provided for under the main fuselage. Markings There are designed by Crossdelta and printed by cartograf. It is noticeable there are very few stencils on the sheet. 22+39 Fighter Bomber Wing 34 Memmingen 1984-87 With Earlier type Splinter scheme 21+64 Fighter Bomber Wing 34 Memmingen 1984-87 With Later type subdued scheme 26+60 German Naval Air Wing 2, Eggebek, 1985 Conclusion This is a great new tool from Kinetic. Highly recommended. In association with
Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master (K48063) 1:48 Kinetic Model The M346 is an advanced trainer / light attack aircraft from Alenoa Aermacchi. If the aircraft looks remarkably similar to the new YAK-130 its because the aircraft was originally developed in partnership with Yakolev. Both companies originally agreed to work with each other in 1991 to compete against Mikoyan. Aermacchi gained the rights to modify and market the design for western market. Even though Aermacchi owned 50% of the venture (with Yakolev 25% & Sokol 25%) they were increasingly putting money in due to lack of Russian support. The companies parted ways in 2000 with Yakolev being paid $77 million for technical documents. The agreement between the companies allows Yakolev to market the Aircraft in former USSR countries, India, Slovakia and Algeria leaving Aermacchi everywhere else. The M346 is a highly modified version of the original aircraft with engines from Honeywell and flight controls from BAe systems. As well as Italian Air Force the aircraft has been bought by Israel, Poland, Singapore, and Turkmenistan. The Kit This is a new tool from Kinetic. The Box top is branded as Kinetic Gold, with no explanation anywhere to what makes it a "Gold" kit. As well as the separate fuselage halves there are three spures of plastic for the kit, 2 armament sprues, a clear spure and a small sheet of PE in the box. Construction begins with the ejection seats, these are a multi part affair with plastic and PE parts being used. The cockpit tub is then built up. At the front the instrument panels, front & rear coaming, and HUDs are added, the side consoles and rear bulkhead follow. The seats are then fitted it. Next up the front wheel bay and leg are built up and out to one side, followed by the main wheel bays. The full length intakes and exhaust cans are then built up. Next attention is turned to the wings. The upper wings are moulded to the upper fuselage and the lower wings must then be added. If you are fitting the pylons then the holes for these need to be opened up. The reason for all the sub assemblies now becomes apparent. The nose gear front in the front section of the lower fuselage and some side parts are added. The intakes and fan fronts are then added in along with the exhausts. The cockpit section has the nose front sides added and the this is attached to the lower fuselage. The upper fuselage can then be added it. The main gears can then be made up and added along with the leading edges to the intakes. All the control surfaces and now made up and including the tail. These are now added along with the tail planes. The kit provides separate flaps, slats and rudder. The nose cone is then added. The prototypes having an instrumented probe, but a simple cone for the production models. A variety of PE parts and aerial are added to the airframe. The large ventral airbrake can be posed open or closed. Two canopies are provided a clear one, and on with det cord moulded in. No mention is made o which to use so again the modeller will have to check their references. Pylons and then weapons may be added as needed. Armament Kinetic have included a generic weapons sprue as used in some of their other kits. The modeller will need to use their references to see which if any can be used. Markings There are 6 options on the decal sheet. This has been designed by Israldecal and printed by Cartograf so there should be no issues with it. There is also a supplementary sheet with weapons markings on it these are also printed by Cartograf. The six options are; Prototype 001 (Blue Aircraft) Initial Production Aircraft (Red Aircraft) Lavi 102 - Israeli Air Force 325 - Republic Of Singapore Air Force 7701 - Polish Air Force 61-10 - Italian Air Force You can find a colour copy of the instructions and profiles here, although the product hasn't yet been added to the product listing on the Kinetic website. Conclusion This is a great new tool from Kinetic of one of the latest trainers / light attack aircraft to hit the market. The moulding are clean and crisp with fine panel lines and good detail throughout. Highly Recommended. In association with
Turkish Air Force F-16C (K48069) 1:48 Kinetic Model I would pretty much assume that almost all modellers reading this review are familiar with the F-16 Fighting Falcon. It is probably the most used combat aircraft in the world at this time. The F-16 was developed by General Dynamics for the USAF. This was as a result of proposals for an Advanced Day Fighter Concept. Following on from an Air Force study group the idea of a Lightweight Fighter was developed. Certain elements of the Air Force remained hostile to this as it was perceived as a threat to the then F-15 programme. In 1972 General Dynamics was awarded a contract to produce the YF-16. The aircraft introduced numerous innovations in fighter design, including a frameless bubble canopy affording the pilot greater visibility. Air-to-air missiles were mounted on wing tip pylons to free up underwing stations and the central control column was replaced by a side stick controller. The pilots seat was reclined by 30° to reduce G forces. In technological terms the aircraft was one of the first to use fly-by-wire and relaxed stability were by the computers actually flew the aircraft instead of conventional inputs. Like many aircraft the F-16 has developed over the years, probably to point where the original designers would marvel at the difference between the YF-16 and the latest 2 Seat aircraft with external Avionics spines & conformal fuel tanks. It has certainly gone from a Lightweight fighter to a more overweight example, no doubt like a lot of us over the years! It is estimated over 4500 F-16 aircraft have now been produced. The Turkish Air Force like a lot of NATO countries has bought F-16s. Eight Aircraft were purchased from the US with Turkish Aerospace Industries licence building a further 232. TAI have also exported aircraft to Egypt. Turkey is one of only 5 countries to locally produce the F-16. The Kit This is a re-issue of Kinetic's F-16 kit which dates back to 2008 and has seen multiple re-issues since. This edition comes with decals for 3 special schemes used by the Turkish Air Force. Construction begins with the cockpit. The read bulkhead is added to the tub followed by the side instrument panels, the main panel and the side stick controller. We then move to the central air intake duct, the bottom of which also forms the top of the main gear bay. The front and rear bulkheads of the bay are added followed by a fan front part at the rear, it can then it can fitted into the lower fuselage section. We then move to the upper fuselage section. The front part is split to allow single and two seat models to be made from the same tool. The single seater front part is added to the rest of the top and the gun muzzle added. The completed cockpit from earlier can then be added in. The read air brakes are moulded closed, however they can be cut off and positioned open if wanted. The fuselage sections can now be joined up. The main single air intake can now be built up. The bottom of this forms the nose wheel bay. The intake is then surrounded by its outer skin and this can the added to the fuselage. The instructions have the modeller add the nose gear at this point, though I suspect most will do this later. The main gear is also built up and added at this time. Moving to the read of the aircraft the exhaust nozzle is built up and added along with the tail planes. The vertical fin is built up from the fin, its base, and the rudder, along with a separate rear housing. This can then be added. Back to cockpit the seat is built up and added. For the canopy Kinetic have moulded the frame and canopy separate to these will need to be carefully joined. Weapons & Stores Kinetic gives us basically 4 sprues which deal mainly with weapons and under wing stores. We get A centre line tank, two wing tanks, AIM-120s, AIM-9Ms, AGM-65s, GBU-38s, GBU-31;, GBU-12's, GBU-24s; as well as an AAQ-29 & AN/AAQ-13. While the Turkish Air Force use of some of these weapons, they dont use them all, and there use on the special schemes is doubtful, the modeller will have to do their research to check. Markings The new decal sheet has be designed by Crossdelta and printed by cartograf so there should be no issues there. The sheet gives 3 special schemes as worn by he Turkish Air Force. 143 Sqn from 2007 20th Ann of Turkish F-16 Operations. The aircraft has a striking red fin & tanks as seen on the box art. 143 Sqn, this was the second special scheme, similar to the red one but using blue. 132 Sqn, aircraft as seen at "Anatolian Eagle 2015" in Konya, Turkey. You can find a colour copy of the instructions and profiles here, although the product hasn't yet been added to the product listing on the Kinetic website. Conclusion This is still a good F-16 and its great to see decals for other users of the F-16, and these special schemes do look good. Recommended. In association with